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Time to change car

Will it be big enough

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David P Williams16/02/2017 16:32:09
877 forum posts
292 photos

Well, the Mondeo estate is six years old and getting a bit rattly, so fancy a change. SWMBO fancies one of these SUV style things - the reviews and advertising for the new Seat Ateca are catching her eye, but I'm not sure that type of vehicle is a good model carrier compared to an estate car - am I wrong?

My most likely move is to downsize slightly to a 6 month to a year old Focus estate but could anyone out there with one of these run a tape measure in the back with the seats down please? I would like to know how much shorter the load area would be than the Mondeo. Do the seats fold down flat?

Thanks, David

Denis Watkins16/02/2017 16:46:14
4171 forum posts
82 photos

You will be disappointed with anything smaller after the Mondeo Estate David,

so be prepared as the smaller new cars are "a bit rattly" and much smaller by floorspace

Edited By Denis Watkins on 16/02/2017 17:11:37

Jon - Laser Engines16/02/2017 17:07:31
5188 forum posts
236 photos

Many of those SUV things are like an inverse tardis where an massive car outside is like a thimble inside.

Take a look at the skoda range. The rapid spaceback has alot of space for a small car, and the octavia is a nice size too.

Ian Jones16/02/2017 17:09:27
3219 forum posts
1397 photos

I'm a Mondeo man too, anything smaller just won't do. I got it because it's the floor space that matters most to me, if I can't get my SE5a in fully assembled plus another model or two plus field equipment it's no good to me. Be careful with the specs for those SUV types, might have a lot of volume but a lot of that is floor to ceiling.

That's what I've found anyway.

cymaz16/02/2017 17:32:24
9010 forum posts
1187 photos

Vauxhall contest! heart. I can carry more dumpy bags in it than my old 55 Escort van.

Colin Webb 216/02/2017 17:37:29
19 forum posts

We looked at the Ateca end of last year, but it is relatively small inside so ended up getting the Alhambra lots of room if you don't mind an old mans car wink

David P Williams16/02/2017 17:44:56
877 forum posts
292 photos

Thanks chaps, I know what you mean about anything else feeling small after the Mondeo. Its an hours drive to any flying club from here, so I tend to take a selection of models plus supplies for the day and the floorspace available makes it easy. I did baffle the Seat salesman by getting him to fold the seats down (they don't go flat) and measuring the loadspace. About 1.6m long, so a tight fit for things like my Wots Wot XL.

It is annoying that all the references for loadspace are in litres, when I need to know the floorspace.

Anyone out there able to measure a Focus estate for me please?

ChrisB16/02/2017 18:23:04
1220 forum posts
34 photos

I've just got a new Mondeo Estate. Very nice indeed!

All depends on how large you models are. Octavia, Superb, Golf, Passat, Mondeo or up to an Smax, Galaxy etc. Not really much to tell between any of them.

I'd go for a Superb estate or a VW or Ford people carrier if you're carrying models. I've got a van, so keep the car for non modelling.

Steve Hargreaves - Moderator16/02/2017 19:51:07
6742 forum posts
191 photos

My folks have just bought a Focus estate so I can measure it tomorrow when I see them if you like David what dimensions would you like?

Fantastic car by the's a Ecoboost 125 petrol auto.....great car to drive....

Percy Verance16/02/2017 20:16:13
8108 forum posts
155 photos

I also have a Focus Ecoboost 125 estate. It seems to have more length in the load-bay than did my previous Skoda Fabia, but to be 100% sure I'll go and check now........

Edited By Percy Verance on 16/02/2017 20:29:04

Percy Verance16/02/2017 20:23:09
8108 forum posts
155 photos

And there is about 63 inches of usable length with the rear seat cushions tipped forward, as is normal. The seat cushions can be removed, although Ford don't intend you to do it regularly as they bolt them in place. Ford lose a few points here, as my Skoda's seat cushions could be removed in seconds without tools. You would of course gain a further few inches by removing said seat cushions, but the car then becomes a two seater.

And yes David, the seats do indeed fold completely flat. yes

And I think you're right in your SUV assumption David. They're more geared towards creating an impression of cavernous interior space, which of course they do very successfully. They don't always provide the best capacity load bays though, as you pointed out......

Just as an off the cuff recommendation, try a Focus and a Skoda Octavia Estate. The Skoda offers a tad more room than a Focus, and drives very well too. (I've owned two Octavias). If you prefer to stick with Ford David, you'll find nearly new Focus Estates are a bit thin on the ground, but try going the Ford Direct route through a Ford dealer, and you may just find a nice one....


Edited By Percy Verance on 16/02/2017 20:32:15

David P Williams16/02/2017 20:30:26
877 forum posts
292 photos

Thanks Percy, just what I needed to know. About the same load length as the Ateca then but flatter. The Mondeo is about 73 inches, so I lose about 9 or 10 inches. Should still just fit the Wots Wot XL though.

Going to look at a Focus estate tomorrow, a 1.5 Ecoboost petrol 180HP Auto - should be nippy enough.

Percy Verance16/02/2017 20:36:21
8108 forum posts
155 photos


One trick I use with larger models is to utilise the passenger grab handles above the doors. The Focus has four of them (some cars don't have one for the driver) and I attach elastic bungee straps across from one side to the other. Larger wings - suitably protected by bubble wrap or similar - will then be held in place securely above one's head...... You'll also have a couple of feet more length than the load bay provides, and the wings are usually longer than the fuselage so that'll go in the back as normal.

The 1.5 Ecoboost certainly will be nippy enough David, with a 130mph top whack......  

As someone who has driven diesel cars exclusively for the last 24 years, I have found the Ecoboost petrol engine to be quite a revelation....... But to counter that, the VW DSG auto box in the Octavia is also a cracker......





Edited By Percy Verance on 16/02/2017 20:55:13

John Emms 116/02/2017 21:05:15
234 forum posts

Thankfully Percy has got you the info!

Being on a slightly lower than Mondeo and Focus budget, I have been looking at the same issue. Clearly the SUVs are of no use whatsoever.

Two interesting cars I have found are the Renault Twingo because the seats fold to produce a perfectly flat load space from the passenger side dashboard to the tailgate - in complete contrast to my C1 which doesn't! The other is the Dacia Logan with the 900cc Ecoboost type engine (turbocharger with variable inlet valves to provide the throttle control). Put aside the Auto Express hype, it is the old model Clio with the new model Clio systems, sold as the Renault Logan in many parts of the world, and every owner I have spoken to likes them.

Edited By John Emms - Puffin Models on 16/02/2017 21:08:44

Rich too17/02/2017 06:35:52
3057 forum posts
1070 photos

My (105" long) Sbach should just fit in my X5 with the rudder attached, and tight to the dashboard. I would have thought a Galaxy or similar would have more length than the X5?

ted hughes17/02/2017 06:39:03
466 forum posts

Don't get a diesel whatever car you get.

They are already being penalised with higher parking charges in some cities, and there is talk of them being banned altogether:

Edited By ted hughes on 17/02/2017 06:58:21

Chris Whalley17/02/2017 08:20:07
17 forum posts
1 photos

I have a VW Tiguan, had to fetch a 6 x 3 fence panel in it, just failed on length, width ok, I tied the tailgate down, aok, seats were laid flat, very quick to do.👍

ChrisB17/02/2017 08:22:58
1220 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by ted hughes on 17/02/2017 06:39:03:

Don't get a diesel whatever car you get.

They are already being penalised with higher parking charges in some cities, and there is talk of them being banned altogether:**LINK**

Edited By ted hughes on 17/02/2017 06:58:21

They may ban the future production of diesel vehicles in coming years but they are not going to ban diesel vehicles that are already in existence. Just the flavour of the month, next year it''ll be the fact that Hybrids do more overall damage to the environment from manufacture to disposal, with all the battery material that is extracted from all over the world. A Prius' batteries contain material from Canada and South Africa and are shipped to Europe for assembly, then the batteries are sent to Japan and the car is made, then the car is shipped to wherever in the world it has been bought. My new horrible, nasty diesel..I know i'll rot in the flames of hell. Mondeo was built in Spain, then shipped here..end of story.

The big thing people should be worried about is the VED changes in April. If you own a small 'eco-friendly' city car that currently have low tax then be prepared for a shock!!

Chris Whalley17/02/2017 08:27:42
17 forum posts
1 photos

If they do ban diesels there's going to be an awful lot of vans and hgv's going spare!!!

Andy G.17/02/2017 08:37:11
413 forum posts
215 photos

Take a look at the Honda Jazz. Plenty big enough for my gliders or power models plus flying gear, seats fold totally flat in seconds. Comfy,quick and very economical on fuel. When I was looking for cars the totally flat and large headspace was top of my list.

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