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Old 12-03-2017, 11:11 AM   #1
TeaWithJasmine
 
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Default Comfortable cars (Aus/NZ)

I'm relocating and moving in with my g/f soon (over to aus), and will need to get a car, and I definitely need it to be big girl friendly. She doesn't drive so it's primarily passenger comfort that's the big deal, but alas I've only ever driven small cars so would like to get something that's compact and easy to drive overall, but has seats wide enough to be comfortable for a woman of her size (UK/Aus size ~34 bottoms, 24-26 tops). I'd REALLY appreciate any advice people have for us.

Obviously we can only look at cars in the Australian market, so most US marques are out. We're also quite restricted on budget as we have SO many other costs involved - so it's going to be an older model, and has to be automatic. At the moment there's the 2nd Gen Suzuki Vitara, or the 2nd Gen Suzuki SX4 - as they both seem fairly wide without being too long and are both reliable and cheap to run as well as buy. Any thoughts or experiences with these? Any other suggestions? All ideas are welcome, as long as I can find a car that will fit for her.

Thanks all

Jasmine
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Old 12-04-2017, 06:20 AM   #2
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First, good luck with the move and best wishes on this huge new adventure!

As for cars, there have been a number of threads on comfy cars here over the years -- but of course models keep changing, and as you said what is available in Australia may differ from elsewhere. Still, maybe worth spending some time with the search function and see what you can find?

One think to possibly look at is used Volkswagens? I presume they are sold in Australia since it seems to be a pretty global brand, and I seem to recall some people finding the seats pretty good in them. (not the cheapest of cars, but not too bad as these things go).

Do you have experience with vehicles that do and don't fit your GF well in the UK? Seems like it could be a useful starting point?
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:46 PM   #3
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If it's just the two of you, maybe you'd consider a small panel van of the sort pictured below. There are many brands to choose from.

I say this because my aunt and uncle owned such a vehicle in the Netherlands, where registration and taxes on these vehicles were lower than for cars (I don't know the situation in Australia / NZ), possibly due to being limited to 2 occupants. Small enough to get car-like fuel economy, a closed back for lots of stuff, and maybe not as low to get into and out of as a small car, which could a welcome feature to a person of size.

As a driver of compact cars, you may find rearward visibility in one of these a bit hard to get used to (although they are generally equipped with larger outside mirrors than cars have), in which case a small pickup may suit your needs, offering greater visibility outward, but giving up the large, enclosed cargo space (and possibly a greater overall length for the pickup). Also, I believe there is an abundance of car-based pickup models (called "utes") in Australia, but these seem to be based mainly on larger (longer) car platforms.

I'd suggest some research first, as it's possible that these may be more expensive to license and insure than a traditional car down there, as opposed to my relatives' experience in mainland Europe.

Best of luck!

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Old 12-04-2017, 01:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the response! My g/f is Aussie, and has never travelled to the UK, but in our experiences in Aus with taxis and whatnot we've found that the Toyota Camry (7th gen 2011-2017) is OK, but that car seems to waste a lot of space with the centre consoles and door panels, so for a big car you really aren't getting smart space inside.

Thanks for the heads up on the other threads! There's a few options that might work for us if anyone has any heads up?

Kia Soul (1st gen) - we can get in Aus, but they aren't super common. Are they good in terms of lower body space?

Suzuki SX4 (1st gen) - Hasn't got a mention on here yet, but one that's on the list of options as we intend to do some road/camping trips so a basic/limited 4WD option is useful. It's also abundant and affordable in Australia, as well as cheap maintinance/serving with Suzukis in general.

Suzuki Vitara (2nd Gen) - Considering these for the same reasons, but a big bigger all round?

Skoda Yeti - Looks ideal, but pricey and not common in Aus. It'd need to be a really really good match to be in the running, imho.

Honda CRV (1st gen) - Abdundant and cheap in Australia, but a bit long for me to really feel OK with.
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Old 12-04-2017, 01:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeThinker View Post
If it's just the two of you, maybe you'd consider a small panel van of the sort pictured below. There are many brands to choose from.

I say this because my aunt and uncle owned such a vehicle in the Netherlands, where registration and taxes on these vehicles were lower than for cars (I don't know the situation in Australia / NZ), possibly due to being limited to 2 occupants. Small enough to get car-like fuel economy, a closed back for lots of stuff, and maybe not as low to get into and out of as a small car, which could a welcome feature to a person of size.

As a driver of compact cars, you may find rearward visibility in one of these a bit hard to get used to (although they are generally equipped with larger outside mirrors than cars have), in which case a small pickup may suit your needs, offering greater visibility outward, but giving up the large, enclosed cargo space (and possibly a greater overall length for the pickup). Also, I believe there is an abundance of car-based pickup models (called "utes") in Australia, but these seem to be based mainly on larger (longer) car platforms.

I'd suggest some research first, as it's possible that these may be more expensive to license and insure than a traditional car down there, as opposed to my relatives' experience in mainland Europe.

Best of luck!

(And welcome to Dimensions! )
Thanks for that! It's an interesting idea - I was kind of hoping that the mini MPV / people mover version of the Peugeot Partner / Berlingo was available in Aus as the double front seat would be *perfect*. Alas it isn't, and though it's just the two of us the back seats are needed for pets, and for the odd ocassion when we're picking people up and whatnot. That and the visbility issue does scare me a bit. A ute on the other hand..... if there was a small double cab ute that would be pretty neat - I have to do some digging now!
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Old 12-05-2017, 07:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaWithJasmine View Post
Thanks for the response! My g/f is Aussie, and has never travelled to the UK, but in our experiences in Aus with taxis and whatnot we've found that the Toyota Camry (7th gen 2011-2017) is OK, but that car seems to waste a lot of space with the centre consoles and door panels, so for a big car you really aren't getting smart space inside.

Thanks for the heads up on the other threads! There's a few options that might work for us if anyone has any heads up?

Kia Soul (1st gen) - we can get in Aus, but they aren't super common. Are they good in terms of lower body space?

Suzuki SX4 (1st gen) - Hasn't got a mention on here yet, but one that's on the list of options as we intend to do some road/camping trips so a basic/limited 4WD option is useful. It's also abundant and affordable in Australia, as well as cheap maintinance/serving with Suzukis in general.

Suzuki Vitara (2nd Gen) - Considering these for the same reasons, but a big bigger all round?

Skoda Yeti - Looks ideal, but pricey and not common in Aus. It'd need to be a really really good match to be in the running, imho.

Honda CRV (1st gen) - Abdundant and cheap in Australia, but a bit long for me to really feel OK with.


Kia Soul's are roomy enough for super pears
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:19 AM   #7
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I think you will find a crv/ vitara/ toyota rav4 a lot easier to drive/ reverse /park than a camry or something of similar size.

any 4 door car gives you the option of sliding the passenger seat right back so room should be fine in any of your choices.
vitaras whilst good cars are renowned for rust so a professional vehicle inspection might be wise, the gap from vitara to rav4 is massive in terms of all round quality so i would suggest the rav4 to your list
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nugget34 View Post
I think you will find a crv/ vitara/ toyota rav4 a lot easier to drive/ reverse /park than a camry or something of similar size.

any 4 door car gives you the option of sliding the passenger seat right back so room should be fine in any of your choices.
vitaras whilst good cars are renowned for rust so a professional vehicle inspection might be wise, the gap from vitara to rav4 is massive in terms of all round quality so i would suggest the rav4 to your list
Thanks for that, Nugget! Will bear it in mind
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Old 12-11-2017, 10:11 PM   #9
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lots of older boxy looking Volvo's in AS. If it were me I would look for a Volvo 740, or I would try to find a used Toyota pickup.
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