Sunday, 1 March 2015

Time to think about a new family car

Having had our car for about eight years now we have got to the point where we are thinking of trading it in for a new one. We currently have a Toyota Corolla Verso and it has been a really good car, a necessary purchase when we found out I was expecting twins and realised we could not fit three big car seats into our Fiesta, but now we feel a change is due as the maintenance bills are starting to come fast!

When we bought the Toyota it was the first time we had bought a Japanese car and it certainly won't be the last as we have found it to be very sturdy and reliable. It is all too easy to become brand loyal and think that Toyota has served us well once so we should buy from them again but actually I'm learning that nowadays you get nothing for brand loyalty, no special discounts or such.

My parents have been brand loyal for about fifteen years in regards to cars and they've also chosen to align to a Japanese brand, but for them it is Honda. Years back a neighbour of theirs was a salesman for Honda and persuaded them how good and reliable the Honda engineering is. I was therefore interested to note when I looked at the LV= Most Anticipated Cars of 2015 post that the new Honda HR-V has been crowned by them as the best family friendly car and that is exactly what we need a new family friendly car!

Very smart, it certainly has the wow factor in how it looks

The Honda HR-V has also received the prestigious What Car? Reader Award and is due to arrive on our high streets this summer. I am interested to see what the hype is about so I started to investigate this car and here is what I found -

  • Honda describe the HR-V as as combining the qualities of an SUV, the elegance of a coupe and the functionality of a people carrier.
  • There will be 1.5 i-VTEC petrol and 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel models available in the UK, both available with a 6 speed manual gearbox and the petrol one is available with semi-automatic CVT transmission.
  • Honda claim it has “class-leading interior space with MPV versatility” with the innovative reconfigurable magic seats system. 
  • With all five seats in place, the car will provide a 453-litre boot; fold them flat, and this rises to 1,026 litres. Now that is really impressive.
  • All models come as standard with power windows, mirrors, and door locks; an electronic parking brake (boo); a rear view camera; Bluetooth; aluminium wheels; and Pandora radio. There are of course loads of extra available for the higher end models. 
  • The HR-V has a full complement of airbags and the four-channel ABS system features a hill-hold function, as well as Honda’s Brake Assist tech, which works to apply full braking force quickly in emergency-stop situations.
  • The Android infotainment system gives passengers access to Internet-based services such as social media, internet based music channels and real-time traffic reports as well as Garmin navigation.
It does sound like a really good car and the styling is certainly to my liking but to be honest this car probably wont suit our family as I share school runs with a neighbour and this means we take six children to school each day, so a seven seater is a necessity. I am however, noticing that some of the children are getting too big for the small seats in the boot and of course when they are in use there is practically no boot space too so that makes it hard for carrying instruments, PE kits and home learning etc. The queston then is can we afford an even bigger car or do we go back to a roomy five seater and stop combining school runs? Oh decisions, decisions.

I'll give myself a few months and then seriously start to look and see what car might suit us. Do let me know if you have any good recommendations of roomy, reliable but not too expensive seven seaters. I'm not asking for much, am I?

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