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Thread: A good high mileage estate car. Any recommendations?

  1. #1
    Master
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    A good high mileage estate car. Any recommendations?

    Hello chaps.

    I've been given an 18 month contract to work in Edinburgh, so I'm travelling from Leeds & back every week, a grand total of 515 miles a week. I've a Mercedes C220 CDI estate, it's a great cruiser, but there's one big drawback.

    It's crap in the snow. It wallowed around in the few days we had snow in Leeds, so it'd be totally useless up in Scotland, methinks.

    Once my tax rebate comes through, I'm going to get rid & get something else that can do the intergalactic mileage I plan to do every year. So, no doubt there's a few of you that do lots of miles, I'm after some suggestions please.

    It has to be an estate car as I usually take 1-2 other folk, too, so the boot has to carry holdalls & PPE. The Audi A4 Avant is a tempter, but the Volvo V40/60 is coming more into the fore. The BMW 320 XDrive might be just a tad too dear.

    So, any suggestions/first hand experiences? I'm for once, totally clueless what to get.

    Cheers

    Adam
    Last edited by adam164; 15th May 2021 at 17:33.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Skoda Superb estate. 60+mpg on a run and front wheel drive, so better in the snow and it has more room inside than an E Class, 5 Series, and the A6.

  3. #3
    Master
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    The Audi A4 is a good shout, I've known a few of the 2ltr Tdi ones with over 200k miles on them and still going strong (regular service). Not much leg room in the back mind.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by adam164 View Post
    It's crap in the snow. It wallowed around in the few days we had snow in Leeds, so it'd be totally useless up in Scotland, methinks.
    Why not just put a decent set of all-season tyres on the Merc?

    They will be more than enough to get you through any snow that we see in the UK. They will also be much cheaper (and easier) than changing cars.

  5. #5
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    Octavia scout?

  6. #6
    I would second the Skoda Superb estate.

    Has lots of toys, very comfortable for long cruises and can swallow any baggage. They do a 4 x4 drive version.

    No badge cachet of course but as well put together as any VW including the smaller Audi A4.

    Plus if you are stuck a lot of mileage on it you will lose less on the Skoda than on a premium car!

  7. #7
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    There are plenty of C-class Mercedes here in Finland and they make it through the winter quite well with proper winter tires.

    However, if you are looking for an excuse to get a new car, then go ahead!-)

  8. #8
    Master
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    Volvo a good shout - not the best economy but it will never break.

    Avensis or Accord would also work well.

  9. #9
    Master yumma's Avatar
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    I would also say Skoda Superb 4x4 but when it comes to driving in snow no matter what car, you will struggle without having winter tyres, itís worth factoring in a swap from Summer to Winter tyres each year.


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  10. #10
    I'd also vote for better tyres on the Merc. Any car, 4x4 or otherwise, with summer tyres on will be poor in the snow. Most cars, inc. your Merc, with winter tyres on, will be more than good enough in the snow.

    Four wheel drive is only helpful in a straight line, the moment you turn the wheel it's all about tyres. If snow driving is an excuse for a new car please ignore all of this... but if you're genuinely interested in snow performance and want a cost effective option, buy all-season or winter tyres. If you end up buying a new car anyway, buy all-season or winter tyres.

  11. #11
    I am biased as I am selling one. However the Volvo V90 is by far a supreme car to the Merc. Build quality, drive train, cabin design. It is also AWD and has a huge boot.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by yumma View Post
    I would also say Skoda Superb 4x4 but when it comes to driving in snow no matter what car, you will struggle without having winter tyres, itís worth factoring in a swap from Summer to Winter tyres each year.


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    This is a good shout. Pretty good reliable cars normally.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
    Why not just put a decent set of all-season tyres on the Merc?

    They will be more than enough to get you through any snow that we see in the UK. They will also be much cheaper (and easier) than changing cars.
    This...if you know the car and it's been reliable why take a chance on another car...£400 for brand new all season tyres and job done.

  14. #14
    Master bigbaddes's Avatar
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    yup if you are happy with the merc then go for a decent set of winter tyres for the worst 4 months , job done.

    we have nice big roads in auld reekie these days. the village was snowed in pretty badly this year so i left the car parked adjacent to a bus route and walked the extra few yards to and from it - and that was on pretty ordinary all season tyres.

    if you were heading up for Braemar than i'd say a Defender and a hip flask, but thats a whole nuther storey ...
    Last edited by bigbaddes; 9th May 2021 at 18:18.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
    Why not just put a decent set of all-season tyres on the Merc?

    They will be more than enough to get you through any snow that we see in the UK. They will also be much cheaper (and easier) than changing cars.
    If I was concerned, I would definitely buy either all season or winter tyres at best.

    I drive a 4*4 on summer tyres and can confirm itís appalling in snow and ice, Iíve never changed to winter tyres as I based on the number of times I would have Ďneededí them in the last 20 years, could be counted on 1 hand.

    Okay, I live in the south but none the lessÖ.. In the right conditions, a rear wheel drive car on winter tyres will outperform and 4wd on summer tyres.

  16. #16
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    The advantage of buying winter tyres for your Merl is that an extra set of wheels to put them on can be bought for peanuts.

  17. #17
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    515 miles a week isnt really high milage, any of the cars mentioned above will knock in that mileage with correct maintenance and a preventative approach, My cheapy 13 year old V70 D5 averaged 450 a week for the last two years no problems. Traction in poor conditions will be a level playing field regardless of brand. Winter tyres will only put in places where those without will plough into you, if its that bad best not to venture out.

  18. #18
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    My Subaru Legacy spec B is genuinely amazing in the snow (better than our Disco 4)Ö.

    When itís on winter tyres! The difference is like day vs night. OP get some pre-worn winters on for a very cheap fix to this problem.

  19. #19
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    The Skoda Superb has excellent rear legroom & will swallow a huge amount of luggage. It's a bit bargey to drive, but very comfortable.

    And decent all-season tyres - Michelin Cross Climates are good.

  20. #20
    Master jukeboxs's Avatar
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    As mentioned, fit winter tyres. My 5-series estate is great in the snow on winter tyres - even the Finns chose a Beemer for their recent nordic noir series (in the snow).

  21. #21
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    Just buy winter tyres if you like your Merc. We ran two M5's on winter tyres in Aberdeen over about 4 years and never had any worries.

  22. #22
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    How will winter tyres cope with bombing up a snow-free A1 from Leeds to Edinburgh? Even in winter, surely the main road will generally be without snow most of the time?

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Tatters View Post
    How will winter tyres cope with bombing up a snow-free A1 from Leeds to Edinburgh? Even in winter, surely the main road will generally be without snow most of the time?
    Thatís where all-season tyres come in. Theyíre bloody good these days; something like the Cross Climate will be great in wet, dry, and cold conditions and will be good-enough in the snow, so you can keep them on all year round.

    Or, if the snow is terrible enough and regular enough, a second set of wheels with dedicated winter tyres, which are beneficial regardless of the weather once the temperature drops below 7deg centigrade, but will be excellent in the snow.

  24. #24
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo73 View Post
    Why not just put a decent set of all-season tyres on the Merc?

    They will be more than enough to get you through any snow that we see in the UK. They will also be much cheaper (and easier) than changing cars.
    Exactly this and in winter when snow expected, two big bags of sand or grit in the boot. Adds weight over rear wheels and learn to be gentle with the acceleration


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  25. #25
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
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    Winter tyres arenít good just in snow! The rubber composition in summer tyres arenít made for cold temperatures, which makes them too stiff when it gets around below 8c or so and performance degrades rapidly as temperature fall. When you need grip or need to break hard, this may be the difference between living or not living.

    Given long mileage youíll be wearing out tyres anyway so not much of an extra cost with a set of winter tyres.

    Life is too dear to me so Iíd operate on a no expanses spared on tyres for long drives in what I guess is some pretty rough conditions from time to time. Goes for summer tyres as well of course.

    AWD is massively overrated for safety in general driving conditions, tyres are much more important. Fun fact, in Sweden awd cars are statistically more likely to be in an accident.

  26. #26
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    Subaru Outback

  27. #27
    Master vagabond's Avatar
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    For your intended mileage, the extra fuel costs for something like a petrol* Subaru Outback over the MB E220D you already have, will pay for a set of winter wheels and tyres for the MB in just a couple of months.

    As many have said, just get an extra set of wheels and winter tyres - shouldn't cost more than £1000 maximum, probably half that if used. Then simply enjoy the E class estate doing the kind of journey and mileage it was designed for, not to mention the cheapest car, is usually the one you already own.

    * Diesel Subaru Outbacks are available but that engine is far from reliable.

  28. #28
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    Wow! Looks like the consensus is for me to get a set of winter tyres. Saves me crying when I have to part ex & see how little they offer for mine.

    So, add two bags of sand in the boot & a set of winter tyres & lm good to go?

  29. #29
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    No sand.

    As mentioned above: lots of Mercs in Finland and I know for sure that it snows in Germany as well. However, there itís mandatory to have winter tyres on your car in the winter.

  30. #30
    I wanted a Superb - my dad has a 2011 1.8TSI and my pal has a 2015 2.0 TDI CR170. Both of them are very nice places to be.

    In the end I went for a 2013 A4 Avant TDIe 163. Partly because I didn't really care and mostly because it was £30/year VED and that ultimately made my decision for me, when it was the same price as the other cars.

  31. #31
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    Iíd keep what you have on atm tyre wise assuming they are serviceable and start looking on sc & eBay for a set of winters and rims and change over late September early October

    If by late aug I hadnít come by some then Iíd start looking at camskill or mytyres and Iíd guess youíd get new with steel rims around £130 and up a corner. Still significantly less than swapping cars and youíll get more life out of your summers

  32. #32
    Master W124's Avatar
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    A Volvo XC70 D5, you can pick up an early model on a 61 or 12 plate for around £5k - indestructible.

    An Audi AllRoad, but you need the larger and simpler 2.5ltr 5 cylinder diesel engine.

  33. #33
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thieuster View Post
    No sand.

    As mentioned above: lots of Mercs in Finland and I know for sure that it snows in Germany as well. However, there itís mandatory to have winter tyres on your car in the winter.
    Itís good to have weight over the driving wheels and it also comes in handy for traction if stuck on Icy roads


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  34. #34
    Grand Master Saint-Just's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshiremadmick View Post
    Itís good to have weight over the driving wheels and it also comes in handy for traction if stuck on Icy roads
    It is not necessary. It dates from a time when Traction Control and ABS did not exist, and tyre technology was far from what it is now. It increases your fuel consumption, reduces your boot space and doesn't improve things if you have proper tyres for the weather.
    'Against stupidity, the gods themselves struggle in vain' - Schiller.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by adam164 View Post
    Wow! Looks like the consensus is for me to get a set of winter tyres.
    I still think that youíll be better off with a set of all-season tyres, rather than dedicated winter tyres.

    They will still get you through whatever snow and ice that you might find and they save the hassle of changing tyres or storing a second set of wheels.

  36. #36
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by glyn696486 View Post
    I am biased as I am selling one. However the Volvo V90 is by far a supreme car to the Merc. Build quality, drive train, cabin design. It is also AWD and has a huge boot.
    Your V90 looks stunning...... I have a Santa Fe and am honestly missing my old Volvo....... the temptation is great. Volvo as a brand, is a bit of a strange one. It's not until you've had one that you - "Get it".

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by gingerboy View Post
    Your V90 looks stunning...... I have a Santa Fe and am honestly missing my old Volvo....... the temptation is great. Volvo as a brand, is a bit of a strange one. It's not until you've had one that you - "Get it".
    Thanks Paul itís been a faultless car and always a joy to drive. However Iím doing 800 miles a week now and as such, this no longer fits the book. If I remember correctly you had an XC60? I do agree with you, Iíve always loved Volvos, however everyone thatís ever been in the car had commented how much of good car it is. Even if it sits in the shadows!


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  38. #38
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saint-Just View Post
    It is not necessary. It dates from a time when Traction Control and ABS did not exist, and tyre technology was far from what it is now. It increases your fuel consumption, reduces your boot space and doesn't improve things if you have proper tyres for the weather.
    With my SL320 R129 itís a God send. Keeps the weight over the the driving wheels. I was still mobile when most rear wheel drive cars werenít. As for increasing fuel consumption itís akin to carrying an additional passenger, neither here nor there.
    Donít have those worries now though.


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  39. #39
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by glyn696486 View Post
    Thanks Paul itís been a faultless car and always a joy to drive. However Iím doing 800 miles a week now and as such, this no longer fits the book. If I remember correctly you had an XC60? I do agree with you, Iíve always loved Volvos, however everyone thatís ever been in the car had commented how much of good car it is. Even if it sits in the shadows!


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    Yes, had a V70 D3 or DR (5cyl 178bhp) and then an XC60 DR Rdesign

    Wouldn't hesitate to have another Volvo, I'm actually wondering why the hell I have the Hyundai now

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  40. #40
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshiremadmick View Post
    With my SL320 R129 itís a God send. Keeps the weight over the the driving wheels. I was still mobile when most rear wheel drive cars werenít. As for increasing fuel consumption itís akin to carrying an additional passenger, neither here nor there.
    Donít have those worries now though.


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    That decal would cause a few raised eyebrows round our way.

    Drove a 130 in France for years, metallic purple. Loved the old rust bucket.

  41. #41
    I have been using a Skoda Octavia diesel estate for the last 5 years, weekly high mileage motorway drive - very economical, massive boot and comfortable for a 2hr+ commute. OK its not the quickest and is slightly utilitarian - does the job fine - you can see why police and taxi drivers use them, very reliable and cheapish. I have a spare set of wheels which i bought from a scrapyard (Seat i think they seem to fit across the VAG group) very cheaply and use these as a winter set November - March-ish. Driven quite a bit in snow and the traction was excellent.

  42. #42
    Master Yorkshiremadmick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fender View Post
    That decal would cause a few raised eyebrows round our way.

    Drove a 130 in France for years, metallic purple. Loved the old rust bucket.
    With a gold Steering Guard and desert Rats on each wing


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  43. #43
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    If your current car is decent, just fit some decent winters when the time comes.
    https://youtu.be/STaximkaQxo

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenVrs View Post
    If your current car is decent, just fit some decent winters when the time comes.
    https://youtu.be/STaximkaQxo
    Yep, that was me when it snowed, wallowing around like a drunken fool.

    So, winter tyres it is, I can save the money I was going to put to part ex'ing my car & put it towards a weekend car or a watch!

    Cheers fellas!!!

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam164 View Post
    Yep, that was me when it snowed, wallowing around like a drunken fool.

    So, winter tyres it is, I can save the money I was going to put to part ex'ing my car & put it towards a weekend car or a watch!

    Cheers fellas!!!
    Good choice. I have the same car, and winter tyres make a significant difference. Mines mapped, and I've got Android auto running through the standard headunit/screen. It's a very good do it all car, that I can eke 700miles out of per tank!

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