What car to buy in Europe

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What car to buy in Europe

Gary Kotara 3238
I am likely moving from the US to Spain next summer, as my wife is Spanish and I am retiring.  The choice of vehicles in Europe is quite a bit different from the US.  I currently drive a 17 year old sedan and keep a 26 year old full sized pick-up (with a shell over the bed) for towing a Drascombe, going camping, hauling bikes, cartopping a canoe, and hauling lumber etc.  I know you can get trucks in Europe but mostly the small ones, and you rarely see "personal" trucks (we commute to the office in pick-ups here in Texas).  

What's available that can sort of duplicate a truck but fit in the old streets of Spanish villages and in parallel parking spots in Madrid, and also won't break the bank on fuel expense?  Skoda Octavia "estate"?  Diesel version?

Notwithstanding my age, I've got three young kids, so this vehicle needs to comfortably accommodate two adults and three smaller people.  The kids like the outdoors, so the vehicle will be abused; premium brands need not apply.

Spain seems to have all the usual suspects:  Toyota, Mazda, VW, Skoda, Ford, Honda, you name it.

Thanks.
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Gary Kotara 3238
To clarify, my towing would be limited to a Drascombe Longboat or similar dinghy.  I guess that's around 700-800 kg including trailer.  I mentioned the Skoda because I read that it has 1,800kg towing capacity with the 2.0 diesel.
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Alastair Law 2624
My boat, on the trailer, weighs about 500gk (Paradox) and the trailer
is heavy at about 400kg. I tow it with a 1600cc diesel Citroen
Berlingo without significant problems.

On 6 Nov 2016 at 10:23, Gary Kotara 3238 [via DCA Forum] wrote:

>
>
> To clarify, my towing would be limited to a Drascombe Longboat or
> similar dinghy.  I guess that's around 700-800 kg including trailer.
> I mentioned the Skoda because I read that it has 1,800kg towing
> capacity with the 2.0 diesel.
>
>

--
Sail when you can, row when you must, motor only
when you have to be at work in the morning.

Alastair Law
Yeovil, England.
<http://www.little.jim.freeuk.com>


--
Sail when you can, row when you must, motor only
when you have to be at work in the morning.

Alastair Law
Yeovil, England.
<http://www.little.jim.freeuk.com>
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Roger Barnes 936
In reply to this post by Gary Kotara 3238
In Britain we are often amazed by the sheer size of American vehicles. But I suppose you have a lot of space (and cheap fuel). Virtually any European family car will pull 800kg if the trailer is braked. And virtually any European car will take 2 adults and three children. The crucial thing is if you want tow an unbraked trailer (as I do). My boat and trailer are 600kg, and many family saloons are not authorised to tow that load unbraked. Happily though, most estate versions are authorised to tow up to 700 or 750kg unbraked. I use a standard Ford Focus estate with a 1600L diesel. Your Drascombe may be too heavy for unbraked towing though.

On 6 Nov 2016, at 18:23, Gary Kotara 3238 [via DCA Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

To clarify, my towing would be limited to a Drascombe Longboat or similar dinghy.  I guess that's around 700-800 kg including trailer.  I mentioned the Skoda because I read that it has 1,800kg towing capacity with the 2.0 diesel.


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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Gerald Turner 2924
In reply to this post by Gary Kotara 3238
I tow my Drascombe Dabber with my Octavia mk ll no problem s,also sometimes tow a rowing gig ,much heavier  than the Drascombe,without trouble,and still manage good fuel economy.

Consider the Skoda Superb ,which is roomier.

But as Roger said pretty much any  mid size car will suit, especially Derv vehicles
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Gary Kotara 3238
Thanks.  (I had to google DERV!)  

The reason I am thinking about this so far in advance is that a Spanish friend has suggested that I buy new cars in the US now and ship them over next summer, which is permissible as part of your moved goods if you have owned the car at least six months.  He claims that the savings more than offsets the shipping and retrofitting costs.  However, I am not seeing that in the online pricing information, at least maybe not in the category that I am looking at.  His mind might be in the premium car category that he desires, cars that are out of reach in Europe but seem like a good deal here, especially with the current euro exchange rate.  

In addition, I think the cars available in Europe are generally more sensible than what we have here, where the emphasis is on size, power, and cupholders.  (My wife's Honda Odyssey minivan can seat eight and actually has 15 or 16 cupholders -- around two per person.)  My truck has a towing capacity of something like 10,000 lbs (4500 kg).  I think I could pull a house off its foundation.  There is no difference in feel when pulling my Drascombe than not pulling anything.  You can forget there's something back there.

Ever since I toured the Continent in the mid-80s in a friend's Golf GTD I have wanted a turbo diesel, and at this stage in my life a wagon -- an estate -- makes the most sense.  Wagons have gone out of style here, and the few that we have typically have massive gasoline engines.  The autos we have rented over the years in Spain for family travel have generally been delightful.

What is really amazing about the size of vehicles here is how TALL vehicles have gotten, especially pickups.  There's a race for the sky in truck height.  The tailgate on my old truck is such that you can actually reach in and grab stuff, but tailgates on new trucks seem like chin level.  There's a song complaining about freeways being jammed with "two storey pickup trucks that can drive over anything except the two storey pickup truck right in front of it."

Thanks for the tip on the Superb.  I hadn't noticed that one.  Love that Berlingo!

I knew that Europe generally has more regulations on towing than we have (easy to do, as we have almost no regulations on towing).  I'm going to have to investigate this more, within the limits of my Spanish.  When my wife first moved to the US, I told her that the good news about driving in Texas compared to Spain is that you can pretty much do whatever you want:  make a U-turn anywhere, turn left anywhere, cross a solid stripe, cut across parking lots, back up on the shoulder if you miss your exit, etc.  The bad news is that so can everyone else.

I'm not going to ship my Drascombe, as that would be pretty expensive for a boat that is so much more common in Europe.  I'm sure I'll find something else.

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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Gerald Turner 2924
I wouldn't discount bringing over your current Drascombe, if you like your Drascombe,you might be able to get another boat locally in Spain,but you may find hunting for a Drascombe difficult.

P.s. I do like mine!
JPH
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

JPH
In reply to this post by Gary Kotara 3238
What about a  short wheel base vw transporter with the seats in the back ?, it would fit everybody and outdoor gear + tow boat easily.

It fits in the same size parking space as an estate car !,  I have run them for the last 15 yrs and they are a great do everything vehicle   :-)

My wife has a Berlingo diesel as a run around and there is no way that would cope with towing a drascombe and a full load of family + gear.

HTH
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Gary Kotara 3238
HTH:  Which VW Transporter in particular?  These appear to be commercial vans, but maybe one of them is kitted out for personal use. Models available in Spain are a bit different, but both countries have the Kombi.  TDI?  I couldn't find towing capacity.  Gary
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Steve Shone 3398
Towing capacity is around 2 to 2.25 tons depending on model/country. I tow a 1.7 ton Cape Cutter with my 1.9TD T5 - just 84hp but it copes easily. Having said that, with a VW group vehicle, youll be doing the research and development for a manufacturer who nowadays seemingly has no desire to improve long term reliability, and endlessly coughing up for repairs as the mileage increases. Having had two VWs (the T5 and a Passat) and the wife's new Skoda Octavia diesel, there'll be no more VW/Audi group vehicles appearing on my driveway. Its a long list of common faults including dual mass flywheels, EGR valves, air conditioning leaks, clutch release bearings, gloplug busbars, central locking, water leaks into the cab etc etc. Three friends all bought the new T5 sporty version with 170hp squeezed out of a 2.0 diesel - each have had the head gasket fail. Do yourself a favour - buy Japanese! That's what I'll be doing next time
Of course, if youre the sort of chap who buys new and sells when the warranty expires it'll not matter so much - if you ignore the depreciation.

Steve
Steve and Eileen - ex-Dabber sailors, almost ex-Cape Cutter 19 sailors, now Lune Whammel Coastal Weekender sailors. Based in East Yorkshire and looking forward to some DCA rallies.
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Bill Haylock 3130
In reply to this post by Gary Kotara 3238
Hi Gary,
I tow a Drascombe Longboat behind a Skoda Octavia 1.9 Diesel estate and it's a great tow car. With the Skoda you can go for the four wheel drive version (which I did) which gives you added security fort launching from steep or slippery slpways, or even from shingle beaches. The 4wd system is automatic - just engages the rear wheel drive when the front wheels begin to spin. It's the same as the Audi system.

Bill
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Paul Hadley 2898
MilliBee (14ft pocket cruiser) plus trailer is approximately 350kg to 375Kg. I measured this by jacking up each wheel and jockey wheel onto our house scales, and adding the 3 values.

My old 2004 Fiesta 1.4 petrol copes very well, albeit a bit slow up hills. Still faster than any truck or lorry though. I really don't understand the increasing power and size of tow vehicles.

What most people don't realise is that its not about the engine or 4WD, it's all about the brakes and stability when braking.

-Paul
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Re: What car to buy in Europe

Roger Barnes 936
4WD can very very helpful on slippy steep hills though...

From Roger Barnes by mobile

On 2 Mar 2017, at 10:06, Paul Hadley 2898 [via DCA Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

MilliBee (14ft pocket cruiser) plus trailer is approximately 350kg to 375Kg. I measured this by jacking up each wheel and jockey wheel onto our house scales, and adding the 3 values.

My old 2004 Fiesta 1.4 petrol copes very well, albeit a bit slow up hills. Still faster than any truck or lorry though. I really don't understand the increasing power and size of tow vehicles.

What most people don't realise is that its not about the engine or 4WD, it's all about the brakes and stability when braking.

-Paul


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