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#1610885 - 02/11/2017 19:59 Unusual quest...
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Now that my life revolves entirely around ChipsAway (MrsC and I were proud winners of "Newcomers of the Year" at the recent conference!), we are looking for a replacement for our trusty Bravo courtesy car.

There's nothing wrong with the Bravo, apart from one thing that makes it unsuitable for its role... it has lousy ground clearance!

We spend many, many hours driving around the hills and vales of the beautiful Cotswolds visiting customers to estimate the damage on their vehicles. We also let our customers drive our Bravo themselves - possibly with rather less respect than we show it!
Often, we find ourselves on narrow, rough tracks, with huge potholes and a large, grass-growing hump in the middle. My buttocks have reached maximum clench as we scrape and grind along yet another "green lane", only to find that the customer has a "Waitrose wound" on their Range Rover or Cayenne.

So, we've decided that we'd like to trade in the trusty Bravo for something with a) substantially more ground clearance and b) 4-wheel drive if possible, for when ice and snow join the party.

Our budget is limited - around 4k - and we'd like something reasonably low mileage and clean (it's our calling card, after all).

Oh and two more vital points:

It must be 1.4 or less (for our insurance) and

it must be silver/metallic grey so we can add the Chips livery...

What left field ideas can the FCCUK panel come up with?

So far, we've considered the Panda 4x4 (a bit long in the tooth, but otherwise perfect if we can find a good'un), the Yeti (4x4 only in 1.9 or 2-litre)...
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#1610891 - 02/11/2017 20:31 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
jonnyboy54321 Offline
Club member 1630
On a journey

Registered: 22/08/2017
Posts: 130
Loc: Surrey
Jim

My initial thought was something like a Freelander as a good one (they are out there!) would be nowhere near 4k
Then I saw the 1.4 thing.
That is going to be a massive issue on 4x4 which is normally the route for ground clearance.
Is there no way to look at the insurance? Sounds very restrictive.

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#1610893 - 02/11/2017 20:40 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
BBR Offline
Club member 1435 - Membership
My life on the forum

Registered: 15/05/2011
Posts: 1531
Loc: Hemel of the Hempstead
Suzuki Jimny 1.3 VVT JLX + 4WD 3 Door Manual Diesel 4x4
£4495 on preloved in Essex
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#1610906 - 02/11/2017 22:10 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
ScouseCoupe Offline
Club member 1433
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 10/04/2015
Posts: 454
Loc: Huangdao & Ayrshire
Suzuki SX4
Fiat Sedici
VX Mokka
Chevrolet Trax
Hyundai IX35
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#1610907 - 02/11/2017 22:50 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
magooagain Offline
Club member 259
Forum is my life

Registered: 22/10/2008
Posts: 6402
Loc: ked
What about a trusty land rover Jim tongue



Or maybe a Dacia duster which may be in budget.
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#1610908 - 02/11/2017 23:06 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Gripped Offline
Club member 1144
I need some sleep

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 3016
Loc: S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Duster sounds good to me


Edited by Gripped (02/11/2017 23:08)
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#1610912 - 03/11/2017 06:31 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks for the suggestions. Duster would be a good call, but the only ones that fit the engine size requirement are around 15k.
MrsC would love a Land Rover. Me? Less so!
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Jaaaag!

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#1610913 - 03/11/2017 06:37 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
MeanRedSpider Offline
Je suis un Coupé

Registered: 25/03/2006
Posts: 8525
Loc: Cambridge & Cotswolds
Jim, you probably need a 4x4 type thing for ground clearance but experience tells me that you don’t for snow provided you have winter tyres fitted. I also know that 4x4 is pretty useless without winter tyres, additionally (without wanting to sound like a tyre fetishist) buy something with tall (narrow) tyres - better in snow, better on rough roads and tyres are cheaper.
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#1610918 - 03/11/2017 08:46 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Gripped Offline
Club member 1144
I need some sleep

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 3016
Loc: S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Is diesel definitely out Jim? Gives more options.
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#1610944 - 03/11/2017 15:00 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Gripped]
bezzer Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 5862
Loc: 2011 and 2015 FCCUK F1 Champ.
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#1610963 - 03/11/2017 21:14 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Good info. You've made the case for the right tyres above 4-wheel drive before, Rich, and I think it may be compelling (not least due to the lack of decent choice in 4x4 options.
I actually quite like the Urban Cruiser - despite myself!
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#1610964 - 03/11/2017 21:14 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Diesel isn't ruled out - just quite unusual in 1.4 or smaller...
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Jaaaag!

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#1610969 - 03/11/2017 22:11 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Hovedan Offline
Forum is my life

Registered: 08/08/2009
Posts: 6188
Loc: Bristol, UK
I've a cracking little Suzuki Ignis 4Grip Jim - great fun thing, but 1,490cc though!
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#1610995 - 04/11/2017 13:40 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Gripped Offline
Club member 1144
I need some sleep

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 3016
Loc: S. Wales. Way beyond my means
I've done some searching with your requirements...and narrowed down to essentially 3 (4 if you include the newer Panda)

Suzuki Jimny. 1.3 petrol.
A proper little 4x4, but they are meant to be rather "agricultural" so I'm not sure it's a viable option for customers expecting a bit of comfort.

Fiat Panda 4x4, 1.2 petrol and Cross 1.3 diesel
The ubiquitous 1.2 engine and able to mix it up with the big boys off road.... and of course, a Fiat. The later Panda 4x4 "Cross" with the 1.3jtd diesel is also in the price range.


Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.4TD.
This is the wildcard, and possibly the best for your needs as it's bigger.It is also smart looking, and more like a modern MPV than the others. This would be my choice personally.

Here is my search.
https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-search?...rive&page=5
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#1611014 - 04/11/2017 18:36 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks, Gripped. Some good possibilities there. However, the silver colour requirement makes it a bit trickier!
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Jaaaag!

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#1611015 - 04/11/2017 18:42 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Gripped Offline
Club member 1144
I need some sleep

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 3016
Loc: S. Wales. Way beyond my means
Ahem wink

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/...1500&page=1

Looks pretty clean and good for the price.

They also do a 1.3VVTi petrol engine

ebay




Edited by Gripped (04/11/2017 18:54)
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#1611019 - 04/11/2017 19:42 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Cooperman Offline
Club member 215
Enjoying the ride

Registered: 08/06/2008
Posts: 864
Loc: Kent, South East
How about the fiat panda cross? 1.3 diesel and should just be in budget
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#1611415 - 11/11/2017 11:32 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
I think it's going to be between a Jimny and a Panda. I really like the look of the 3-door Grand Vitara, but the engine is too big and it's actually wider than our current car (another challenge we often face is squeezing down narrow lanes with Range Rovers driven by locals hurtling round blind bends in the opposite direction) Slim is good!

I would much prefer the Panda, but finding a low-mileage, silver one is proving very difficult!

Anyone know of one or where to look apart from eBay/Autotrader?
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Jaaaag!

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#1611422 - 11/11/2017 15:32 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16843
Loc: Staffordshire
Be careful with the 1.3 Fiat diesel lump - it's definitely not one of Fiat's finest..... A bit clattery and fuel consumption tends to suffer due to having to thrash it everywhere

Same goes for the TwinAir - great idea, but flawed in practice

I've just done a search for £2k-£4k, 4x4, silver and under 1.4l - all ten results were Jimnys

I have to agree with MRS though - a FWD car with winter tyres will run rings round most 4x4s in the snow

Is it really an absolute necessity to have under 1.4 litres - is insurance really that much more if you go bigger?
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#1611423 - 11/11/2017 15:39 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Nigel Offline
Club member 123
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16843
Loc: Staffordshire
Hmmm - a left-field suggestion - Dacia Sandero Stepway 0.9l

A bit over-budget, but if you can stretch a little, or negotiate a discount, you might get close
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#1611429 - 11/11/2017 19:55 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
sugerbear Offline
Je suis un Coupé

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 7667
Loc: Peterb'gh, Ipswich and Braintr...
Avoid anything with low profile tyres. You really want the highest profile tyre car you can find. That plus good ground clearance equals comfort, 2wd is fine if you are driving over rough ground. I think the urban cruiser has low profile tyres.

Daihatsu Terios 1.3 has quite high ground clearance and they are available under 4k.
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#1611430 - 11/11/2017 19:57 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
sugerbear Offline
Je suis un Coupé

Registered: 17/12/2005
Posts: 7667
Loc: Peterb'gh, Ipswich and Braintr...
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#1611452 - 12/11/2017 12:39 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks Nigel. A few people have suggested the Stepway, but it really is a bit out of budget.

The reason for the 1.4 limit is that some of our customers, who want to make use of the courtesy car, are quite young. Not to mention our new lad and my Stepson, both of whom are under 25.

I'm about to look around for competitive quotes for renewing our business insurance, so that might change.
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Jaaaag!

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#1611453 - 12/11/2017 12:43 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Thanks sugerbear. We're leaning towards the Jimny at this stage (leaning being quite an apt term, I'm led to believe...), given the lack of silver Panda 4x4s. I've looked at that Terios, but I think lack of choice and possibly relatively pricey spares might be a bit limiting.

I'm intending to buy a set of steel wheels and fit some non-low profile winter tyres. Given the lack of tarmac-tearing horsepower, they ought to last quite well...
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Jaaaag!

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#1611795 - 18/11/2017 15:43 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Well, tomorrow we go to look at and hopefully buy our new fleet member...

A 2007 Silver Fiat Panda 4x4: under 50k miles, looks tidy and up at a reasonable price with 12 months' ticket.

The Jimny seems (to my astonishment) to have a premium price due to its "mini Jeep" image. Couldn't get into one post 03 for our budget.

We looked at upping the engine capacity and considered the Suzuki SX4 and Fiat Sedici, but couldn't find one that met our - admittedly pretty narrow - criteria.

Luckily, this Panda seems to have saved our quest at the last minute - it was what we wanted to start with.

Now, what should I look out for mechanically and what size steel wheels and winter tyres should I fit?
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Jaaaag!

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#1611798 - 18/11/2017 16:50 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
According to the MOT history on the DVLA website, the EML was an advisory for the December 2016 MOT, but I'm assured that it is no longer illuminated. Is there an easy way to discover what caused the issue and how it was solved (cured or just made to go away)?
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Jaaaag!

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#1611885 - 20/11/2017 13:15 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Picked up our new acquisition yesterday. Very tidy, cute little thing and exactly what we're after. Narrow, small, nimble, cheap and cheerful. Couple of little trolley dings, but guess what?!


Edited by Jim_Clennell (20/11/2017 13:15)
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#1611907 - 20/11/2017 21:28 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Gripped Offline
Club member 1144
I need some sleep

Registered: 20/12/2005
Posts: 3016
Loc: S. Wales. Way beyond my means
You can get cheap code readers for under £20 which will read any remaining codes. Hopefully it was nowt serious. Do you have the service history?

When I bought my Coupe, I found out which garage had been servicing it, and paid a small amount for them to print off all the history for me. Hopefully you can find out what the issue was.

As for winter tyres, I recently got some for the Bongo. In tests, they performed as well as premium brands. Mind you, Maxxis are a good brand. Maxxis AP2 All Season.

http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyre/Maxxis/All-Season-AP2.htm

I must admit. I fancy a Panda 4x4 myself... among many others !


Edited by Gripped (20/11/2017 21:45)
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#1611911 - 20/11/2017 22:26 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Gunzi Offline
Club Member 189
Forum is my life

Registered: 30/08/2007
Posts: 6470
Loc: Southsea
We were given a Panda 1.2 petrol as a courtesy car once. I wasn't expecting much but it turned out to be a right hoot. I can see why the 100HP got such great reviews!

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#1611913 - 20/11/2017 23:10 Re: Unusual quest... [Re: Jim_Clennell]
Jim_Clennell Offline
Club member 105
Forum veteran

Registered: 16/12/2005
Posts: 16211
Loc: Corridor of Uncertainty
Turns out it's got 4 more or less new Kléber winter tyres on it, so that saves a bit. I think the exhaust and rear brakes might need some attention. We opted for a bit of money off instead of a new MOT, which may prove an ill-advised gamble. But I think it's a terrific little car and just what we need. I'm trying to resist looking into some serious spotlights for winter country lane driving!
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Jaaaag!

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