An all-rounder for hatchback money: is that possible? We are looking for a thick all-round family car.
The times when we have a car that must be able to do everything are long gone. Most households nowadays have at least 2 cars in front of the door. If the children are old enough (or dad likes to have a hobby car) there will be more.
But for Niels it is exactly the other way around. As is often the case, he sent Techzle a message asking if we could help him with his question. Because two important things are happening in his life at the moment. One has to do with the other. He has a new job, which means he has to hand in his current lease car.
Not only that, he also has to move for it. He departs from beautiful Drenthe and goes to the overpopulated Randstad to reside and recreate. No kidding: he has his dream job and he didn’t want to drive 4 hours a day for that.
No diesel required
It means that he no longer needs his diesel, because he goes from 60,000 km per year to a maximum of 20,000 per year. But there is only room for one car in front of his new home. The advantage of living in the big city is that everything is within walking distance and he does not need the car for work. The office is only 600 meters away. Look: that’s handy!
But Niels wants to have a nice car at the door. After all, he is an enthusiast and he wants to keep driving privately. According to last week’s AB Purchase Advice (this one), he noticed that the prices of the Audi A8 were not that bad. For a relatively limited amount you can already drive a large, luxury car that does not even look very outdated. Niels is looking for something like that, but one size smaller. He and his children are not that big. In short, what is the best option?
Not an eight cylinder (or more)
To ensure that it does not get too crazy, he would rather not want an eight-cylinder (or more). A six-cylinder with 250 to 300 hp is more than enough. Niels prefers an SUV, but not one that is too big and heavy. The car must be family-friendly, but the time Niels has a business appointment, it must be representative. No Lancer Evo, unfortunately. On the other hand: a nice sedan or station is also allowed. As long as it is not boring or heavier than 2 tons. Preferably not older than 10 years and oh yes, no more than one and a half tons on the clock. Niels wants to be able to enjoy it for a while. Whether we can help him. But of course. The further wishes and requirements for the thick all-round family car can be found in the table below:
|Current cars||BMW 330e, Mercedes C350, Mercedes C320|
|Buy or lease||Buy it|
|Budget||25,000 euros, possibly a little more if it is really worth it|
|Annual mileage||About 15 to 20k per year|
|Fuel preference||Petrol or a very cheap diesel that does not weigh too much|
|Reason to purchase a car||Space for one car only|
|Family composition||4 persons (2 children)|
|Preferred brands||German always has a preference, but is not a prerequisite|
|No go||Really heavy SUVs (max 2,000 kg), high miles (max 150k)|
|When to buy||As soon as possible|
Audi A6 3.0 Allroad 3.0 TFSI quattro (C7)
If you want various SUV qualities in your thick all-round family car, but do not want most of the disadvantages on your plate, the Audi A6 Allroad is a perfect offer. On the one hand you have the four-wheel drive and possibly greater ground clearance, but based on an A6 instead of a smaller and heavier Q5. The 3.0 TFSI engine is a great engine: lots of power and torque (with extreme potential, 120 hp chip you can add). We do not recommend that tuning: the S Tronic box is one reason why DSG Doctors and specialists can earn a good living. It is not the most alert cornering knight, but it is a fantastic car to cover a lot of kilometers at high speed.
BMW 535i Gran Turismo xDrive (F07)
In principle, all 5 Series of this generation are excellent. The 535i Touring is a favorite of yours truly and @Jaapiyo wants the sedan. We still recommend looking at the 5 Series Gran Turismo, because it is the ideal thick all-round family car. It’s a bit of a performance that is often overlooked. It’s not mom’s prettiest from the outside, but compared to BMW’s current design language, it’s a visual treat. The interior, on the other hand, is very beautiful. In technical terms it is secretly more a 7 Series than a 5 Series. In terms of refinement, it is above the X5 and X6, while the weight is lower than that of those two. In short, it sounds like the ideal car. You do have to be able to worry about the special appearance, because many people do not think it beautiful (but ugly).
Volvo XC60 T6 Summum
If you want to take a completely different approach with the search for a thick all-round family car: check the Volvo XC60. It is one of the most popular cars in its class. In most cases they are equipped with a compact diesel to be able to get some of the favorable consumption. But they are also available as ‘T6’, with a three liter six-in-line turbo engine. Above all, it is a very smooth, silky-smooth running engine, not a sports machine. That’s good, because the XC60 is anything but sporty. Therefore skip the R-Line and just track down the Summum of Inscription. The machine is not great, but the seats are. The space is quite disappointing for the type of car. They are, however, very popular and quite stable in value. View our purchase advice here.
Lexus RX450h Executive (AL10)
With this Japanese, the weight is slightly higher than two tons. Still, there are a few things that speak enormously for the Lexus. Consumption is not too bad for the type of car. Toyota already had a lot of experience with hybrids around this period. You do not have to expect 1 in 19, but if you drive a bit grisly, you are on the right side of 1 in 10. Despite all the technology, the car does not feel like a bulky SUV, while you still have the nice seating position. In terms of space you will also not be short of anything. These cars are highly regarded in terms of reliability. Check out our surprisingly short video with RX450h points of interest here. Are there any drawbacks? Yes, the driving experience is very distant. You can call it comfortable, but there are plenty of cars that are very comfortable, and convey a little more feeling and information. And oh yes, everyone thinks you are a Freemason.
Mercedes-Benz CLS 350 (C218)
If it doesn’t have to be extremely spacious, but extra comfortable and luxurious: look no further than the Mercedes-Benz CLS. According to Mercedes, it is a sporty coupé, but it is a very comfortable handsome sedan. Not bad at all. The swampy part of an E-Class is well filtered out, but it never gets hard and uncomfortable. A CLS Shooting Brake is even nicer and slightly more practical and is more suitable as a thick all-round family car, but difficult to find in the budget. The 350 engine is a gem, but no wonder of torque like the others in this review. This provides a nice throttle response and linea character, but that push from the bottom should be missing. Enjoy the old-fashioned way.
Infiniti FX37S (S51)
Most crossovers and SUVs are very sporty and uncompromising, according to the folder, but that is really not too bad. Still, the Infiniti FX is one of the few cars that comes close. The enormous track width, gigantic rims and the rear-wheel drive character make it an extremely pleasant driving car for its kind. You can see that the interior is not German, but it is still a ‘premium’ experience in this thick all-round family car. The only point is the drivetrain, because the weight is just over two tons (a few kilos, sorry), the device catches a lot of wind and the engine is atmospheric. This does not result in the most economical combination. In terms of repairs, it is not too bad: these models are quite reliable. Parts are surprisingly expensive.
YOLO: Jaguar XJ Super Sport 5.0 S / C (X351)
We have to smuggle a little with the miles. But hey, it’s the Yolo! The XJ is quite light for its kind, thanks to its aluminum construction. The highlight is of course the 5.0 V8 with mechanical compressor. The XJ Super Sport is not only so much a fast car, but the traffic test seems to be extremely slow. In terms of luxury, you will not be short of anything, but check whether everything is still functioning. Repairs, maintenance and the like can be very expensive. Therefore, check our XJ purchase advice. The consumption is of course not nauseous, but compared to a large heavy SUV with a small engine, it is relatively very bad. You can find them in Europe for shockingly low prices. Especially when you consider how good the XJ Super Sport is.
Not even an A7? A 2013/2014 should be easy 😀
@Ugr: shouldn’t be boring.
@Ugr: as a self-respecting person you don’t want to be seen in that