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Which 4x4? Touareg, ML or X5?


drpellypo
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Kids are getting bigger now and taking up more and more space, so am looking at one of the above. Have been a loyal VAG follower for 12+ years now so worried about going over to Merc/X5, but not sure if they are better all round? Looking at putting aside about £12k as it's not going to be daily driver, just a car for when we're out with the kids. Live 1,000 feet up now and snow gets bad here, hence thinking of 4x4 rather than something like 7 series L, so will be used for the 2 or 3 weeks the weather is really bad too. Any suggestions? This could be in wrong section btw. Feel free to move!

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Awful ride, poorly designed, thirsty, only plus side is it's better off road than the ML or X5 (but then so's just about everything else). Mk2 is - apparently - a revelation in comparison, but way over budget.

To me the ML and X5 just don't have the feeling of roominess that you'd expect. Although to be fair the XC90 does kinda take it to the opposite extreme - they are HUUUGE.

As a somewhat leftfield choice, how about a Subaru Outback? Not exactly up to German premium standards inside, but big, indestructible and perfect for winter unless you're going seriously off road. You might - just - find a later model SE Navplus diesel in budget.

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If I was buying with those criteria I'd narrow it down to one model in a flash. Toyota Landcruiser. Don't care how old, don't care about the horrible plastic dash, it'll do the job better than anything else.

I've only been in a Touareg once. It felt big and solid, but a tad agricultural compared to the X5 and ML. The reviews were almost unanimously awful - depends whether you take any notice of them. The ride in the back was poor - but then I found the ride in the back of an X5 was borderline unbearable. I think that's just a feature of 4x4s - rear ride is either so hard it breaks your teeth or so soft you get seasick. :uhoh:

Very difficult choice. One thing I will say - an ML or X5 on the 19/20" alloys and fat summer tyres is no better than your average car on hills in the snow. You'd end up having to buy a sensible sized set of alloys and winter or a/t tyres. :P

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Have to say although I only have the X5 as we need 6 seats I have been very pleased with it. Looked at lots of other similar cars (with the extra seat option) including the Discovery (feels fecking mahusive!!) and just couldn't find anything that ticked the boxes as much ..... it drives pretty much as though it's a car, feels comfy and can much the miles without feeling it, doesn't feel like a "big" car to manouvre and have no trouble parking etc. Basically, it does the job for us and overall it's a good car!

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One thing I will say - an ML or X5 on the 19/20" alloys and fat summer tyres is no better than your average car on hills in the snow. You'd end up having to buy a sensible sized set of alloys and winter or a/t tyres. :P

Someone appears to have hijacked Garcons login!! :P

You beat me to it Mike - if you are 1000 feet up and driving downhill in snow, a heavy 4x4 will be far more difficult to control than a normal fwd 'saloon'. Winter wheels are a must have - plus a trolley jack if you don't already have one.

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"Winter wheels are a must have" - utter rubbish.

MrsMe's X5, with 408 hp going through the wheels on the 20" rims, and her driving it, absolutely murdered the snow up here for 3 years; and in that period it was some of the heaviest we have ever had. I watched it steam roller down our road when nothing else got out.

Sorry Ian, but to say "a heavy 4x4 will be far more difficult to control than a normal fwd 'saloon' is complete and utter gibberish.

MrsMe is changing because she feels like a change, albeit to the X6 instead of an X5, but the car has been a good one. We had some issues with the 50i engine (oil consumption and a few engines faults at 40k that the dealer should've have sorted much better) and she's gone for the 40d.

I can't speak about the ML or Toureg because I have never driven them, but I can vouch for the X5 as a superb car that does everything very well indeed.

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So how come whenever it snows badly in the south we see endless pictures of X5s in hedges?

I get the impression that where drpellypo lives is (quite) high up and rural. If I was buying a family car that wasn't necessarily for everyday but specifically was for family trips and the worst conditions I'd want it to be as effective as possible. To me that means something with a proper 4wd system with high profile a/t tyres. If I did decide an X5 was the car for me, I would not want the 21" (I've gone up an inch :P ) alloys and huge cross section low profile summer tyres that I see on them every day in Chavshire. 4WD or RWD is irrelevant once traction is lost, replaced by momentum which depends on weight.

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Thanks for the suggestions so far. Ruled out A6 all road/A8 simply because, although ample in leg room, they don't have width. We have two toddlers, both requiring full size car seats, and a teenager (albeit a very small one.) The touareg, when I measured it up, was wide enough to comfortably accommodate the kids. 7 seats would be good but unfortunately this sacrifices boot space and as such we can't fit double pushchair in. I did look at landcruisers too, but they hold their value so much, my budget would only buy me a 2001ish model. I would rather the refinement to be fair. Been spoiled with VW's/Audi's in that sense!

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I thought audi's were the bees knees for day to day cars having owned various models since I was 24, and to be fair I started the dark side in an M5 but even the 116 one series I drove suddenly made me want to spend my money with them. Four kids means i'll probably stick with the X5 for a few more years (not necessarily the same one :secret: ) unless of course the new RR makes an offer I can't refuse!!

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So how come whenever it snows badly in the south we see endless pictures of X5s in hedges?

I've no idea in all honesty, but you know if I think a car is crap I have a habit of saying so. Once or twice.:roflmao:

Put it this way, our eldests new Audi A1, with it's FWD, couldn't get down the road. Nor could the Z4 (hardly suprising). The X5 blatted down it. There were 2 Audi AWD's (an A4 and A6) that couldn't go anywhere. The X5 4WD system computed and gripped its way without issue.

I know where DrPellyPo lives and he may, admittedly, want to consider winter tyres no matter what his final choice is. However, I just wanted to argue the point that to suggest a FWD car of any 'normal' variety would be a better choice than a 4WD X5 is, in my opinion, simply not looking at the matter objectively or with any real world experience of what an X5 can actually do.

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Yep, X5 is a cracking bit if kit and I have taken ours off road and it survived!

We have a set if winters on 18's and it makes the car SUPER competent in the snow, it also stops ALL aqua-planing in the heavy rain 80+ motorway situations.

Think your biggest issue will be budget, you'll only get a Gen 1 X5 for £12k, won't be in brilliant condition for that money.

Despite what people say, the XC90 is a great car, just engine a but old and slow, but only as slow as a Toureg lol

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Thanks! I've got a mate who has a 4.8is which is lovely, and from what I've heard the box etc is rock solid. The only downside of the x5 is that it doesn't seem to be that big. Or is that an illusion? I specifically need enough width for two full size baby seats and room for a passenger in the middle.

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