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About Andy_k

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  • Toyota Model
    Previa 2.4GS
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  1. We've looked at it from virtually every angle and no matter what we tried didn't make a convincing argument to change. The Mk2 Previa really didn't appeal, the handling was unpredictable - if more of my mileage was motorways/dual carriageways I would have probably gone for it but my daily drive is a mix of A and B roads with lots of roundabouts and windy 'cross country' roads which really unsettled the Mk2's I tried.- the roads in East Sussex are really crap, our nearest dual carriageway is 12 miles away and we are about 50 miles from a motorway. We looked at imports even though insurance would be a major headache for me (pro musician) but all had their faults that we couldn't live with - Satnav/entertainment systems that only work in Japanese so totally useless in this country, prohibitive cost of parts with poor availability etc etc We also (briefy) considered a Chrysler Grand Voyager but the American handling (or lack of) and the tacky plastic interior and a dreadful driving position ruled that out. Despite people telling me that their cars don't exhibit these tendencies an awful lot of people seem to be reporting the very same issues. We also realised that most of the cars we were looking at spending the money on were higher mileage than ours and many had big bills in the pipeline (cam belts etc). So, after a lot of thought we've decided to spend about half the money on getting the bottom half of the Mk1 painted and tidied up (approx £1200 at our local body shop), the front seats (the only ones in the vehicle) are being re-trimmed/rebuilt by a local motor home upholsterer, I'll replace the aircon components, get it re-gassed and give it a good service, get the alloys refurbed and a few other bits which should all come in at around £3k with another £500 or so to spend upgrading the hi-fi to add a new head unit with reversing cam etc (actual cost about £750 but the existing unit will sell for a couple of hundred to offset the cost. This leaves us a couple of grand to just stick in the bank in case anything major goes wrong or to have a month off next summer and just go on holiday in it 😄 However, good ones are getting harder and harder to find - there's a very low mileage, 1 owner,'98 for sale near us in almost mint condition and he's asking £3500 for it and turning down offers of £k so he's confident it will sell 😄 No, we'll (probably) never get the money back if we decide to sell it at some point in the future but at least it won't depreciate any further and that's enough for us.Good luck with whatever you decide but we were talking to the body shop owner today and we agreed that the Mk1 is a car that's been largely overlooked and only now are people realising how good they were
  2. TBH, on the road tests with the Mk2 Previas, none of them were 'thrown into corners' but like many other people have done (including members of this forum and recognised motoring journalists) I experienced somewhat unpredictable and certainly very much unexpected understeer triggered by what I would class as 'very slight' body roll at speeds well below the legal limit and considerably lower than I would consider safe in either the Mk1 and way below those our Golf deals with them - of course, once it had happened once, it was pretty easy to replicate and think '****, if this was an emergency I probably wouldn't be in full control of the car'. Reading road tests, it's clear it's not just me that thinks this is an issue. OK, yeah, there's the option to drive within the car's capabilities but why spend time compromising when there are better/safer options available? Five days a week I do a 60 (each way) mile 'cross country' commute to work where about 35 miles are on B Roads- there's no way i'd be wanting to do that in a Mk2 Previa. Cheers for your comments though
  3. Hmmmm Adrian flux insurance - no thanks Dan, we have (ancient) history - once bitten, twice shy!!!
  4. It seems I'm not alone.... from this forum, discussing the Mk2 Previa Having said that, they are far better than the FWD MkII which can be unstable and suffer from severe understeer if there is a lot of weight in the back it is front wheel drive and far less practical than the MK1; and less stable when fully loaded due to the FWD system (Can Understeer badly) From UK Estima as with most of the larger MPVs, you can throw it through the first part of a roundabout but have to watch the understeer and body lean on the way out. From Honest John Pronounced body lean and lack of front-end grip in corners. There sure seems to be a lot of bad drivers around doesn't there? 😄 We are still no closer to a decision. I suspect the current one will be staying 🙂
  5. There was nothing rude or impolite. I asked for people's opinion, preferably based on personal experience. As nobody had that experience I went out and test drove some myself. There is no point bsnging on about how great Estimas are - I'd clearly ruled out import, so, if they are great, then I'm really happy for you. As for Mk 2 Previas, well, in my opinion, they handle like crap. Too much body roll which causes understeer. They drive like the original Merc A Claas. However as you seem quick to blame my driving style you could try reading some riad tests. Understeer is a common critique so maybe they are all wrong as well!!! I do about 30k miles most years. Much of my driving is on A and B roads as we dont have motorways or even many Dual carriageways down here. If a car/van/MPV won't go around corners, it's no use to me 🙂
  6. OK. To wrap up this thread - after having spent the morning test driving three Mk2 Previas I'm in a position to answer my own questions..... First impressions of the Mk2 were good, I sort of liked the dash but then decided that I really didn't like it because everything was in the wrong place - nothing I couldn't live with but it was a 'black mark' The seats didn't seem as supportive as our old ones but again it wasn't a deal breaker Internal space seemed less than our old one, particularly at the back - I'd need to go back with a tape measure if I was going to buy one (I'm not) Once we started driving on 'damp' roads was when I decided I didn't like it Why did nobody mention that the front of the car doesn't feel like it's attached to the back?? Halfway around a corner and they all did the same skittery little understeer slide - even when off the power. If there was a bump it made it worse - if it were just one of them I would have accepted it as a fault on that one but they were all identical (very Toyota ). It did nothing to inspire confidence. Maybe it's a front wheel drive thing but other FWD cars I've driven would torque steer but not break traction like this. It also felt 'top heavy' with the body prone to leaning. Not a car I ever need to drive again - it felt worse than our old Chrysler Grand Voyager which was always a bit of a lottery whether it would come out of a corner on the line it went in on 😄 Thanks for your comments - I just wish someone could have been honest about them and saved me a morning
  7. cheers, yeah, we've been thrown a curve ball on the insurance for an import - despite having full no claims, no accidents for over 30 years, clean licence for the same period and being just over 60 my job really doesn't help with getting anything slightly unusual 'road legal' - our normal insurers won't touch an import and the 'specialists' won't touch me/my line of work Back to Previa versus Previa then - so, please no more Estimas, Alphards etc
  8. cheers for the replies, I was rather hoping for replies based on experience rather than just common sense 🙂 We are going to look at an Alphard this weekend (slightly over budget but not really a problem) and the guy selling also has a Honda Elysion which also seems to tick a lot of the boxes - I hate buying cars 😞
  9. cheers - looking is easy 🙂 I'm after owner's experiences. New versus old is kinda tricky though - spending £3k on our current car fixes all the issues, paints the bottom half of the car (if I help out with the prep work) and leaves some change for little jobs - OK, it's money we can never recoup if and when we decide to sell it but it 'saves' us at least £2000 to spend on other stuff 🙂 I'm normally up for buying a newer car but this time it's not so easy 🙂
  10. Currently we have a '98 Mk1 Previa - 2.4 Petrol with approx 145k on the clock. Our average weekly mileage is about 300 It's as solid as a rock, runs like clockwork and regular maintenance aside costs us nothing to run (much of my fuel gets claimed back as expenses so mpg isn't really an issue). The cylinder head gasket was replaced when we first bought it 4 years ago. the cat was replaced/refitted at the first MoT we had done, I put new disks and calipers on all four corners, 4 new tyres and a new starter motor last year. It's a great workhorse and is ultra reliable - I've also converted it to include a secondary 12v/240v system running off a leisure battery which charges from the alternator but..... The paint is starting to look a little tatty (one panel was sprayed very badly by the previous owner), parts of the interior are beginning to show their age and there are a few electrical/mechanical issues starting to appear - the sunroof stopped working for no apparent reason (closed and no leaks) and stubbornly refuses to do anything more than just click, the aircon needs a new condenser/refill, the carpets probably need replacing and some of the trim pain is flaking away - that weird grey stuff on the dashboard in particular. So, with approx £5 - £6K to spend do I... a, Spend the money on a bottom half respray, wheel refurb and getting the niggles sorted out - not ruling out buying a donor vehicle to cannibalise for parts? b, Spend roughly the same amount on a later model Mk2 Previa? My questions then are ideally for those who've driven/owned both. How do the two compare for day to day use? It's our only car as my other half doesn't drive any more - The DVLA took a dim view of her having a licence after she was diagnosed as a narcoleptic 🙂 What are the internal dimensions like? With the seats out the Mk1 is huge - the load bay is approx 8ft x 4ft - plenty of room for my gear, two dogsm the mrs and still room to sleep in at night when we are away from home Is there anything I'd miss 'upgrading'? The switch from RWD to FWD for example or (what appears to be) the narrower sliding doors Anything I've missed - which is the 'nicer' vehicle to own etc Thanks for your thoughts, comments etc and sorry for the long post
  11. Hi, we are based in East Sussex and drive a '98 Previa. It's my 'work van' (semi retired session musician), our daily driver and weekend 'camper'. I've added a secondary electrics system (charging off a split charger) that provides 12v and 240v running off an inverter or camp site hook up/generator.