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WHAT TO BUY
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I'll make this brief as possible. Will be in Europe for 18 months. Get company car(LHD). Would prefer something I can't get in North America. RenaultSport Megane, Skoda Yeti(1.8 turbo),Seat Leon Cupra, Mazda CX-5(173hp diesel), Ford Focus ST. I cycle, hike and surf. Wouldn't mind 30 mpg(U.S. gallon)on the highway. Or, I bring something uncommon over there, (Mustang GT et al). Will be parked outside, and driven many miles throughout Europe. Thoughts?:?:

RS Megane, without a shadow of doubt.

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duncs500 said...

RS Megane, without a shadow of doubt.

thread hath endeth :D

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Should have mentioned that I'm 6'4" and 250lbs(insert fat American joke here). Will be spending many hours in this vehicle and would like enough room to at least squeeze in a helmet so I could do a track day or two. I noticed that the Megane is long for a two-door hatchback. This could make parking a tiny bit more difficult in certain locales(Rome). If the Megane is big enough on the inside, then my choice is easy.

What is 250lbs in real money? 18 stone or so? Not that fat for 6 4. :D

Anyway, Scottish kids are the fattest in Europe, so we still have that "special" relationship! :)

I am sure one of the bigger guys on here will go sit in a 3 door megane and report back!

That would be extremely helpful! Have been more observant than usual watching Jerem(e)y Clarkson(I believe he is at least 6'5") drive cars on Top Gear. The Yeti is probably my second choice if the Megane doesn't work out. I have researched some results of re-flashing the ECU and the numbers look promising. I also have a friend that has a shock dynamometer and all the know-how and equipment to rebuild any shock or strut if needed. Just to tighten things up a bit if needed:)

No more "if needed" comments

Halibrand said...

Have been more observant than usual watching Jerem(e)y Clarkson(I believe he is at least 6'5")

Clarkson is only 4' tall. The remaining 2'6" is hair.

Does anyone know if I can get crossbars on the Megane for a surfboard/bicycle? The surfboard has to go on the outside and if I can't fit both on top it would be nice to be able to attach a trailer hitch for a bike rack carrier. This vehicle has to do it all, so I'm trying to find the best compromise.
The Seat Leon Cupra would be my cheapest choice, something I wouldn't be as bummed to find scratched or dented.
The Mazda CX-5 is kinda "throwing in the towel" and resigning myself to something that wont get the blood boiling on the Stelvio Pass but it would carry my board and 2 bikes(mt. and road versions). Everything I've read about it seems to indicate that it is the best handling compact SUV.
Any thoughts are welcome, especially from owners of these vehicles who enjoy any and all of the same activities mentioned.:D

I used to have an R26 Megane. It had slots for a roof rack, and plenty of head room. I'm assuming the newer shape would too. It's based on a family hatch after all.

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+ Non-limited edition of the Exige 240R
- Uninspiring soundtrack

Halibrand said...

The Mazda CX-5 is kinda "throwing in the towel" and resigning myself to something that wont get the blood boiling on the Stelvio Pass but it would carry my board and 2 bikes(mt. and road versions). Everything I've read about it seems to indicate that it is the best handling compact SUV.
Any thoughts are welcome, especially from owners of these vehicles who enjoy any and all of the same activities mentioned.:D

Give me a month and some decent roads and I'll let you know. Sadly not going near any alpine passes in that time. It was good to throw it down a twisty road on my test drive, but it's not an RS Megane. Still, you can have fun in pretty much anything I reckon.

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duncs500,JonMad thank you for the replies. The RS will be my first FWD car(RWD,AWD before), and I'm looking forward to learning new techniques.
Will be test driving a CX-5 here(North America) although the only engine available is the gas 2 litre. I would be buying the more powerful diesel over there. Am curious how the heavier powerplant affects handling(especially trailbraking).
If there are other cars that might fit the bill I'm open to suggestions.:)

Halibrand said...

Will be test driving a CX-5 here(North America) although the only engine available is the gas 2 litre. I would be buying the more powerful diesel over there.

Not sure about the rest of Europe but in the UK the 175bhp one is only availble with 4wd/19" wheels. Lighter 2wd 150bhp FTW (on 17s, only slightly less torque than the more powerful motor and peaks lower in the rev range).

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Thanks JonMad,I don't mind the AWD,but the 19 inch wheels/extra weight is a bummer. I have destinations in mind if I get the CX-5 and AWD will be handy(Rally of Finland or Sweden). :D

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