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Do most people really buy their car for its design, as manufacturers like to claim? If so, they would be better served by a Bauhaus table sculpture. Cars also have to be useful. Anyone who frequently has to load a lot of people, a lot of luggage or both knows that sliding doors are particularly practical. They offer convenient entry and exit, don’t bump into the neighbor’s sheet metal when cross-parking, and don’t swing into the lane when parallel parking. However, sliding doors, especially electrically operated ones, are complex and expensive constructions. That is why they are only available in a few car models. In new cars, they are only found on large vans and passenger cars derived from commercial vehicles. Those considering used cars have more choice. We show seven great cars with sliding doors, from teeny tiny to quite huge. A quick note up front: most of these models are heavy. That’s because sliding doors add a certain amount of weight, and many of the models also offer seven seats. Due to the extra weight, the axle suspension is one of the known problem areas of almost all of the models mentioned. So it may be worth taking a closer look here for used cars with higher mileage.

The best cars with sliding doors

  • Peugeot 1007
  • Ford B-Max
  • Mazda5
  • Ford Grand C-Max
  • VW Caddy
  • VW Sharan/Seat Alhambra
  • Mercedes-Benz V-Class

Microvan: Peugeot 1007 (2005-2009)

Parking space is scarce in cities. Peugeot’s clever idea should help from 2005: The 1007 is a microvan with a sliding door on each side. This makes it easier to get into the 3.73-meter city runabout, especially when parking crossways. In addition, there are two individual seats in the rear that can be moved by 23 centimeters, so that the luggage compartment, which is nominally only 178 liters, can be easily expanded. Source: Peugeot2004 Peugeot presented the 1007 microvan. At 3.73 meters in length, it is the ideal city runabout The clever single-parent van was not a great success. That may have been due to the prices: Toward the end of its build, the Peugeot 1007 starts at around 15,000 euros. A lot of money for so little car, the sliding door design just costs. In addition, there were initial quality problems with the chassis and electronics. Sometimes they affect the sliding doors, which simply don’t open or don’t close. Sometimes it’s the engine control, sometimes the control of the automated manual transmission. At least that can be worked around by choosing a manual transmission. There are fewer complaints about later models from 2008 onwards. Roadworthiness inspectors complain about play in the steering and worn front axles, which manifests itself in rumbling on cobblestones. This is something to look out for in used Peugeot 1007s. 11 years after the end of production, the Peugeot 1007 is surprisingly stable in value. Provided it is in good condition, the quirky van has what it takes to become a future classic. Around 220 vehicles (as of 10/2020) are for sale on mobile.de. Checkbook-maintained models with a mileage of up to 80,000 km cost between 3,000 and 5,000 euros. What you need to know

  • Original, stable-priced microvan
  • Engines with 73 (diesel: 68) to 109 hp, Euro 4
  • Rather choose a manual transmission
  • Early examples with teething troubles
The Peugeot 1007 Peugeot’s minivan with a length of 3.73 meters and electric sliding doors is a born city runabout.

Minivan: Ford B-Max (2012-2017)

The Fiesta-based Ford B-Max starts one class higher in 2012. The front doors open normally, while the rear doors slide open. A special feature is that the B-Max has no fixed B-pillar. The load-bearing function is performed by high-strength steel beams in the sliding doors. This results in a particularly large door opening. The 4.08 meter long minivan has a trunk capacity of 318 liters. The rear seat cannot be moved, but when folded down it forms an almost level loading area with the trunk. Source: FordFord builds a 1.4-liter, 90-hp four-cylinder into the B-Max as the base engine. 2017 Ford stops the production of the B-Max Qualitatively, there is, as with the Fiesta, little to complain about. On the second HU, the steering sometimes causes problems. The Ecoboost gasoline engine reacts sensitively to delayed maintenance/oil changes. Maintained according to regulations, it is very durable. The 1.4-liter four-cylinder with 90 hp is completely unproblematic and cheaper. However, the Ecoboost turbos are more lively. In the emerging boom of small SUVs, unfortunately too few customers are interested in the practical small family van. So Ford is already ending production in 2017. No problem: The supply of used B-Max is large. 1,300 offers (as of 10/2020) can be found on mobile.de. Early examples with less than 100,000 kilometers and 95 hp gasoline engine cost from 5,500 euros. Younger used cars with around 40,000 kilometers on the clock and the lively Ecoboost three-cylinder engine still cost around 9,000 euros. Just under a quarter of the cars on offer are diesels, so gasoline-powered cars are easier to find. What you need to consider

  • Clever minivan without a fixed B-pillar
  • Built between 2012 and 2017
  • Hardly any known quality problems
  • Recommendation: Titanium, 1.0 Ecoboost 100 hp
The Ford B-Max The five-seat van was introduced in Geneva in 2011. After 6 years, Ford discontinued production in 2017.

Compact van: Mazda5 (2010-2015)

Sliding doors are rare in the compact van class. The Mazda5 followed the popular Premacy in 2005 and was offered in two generations until 2015. With a striking wave design, Mazda wrests some visual lightness from the bulky sliding doors in the rear. Inside, the 4.58-meter-long van demands no compromises: It sits generously on all seats. With 7 seats, 112 liters of luggage fit inside; with the rear seats folded down, it’s 1,485 liters. The payload is a generous 640 kilograms. Source: MazdaThe Mazda5 measures 4.58 meters in length. A sliding door on each side gives passengers access to the rear The Mazda5’s spacious interior is just as convincing as its robust, durable technology. When in doubt, the Japanese prefer to make many components more robust than necessary. On the downside, the naturally aspirated engines with 115 or 144 or 150 hp are loud and thirsty. Only the more powerful gasoline engine is available with an automatic, and this drive in particular is difficult to drive under 9 l/100 km in everyday use. The diesel from Peugeot development only manages Euro 5. In 2015 Mazda replaces the last van in the program with the SUV CX-3. The supply of used examples is good: Around 1,000 examples are for sale on mobile.de (as of 10/2020). Virtually all Mazda vans offer good equipment and thus a lot of car for the money. For 2nd generation Mazda5s up to 80,000 kilometers, prices start at around 8,000 euros. Mazda5s from the last year of manufacture that have been driven less often are priced at around 12,500 euros. What you have to consider

  • Large van with great standard equipment
  • High-maintenance PSA diesel
  • Gasoline unproblematic, but with automatic thirsty
  • From 3. HU note: Axle suspension, rust on the exhaust system
The Mazda5 The Japanese compact van impresses with its robust, durable technology and spacious interior.

Compact van 2: Ford Grand C-Max (2010-2019)

If it should be a younger used compact van, there is really only the Ford Grand C-Max. Like the shorter C-Max, it’s based on the popular Ford Focus compact model. However, two rear sliding doors and an optional third row of seats are only available in the Grand C-Max. The 2019 Focus model change will leave the van without a successor. Ford is thus reacting to the decreased demand for this body style. Source: FordTechnically, the Grand C-Max is based on the popular compact model Ford Focus The 4.52-meter-long van offers plenty of space and, especially as a seven-seater, a lot of variability. The 2nd row of seats is equipped with sliding individual seats as standard. There is also a lot to offer in terms of equipment: parking guidance system, Ford Sync with emergency call, automatic tailgate or emergency call assistant are available. The compact doesn’t fare quite as well in the TÜV report. The drivetrain sometimes malfunctions, and users also report electronic faults. During the main inspection, problems with the axle suspension are often noticed – the precise Focus chassis apparently does not always cope ideally with the extra weight of the van. The engine range is broad. Gasoline engines with intake manifold injection and five-speed transmission (1.6 TI-VCT, 105 hp/125 hp), Ecoboost turbocharged gasoline engines (100 hp-150 hp), diesels between 95 and 170 hp. A turbocharged gasoline engine with 125 hp makes sense – the naturally aspirated engines dropped in 2018 are hardly more sluggish, but thirstier. With 150 hp or more, the Grand C-Max is already almost sporty motorized. There are 1,250 offers on mobile.de (as of 10/2020), including just under 500 diesels. They are certainly an option: Euro 6 will be introduced in April 2015, and models from fall 2018 will meet Euro 6d TEMP. And the Ford Grand C-Max is inexpensive: early Euro 5 diesels are available for less than 4,000 euros. Gasoline models after the 2015 facelift with Titanium equipment and less than 80,000 kilometers are around 10,000 euros. What you need to bear in mind

  • Long version of the C-Max built until 2019
  • Large engine selection, modern emissions standard as of 2018
  • Problem areas: Axles, clutch, electronics
  • Favorable prices for young used Grand C-Max
Ford Grand C-Max In 2009, Ford introduces the second generation model of the C-Max. The seven-seater has two rear sliding doors.

High roof station wagon: VW Caddy (2004-2020)

High-roof station wagons mostly come with sliding doors and are almost universally offered as passenger car versions. Until a few years ago, however, they offered significantly less comfort than real passenger cars, and in some cases less safety equipment. Only newer generations of Opel Combo, VW Caddy and Co. no longer demand any compromises. As an example, let’s take a look at the best-selling VW Caddy: In the form it will be replaced in 2020, its technology dates back to 2004 and it still has leaf spring suspension at the rear. Advantage: high payload, disadvantage: on bad roads it hits hard. Source: VolkswagenSpecial feature of the VW Caddy: With its rigid rear axle, it offers a particularly large payload Like all its competitors, the Caddy is a highly variable space miracle. Available in two wheelbases, it loads up to 4.2 cubic meters of luggage. VW considers the major facelift in 2015 to be its own generation. Since then, it has mastered Euro 6 (from 10/2018 Euro 6d-TEMP), contemporary connectivity and assistants such as parking assistance also move in. It’s best to buy a VW Caddy with a fresh MOT. It may be because a lot is expected of it, but its MOT record is mediocre. Many small problems with the chassis, brakes and lights give it a hard time. Even the technically primitive rear leaf springs were noticed during the first inspection. The offer is enormous. 8,500 Caddy stand on mobile.de for the sales (conditions: 10/2020). Among them 5,400 young used ones of the 4th generation. Diesel and panel vans cost 6,000 euros and less. The sought-after family transporters are more expensive: for gasoline from year of manufacture 2015 to 100,000 kilometers mileage in the equipment “Comfortline” at least 14,000 euros are called. You can find a detailed buyer’s guide to the VW Caddy here. What you need to consider

  • Great space, very versatile
  • Until 2020 with primitive rear axle
  • Many small problems with used Caddys
  • Relatively high prices for young used
The VW Caddy A popular tradesman’s car with potential as a family carriage.

Mid-size van: Seat Alhambra/VW Sharan (since 2010)

Unfortunately, sliding doors are not standard in the large mid-size van class. Ford does without them in the S-Max and the current Galaxy. They are available in the sister models Seat Alhambra and VW Sharan. They were launched on the market in 2010 and have been kept saleable with little effort ever since. This is not expected to change until 2022. Space is the selling point of the 4.85-meter-long vans. Up to 2,430 liters of luggage fit in the Seat Alhambra and VW Sharan. If 7 people travel with them, there is still 267 liters of trunk space. Source: SeatSeat now only builds a 150 hp gasoline engine in the Seat Alhambra The quality turns out to be less splendid: Both models weigh more than their chassis can handle. Axle suspension and brakes are therefore often worn out at a young age. The emissions test also often stands in the way of a new sticker. The DSG transmission can get on your nerves with jerking and juddering. This is not yet a real problem – unlike occasional rust on the tailgate. With regular maintenance, the Alhambra can still last a long time. So high mileage need not be a problem. Around 6,500 Sharan and Alhambra are advertised on mobile.de (as of 10/2020), including 2,500 Alhambra. Most of them run on diesel. Nevertheless, VW has discontinued the production of diesel Sharan and diesel Alhambra in the fall of 2020. Only TSI gasoline engines with 150 hp are now available. Nevertheless, we recommend the diesel with the same power from 2015, which is better suited to the heavy van. The Spaniard costs slightly less than the Sharan when new, but not when used: models from 2015 with 150 hp diesel up to 150,000 km mileage start at around 14,000 euros. You can find a test of the Seat Alhambra here. What you need to consider

  • Large van with two sliding rear doors
  • Outstanding space, production until 2022
  • Diesel: from 07/2015 Euro 6, from 10/2018 Euro 6d-TEMP, discontinued since 08/2020
  • Chassis and brakes unfortunately under high weight and wear out quickly
The Seat Alhambra More space is truck: the Seat Alhambra inspires with its generous space.

Large-capacity van: Mercedes V-Class (since 2014).

A large van isn’t big enough? Then the passenger car version of a so-called one-ton van (refers to payload) is a good choice. A real alternative to the VW T6 (Caravelle, Multivan) is the Mercedes V-Class. The Viano successor has been on the market since 2014. Available in two wheelbases, as is typical for the class, two to eight passengers can fit in the V-Class, depending on the seating arrangement. The Mercedes’ biggest advantage: more comfort, more driving assistance, fancier materials – in short, it offers a bit more passenger car compared to the VW. Source: Daimler AGThe Mercedes V-Class offers more comfort, driving assistance and fancier materials than other vehicles in the same segment The first V-Classes suffered from assembly errors, rusting screws, faulty chain tensioners and other teething problems. Most of the problems are eliminated in recalls. Nevertheless, you play it safe with a year of manufacture from 2016. The short wheelbase with a length of just under 4.90 meters is recommended for city driving. If you want to take advantage of the maximum 4,630 liters of cargo space, you have to go for the long-wheelbase version (5.14 m). The automatic transmission, which is available for all engines at an extra charge, is basically mandatory for resale. Unfortunately, the best diesel (OM 654) has only been available since the 2019 facelift. The predecessor in 220 d (163 hp) and 250 d (190 hp) is also recommendable. Attention: models with the abbreviation CDI only meet Euro 5. More than 4,600 Mercedes V-Class can be found on mobile.de (as of 10/2020). With year of manufacture from 2016 and less than 125,000 kilometers, V220 d prices start at just under 29,000 euros. V250 d cost at least 30,000 euros. A comprehensive buyer’s guide to the Mercedes V-Class can be found here. What you need to know

  • Mercedes V-Class from 2014
  • Facelift 2019: new diesel OM 654 with 9-speed automatic.
  • First model years with teething problems
  • Tip: V220 d with automatic from 2016 model year
Mercedes-Benz large-capacity sedan With space for up to eight people, the V-Class is the largest passenger car model from Mercedes-Benz.

Top 7: Practical family cars with sliding door in pictures

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