Another potential owner

Chris T

Here for life
Premium Member
#1
Hi, been reading the site constantly for the past few days, what an excellent site it is, one of the best owners sites for sure.

Anyway myself and the wife have been talking on and off for months about getting a new car, never seriously, but last week my current car (mitsubishi l200) had it's first serious MOT failure, and that's increased the realisation in the long term we will need to replace it.

So going through the list of wants we both had ( not a car, more comfortable than my 02 L200, enough space for 2 adults, 2 kids, a dog and all the stuff that comes with it etc) I started looking.

The wife's first choice was a VW transporter, but their cost and usually high milage meant that was out. Then I stumbled upon the Elgrand on a random Google search, showed the misses and she fell in love

So here we are, I'm desperately trying to decide if I can afford to run one, if I can get it mechanically looked after locally, if I can live with the Japanese console/satnav, if Im happy to adjust to an automatic, if it's too big to be practical etc

Anyway thank you for reading my story lol
 

Madfish

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#2
Welcome to the club and glad you've found the forum useful so far...

As good as the elgrand is there is no getting away from the fact that it' aa thirsty beast bit they are powerful and comfy... Not like a transporter...

Budget around 25mpg on a run

They will take lpg so that can help reduce running costs to that of a 'normal' car.

Where they lose out on running costs compared to a vw they make up for it in repair costs as they are extremely reliable.
 

Seven

The Engineer
Staff member
E50 Owner
#3
Welcome to the forums!

Anything that's wrong with an Elgrand on the interior, you're more than able to change. There are stickers available to translate the central consoles, some people have even made English button covers to replace them (I'm 98% sure I've seen that done anyway). Headunits can always be changed as well, a Satnat unit will cost upwards of £150 built in to the stereo unit. An Elgrand is smiles per gallon, not miles per gallon (I won't beat around on that topic) and the automatic is one of the smoothest I've ever driven, albeit a bit confusing and disappointing when I want to rag it. For this I use the 1-2-D-OD button on the shifter.

A really nice E50 you can get for less than 5 grand, a really nice E51 you can get for under 10 grand. The 3.5 motor will go for miles and can be modified if necessary however the E50's 3.3 is also very nice (I have one)! You don't notice how big the vehicle is from the inside, the mirrors are big and very handy and unless you've got a motorcycle in the back like I do, you have unobscured vision of the whole rear of the van. The engine also makes the weight seem like it's not there, even with 300kg of gear or people on board.

Best vans in my opinion. E51 is definitely one of the best looking, a cosmetically modified E50 is the meanest looking. As far as minivans are concerned, Elgrand is love, Elgrand is life.

Good luck on your hunt!

For reference, search Facebook for ElgrandOC, ElgrandOC Vendors and ElgrandOC Selling Page. You'll find a lot for sale from our own knowledgeable members. You could also browse the classifieds on the forum's main page if you scroll down a bit. :)
 

Chris T

Here for life
Premium Member
#4
Thanks for the welcome. LPG conversion was my first thought to be honest with you.

It just looks like a practical and lovely family vehicle, and not something you see every day on the roads.

I can imagine getting hold of body styling parts can be difficult and expensive, but what about you're run of the mill service parts like pads, filters etc?
 

Brendan1969

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#5
Thanks for the welcome. LPG conversion was my first thought to be honest with you.

It just looks like a practical and lovely family vehicle, and not something you see every day on the roads.

I can imagine getting hold of body styling parts can be difficult and expensive, but what about you're run of the mill service parts like pads, filters etc?
Chris, before you go and see any if that is what you and SHMBO'd plan to do PLEASE PM me for further info on where to look and WHO TO AVOID.

Because your in Wales I would be heading towards Colin Price motors in your first instance seeing as he is local to you and he knows Elgrands well as does WRM who ive just bought mine from in Stourport on Severn Worcestershire.

Both extreamly knowledgable Elgrand dealers.

Regards,
 
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Brendan1969

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#6
Thanks for the welcome. LPG conversion was my first thought to be honest with you.

It just looks like a practical and lovely family vehicle, and not something you see every day on the roads.

I can imagine getting hold of body styling parts can be difficult and expensive, but what about you're run of the mill service parts like pads, filters etc?
After a 5 year absence I have returned to Elgrand land and bought my second Elgrand. My first was a 2000 MY E50 H/W Star model 3.0 Neo diesel engine and it was awesome in every sense and way.

Ive now took delivery yesterday of a newer E51 second generation Rider model with the favoured 3500cc petrol engine. Yes its a beast and yes it will drink fuel but who cares.

Regarding LPG conversion ( and ive owned 3 LPG cars in the past ), unless you are planning on doing massive miles each year DONT BOTHER as the costs involved having a decent system installed you can save and use on extra fuel needed. Just my take on it as a previous duel fuel vehicle owner and three times. Yes I love them and they are great but outlay wise it really has to be justified before you see any real savings being made.

Regards,
 

Chris T

Here for life
Premium Member
#7
I'd spotted Colin Price because it was fairly local to me. Plan right now is to get the L200 sorted so I have a car, get Christmas out of the way, and make some time in the new year to have a look at some Elgrands in the flesh and see what we think. That will probably at Colin Price, as it's not too far away and seems to have a decent amount of cars to look at.

We run our own business so time is tight right now but looking forward to seeing some cars in the flesh in a month or so.

Will drop you that PM now
 

Madfish

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#8
Aftermarket parts are expensive to come by as they are brought in from Japan, we have a couple of resident members who will be able to help you get parts @Gerry M and @chris wills

As for service items most are not a problem and we are lucky to have Brian from @BMR who is a fountain of knowledge and can source nearly all service parts at good prices...
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#9
Welcome to the club! :D

I was a habitual car changer as every year I thought there must be a better compromise for fun/luxury/performance/aesthetic in another new vehicle.

I’ve been a happy e51 owner for 8 years now. Still smile every time I drive it. I’m as happy sleeping in the back in comfort while wife drives as I am driving it.
It’s small enough to fit in tiny parking spaces and down North Yorkshire lanes but will blast across Germany if need be.
They are as reliable as any car so long as they are well looked after. But yep the (ONLY) drawback is 19mpg ave with me.

Show me a better compromise and I’d be very interested...
 

Brendan1969

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#11

Chris T

Here for life
Premium Member
#12
This site is terrible, I've gone from looking for information, then checking out reliable places to buy a car and now full speed ahead looking at import agents.

So, the big question, is the hassle of importing worth it, both in terms of car quality and money saved?
 

Madfish

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#13
Short answer, yes :)

Unless you're looking for a bargain basement Betty (around the £2000 mark) then you'll be better off just picking one up already in the uk
 

Madfish

Administrator
Staff member
E50 Owner
Premium Member
E50 Expert
#15
If you go with an agent then some of your budget will go to them but they do all the work and give you piece of mind.

Import yourself for the best savings but you do the paperwork and take all the risk yourself.

Buying one in the UK allows you to see it and check it over first but you'll generally pay an inflated price.

There's pros and cons to all options, I decided to go the self import route with the help of a friend, not quite as scary as I though it could be and with the help of this forum people shouldn't fear the process :)
 

Chris T

Here for life
Premium Member
#16
I think the middle ground of an agent would be best for me, I hate paper work, so if an agent meant saving a bit of money instead of a lot, it could still be the route in go, maybe
 

MrRob_in

Part of the furniture (please de-cat your e51/2)
Premium Member
E51 Expert
E51 Owner
#17
I’ll do the self import via Agent again I don’t like paperwork but it’s very easy to get right first time (if I managed it). I was very fussy on spec (I wanted VDC on a highly specified S1 HWS) and it’s far easier to compare cars in Japan thanks to easy access to auction sheets that give some general idea to condition, repair history and most importantly chassis number so you can look up factory build codes for every car (except Autech Rider). If it’s a Rider you’ll likely need to get a more thorough inspection than the auction report before you bid if you want to know full specs.
 

Brendan1969

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#18
I'm looking at some in the UK that tickle my fancy and I'm looking at £7000 to £9000, if a few months wait can knock a bit of cash off, could be worth it.
For that budget you should get a great example albeit my thinking is to still buy from a reputable dealer.

Regards,
 

Chris T

Here for life
Premium Member
#19
Yeah 7-9k should get me a good car already in the UK, which would be perfect it I had 7 grand to spend:(

In reality I'd be looking to get one on the road for about £5,000. Not much about in reputable dealers I fancy, and privately they seem to sell fast.
 

Brendan1969

Here for life
Premium Member
E51 Owner
#20
Yeah 7-9k should get me a good car already in the UK, which would be perfect it I had 7 grand to spend:(

In reality I'd be looking to get one on the road for about £5,000. Not much about in reputable dealers I fancy, and privately they seem to sell fast.
There is a decent Black 04 plate Highway Star currently on ebay for sale by a guy based in Bridgewater Somerset. He has fitted an OEM cruise control system to it which makes it really desirable IMHOP albeit is not to my spec but its a nice E51 and he has a company van now hence his selling. Mark is his name and he has dropped his price to £5995 but I reckon he is ready and willing to do a deal on it for cash before Xmas.

It might be what your after albeit ALL the good ones indeed do sell FAST and for a reason.