Having worked in the music world for some time now, I’ve had many vehicle-related conversations with musicians over the years, from orchestrating logistics when a band member’s car broke down and none of the other musicians had a car large enough for the drum kit.
I want to share with you some typical vehicles that could just be what you need for your musician life-style.
If you play a smaller instrument, such as a violin or guitar, a compact car may suit you perfectly well, in which case a Nissan Leaf is a good choice, offering five doors and decent levels of comfort.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Like the Leaf, you plug this large Mitsubishi in when you want to charge it, PHEV standing for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle.
Just because I’ve never been a fan of the latest Civic’s styling on the outside or inside doesn’t mean I’m blind to its many virtues.
Hyundai Santa Fe
The Hyundai Santa Fe is a good all-rounder that hits most of the marks you need to be thinking about. Whilst Hyundai offers a five-seat Santa Fe with a huge load bay, it’s worth forking out a bit more for the seven-seater, due to the two third-row seats that fold up from the boot floor.
Mercedes-Benz E Class estate
The Mercedes-Benz E Class estate is the most expensive car on this list, but it is also unbeatable on boot space.
Tinted rear windows also provide peace of mind if you need to leave your gear in the back at any point.
Fuel economy is also great considering the size of this thing (on the E300 Bluetec hybrid model). The combination of the 2.1-litre diesel engine with electric motor makes the E Class estate E300 hybrid unbeatable in its class for fuel economy. Saying this, the regular diesel engines aren’t much to shout about on that front.
We know it might be difficult to take the plunge and become a ‘White Van Man’, but for a trusty classic, you’ll find it hard to beat a Ford Transit.
If you need to fit the whole band, that’s no problem – the Ford Transit has second- and third-row seating options to fit seven adults (and more comfortably than the Santa Fe). If you’ve got more gear than friends, just fold the seats down and revel in the 6.0m3 load capacity of the short wheelbase model, or the even bigger 6.8m3 SAE of the long wheelbase model.
Not only is there a shed-load of space, but there are also innovative features built-in, with transporting equipment in mind. Ford have included a deployable integrated roof rack, a load-through hatch in bulkhead (for tall items), locking check arms that allow doors to be locked in place at 90°, repositioned tie-down hooks and fixing points, easy-clean load floor liner and ultra-bright LED loadspace lighting for those late nights. Phew! You really will be hard-pressed to beat that.
The Ford Transit also has excellent fuel economy, with low CO2 emissions and low running costs thanks to the lighter body and aerodynamic shape.
If you don’t have enough gear to warrant buying a van, but need something with a bit more room, the ŠKODA Octavia estate is a solid choice. There’s ample room in the boot at 610 litres with the seats up, and with the seats folded, it’s nothing short of cavernous with 1740 litres of space.
You have the option of getting a super-green diesel engine that achieves 88.3mpg and 85g/km, not bad for those long road trips! However, do bear in mind that there’s a step in the boot when the seats are folded, so you don’t get a nice flat load area which is easier to move things in and out of.
The Octavia estate was awarded a five-star Euro NCAP rating and comes with an impressive safety spec as standard, including post-collision braking.