Not a bongo

Anything non-technical about the Mazda Bongo Friendee van

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feeblecat
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Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:16 am

Hi please don't disown me for this or shoot me down! lol
Some years ago we had a bongo - I was a regular on this forum and had some great advice. We loved our van, it took us all over Europe for over 5 years without ever missing a beat. But life got in the way and we sold it. 8ish years later we would like another campervan. But this time and for various reasons- not a bongo :( We did find the bongo a tad small and this time round size really will matter (grandchildren etc) and I would prefer a swivel passenger seat. Also I know they are no longer produced and would like a newer version of something like the bongo that Will last us many years. So, because I know I can rely on your advice and objective opinions :lol: I would like comments on my other choices - Toyota Alphard or Nissan Elgrand? Thanks in advance
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by Bob » Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:24 am

To the best of my knowledge they're both pretty good.

And you'll still be welcome at Meets. 8)
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mikeonb4c
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by mikeonb4c » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:00 am

Hi feeblecat and welcome back. Either sounds great but even they are small campervans. I suppose the longer (and older but said to be bulletproof and fine to drive) Toyota Hiace has been considered? This one looks very mission capable!

https://www.gumtree.com/p/campervans-mo ... 1308958275

Sometimes i wonder if car and caravan doesnt end up making more sense?
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feeblecat
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:13 am

Thanks for replies. I had forgotten about Toyota have. But would be looking for something at least 10 years newer - I'll Google them and see what's about. Another option.
're the Alphard and Elgrand. Would anyone be able to tell me how their fuel consumption would compare with the bongo?
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mikeonb4c
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by mikeonb4c » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:27 am

feeblecat wrote: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:13 am Thanks for replies. I had forgotten about Toyota have. But would be looking for something at least 10 years newer - I'll Google them and see what's about. Another option.
're the Alphard and Elgrand. Would anyone be able to tell me how their fuel consumption would compare with the bongo?
I think fuel consumption on all these would be broadly similar i.e. not great and in a ballpark where the cost is linked more to whether you are doing a lot of miles or not. I'd budget for 25mpg (and hope to get more) provided you are doing open road driving. I wonder if being 10 years newer need take precedence over condition and useability? As we know from Bongos (and the Hiace is better built), Jap imports arrive here in good nick. Also, the older technology has less electronic gimmickry to go wrong. Here's a rather smart looking 2000 year low mileage Hiace:

https://www.gumtree.com/p/campervans-mo ... 1308300623

Alphards do look very nice though. Whats your budget?
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feeblecat
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:08 am

Hi, I suppose I'm equating age with longevity and potential for spares/service knowhow etc. Mileage and reliability is first and foremost. But I do want whatever we buy to last us well into our imminent retirement. It will also be our day car for one of or both of us. It will most likely be next year before we're buying but I'm starting to do my homework again now - who knows an opportunity (or a miracle) could arise sooner. Budget? Obviously I would love an absolute steal. Realistically? About 15k give or take. Thanks.
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mikeonb4c
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by mikeonb4c » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:28 am

feeblecat wrote: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:08 am Hi, I suppose I'm equating age with longevity and potential for spares/service knowhow etc. Mileage and reliability is first and foremost. But I do want whatever we buy to last us well into our imminent retirement. It will also be our day car for one of or both of us. It will most likely be next year before we're buying but I'm starting to do my homework again now - who knows an opportunity (or a miracle) could arise sooner. Budget? Obviously I would love an absolute steal. Realistically? About 15k give or take. Thanks.
Its the everyday car bit i think where the Bongo is so good as its no wider than a smallish car and no longer than an estate. The Hiace might (but check) i think be narrower than an Alphard and maybe a late model Elgrand (i.e. similar width to Bongo). If true this is an advantage down narrow streets and country lanes BUT its longer than the others so parking is more of an issue. I think spares and longevity should be good on the Hiace as they were made in v high numbers (as a van) and plenty in uk but again, best check. And, just thinking laterally, would a car and caravan give more flexibility?
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by Bonneville » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:36 am

On service and spares, all JDM's worry me but Bongo better served than some. Lack of competition means higher spares prices and specialists for doing the work (unless you DIY). Sharks find it easier to feed in small pools and JDM's attract them. Try lurking on the Elgrand forum before you make your decision.
It's heresy but have you considered the Germans? T5's are well served as are Viano/Vitos. All can be had with Reimo/copy pop roofs but none are as sexy as an AFT.
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feeblecat
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:02 pm

I haven't considered the German options - I was probably thinking about the nearest Bongo-alikes hence the Alphard and Elgrand. But I'm ruling nothing out so will have a look. 're the caravan and car option - we already have that and will be keeping it. Campervan will enhance our mobility and for quick getaways/out of season etc and for Europe. Our current set up is for siting for longer periods, family can use it etc. I do love my caravan but want to be able to jump in a campervan and take off and stop wherever and yearn back to our campervan trips. Retirement will allow both. Ideally I want a big bongo :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by mikeonb4c » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:16 pm

Just drove past an Alphard and it didnt look usefully bigger than a Bongo. The Hyundai i800 has always struck me as a formidable looking beast. Prices now reaching the point where you might get a base vehicle with enough in budget to get it converted:

https://www.gumtree.com/cars/uk/hyundai/i800
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karena
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by karena » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:28 pm

HI also a returner my bongo has only very recently got to the point of thinking about replacements as she is no longer repairable. :cry:
Another Bongo i thought - but what if this one also rusts/has coolant problems etc etc too (panic panic.) shouldnt i get something more recent.?

So have also been doing some research - starting with smaller now its usually just me - i found some nifty looking removable camping pods for bellingo kangoo and peugeot partner.But actually theyre a bit hefty so not so removable for me - not a lot of room for the occasions i do take a grandchild or two and although a tailgate awning is an option -it is a bit pricy when i have a perfectly usable khyam from the bongo.
So i moved up in size and found very little between mini camper and bongo.
but to answer your question found some dimensions and mpg estimates that i will pass on below.Nearest in size to the Bongo -in fact almost identical (as tin top) is the toyotta Noah which i read is the replacement for the older Regius - but re-sized. looking on sale sites i havnt spotted many and then only a couple which were 300 miles away fell in my budget range.getting around with no transport an issue -( i could potentially blow a substantial part of my budget on train fares and taxis before i find the right one)
After that.

Bongo L4.6xW1.7xH2.1 mpg 24 :shock: ( which makes me question the other esitimated MPG in this report as i got a lot more than that from mine but it was unconverted out of town mainly off motorway driving and the report claimed to have averaged out those differing conditions so maybe thats the difference)
Regius L 4.75xW1.69xH1.96 MPG 27
Alphard L 4.8x W1.8xH 2.1 MPG 30
Elgrande L 4.8xW1.8xH 1.9 MPG 27
Mercedes Viano L4.8xW 1.9xH1.9 MPG 28

so not a lot between them in size Alphard is claiming better MPG though -
but those few cm longer or wider are important for me as i have to park at work and there isnt a lot of room - black looks emmit from colleagues and one complaint about the bongo (from some-one who happens to think his car is a tank and the boss knows it )- but anything bigger and they might withdraw the kind offer to let me park there permanantly which leaves me the choice of public car park.

Its not just size (I know, us girls say that to all the guys :oops: ) but i know very little about these vehicles - i knew little about bongos 12 years ago too - but since being on my own between this site and some very helpful members i have got by - I am sentimentally attached to bongo,s as well (which doesnt help me think logically) and again i have the right size awning and all the camping gear so for me, its starting to feel like actually it will probably be a Bongo.( swivelling seat is possible now i believe)
Good luck with your search though i will be watching your thread with interest.
So it more a debate over 4x4 2.5 diesel turbo /2.0 petrol /tin top/Aft .
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feeblecat
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:41 pm

You're replies are really giving me food for thought. Karena excellent post and really useful. Anything else to consider folks just throw it into the mix. Regarding fuel consumption - we didn't think the Bongo was too bad but we always used it for long journeys and never as a day car. So similar doesn't fill us with horror as we already have an idea.
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by mikeonb4c » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:43 pm

Parkers seem to like the i800:

https://www.parkers.co.uk/hyundai/i800/

But it is big like a VW. But then more space was what you were saying you needed so...I like that it seems to v often come with an autobox.

Here's a rather nice converted one:

https://www.parkers.co.uk/hyundai/i800/

(manual box sadly but...)
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feeblecat
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:08 pm

I quite like Hyundai- I can't open the converted link though so I'll Google for some. OH says we can look at vans and get the conversion done ourselves. It's a thought.
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feeblecat
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Re: Not a bongo

Post by feeblecat » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:19 pm

Hi, I've done nothing but Google the last day or 2 and still keep coming back to the Toyota Alphard, Hyundai i800 and Mercedes Veto. I've got to say none of them get glowing reviews but neither did the Bongo when I bought mine and I loved it for 6 happy years.
I'm now thinking of buying a van/mpv and then getting a basic conversion ie. Insulation, swivel passenger seat, rock and roll bed and electrics. I think this could work for us - I feel the hippy in me coming out. I've posted on the conversion forum for recommendations. I still fee none of my other options have the "cool" factor my bongo had though :(