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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chaps
Just back from half term ski break and have managed to do the best part of 1800 miles in a week travelling to and from the French Alps - the first proper long haul journey in the SQ5 for me.
Observations:
More UK cars on the autoroutes than French ones (!) but didn't see another SQ5 all week.
Ironic that good French lane discipline meant swift / safe progress was made by everyone. Once back in the UK, the middle lane muppets reappeared...

Return journey yesterday was 810 miles - left at 6am local time and was back in Warwickshire at 5.30pm - 12.5 hours door to door including Tunnel crossing - do the figures yourself - yep, we'll just call it "rapid progress".
Mostly drive the car in Dynamic mode (still can't resist the sound) but switched to Efficiency mode on the autoroutes and saw marked improvement in fuel economy - circa 42mpg average for the entire journey.
First time I've properly used the ACC, Side / Lane assist features: ACC is fantastic - took a while to get used to (car decelerates when approaching a car in front unless you indicate / change lanes in time) but, it made the journey so much more effortless. However, it's a pretty hopeless feature for using on UK roads - heavy traffic / congestion means that maintaining a constant speed is nigh on impossible.
Niggles:
Only one - screen wash tank capacity is too small. Constant traffic spray meant frequent use was needed and combination of screen cleaning, driving light washing and rear window cleaning emptied the tank quickly. Have resorted to keeping a top-up bottle in the boot.
Overall conclusion:
I just LOVE this car. Still puts a smile on my face every time I get in it but now desperately needs some TLC and a thorough valet - am convinced that today I have the filthiest SQ5 in the UK.
 

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Dunno - mine is absolutely DISGUSTING! A 'mate' drew a cock on the drivers door last night


Glad you are loving it - lane discipline is appalling in this country - I'm waiting to see if the new middle lane hogger law is going to make any difference.
 
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Chaps
Just back from half term ski break and have managed to do the best part of 1800 miles in a week travelling to and from the French Alps - the first proper long haul journey in the SQ5 for me.
Observations:
More UK cars on the autoroutes than French ones (!) but didn't see another SQ5 all week.
Ironic that good French lane discipline meant swift / safe progress was made by everyone. Once back in the UK, the middle lane muppets reappeared...

Return journey yesterday was 810 miles - left at 6am local time and was back in Warwickshire at 5.30pm - 12.5 hours door to door including Tunnel crossing - do the figures yourself - yep, we'll just call it "rapid progress".
Mostly drive the car in Dynamic mode (still can't resist the sound) but switched to Efficiency mode on the autoroutes and saw marked improvement in fuel economy - circa 42mpg average for the entire journey.
First time I've properly used the ACC, Side / Lane assist features: ACC is fantastic - took a while to get used to (car decelerates when approaching a car in front unless you indicate / change lanes in time) but, it made the journey so much more effortless. However, it's a pretty hopeless feature for using on UK roads - heavy traffic / congestion means that maintaining a constant speed is nigh on impossible.
Niggles:
Only one - screen wash tank capacity is too small. Constant traffic spray meant frequent use was needed and combination of screen cleaning, driving light washing and rear window cleaning emptied the tank quickly. Have resorted to keeping a top-up bottle in the boot.
Overall conclusion:
I just LOVE this car. Still puts a smile on my face every time I get in it but now desperately needs some TLC and a thorough valet - am convinced that today I have the filthiest SQ5 in the UK.
Totally agree, French lane discipline put us to shame...

I'm looking forward to my trip down to Cognac in the summer...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Totally agree, French lane discipline put us to shame...

I'm looking forward to my trip down to Cognac in the summer...
SQ5 nic
I'd recommend that you get one of these French Auroroute Tags:
https://www.saneftolling.co.uk/what-is-liber-t
Saves queuing at the toll booths or getting the Mrs to have to insert toll tickets / credit cards into the front passenger side machines at the Peage's.
Enjoy the trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Missile - yes...and they worked a treat - Pirelli Snow and Ice tyres 255/45's fitted to 20" wheels
First night in resort - 30cm of snow and car chewed through it effortlessly.
Our place is on the French / Swiss border and bizarrely, you'd think with all that Swiss efficiency tosh, they'd be used to clearing the roads after a heavy downfall.
In reality, the French seem to do a much better job of it...
 

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Certainly better than in the UK, where it seems 1/2" of snow brings total chaos.

We are on a road trip through Germany and Switzerland in June. Do you know if there is a similar peage pass to be had?

Where are your photos?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Certainly better than in the UK, where it seems 1/2" of snow brings total chaos.

We are on a road trip through Germany and Switzerland in June. Do you know if there is a similar peage pass to be had?

Where are your photos?
Missile
Luddite here is having trouble uploading photos but if you look at my thread about winter tyres under Readers Drives, you'll see the car with 21"wheels and summer tyres and also the 20" wheels on winters.
As for Peage's elsewhere, I don't know about Germany but in Switzerland there aren't any tolls as such - you buy a "Vignette" - a sticker which you place in the front windscreen which then allows you to use Swiss motorways without restrictions.
Detail can be found here: http://www.autobahnen.ch/index.php?lg=001&page=014
It costs 33 SWF or 40 Euros and can be bought at any border crossing (they'll normally stop you and make you buy one anyway) or from post offices, banks, online etc.
Note that it's a big fine, 200 SWF if you're stopped without on) and whilst they're also valid for a calendar year, you can actually use them up to the end of January of the following year.
Hope this helps and enjoy the trip.
 

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Very interesting post.
Particularly interested in your fuel economy figures for "proper" trans-continental driving.
I came back on Saturday too but from Austria. In France, managed to cover 408 miles in 4 hours 55 minutes with one quick stop. That was the good news. The bad news was that my old X5 4.8iS did 20.5 mpg (with roofbox). Time to order an SQ5 !! However still much cheaper driving and booking direct than a package! I've done this for 5 years now and the number of UK cars increases every year particularly now going to Austria as well as France.
We were stuck for an hour in a queue checking in at Eurotunnel around 1730. Planning on being there earlier next year - will drive from Austria on Friday night to half-way. If you don't mind me asking, what time were you there and how bad was the congestion?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very interesting post.
Particularly interested in your fuel economy figures for "proper" trans-continental driving.
I came back on Saturday too but from Austria. In France, managed to cover 408 miles in 4 hours 55 minutes with one quick stop. That was the good news. The bad news was that my old X5 4.8iS did 20.5 mpg (with roofbox). Time to order an SQ5 !! However still much cheaper driving and booking direct than a package! I've done this for 5 years now and the number of UK cars increases every year particularly now going to Austria as well as France.
We were stuck for an hour in a queue checking in at Eurotunnel around 1730. Planning on being there earlier next year - will drive from Austria on Friday night to half-way. If you don't mind me asking, what time were you there and how bad was the congestion?
Thanks
Gobiman
Being doing the same run for 8 years so well used to it!
Went out on the Friday night at start of half term and overnighted in Calais (knew from past experience that the M25 and Eurotunnel were going to be one large car park), before setting off to Portes du Soleil on Saturday morning - empty roads so a good call.
Made very good progress on the return trip (Sunday) - was booked on the 1636 Tunnel crossing back to Folkestone but arrived early and was luckily put on the 1536 so boarded immediately. Queues were definitely beginning to get bad - problem appeared not to be with Eurotunnel check-in but with Passport control, particularly the UK side.
Bizarrely, Dartford Crossing is usually our feared bottleneck in the way back home but no problems this time, hence the 12.5 hours door to door - a record for us!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Certainly better than in the UK, where it seems 1/2" of snow brings total chaos.

We are on a road trip through Germany and Switzerland in June. Do you know if there is a similar peage pass to be had?

Where are your photos?

Missile - try this for starters...on second thoughts, don't.
Me on left, trying not to pi$$ myself as pal skied into a small ravine and then thinking about how we get him out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quick question, if you have winter tyres do you still have to carry chains with you under french traffic regs?
Still very much a "grey" area and regulations are inevitably enforced differently, dependent on a) where you go and
the mood of the local police.
AA advice can be seen here: http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/snow-chains-winter-tyres.html but you'll note there are rules for locals and different rules for visitors.
Personally I don't bother carrying chains but have been stopped en route to resort - French police officer wanted to check that I had sufficient tread on winter tyres. If you haven't, then they can and will fine you for that - I'd suggest you make sure you have 4mm minimum tread.
Nothing worse than having your journey blocked by someone in front that's stuck or struggling in snow. There was a big case a couple of years ago on the French A26 where a dozen cars got stuck in a snow storm and on a Saturday change-over day, it led to 14,000 cars getting blocked behind them.
I know; I was in it. We were stationary for 7 hours.
 

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Barbyboy,
Thanks for the comments.
We do it every year - essentially my wife flies out Friday evening/Saturday morning with children and I drive out during Friday to meet them.
This year we did Friedrichshafen (I stayed in the airport IBIS overnight - wife +kids came on Monarch Sat morning). However still bad congestion into Austria at 1100. It seems that half of Holland is on the road - they must drive overnight Friday to be there that early!
We then all drive back Saturday
My cunning plan for next year is to meet the family at Munich airport on the Friday night (cheap late flights at 2000), all stay in an airport hotel and then leave early to beat the rush.
Coming back we will depart Friday after skiing, overnight around Karlsruhe and be at Eurotunnel just after midday.
As you point out and we found out, UK Border Control simply cannot cope with the flow later in the afternoon and it backs up. I've just sent a complaint e-mail as it was exactly the same last year. Since they moved the border control to just after check-in a few years ago (and tightened the checks), it has been terrible every half-term.
I'll have to order an SQ5 in the next few months if I want to use it for this run nxt year!
 

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Welcome back mate! Glad to hear you're still enjoying and had a great trip. We were originally going to fly down to Spain however i think we have changed our minds and are now tempted to do a small road trip down through Paris to Monaco... thoughts on this idea?

Post some pics if you managed to take any mate!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Barbyboy,
Thanks for the comments.
We do it every year - essentially my wife flies out Friday evening/Saturday morning with children and I drive out during Friday to meet them.
This year we did Friedrichshafen (I stayed in the airport IBIS overnight - wife +kids came on Monarch Sat morning). However still bad congestion into Austria at 1100. It seems that half of Holland is on the road - they must drive overnight Friday to be there that early!
We then all drive back Saturday
My cunning plan for next year is to meet the family at Munich airport on the Friday night (cheap late flights at 2000), all stay in an airport hotel and then leave early to beat the rush.
Coming back we will depart Friday after skiing, overnight around Karlsruhe and be at Eurotunnel just after midday.
As you point out and we found out, UK Border Control simply cannot cope with the flow later in the afternoon and it backs up. I've just sent a complaint e-mail as it was exactly the same last year. Since they moved the border control to just after check-in a few years ago (and tightened the checks), it has been terrible every half-term.
I'll have to order an SQ5 in the next few months if I want to use it for this run nxt year!
Driving seems to be the prudent way to do things - flights at half term for four of us would have been £1300 (Easyjet Birmingham to Geneva rtn) + car hire another £600 = £1900.
Taking the car was £150 with Eurotunnel, spent about £170 on fuel, £120 on tolls and £75 for the overnight stay at Calais (Holiday Inn Coquelles) = £515.
The difference worked out to be nearly £1400.
Teenage kids + skiing holiday (4 x 7 day lift passes = £750) = expensive trip.
Ouch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Welcome back mate! Glad to hear you're still enjoying and had a great trip. We were originally going to fly down to Spain however i think we have changed our minds and are now tempted to do a small road trip down through Paris to Monaco... thoughts on this idea?

Post some pics if you managed to take any mate!
Hi Ray, good to hear from you and when are you thinking of going to France / Monte Carlo?
I'll be in Monaco for the GP (25th May) and as yet, haven't decided on whether to drive or fly.
Same issues being faced re flight costs as per thread above, but it would be a much longer road trip and I'd be driving solo (am meeting clients down there).
Keep me posted on your plans and if you need any guidance, don't hesitate to ask.
Cheers.
 

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Thanks and you too mate, glad to hear you're enjoying your identical spec'd SQ
Will be there quite late, looking at early August or late July, bit complicated as we have to organise around 21st Aug as thats when son's GCSE results are due collection, and then Ramadan (fasting( in July etc...
 
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