Easy to drive and a great reputation for reliability are the strong points of the SX4 S-Cross / Suzuki

Gajan Soori needs an automatic petrol car for his father, he wants reliability, economy and a high driving position – all for less than £10,000

A car for the head

Well that is a tall order, but it is possible to find a “tall” vehicle that meets those criteria. One model worth considering is a Suzuki SX4 S-Cross. Here is a smallish, high riding Sports Utility Vehicle which has a great reputation for reliability. With a constantly variable automatic transmission it will also be easy to drive and live with: the average fuel economy  is a respectable 49mpg, for example. In SZ5 trim there are plenty of standard features including sat nav, alloy wheels and air conditioning plus automatic headlights and wipers. A 2014 example with 56,000 miles from a dealer is ideal and within budget.

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The Roomster has no lack of space – or style (Skoda)

A car for the heart

We buy cars on looks and when we do that we end up with something like the Skoda Roomster, which at least tries to be different. Cheaper to buy and run than the similarly sized SUV-style Skoda Yeti, but with a less odd name, there is no lack of space. The Skoda Roomster dates from 2005 so with plenty of older examples around it is very affordable.There was a Roomster Scout model which made it look a lot more like an off-roader, and enjoyed the abilities (but also the complications) of 4x4 drive. For Gajan I would recommend a 1.2 TSI Roomster which should average 49mpg. A low-mileage late model from 2013 is £6,800.

If you would like James Ruppert to help with your car choice, email james@freecarmag.com. For more motoring views visit freecarmag.com

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