The RAV 4 brings the reassurance of four-wheel drive and superb reliability / Toyota

Peter Logan has been let down by his Volvo XC90, and wants a reassuringly reliable vehicle for £10,000 to cope with snowy conditions

A Car for the Head

Peter’s car was used and it was out of warranty too. Significantly it was also low mileage and cars need exercise otherwise problems can start to manifest themselves. My recommendation is to opt for a well-used vehicle, and it does not need to be a serious off roader – just comfortable and reliable. That would be the Toyota RAV 4, which delivers four-wheel drive reassurance when you need it. All Toyotas have an exemplary record when it comes to not breaking down. Some £10,475 buys a manufacturer-warranted 2011 2.2 D-4D XTR with a full history, and a verified 62,000 miles. 

A good set of winter tyres on the V70 will help you cope with winter (Volvo)

A Car for the Heart

It is a mistake to believe that four-wheel drive is the answer to every issue related to winter motoring. In reality 4x4 is not always the answer, especially if you are not towing a heavy load across a muddy field. A good set of winter tyres (£400) is all you need to cope with ice and snow. A Volvo would still be a good choice and the V70 is a brilliant estate. A 2011 example with a winter pack and 88,000 miles on the clock is about £10,000. That includes heated seats, snow socks (that go over tyres to increase grip) and mud flaps.

If you would like James Ruppert to help with your car choice, email For more motoring views visit 

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