Car Choice: After 10 years of being spoilt, it's back to reality


Fais Ansari has spent a decade living and working in the Middle East, but is now back in England. He admits to having been spoilt, as petrol was so cheap and he could own dream cars such as Porsches and Audi A8s. Back in reality, with a wife and three children – aged five, three, and one – he already has a mini-MPV for family transport and long journeys, but is looking for a used car which is sporty, automatic, fast, can take all the family, and costs between £20,000 and £25,000.

A car for the head

The fundamental problem we have here is that sporty cars don't normally have five seats. Indeed, a nice coupé, such as an Audi A5, only has two rear benches, and that goes for just about every other model that could keep Fais happy. If he wants the family to be safe and sound when they go out together, then he will have to compromise. Also, going for a four-door car means that getting the children in and out is much easier. As convenient and clever as folding front seats may be, a set of rear seats are utterly priceless when children are involved. As he ran an Audi A8, the high performance S6 would be worth a look as an uncompromising sports car wrapped in the more sober shape of a saloon or estate. Not only that, but the engine is a huge V10, famous for powering Lamborghinis – so the sporting pedigree is beyond question. Unlike a Lambo, all the family can come along for the ride. Fais wants a sub-eight-second 0-60mph time, and an S6 will do that in under six seconds. A 2006 to 2007 model, with an automatic gearbox, will be around £25,000, with up to 50,000 miles on the clock.

A car for the heart

The trouble with the sporty Audi is that the suspension is rather firm and may upset the children, especially at low speed around town. Maybe a slightly softer saloon would do? A Jaguar XF is a possibility. It would be fast enough. The handling is sharp, and these new-style Jaguars continue the sporty feel of old, which is combined with some bang-up-to-date styling. A 2007 example, with 20,000 miles on the clock, can be bought in the low £20,000s. If a smaller, more family friendly hatchback would be the answer then the obvious choice would be a Volkswagen Golf GTI, which would qualify on speed and handling terms. Despite being a quick car, it manages to be both refined and very comfortable, which should keep the whole family happy. It is not the cheapest hot hatchback when brand new, but Fais could get himself a nearly new example from 2009, with fewer than 10,000 miles on the clock, for around £22,995. The Automatic DSG gearbox is very effective, the rear is large enough, and there is a decent sized boot too. Fais might tire of a full-on sports car but this could be the perfect compromise.

Looking to buy?

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF or email James Ruppert at carchoice@independent.co.uk, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

    £13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

    £18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

    Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

    £20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power