Car Choice: An ugly duckling could win this beauty contest


Raphic Gunny is 50, and needs a car that he can comfortably fit all five members of his family in. He wants reliability, and after many years with a Toyota Carina E, Raphic is not used to any breakdowns. He now needs a lot more space, and that means he is looking at people carriers, such as the Ford Galaxy. The budget is between £5,000 and £5,500.

A car for the head

Raphic is right to look at the Galaxy, which is the UK's favourite people carrier. But there are several alternatives. It seems that spaciousness is the key, rather than the number of seats, but perhaps the biggest and best value would be a Kia Sedona. It has bags of space, plenty of equipment, and a diesel engine able to cope with large loads. With the two rearmost seats taken out, the boot space is absolutely huge. The rear seats all slide and recline, so there will be no problem getting comfy. The excellent standard equipment list includes air conditioning and electric windows across the range. It is a big vehicle overall, and the 2.9TD diesel is supposed to return around 36mpg. General reliability has been very good, so it should be trouble free. For £5,000 you can buy a 2005 2/9 CRDi SE with 69,000 miles on the clock, or a lower specification L with 50,000 mileage.

A car for the heart

The Fiat Doblo Dynamic is very, very ugly, but extremely practical, with an immense amount of room. Being based on a van, the boot is absolutely huge, and being flat and square helps when loading up too. This is a workhorse then, and may be too basic for Raphic, but it is still worth considering. The Dynamic has air conditioning, a CD player and alloy wheels. There are plenty of engine options, but depending on Raphic's annual mileage, the hard-working diesels would be the best options, and should return around 50mpg. The Doblo was a good value buy when new, so it should be possible to get a lot of car for around £5,000. A 2006 1.9 with just 31,000 miles on the clock and in Active specification with air conditioning and central locking with a warranty from a dealer should fit Raphic's lifestyle.

James Ruppert's new book The German Car Industry: My Part in Its Victory, is out now (Foresight Publications) and is also available via jamesruppert.com at £12.99 including p&p.

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.

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

    Recruitment Genius: SAGE Bookkeeper & PA to Directors

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Sales and Customer Services Executive

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...

    Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

    £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

    Day In a Page

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with excess, cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings