Car Choice: Economical little runner with an eco-friendly vibe wanted
Sunday 12 October 2008
Ann Large is 64 and due to retire early next year. She currently runs a 1996 Fiat Punto diesel, which gives 53mpg and is very reliable. Ann loves it. However, she and her husband want a new small car that will be very cheap to run, with good reliability and low C02 emissions. Ann says that she is prepared to consider a finance scheme, which is the stress-free way to buy and run a new car, although it is always important to read the small print.
A car for the head
If Ann likes her old Punto, then she will love the new one, called the Grande Punto. It is certainly a very handsome hatchback and I reckon that Ann could get away with a three-door version. The clue is in the name. The Grande, pictured, has a lot more space and there is certainly plenty of room for four adults. You could even get three in the rear without too much complaint. For practicality there is a decent amount of boot space, and Ann will be delighted to discover the huge amount of standard equipment. Electric ... well, just about everything really with, significantly, a lot of safety kit, and it is no surprise that this model received a five-star Euro NCAP rating. What Ann will like in particular is that the 1.3TD Multijet can return 61.4mpg, officially. Not only that, but there is a five-year guarantee, which is very reassuring. Now a three-door 1.3TD costs £9,500. However, it would be possible to get a discount of around £1,000 at least, or Ann could take advantage of Fiat's zero per cent finance offers. So, provided Ann can find a 25 per cent deposit, then she will pay back the balance over three years.
A car for the heart
A change is as good as a rest and when it comes to class-leading small cars it is the new Vauxhall Corsa that raises a smile or two. Compared to the old model it is a class apart, being very well made and good to drive, and it also has plenty of space and a frugal diesel engine. Just like the Fiat, the 1.3 engine returns 61.4mpg under official conditions, although the warranty is not quite as good; it lasts three years. There is the same choice of three and five doors, and although this is a question of personal preference for Ann, it is clear that the rear of the three-door has slightly less room even though it's fine for two. Like the Fiat, you get a lot of standard equipment and that means CD player, central locking and electric door mirrors. It is designed to be cheap to run and cost effective to buy. Vauxhall, though, have a bewildering range of offers and deals and Ann will have to go through them carefully. The cheapest 1.3 Life is £9,810, but it may be possible to get £1,000 off from a broker. At Vauxhall there are some zero per cent finance deals, although Ann will have to find a 50 per cent deposit and must pay back over two years.
Looking to buy?
Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, or email James Ruppert at firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested and your budget.
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Florida mother launched a petition to ban the sale of the dolls
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
Life & Style blogs
Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
Fake goats’ cheese found in supermarkets
Alternatives to cow’s milk can cause Vitamin D deficiency
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone
St Bees in Cumbria is named the best place to raise a family in the UK
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis
£250 - £300 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT** Our...
£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: KS2 Teachers - Chelm...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ampersand Consulting LLP: SAP ABAP Developer - Rugb...
£80000 - £90000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: Working for an International Mul...