Car Choice: Economy and 4x4 toughness aren’t such a tall order


Brendon Clare currently drives a Nissan X-Trail but wants something a bit more economical on fuel. Although he doesn’t necessarily need a full-time 4x4, the vehicle must have reasonable ground clearance as the family lives up a bumpy farm track. In all, Brendon travels about 75 miles a day to and from work. He has been considering a Subaru Forester, which was suggested by a friend and wonders whether this would be right.

A car for the head

Firstly, the Subaru would be the wrong choice on fuel consumption alone. They are fine vehicles, but the petrol-only vehicle’s engine struggles to 30mpg. I know that Brendon has a diesel X-Trail that manages almost 40mpg and I would argue that that is a decent return on a four-wheel-drive vehicle. I would recommend that Brendon keeps the Nissan, as part exchanging would be pointless if there is nothing wrong. Being a family of four, though, they could fit into a vehicle that gets overlooked, which is the Suzuki SX4. This does have a higher ground clearance and four-wheel drive and is effectively a large hatchback. Brendon will have to see if he can fit the whole family and luggage inside. This is certainly a very well-equipped and good-value car. Air conditioning, CD player, electric windows and electric door mirrors are all standard. If Brendon went for the 1.6 DDiS model, then he will get overall fuel consumption of 53.3mpg, which should please him. Prices start at £11,999 for this model, although a search around some dealers found a 2008 example with just 3,000 miles on the clock for £8,499. Otherwise it would be the 1.9 2006 model with 20,000 miles for £6,750 but will return only the same mpg as Brendon’s current Nissan.

A car for the heart

If Brendon likes Nissans, then the Qashqai (right) may be the answer. It is effectively a small family car, but it is styled to look like an off-roader and consequently has a much higher ride height, so it should easily cope with a bumpy farm track. The model has been very well received, not least because it has plenty of room for four inside and even five at a stretch. Brendon will have got used to the X-Trail’s excellent high driving position, and the Qashqai is no different. The build quality overall is very good and the fact that the Qashqai is a cheaper vehicle is not noticeable either inside or out. However, because it does not have four wheel drive, the mpg figures for the diesel 1.5dci means that it returns an impressive 52.3mpg overall. The basic Visia model has a decent level of standard equipment that includes air conditioning, alloy wheels, electric windows and a hands-free phone kit. A good-value model when new, it is possible to buy a 2008 car for £10,995 with 9,000 miles, which is excellent as the vehicle is still under warranty. And a Nissan dealer will be happy to part-exchange his X-Trail.

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, 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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
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

    Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

    £100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

    Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

    £45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

    Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teacher Required in Grays

    £21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee