Car Choice: Finding the right 4x4 can be an uphill struggle
Sunday 15 May 2011
Heather Read bought a Honda CRV last September, but apparently it all went horribly wrong and she ended up with a refund, but no vehicle. Heather and her family need four-wheel drive because they live on top of a hill in an area that is prone to flooding. They like the idea of seven seats – space is a priority for visits to family around the country – and they might get a dog! Heather is currently test driving various 4x4s, but which one should she buy?
A car for the head
As the owner of a fairly old seven seat Land Rover Discovery which copes brilliantly with adverse weather conditions, I would unhesitatingly recommend one of those. Indeed, Heather loves them too, but reckons it is far too thirsty on fuel. With around £20,000 to spend, there are many options. Heather probably needs a Land Rover, BMW or Mercedes off roader. For Japanese reliability I would suggest looking at the Nissan X-Trail. Here is a vehicle that will return around 38mpg. It is comfortable, well built, with a decently large interior and, more recently, an extended boot area. As an alternative to the CRV this would be the closest but it has a slightly tougher image. Heather can get a 2008 example, with less than 30,000 miles on the clock, from a dealer with a full warranty for £17,000.
A car for the heart
Seven seats in most vehicles apart from dedicated people carriers are always something of a compromise. Among the many options out there is a Korean-built model that is often overlooked and underrated – the Chevrolet Captiva (pictured). Designed by General Motors, but built in the Far East, it is a good combination of quality and value. The diesel 2.0 CDTi will deliver a reasonable 38mpg, which should please Heather. It is a good car to drive, and when the going gets slippery power is supplied to the rear wheels. Inside, there is bags of room for head and legs. The boot – especially if Heather is planning on getting a dog – is pretty big when five seats are being used. The top of the range LT model has seven seats, alloy wheels, and sat nav among many other luxuries. A 2009 example, with 20,000 miles on the clock, in LTX trim, from a Chevrolet dealer, would be great value at £17,495 and barely run in.
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 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.
Life & Style blogs
KickAssTorrents down: biggest file-sharing site moves to .cr domain after takedowns
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
'Are you beach body ready?' backlash: Protein World boss labels feminist campaigners 'terrorists'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...