Car Choice: Four wheels good, five wheels better
Sunday 21 August 2011
Peter and Christine Goodhugh are looking for a vehicle with seats that are higher than average as they have impaired mobility and need to be able to get in and out more easily.
One important feature is a full-size spare wheel, because they use a lot of unmade roads and do not want to rely on a space-saver wheel. They would prefer a five-door hatchback, with good boot space, and they have a budget of up to £20,000. However, they would like to avoid a large people carrier.
A car for the head
A full-sized spare wheel? Now there's an unusual but understandable request. As useful as the space-savers can be, full-size spares are usually only standard on luxury cars and 4x4s. I'd point Peter and Christine in the direction of the Skoda Roomster. Here is a tough little car with room for three in the back and plenty of space for a couple who want to sit high – and it also has a decent-sized boot. Actually, the entire rear seat can be removed which leaves an absolutely massive area for Peter and Christine to play with. The Roomster is well within budget, and I would recommend that they go for the SE version, which has air conditioning. The 1.2 TSI engine is efficient and economical, returning an official 49.6mpg. According to Skoda's website, it would cost around £13,805 on the road. As for the spare, well, I phoned my local dealer and he reckoned it would cost under £60.
A car for the heart
When a people carrier is just too much, as Peter and Christine insist, then one of those compact, adapted vans would be the most practical option. They have plenty of room, a pleasingly upright driving position, and lots of headroom, so getting in and out is far easier than in a standard hatchback. Once you've had a large tailgate, sliding rear doors and a flat load bay, it will be impossible to go back to a "conventional" hatch. That's why I like the Renault Kangoo, pictured left – unashamedly a van, but one which has been civilised, and which is now a tad more refined. I would recommend the Expression dCi 75 as the best value. It costs £13,655 and its diesel engine delivers a useful 54.3mpg. It comes with air conditioning, but a CD would be extra. Oh yes, and instead of a spare wheel, a can of stuff that you squirt in the tyre should it go flat. Luckily, a full-size spare is an option at just £10. For Peter and Christine, that will be worth every penny.
Looking to buy?
Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF, or email James Ruppert at email@example.com, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.
Life & Style blogs
Airline food across the classes: Ever wondered what the other half are eating?
Coachella Festival 2015: from Kendall Jenner to Alexa Chung, stars and festival-goers parade their boho best
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
Huawei P8 review: best phones nobody's seen from the biggest company nobody's heard
Alzheimer's breakthrough: Scientists may have found potential cause of the disease in the behaviour of immune cells - giving new hope to millions
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...