Car Choice: Isabel would like to become a high roller

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Isabel White is 39 and hates the Peugeot 307CC 2.0 diesel she and her husband own.

First, her 2007 model is a manual and she would prefer an automatic. Second, the driving position is far too low: she wants a car with excellent visibility. The couple cover about 6,000 miles a year and need room in the boot for golf clubs and suitcases. They often carry two adult passengers as well. Their choice is: either spend £8,500 on a second car or invest up to £25,000 by part-exchanging the Peugeot.

A car for the head

I hope this is not a case for marriage guidance. I would argue, though, that having two cars isn't necessary when you cover only 6,000 miles a year. I also reckon the Whites could save some money by going for a used car. On visibility, modern vehicles are poor because ever thicker door pillars create all sorts of blind spots. A height-adjustable seat is going to help matters for Isabel.

The Ford C-Max is a practical car with a large boot. The rear centre seat can fold forward to make a table or can be pushed back, allowing the two rear outer seats to slide in to make a big four seater.

Up front, Isabel will like the high driving position: the seat can be pumped up, while the steering wheel can be adjusted for rake and reach.

The C-Max is refined and quiet on the motorway and in town. It soaks up the bumps. Isabel wanted diesel, and the 2.0 TDCi can deliver 50mpg overall. A 2011 example with 6,000 miles on the clock would be around £17,000 from a dealer, with warranty.

A car for the heart

The Citroen C3 Picasso is a medium- sized people carrier with a funky twist. It was unavailable with an automatic gearbox, but it is now possible to get a 2010 1.6HDi with the easy change option. That engine officially delivers around 60mpg.

The driving position will interest Isabel. It is high, with a panoramic view through a wraparound windscreen. It also has a large and quite deep boot, with plenty of space for luggage and golf clubs. The rear seat splits 60/40 and can also slide to create more room. The VTR Plus specification provides air conditioning and electric rear windows.

Trading up to an Exclusive brings rear-parking sensors, climate control air conditioning and electric folding door mirrors.

You can pick up a 2010 1.6HDi VTR Plus automatic with 6,500 miles from a car supermarket for £10,499. This comes with rear parking sensors and folding door mirrors, so Isabel would not lose out.

Looking to buy?

Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF or email James Ruppert at, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested and your budget.

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