Car Choice: Plenty of jazzy options out there for the more mature driver
Sunday 28 December 2008
Margaret Wijnberg has a 1992 Vauxhall Cavalier and wants a more modern car that is smaller, greener and more economical. Margaret is 82, so an automatic gearbox, excellent all-round visibility and a high driving position would be better for her arthritis. She has specified low mileage but no budget.
A car for the head
Margaret won't have to spend a fortune to get what she really needs. There are lots of small cars with automatic gearboxes and higher than average seating positions. One of the best known is the Ford Fusion, which is a sort of high-rise Ford Fiesta and is a favourite with more senior drivers because getting in and out is easier. It also scores well on visibility because of the wide expanse of glass all round. There is an automatic version which works with a 1.4 engine and Margaret should still expect to get around 40mpg. Servicing costs are very reasonable. Although expensive to buy when new, the Fusion has depreciated to the point where it is now affordable and Margaret would not have to pay more than £4,000. I found a 2005 example with just 20,000 miles, which allowed for a minimum £1,000 part-exchange sum, making the car £3,999. That is the sort of painless deal that she needs especially as there will be a minimum one-year guarantee, which could be renewed annually.
A car for the heart
Although Margaret probably does not want a car to love, for a bit more character and style I would point Margaret towards the Honda Jazz. This is a high-quality small car, which actually has masses of room inside. Indeed, although it will be smaller than the Cavalier, Margaret will probably find that the storage space in the boot and interior accommodation are better than her old car. Depreciation makes this normally pricey car more affordable. Also, being a Honda the reliability is not in question and running costs will be low. For automatic gearbox, Margaret will have to go for the 1.4 DIS engine which is economical and she can expect mid-40s mpg. For a 2002 example with just 29,000 miles, Margaret should expect to pay about £3,600 which is great value for money.
Looking to buy?
Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent House, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS, 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
Holocaust Memorial Day: 70 years since Auschwitz liberation, these are the stories of survivors
Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Hershey's angers US chocolate purists by forcing company to stop importing 'yummy' Cadbury bars
Facebook, Instagram websites down — Lizard Squad hint at involvement, but Facebook claims it broke itself
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Business Relationship Manager - Enfield, North Lond...