Car choice: Seasoned travellers seek comfort on the autoroute

Looking to buy?


Hein and Carol Velissarides are 70 and 72 but still active enough (in the vehicular sense) to want to ensure that their car will take them safely on their various continental jaunts. They have a Mazda 626 saloon, but with the mileage at about 130,000 it may potentially be edging into the expensive part of its life. They are wondering about a replacement which will possibly, in their words, “see us out”. Their budget, including part-exchanging the old Mazda, is £12,000.

A car for the head



Mr and Mrs Velissarides have made this easy for me – all they want is four doors, an automatic gearbox, and the usual complement of sunroof, air conditioning and any other extras that make motoring more pleasant. Their present car, a Mazda 626, is a very reliable vehicle and there is no reason why it could not last for another 100,000 miles or more. But this may be a good time to upgrade, and nothing could be better than a Mazda 6. This is another superb Mazda which should prove to be just as reliable, yet will be better to drive, and more comprehensively equipped. The only item Mr and Mrs Velissarides may have to compromise over is the sunroof, which would be a special order. They could be lucky though, and the last generation Mazda 6 was good to drive, nicely styled and cheap to run. The 2.0 petrol version would probably be best for all-round refinement and there will be the minimal amount of fuss on those continental journeys. For just £9,750 they can buy a 2007 model which is still under manufacturer's warranty. I found a 6,000 miles 2.0TS2 automatic with electric sunroof, which is remarkable value.



A car for the heart



I believe the Mazda would be the car that the Velissarides would love on a day-to-day basis. I would be reluctant to recommend a car that is not Japanese because of their deserved reputation for reliability. I also think they would be used to the quality and robustness of their construction, so I believe that a Honda Accord (pictured) could be the obvious alternative choice. What buyers get with the Accord is a generous amount of space and a very relaxed drive. There may also be a slightly more upmarket feel with the Honda compared to the Mazda. The 2.0 litre petrol engine is also slightly more economical at 38mpg, although main dealer running costs could be more. Certainly there is no shortage of equipment, as the standard specification is very generous. I would recommend a test drive, not least because the high sides and thick screen pillars can hamper the view for some drivers. In the classified ads I found a 2007 2.0I Vetec EX – with the all-important electric sunroof – for £10,999 at a Honda main dealer. It also came with cruise control, driver lumbar support, leather seats, and CD player, making this a very comfortable car to be in, especially on an autoroute.



Hein and Carol Velissarides are 70 and 72 but still active enough (in the vehicular sense) to want to ensure that their car will take them safely on their various continental jaunts. They have a Mazda 626 saloon, but with the mileage at about 130,000 it may potentially be edging into the expensive part of its life. They are wondering about a replacement which will possibly, in their words, "see us out". Their budget, including part-exchanging the old Mazda, is £12,000.



Please write to Car Choice, Features, Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF 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.

Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
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

    C# asp.net Developer - West Sussex - permanent - £40k - £50k

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits package: Clearwater People Solu...

    SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

    £30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

    Project Manager (App development, SAP, interfacing)

    £50000 - £60000 Per Annum + excellent company benefits: Clearwater People Solu...

    IT Project Manager (technical, applications, infrastructure)

    £55000 - £60000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: IT Proj...

    Day In a Page

    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
    Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

    How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

    'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

    Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

    Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
    Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

    Terry Venables column

    Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
    The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

    Michael Calvin's Inside Word

    Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past