Car Choice: Something elegant and sporty, with room for a border collie
Sunday 11 October 2009
Sharon Finch is looking to replace her Ford Puma with something similar which is also elegant, sporty, has good performance, is very responsive, and is not too big. Sharon says the Puma is easy to park, but she does not want a Mini. Style is the most important factor – although a border collie occasionally needs a seat. Sharon has up to £20,000 to spend. Her mileage is on the low side, running at 7,500 miles a year around the M25.
A car for the head
There are some great coupés around at the moment, though possibly not as small as a Puma. What first comes to mind is the Volkswagen Scirocco, which looks sharp enough and comes with a wide range of engines. The 2.0TSI is just over £20,000 and is good to drive too. A teeny bit small in the back, but certainly room enough for a collie I reckon. So Sharon should definitely have a test drive of one of those, which is probably the closest in spirit to the Puma, but bigger. However, there is a model, which is a bit smaller and falls into the category of hot hatchback – the Honda Civic Type R. This is a very distinctive looking car anyway, and in three-door form it does appear to be even more other-worldly. I don't know whether it will be stylish enough for Sharon. It is, though, very affordable and very quick. The 2.0 litre engine needs to rev hard, but the reward is a great sound and good acceleration. It costs £17,660, although it is worth paying £1,000 more for the GT model, which has air conditioning, vital for those long hours on the M25. I think this may be the easiest car for Sharon to live with, and although the rear is tight the boot is quite reasonable.
A car for the heart
Sharon did reveal to me that the car she would really want would be an Audi TT, pictured below. She was keen to emphasise that she preferred the original model, and not the more recent restyled one. Now why shouldn't Sharon have one, especially as her annual mileage is modest and budget generous? It means that Sharon could buy the very best example she could find. Certainly the styling continues to turn heads. Even better, the TT manages to be just as engaging and stimulating inside. High quality materials and fine metal details make it a real delight. Less great are the coupé's marginal rear seats, which at least can be folded down to make a decent enlarged boot for the dog. Some have criticised the fact that the TT is based on a more humble Golf, but the standard four-wheel drive system means that in all weathers it remains glued to the road. This is an easy car to drive quickly, although those who want comfort could find the suspension a bit hard. However, £18,900 buys a 2006 3.2 V6, from an Audi dealer, with just 25,000 miles on the clock. Alternatively, if Sharon wanted the smaller engine then £16,900 gets a 2004 1.8 225 model, with a similar mileage, from the same dealer.
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
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers
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
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
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 5 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
£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 ...