Car Choice: Take the high road to Scotland, but keep the costs low

 

Elizabeth Mann is 59, and although she lives overseas she is set to return to her home in rural Scotland. She will need a 4x4 because of the weather and the poor state of the roads. She previously owned a Subaru Justy. Until full retirement and a pension, she will have to run this car on a part-time income, and as economically as possible. She has up to £15,000 to spend.

A car for the head

As money is tight for Elizabeth, I really think that she should consider a used car so that she won't lose too much in depreciation and also keep an emergency fund. I would direct her towards the Suzuki SX4. For those who need the practicality of a hatchback and the ability of a four-wheel drive, this is the best option. Not only is it smaller and lighter than a traditional off-roader, this particular SX4 is also economical to run. The 1.6 petrol engine in the four-wheel-drive version should return around 40mpg under normal driving conditions. Off-road, despite not having a greatly increased ground clearance, it is very capable, so when on road, it will handle quite extreme weather conditions. Like most small hatches it will seat four quite comfortably, and some find the boot adequate rather than generous. Around £9,000 will buy a 2007 model with around 40,000 miles on the clock and a good warranty from a main dealer.

A car for the heart

Elizabeth's old Subaru Justy is no longer a current model and the Daihatsu Terios I am going to recommend here has also been discontinued. But I have spoken to International Motors – who used to market the brand in Britain – about the spare parts situation and both they, and all ex-dealers, are committed for the foreseeable future, so Elizabeth should not worry. The Terios is styled a bit like a traditional 4x4 but its half the size and less than half the cost to run. The 1.5 litre petrol engine should return up to 39mpg, and the insurance (group seven) is cheap. Reliability is very good, which is not surprising because these models are effectively downsized Toyotas. Off-road it is very able, although some may find it a bit noisy and unrefined. The revised model from 2006 onwards is far better than the original, and it has electric windows and air conditioning as standard. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find because the recent harsh winters have made it a very popular buy. But £8,000 will secure a 1.5 S model with 28,000 miles on the clock from a dealer.

Looking to buy?

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.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
  • Get to the point
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

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

    £12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

    Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders