Car Choice: Travel in style through a Highlands winter


Monica Satny is 64, and drives a convertible diesel Volkswagen Beetle, which she is looking to change soon. She wants an economical automatic car with style, which is easy to park, and with good rear visibility. As Monica's family already has a Honda CRV, she does not need anything too large. A leather interior, a diesel engine, and a sunroof would all help her make her decision. Her budget is a generous £30,000.

A car for the head

Because Monica lives in the Inverness area, she really does need a proper 4x4 with good ground clearance – crucial in difficult conditions. Style is another matter, and down to personal taste. Monica wants a small vehicle, which might suggest an Audi A3 Quattro. However, that has little in the way of ground clearance and I believe that it is best to look at some more conventional 4x4s. A Ford Kuga is worth considering. It is a handy-sized four-wheel drive, and the well-equipped 2.0 TDCi Titanium model would cost of £24,000. However, not everyone would think a Kuga that exclusive or stylish – more fool them. The same goes for the Skoda Yeti 2.0TDi with DSG automatic gearbox, and would cost just over £23,000. It's cute as a button and is more than able to deal with serious off-road issues. Well-built, fairly economical at 43mpg, it would be a faithful little car that is smaller than the Honda and, I would argue, much more stylish.

A car for the heart

I know that Monica has been considering the Mini Countryman, and that may well be the best option. A 2.0D Cooper SD automatic starts at just over £16,000, but will cost much more to uprate the specification. However, I would point Monica in another direction – the Nissan Juke, which really does look very different and stylish. But it is not available with an automatic gearbox. In that case, Monica should look at the Nissan Qashqai. It is vehicle that is classed as a crossover – part practical hatchback, with some off- road ability. Going on to Nissan's website, I quickly configured the perfect Qashqai for Monica. Although prices start at £16,495, I ticked the diesel and automatic boxes, which took the price to £27,095. This would be the Tekna model, which has a panoramic glass roof and leather upholstery. In addition, there is a full Nissan Connect system with sat nav and Bluetooth, a reversing camera, and heated front seats – which would be handy in Scotland this winter. It will return around 39mpg.

Looking to buy?

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

  • 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: Software Developer - .NET

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of a mark...

    Recruitment Genius: Help Desk Specialist

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides Reliabili...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Managing Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

    Recruitment Genius: Advertisement Sales Manager

    £21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A publishing company based in F...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor