Car Choice: Trendy and reliable? Yes, you can have both


Chris Andrews is 38 and feels that his X reg, 1.8, petrol Ford Mondeo is starting to look and feel a bit tired after 150,000 miles. With about £8,000 to spend, Chris is tempted to buy either the new Mondeo or a Skoda Octavia but he wonders if there is an equally reliable yet trendier alternative? Chris is also thinking that it might be better to go for a newer, higher mileage car and he is curious about what he can expect from a modern diesel?

A car for the head

It boils down to the mileage that Chris expects to cover. For low miles, petrol will be fine, but averaging 15,000 to 20,000-plus miles a year and it has to be diesel. It is a false economy to spend a lot on a diesel and not get the full benefit. However, if your budget is tight then a cheap high mileage diesel can be a false economy as they can be very expensive to fix – a set of injectors on many models is around £1,000. Never mind, lets choose the car for the head as a diesel. There are many fine ones around but Chris wants style, and for that reason he should take a look at the Honda Accord. It's a very classy five-door that is refined and spacious. Officially the diesel 2.2i-CTDi will return an impressive 51.4mpg. Probably the best bit about the Accord is that it looks and feels like a quality car, with a well-built interior that is spacious enough for five adults and has a generous boot. For £8,000 you can get a very tidy 2006 example from a Honda dealer with around 40,000 miles.

A car for the heart

If Chris is prepared to consider the Skoda Octavia, he should upgrade to the Superb (below). It's a superb driving experience and you can't get trendier than a large and luxurious saloon like this, and Chris would be getting a lot of quality German car in a Czech package. There are several petrol options and while some might argue that the smaller units could struggle with such a large body, actually they are all refined and effective. The largest V6 engine isn't worth the extra fuel bill, but the 2.0 will return more than 33mpg and be civilised enough. Soft suspension gives comfort, at the expense of handling, but the seats are big and the leg- and head-room immense. The basic Classic has enough kit for most buyers – air conditioning, CD player and electric windows. A 2006 Classic 2.0 with less than 30,000 miles is around £6,000 from a main Skoda dealer, and that's great value.

James Ruppert's latest book, The German Car Industry: My Part in its Victory, is out now

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.

Suggested Topics
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.

SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

    £14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

    £13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

    Day In a Page

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there