Car Choice: You need a Rolls, but a Honda or Mitsubishi will do
Sunday 12 September 2010
Paul Bunting is 63 and thinking ahead to 2012, when he will have saved £25,000 to replace his 1995 Ford Escort. Ideally he wants a long saloon with a flat floor. He rightly observes that low seats make it a problem for the elderly and disabled to get in and out. Paul hates the clutter between the front seats and would like to be able to get out of either side of the car, useful when parked next to a hedge or wall.
A car for the head
In his head, Paul knows that that probably the only car that fits his detailed description is a Rolls-Royce Phantom. He also wants an automatic gearbox, power steering, and air conditioning. The car will need to be happy going to the shops, or chasing up the motorway to Paul's haunts in Wales and Northumberland. Oh yes, and he doesn't want – in his own words – a "bus or 4x4". A compromise is therefore required. Certainly, when it comes to ease of access, an uncluttered front footwell, plus an automatic gearbox, we come back to a vehicle we have mentioned recently, the Honda FR-V. Here is a compact people carrier designed with three front seats, with a clear passage in and out from either door. The FR-V is no longer a current model, so Paul does not need £25,000, as £18,000 will buy a 2009 example from a Honda dealer with less than 10,000 miles on the clock.
A car for the heart
Well that would be the Rolls-Royce then, except that it is not going to be that affordable, or even that practical. I do think that when it comes to a flat floor and high seating positing the only answer would be a 4x4. Unfortunately, in the way will be a large transmission tunnel. That then brings us back to vans, or rather people carriers. There is a very stylish model built by Mitsubishi and badged as the Grandis. Here is a large and comfortable vehicle, which answers at least one of Paul's requirements by offering a high driving position and easy access. At least moving the front seats back would mean less bother in getting out via the opposite door. It isn't perfect but it is better than the majority of other vehicles on sale. There are petrol and diesel engines available, and both are smooth and reasonably quick. Looking at the classified ads, a 2008 2.4 Equippe with just 15,000 miles on the clock can be bought from a main dealer for £16,995.
Looking to buy?
Please write to Car Choice, Features, 'Independent on Sunday', 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF or email James Ruppert at firstname.lastname@example.org, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
Life & Style blogs
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cancer treatment to her scientist father over the dinner table
Lack of medically trained staff leaves NHS 111 phone service struggling to cope, insider claims
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£120 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: The Humanities Department of this ...
£120 - £180 per annum: Tradewind Recruitment: Newham Position: Music Start dat...
£120 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Sutton Position: Science teacher S...