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The fascinating Skoda Roomster is effectively a compact people carrier with 4x4 styling

One For The Road: A funky upgrade on a less-than-hot hatch

Graham Harrison's Nissan Note has been spacious and reliable ferrying guitars and grandchildren without complaint. He now wants something "funkier" and has a budget of £12,000.

One For The Road: A local car for local journeys (with dog in tow)

Joanna Williams covers around 2,000 miles a year on mainly short local journeys, sometimes with her lurcher dog in tow, but the car should not be sluggish. She has £10,000 to spend.

Mushy ride: the new Fiat Punto

Fiat Punto TwinAir

It's keen, clean and doubly green – but not for me

Los Angeles Auto Show 2012 highlights

Jaguar, Land Rover, Porsche and Mercedes, Hyundai and Toyota were among the firms unveiling new models at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The new Porsche Caymans are introduced at the LA Auto Show

Los Angeles Auto Show 2012: European firms dominate

Porsche unveiled the Cayman sports car

One for the Road: A family car suitable for the countryside

Patrick Douglas wants a car that his father can get in and out of easily. The whole family is moving to the country. The buying budget is up to £24,000.

Road to redemption: How the architectural influence of the motor car transformed England

Within walking distance of some of west London's finest stretches of parkland is one of its most dismal sections of highway. On a cold, grey day in November, the vicinity of the M4 flyover at Brentford, not far from the mellow, tree-lined avenues of Gunnersbury and Osterley, is a spectacle of shuddering ugliness.

Bentley Continental GT Speed

Do Bentley buyers really want a souped-up Continental GT?

One For Road: Let's go for something a little wild

Margaret Antrobus has a bad back, but needs to replace her Toyota Yaris and has £10,000 to spend on either a direct replacement or something wilder, like a convertible.

One for the Road: A compact car that's not short on space

Nigel Williams and his wife have two cars – a 4x4 and a small hatch – but want to downsize to one that is compact but spacious, with a budget of £7,000.

One for the Road: A five-seater diesel good for the school run

Ken Christopher wants a car for his daughter to replace a diesel Rover; it must seat five, be suitable for the school run and come in at a maximum £2,500.

One for the Road: A reliable small car for a life abroad

Patricia Alexander has just moved to Spain from Hong Kong, giving up a Mazda MX5 on the way, and now (sadly, in her words) needs a small, reliable and more modest car.

Andrew Mitchell who, before resigning last week for

Chin up, Andrew Mitchell, chauffeur's aren't all they're cracked up to be, just ask P Diddy and the Queen

Status symbols don't come much bolder than being ferried around in a chauffeur-driven car. It's a sure-fire way to let everybody know that you are somebody. Just ask Andrew Mitchell who, before resigning last week for "swearing" at Downing Street police, had put in an order for a chauffeur-driven Jaguar XF, despite most ministers making do with a Toyota Prius. His replacement Chief Whip, Sir George Young, promptly cancelled the flash car, saving the taxpayer an estimated £100,000. Mitchell never got the driver he longed for, but he should take comfort from the fact that chauffeurs, while being an enviable perk of any job, can often be more trouble than they're worth.

One For The Road: A 4x4 to negotiate steep, muddy tracks

Paul Bates and his wife are moving to the countryside and need a small, automatic 4x4 to negotiate a steep farm track to their home. Budget is £5,000.

One for the Road: An SUV suitable for city and countryside

Anna and Charlie Harrisson have two young boys, but with £16,000, want a compact Sports Utility Vehicle with room for two child seats that can thrive in London and the countryside.

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