Thomas Taylor's partner needs to use a folding wheelchair which is not that big or bulky, but loading and unloading is an issue. Their budget for a petrol vehicle is £15,000 to £17,000.
A Car for the Head
This is a question of access, both for Thomas and his partner plus the loading and unloading of the wheelchair. Ideally, the seats should be higher than average and the boot floor low, with no loading lip. I don't think Thomas needs a particularly big car – and the Toyota Verso would certainly do: it offers a higher seating position and a big boot – but, brand new, it strays over the budget. For those reasons, the Vauxhall Merivais worth a look. The rear seats slide, so it is possible to adjust the rear legroom and boot space. Oh, and the rear door hinges from the back, making access easier. The seating is high, too, for excellent access and prices start at around £12,500 for a new Expression 1.4.
A Car for the Heart
The estate car may not be as fashionable as it once was, but it is no less practical, and for all the fancy tricks and packaging there is no substitute for a big boot area. That is why I think Thomas should take a close look at the Skoda Fabia estate. I am not sure if the front seats would be high enough for Thomas and his partner, but that is something they will have to go and check for themselves. However, the interior is clean, airy and a comfy place to be, with good visibility. Most importantly it has a suitably huge boot, which is well-shaped and should have no trouble accommodating the wheelchair. Every model on sale is within budget, so taking the best Elegance trim available, the efficient 1.2 engine costs £13,360 on the road.
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