The Kia Rio is well-designed, spacious and comes with a seven-year warranty


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.

A Car for the Head

The obvious choice would be another Yaris, but let's not do obvious. What she needs is a well-equipped supermini, with £10,000 plus possibly a little more to spend with the part-exchange of the old Toyota. The Kia Rio is a good car that is well-designed, spacious and comes with a seven-year warranty. Margaret will have to go for a 1.2 Rio 1 Air if she wants air-conditioning, but it will cost £10,645. Servicing packages start at £269. In a very competitive market, the Chevrolet Spark 1.2 is probably the best-value buy. In LS trim it has air-conditioning and costs £9,595. And to contain costs it is possible to buy a £349 fixed-price servicing package for three years and 30,000 miles. Oh, and the warranty is for five years or 100,000 miles, which is very reassuring.

A Car for the Heart

Refreshingly, Margaret is thinking that it may be now or never to indulge herself and buy something exciting, like a convertible. That's great news, but she won't be able to buy a brand-new droptop for £10K. But because of her back condition, a model based on a conventional hatchback is in order, so that Margaret does not have to bend down and is not subject to an over-firm ride. I would pick the Peugeot 207CC, which has the advantage of a retractable metal roof, so when the weather is rotten, the car looks, behaves and feels like a coupé. Then, when the sun comes out, a press of the button means open-air fun. With £10,000, Margaret can buy a warranted 2010 example in Sport trim from a Peugeot dealer.

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Email James Ruppert at, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.

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