One for the Road: A 4x4 with flair

 

Mary Deacon is wondering how to spend the £5,000 she has on a direct replacement for her Land Rover Discovery.

A car for the head

Mary needs four-wheel drive and seven seats to cope with her growing rural business and equally demanding family. The Discovery proved to be practical but less than reliable. I know that her annual mileage is not huge, so a diesel engine is not essential. With reliability in mind, Mary needs to look at Japanese vehicles and I think a Mitsubishi Shogun would be ideal. It is tough, well built and very capable. A 2002 V6 petrol with a very reasonable 70,000 miles and just two owners will be around £4,000.

A car for the heart

Oh, did I mention Mary prefers automatic? Well, it does make life a bit easier, and although she loves the tank-like styling of the more serious 4x4s, a bit of flair would not go amiss. With that in mind, the Mercedes ML series is worth a closer look. The best models are the revised 2001 examples, which are better built and more reliable. Trouble is, paying just £5,000 for one means the mileage is likely to be quite high: the budget would bring in a 2003 ML270 with seven seats and 134,000 miles.

Looking to buy?

Email James Ruppert at onefortheroad@independent.co.uk, 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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