A Toyota Corolla Verso would provide plenty of room and excellent reliability


Tom Ireland and his wife are active pensioners, going camping, cycling and boating. They drive 6,000 miles a year and have £5,000 to spend on a vehicle with an automatic gearbox.

A Car for the Head

Being active takes space, especially bikes and camping equipment. Tom can fit bike racks, but he will still need either an estate or a compact people carrier. In fact, the latter will provide a high driving position – all the better for Tom, as getting in and out will be easier. A Toyota Corolla Verso would provide plenty of room and excellent reliability. It is a fairly rare model, but is available with an automatic gearbox. It wasn't that popular when new, as it only seated five, but that should not bother Tom. He will find there is plenty of room, as the rear seats fold, slide and tumble. His budget buys a 2004 model with 40,000 miles.

A Car for the Heart

I would like to direct Tom towards the breed of adapted vans which has become popular, such as the Renault Kangoo, which have masses of room inside, especially if the seats are folded or removed altogether. Indeed, it is possible to get bikes inside. However, automatic gearboxes are rarely fitted and some of the more modern examples are just too expensive. For that reason, I'd go for the characterful compact people carrier that is the Renault Scenic. There is a double floor which raises the cabin, allowing a flat floor which also contains lot of useful under-floor storage compartments. Take out the middle-rear seat, set the other one back and suddenly owners have a luxury car environment, but estate practicality. Just under £5,000 will buy a 2007 Scenic with a 1.6 engine, Dynamique specification and 35,000 miles on the clock, from a dealer with warranty.

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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