Jane Ballantyne has arthritis and needs a comfortable car. It must be automatic, economical, have a firm, high driving seat, be compact but have five doors. The budget is £15,000.

A Car for the Head

The recently revamped Honda Jazz is one of the very best small hatchbacks on the market. It is extremely well built with plenty of space inside for Jane and her dog, plus anyone else to whom she wants to give a lift. The 1.4 engine is not that powerful, but more than adequate in normal driving. It is no sports car, then, which will be perfect for Jane, as this engine unit can be ordered with an automatic gearbox. A 1.4ES with a CVT automatic gearbox will cost £14,495 on the road. It should return 52.3mpg, according to the official figures. Significantly, the Jazz is Band D for tax purposes, which means that Jane will pay nothing, which is nice. The ES Specification means automatic climate control, electric rear windows and even a refrigerated glovebox. Most importantly, the Jazz is very comfy to sit in and drive.

A Car for the Heart

Another upgraded model is the Citroën C3, which has been designed to deliver more comfort and character. That makes it more interesting than the Honda Jazz and it comes with quite a few tempting offers at the moment, some of which are just poised to expire. The model that Jane needs is the 1.4 VTR VTi 95 EGS. What all that means is that it has a six-speed automatic gearbox and will cost £14,390. Not only that, it is available with £1,196 worth of free fuel plus some finance and a £249 servicing offer. However, if Jane likes the C3, she should bargain hard and get at least £1,000 off in the showroom, because this is not the busiest time of year and they will be glad of the business. At least she will make significant savings because of the zero road tax.

Looking to buy?

Email James Ruppert at carchoice@ 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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