One for the road: A family runaround with room for the kids

 

Robin Lawrence is 42, married, with three young children. He needs to replace his 1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8T and has £2,000 to spend on a family runaround that will also cope with longer trips to visit relatives.

A car for the head

With three growing children, Robin is going to need a sizeable car, but £2,000 is not the biggest budget. The choice is going to be between a conventional estate and a more flexible people carrier. Let's go with convention first. As much as I'd like to suggest a Citroën C5 estate, a safer buy in this price range would be a Vauxhall Vectra. In terms of space, comfort and equipment, it would be hard to think of a better buy. The rear seats in particular are very accommodating. The estate also has a massive boot and is very safe, with plenty of airbags and ABS brakes. There is a wide choice of engines and the 1.8 petrol is quite economical. Diesel engines are worth considering provided the mileage isn't too high, as repairs can be expensive. A 2004 1.8i LS with air conditioning and even cruise control will cost £2,000 from a dealer.

A car for the heart

The Citroën Xsara Picasso is the cheapest way to buy some space and plenty of comfort: its big boot and roomy interior should keep everyone happy. There are more versatile compact people carriers, but few offer similar space or such competitive used prices. The ride is supple and it goes round corners tidily. Robin will have five individual seats, great for the children. Not only that, the seats fold and are light enough to be removed altogether. The diesel engines are excellent and return about 50mpg, although the 1.8 petrol may be perfect for the shorter journeys they mainly cover. All models have a CD player, remote locking, twin front and side airbags, ABS brakes and electric front windows. A 2003 1.6i Desire with 60,000 miles is within budget.

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.

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Senior Pensions Administrator

    £23000 - £26000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

    Nursery Nurse

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse required for ...

    Nursery Nurse

    Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: I am currently recruiting level 3 n...

    Are you a Teacher interested in Special Needs?

    £110 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Are you a qualified Teacher w...

    Day In a Page

    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Let's talk about loss

    We need to talk about loss

    Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

    Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album