One For The Road: A local car for local journeys (with dog in tow)


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Indy Lifestyle Online

Joanna Williams covers around 2,000 miles a year on mainly short local journeys, sometimes with her lurcher dog in tow, but the car should not be sluggish. She has £10,000 to spend.

A Car for the Head

Joanna tells me that she has Hyundai, Kia and Honda dealerships nearby, which may influence our choice. I also think she should consider a used car, as there is no point losing so much in depreciation with such a lightly used car. I think the Honda Jazz would be the best-value option. Here is a combination of quality and practicality with plenty of room inside, especially for her lurcher. The fold-flat rear seats allow even more space. Yet this is a very compact package, so easy to park and live with. The 1.4DSi engine offers a bit more peppiness without being outrageously quick. An ES model would have air-conditioning, electric windows and remote locking. A 2010 example, which still has some manufacturer's warranty, will cost just £6,495 and it will have around 21,000 miles.

A Car for the Heart

If Joanna wants some fun, a Mini Cooper is the perfect small-car package. Some refer to the handling as "go-kart", but all that really means is that this is a very responsive car, which will go where you point it. The petrol engine would be more than adequate. I don't think she needs to go for a Cooper S – the standard Cooper has a useful 118bhp, which translates into decent eagerness. One downside is that it doesn't have a massive amount of room in the boot for the dog, but fold the 50/50 rear seats and it should be fine. Never the cheapest used car, because demand has been so high, but they are now better value: £6,999 buys a 2010 example with 39,000 miles, which will have a full service history.

Looking to buy?

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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