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 email@example.com, giving your age, address and phone number, details of the type of vehicle in which you are interested, and your budget.