One for the Road: A no-nonsense second car for a convertible owner

 

Simon Marshall wants a second car so his convertible can have a rest in the winter. He has £3,000 to spend...

A car for the head

All Simon really needs is a good, basic, no-nonsense car that is dead-easy to live with and ultra-reliable. Ideally, he says it should be front-wheel drive, plus four doors and a decent boot would help. He should get himself a Nissan Primera. It's a model no longer made, but is worshipped by minicab drivers, who rack up massive mileages without a problem. Spending £2,000 is enough and it will buy a 2006 1.8iS model with 80,000 miles.

A car for the heart

Combining style, reliability, ground clearance and even some 4x4 ability is the Honda HRV (pictured above). One of my favourite and most underrated vehicles, it can easily cope with harsh conditions, while looking like a lunar surface explorer. The budget is more than enough to buy a 2004 1.6 VTEC. There are no issues provided it has a service history. Clonky suspension means it may need new suspension bushes and automatic gearboxes can become a bit thumpy with age, but it is well built and decently finished, and it still looks suitably futuristic.

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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