Deborah Elliot and her partner Neville need a car to cope with their daily commute, sometimes in adverse weather conditions; ideally an estate big enough for teenage children and camping trips.
A Car for the Head
No mention of a budget, but Deborah has inherited a small Polo, which is for local runs, and she tells me that they are not precious about cars and just need a workhorse. I get the impression that although mention was made of snow, that a 4x4 might not be what they have in mind. They really need a simple and practical car that is cheap to buy and run. For those reasons, the best option would be a Ford Mondeo and I would also recommend the last of the old model from 2006. First of all it will be cheap (£4,000), well-equipped (in Ghia trim) and, if fitted with a 2.0TDCi 130 engine, economical, returning around 45mpg. It will also be able to haul loads and, when fitted with decent tyres, will easily be able to cope in the winter.
A Car for the Heart
When it comes to a workhorse, you can't go far wrong with a Volvo V70. As you would expect, there is masses of room in the load area and it also has lots of nets, hooks and straps to keep everything in place. A waste bin and umbrella holder are neat and useful touches, while at the back, the centre of the seat has a useful pop-up worktop. The suspension is quite smooth over a mix of conditions, and quality, safety and reliability are not in question. The D5 2.4 diesel will return just over 40mpg and won't cost a fortune to run if a good independent garage is used. A 2005 D5 can be bought for just under £5,000 and with SE specification, which means that all the essential extras, from air conditioning to remote locking, are there.
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.