One For The Road: How to downsize


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Indy Lifestyle Online

Rob Knight wants to economise from two cars to one. It will have to fit three teenagers in comfort, plus be cheap to run and have decent boot space. Ideally he does not want a people carrier or a 4x4. His budget is up to £15,000.

A Car for the Head

Rob hasn't made this easy, as the obvious choice will always be a people carrier and the compromise with an estate is going to be that there are rarely three individual seats, so the teens will always be butted up next to each other in a rear bench. But provided they have plenty of head- and legroom, that should be good enough. For that reason, the Ford Mondeo (below) is the most sensible option, as it is one of the largest and most practical estates on the market. There really is acres of leg and shoulder space, which is so important for Rob's children. There is plenty of headroom too, thanks to the estate design. Plus, there is a substantial boot. These are well-equipped models with aircon, cruise control and electric windows. When it comes to economy, Rob will be pleased to learn that the 2.0TDCi will return 47.9mpg. Spending just £13,000 would get him into a 2010 2.0TDCi in Zetec specification from a dealer with a warranty.

A Car for the Heart

Now, I know that Rob does not want to pay more than £15,000, but perhaps he should, or at least wait a while until depreciation takes effect or he wears a dealer down to his target price. That's because the perfect estate car may well be the Skoda Superb GreenLine II. It incorporates several technical advances such as a stop/start system, gear-change recommendation, and energy recuperation. This not only improves economy, it also lowers CO2 emissions, (114 g/km) and has a combined fuel consumption of 64.2mpg. It will cost £20,010 on the road and not many are currently for sale. The closest would be the 1.6TDi CR S, which will still return 54.3mpg; a 2011 model with around 5,000 miles will cost around £15,995. There is an immense amount of room inside the Superb and the boot is colossal. The entry-level S spec has enough equipment for most family users. I think Rob should take the family along to see and drive one.

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