Car choice: An elegant way to carry people and pets

Jacqueline Elkins often carries her three grandchildren and her dog – but does not want a people carrier. She has £12,000 to spend

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The Independent Online

A Car for the Head

Clearly Jacqueline is a candidate for an estate car. She needs to be able to get three children in the back seat and then a large area in the rear, which her dog can comfortably occupy. For that reason, my recommendation would be for the Volkswagen Passat. It is around in large numbers, solidly built and easy to own and they are great value at the moment. A 2014 2.0 TDI Blue Motion DSG (automatic gearbox) Tech S model with 25,000 miles is just over £12,000 from a dealer. This is a well-equipped and stylish workhorse.

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The C200 has an extra touch of class, if more mileage on the clock (Mercedes-Benz)

A Car for the Heart

I know that Jacqueline thinks that people carriers are too big, clumsy and noisy. Two child seats and a booster seat should be fine in the rear seats of whatever she chooses. If Jacequeline would like a touch of class then the Mercedes C-Class would provide it, but the model will be older and have a higher mileage than the Passat. A 2011 C200 2.2 CDi Blue Sport with 40K miles can be sourced from a large used car dealer at £12,000, but an independent warranty is worth buying for extra protection. 

If you would like James Ruppert to help with your car choice, email james@bangernomics.com. For more motoring views visit freecarmag.com 

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