Wednesday 12 December 2018

A 7-seater? Hybrid or diesel? Bigger mileage? Best bet for 40k km? 4-year-old?


Peugeot 5008
Peugeot 5008

Aidan Timmons and Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham team up to help readers make the right choice with their next car. Aidan visits dealers all over the country to produce a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars. He is co-editor of Motor Trade Publishers, who supply a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses. Eddie is author of former best-seller 'Clever Car Buying'

We're looking to replace our 2005 BMW X5 Sport with something that has seven seats. It has done 160,000kms and is in good condition. Not sure if we should sell privately and use the cash to add to our budget and look to the North for a better specced choice, or opt for a trade-in locally.  We have two young children but will need the ability in the next two years to take their friends too. We don't use our car much as most activities are local. We do about 8,000kms a year. We would like to have low road tax, so a hybrid or equivalent would be great. Our only reservation is the low distance limit before needing to recharge.  We have a budget of €35,000 (excluding value of current vehicle), but could go up for the right option.

Aidan: Hybrid seven-seaters are a rare breed and virtually non-existent with your budget. Sell your car privately and proceed as a cash buyer. I think the Peugeot 5008 SUV is on the money for you. You can get a petrol version. By my reckoning, the 1.2-litre petrol Allure model is Peugeot's third best-selling variant in the 5008, so lots of other people seem to have gone this route, too. The interior is spacious and well laid-out. The instrument cluster and specification grades are generous and the price is competitive.

You could stick your name on a petrol Skoda Kodiaq too. A 1.4-litre TSi Ambition 150bhp DSG (automatic) would be a great purchase. If demand is a gauge of future activity, residual values for the Kodiaq should be among the best in that category of car.

Eddie: You're doing such little mileage you have to stay with petrol, as Aidan says. I think a look at the Opel Zafira Tourer with a 1.4-litre petrol engine is warranted. We often overlook this car, but it has got huge flexibility.

I'm wondering if I should buy a hybrid or a diesel SUV. I currently drive a 10-year-old Santa Fe, which I've had since new, and it is starting to creak a bit. I drive about 50,000km a year. I have read up different articles about PHEVs not being suitable for motorway driving, which is 95pc of my driving. I also require an SUV due to back issues, so I am wondering whether a hybrid SUV would be an option for me or should I just stick with diesel? I wouldn't be buying anything over 18 months to two-years old and may buy brand new if worth it with hybrid. Would an automatic also be a better option if going for diesel? I would be very grateful for your advice here.

Aidan: For now, diesel is still right for you. Your mileage is exceptionally high and not representative of that covered by the average Irish motorist.

I prefer automatics to manuals and, despite your time being spent mainly on motorways, I still think an auto will remove the conscious effort of changing gears when you are wearisome after long motorway jaunts.

Another Santa Fe would be a great buy but, as with the last reader, look at the Kodiaq with the 2-litre diesel engine with 190bhp. Or you could pick up a fresh, used BMW X3. It's a little smaller than the Santa Fe, but it's a comfortable and capable SUV.

Eddie: It has to be diesel, and I'd go Santa Fé again. Why not? With your mileage, anyone other than a Hyundai dealer will give you little or nothing for a high mileage trade-in.

My current car is a 2017 Kia Sportage 1.7 diesel. With careful driving, I average 5.2L/100k and my annual mileage is 20,000km (10km commuting to work). On occasion I pull a trailer. I will be changing jobs soon and my mileage will be 35k-40k kms (25k-30k commuting to work). These miles will be clocked up on national and country roads. Should I change my car for a more economical diesel saloon/SUV, or is a hybrid or EV an option for me? I like Kia/Toyota/Honda/Hyundai and Skoda. I will be spending a lot of time driving, so I want economy, comfort and reliability. What car or SUV should I buy, and with the high mileage how often should I change? I have a budget of €25k to €30k, including trade-in (might stretch to €35k for the right car).

Aidan: My biggest concern is warranty. Kia provides seven years' warranty or 150,000kms (whichever comes first). That's a lot of peace of mind, but it means you will have to plan your next move in three to four years if you want to trade something in that is still covered under warranty (notwithstanding whatever warranty a Kia dealer might be able to add to this at their own discretion). That will make things quite economical for you.

Another option is to get a Hyundai Tucson with unlimited mileage warranty for five years and drive it for an extra 18 months. The car will be worth less and will have high mileage, but you will have extracted good value for money from it by the time you next change. Sportage or Tucson.

Eddie: Let me offer a different perspective. No disrespect to SUVs, but for the mileage you'll be doing a well-specced, comfortable saloon sounds like a better bet. You might miss the driving position, but you'll soon acclimatise. I'd point you towards a Volkswagen Passat 2-litre diesel or a Skoda Superb diesel with a lot of spec for the money. Stick with diesel, whatever you do. There is not much to beat it on your imminent mileage.

I have a daily commute of 80km each way. I do 35k-40,000km a year. Currently have an 07 Jetta (diesel) coming up to 400,000km and still going strong. I know that I am going to have to change cars soon. I have two children, and this will be the main family car (the other is a 162 diesel Opel Astra). I am wondering, does it make economic sense to move to a plug-in hybrid? Can I expect savings on weekly fuel costs? Or should I stick with diesel? I'd expect to spend between €25 and €30k on a new car.

Aidan: Plug-in hybrids are interesting, and the Prius plug-in can travel at motorway speeds on battery power, so you might find that it suits your needs. Also, we don't yet know what will happen in the next Budget, so you could find that plug-in hybrids avail of additional tax benefits in the way that EVs have (especially with BIK). I am not sure if this applies in your instance, but it's worth considering. Diesel is an obvious choice and certainly suited to your needs, so even another Jetta with the 2-litre diesel engine in Highline trim would make for a fine replacement. But for better space and an engine for your commute, look at a 2-litre diesel Mondeo.

Eddie: I don't like the Jetta at all, so that's where Aidan and I agree to disagree. My preference would be a Honda Civic diesel saloon (just getting here for 182-reg) with the new 1.6-litre diesel. It's got an excellent safety package (it is going to be your family car) and the new engine is mighty frugal.

I have an 09 Audi A4. I'm very happy with, it but it's now of the age where things start to go wrong. I am considering my options. Preference would be for a similarly aged car (four). It's a diesel. I know the market is shifting back round more recently. Petrol or other options would definitely make sense, as we do extremely low mileage - I bought it with 70k kms and it has just 106k kms on it now 4.5 years later.

We have two young children, so good boot space is a requirement. Also would like to know the options for something with a bigger gap between the back seats and front seats. The A4 is pretty cramped. Saloon or SUV/crossover are options. Budget would be €15-20k. I would like to deal with the same ex-lease dealer again, if possible, and he has the range, so the popular lease vehicles will likely be our options

Aidan: Pursue a Skoda Octavia Combi. There should be a few around with decent trim (look for Elegance/Style models). You could look for a four-year-old Superb, but that's an old model now and some people consider it dated. Petrols on 2014 plates will be rare, though. A Toyota Auris Hybrid Tourer is made for you and your mileage. It is automatic, almost always well-kitted and roomy.

Eddie: Buy a Toyota Prius. Loads of room, good boot and great frugality for your mileage.

Help us help you

WE love getting your enquiries and try to reply to as many as possible here or via email. The ones dealt with here often represent a cross section of individual questions. You can help us help you with our free, independent, advice by including the following in your queries:

* Budget (including trade-in).

* Annual mileage (in kms).

* Size of car required (number of seats).

* Present car (make, model, year and mileage) if relevant.

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