Monday 24 June 2019

Eclipse time? 7-seater return? Higher seats? Comfy Work horse? Nice dilemma?


Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross

Car-value expert Gillian Keogh teams up with Motoring Editor Eddie Cunningham to help you make the right choice with your next purchase. Gillian is Editor of a monthly guidebook on the values of used cars produced by the Motor Trade Publishers team. The team supplies a car-valuing service to the motor trade, insurance companies and finance houses

I have a Toyota Auris 1.4-litre petrol. I was thinking of getting a Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross 1.5CVT 'Intense' petrol. I liked it when I took it for a test drive. I would go hybrid, but it's Donegal, so I'm not sure about it. We are not doing enough miles for diesel. I think 181-reg would be good - it keeps my €29,000 budget and gets me the car I want. What do you think?

Gillian: The Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is a good choice. If you really like it, go for it. A 181 will fit your budget, while a new one is €32,400. Unfortunately, the Eclipse Cross isn't available as a hybrid yet.

Other models in the same league are the Nissan Qashqai and the SEAT Ateca, both of which have automatics.

The Qashqai petrol has a 1.2 engine and the CVT range starts at €28,300, but for your budget a better buy would be a one-year-old higher spec SV Premium.

The Ateca as a 1.4 DSG starts at €30,825 but, again, a one-year-old Xcellence might be worth looking out for.

If you do want hybrid, the Toyota C-HR starts at the same €30k-plus mark. I think the Eclipse Cross is worth another drive though.

Eddie: I think you have made up your mind and just want reaffirmation on the Eclipse Cross, so go and buy it.

I have recently returned from abroad with my wife and three children. I would like advice on buying a seven-seater. The majority of our journeys will be short. Our budget is €16,000 to €18,000 cash, and our annual mileage is 12,000 to 15,000km.

We are looking for a four-year-old from the UK. We have considered the Ford S-MAX and Seat Alhambra as our main options.

We looked at the Kia Carens, Toyota Prius+ and Ford Grand C-Max but felt the rear rows were only for occasional use. Space, affordability and reliability are what we are looking for.

What is our best option? Diesel/petrol? Is there a good hybrid option? We will probably keep whatever we buy for a long time, so resale is not a big factor.

Gillian: A seven-seat hybrid won't suit your budget unless you go for the Prius+, but, yes, the third row of seats is better suited to occasional use. For a full seven-seater, the Alhambra is a good choice. You should get into a 2013.

However, I find them a little dated and suggest you take a look at a Ford Galaxy too. The S-Max is good, but for an extra €2,000 to €3,000 you will get more space and use out of the Galaxy. Both Ford and SEAT sell well in the UK, so you shouldn't find it hard to source one there.

They sold well for Irish families here too, so I wouldn't be in a rush to go overseas.

Both models only come as diesel, however.

Eddie: Alhambra or Galaxy for me.

I am 70, female and have a Volkswagen Polo 1.2-litre that is 10 years old. Total kms: 133,000. I have had very few issues with it, but I would like to change for something with higher seating, so I don't really want a hatchback. I anticipate keeping it for a good few years.

We have a second car, a Peugeot 3008, but the dealer is a long distance for servicing etc, so not necessarily considering a 2008. Only occasional city driving. Budget is €18,000 max including trade-in. I have looked at a Kia Venga but because this model is going off the market, would it be a wise buy, or should I go perhaps for the Kia Stonic?

Will either take poor enough driving surfaces? What would you other suggestions be?

Gillian: Both will take on poor surfaces, but the Venga is dated now. The Stonic would be a better choice. You could get a new 1.25 K1 model for around your €18,000, but I recommend going for the 1.4 K2 and look for a 172/181 plate.

The seat might not be as high as you are hoping. If you find that, how about the Citroen C3 Aircross or the SEAT Arona? Both are priced around the same as the Stonic, so a one-year-old would be better suited to your budget. But as they are both fresh models, you'll have to wait until the new year for one.

Eddie: I'd go Stonic or Arona - it's really your preference.

I drive a 2016 Hyundai i40 estate 1.7 diesel (60k km). As I do hunting, farm work and towing, the car doesn't suit all activities. I was thinking of buying a 2017 Mitsubishi L200, Toyota Hilux or Nissan Navara. Budget is €12,000 to €15,000, plus the sale value of the car.

What type of vehicle would you advise best for fuel usage, comfort on long journeys and overall maintenance/service costs and depreciation? Any other SUVs you could advise on?

Gillian and Eddie: The three vehicles you mentioned are all built for comfort and hard work. Assuming a budget of €27,000 to €28,000, a L200 high-spec Intense, a Navara SE and HiLux DLX will all fit with a 171-registration plate.

They are similar models and differ mainly on engine size. The Navara has a 2.3 engine, while the L200 and HiLux have 2.4 engines. We suggest you consider which brand dealership is nearest to you for maintenance/service convenience. Choosing between the three is a matter of taste, so we suggest taking them out for a good spin and see which one feels right.

Other options include the Ford Ranger and VW Amarok. However, the new-model 171 Amarok would be out of budget, so going back to a 161 might not be the best option. The Ranger also had a change of model, but that was in 2016 and a 171/172 would fit in budget, so we suggest you take a look. It is a beast of a machine and has a great 2.2 dsl engine.

I have a nice dilemma in that I am buying a new 191-reg vehicle through my company. I currently drive an Audi A4 2.0TDi (131-D-reg). I have been happy with it. I am looking at something similar, but not a BMW or Merc, for company reasons. I was thinking of an SUV, but I think you get a few more luxuries and comforts in a car. The vehicles I plan to look at are the Audi A4, Volvo S60/V60, VW Arteon and Hyundai Sante Fe. I definitely want automatic and leather. I do about 25,000km/year. I would consider an electric car, but there is nothing really in this class yet.

Gillian: A new model would be great. Depending on the spec, you are most likely now accustomed to the Audi, so it will be difficult to find something that ticks all the same boxes. Another A4 should be a real contender and I would stick with a 2.0 TDi again. But see if you can get into the top spec S-Line 150 S-Tronic. I would rule out the Santa Fé as it is a whole other class to the others. The Volvo S60 and estate version V60 are due a new-model launch soon. I can't help but suggest an Arteon all the way. It is just so sleek and has plenty of room. While it's classed as a saloon, it has the appeal of a coupe. The Elegance 150 DSG starts at €44,495, so it's priced similar to the A4, but go R-Line if you can.

Eddie: As you are so happy with your A4, you should make a new one your prime focus. I just think Audi should have made the A4 less conservative-looking. That's a personal prejudice. For you, I think it's the right option. Get yourself one with plenty of bells and whistles. We envy you.

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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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