Sunday 20 October 2019

Hybrid SUV? Update estate? Tucson change; Bigger car; Merc hybrid import?


Kia Sportage
Kia Sportage

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 am looking for advice on which car to buy next. I have a 2008 Nissan Qashqai diesel that has more than 250,000km. I am keen to stick to an SUV but am wondering if we should move towards hybrid with all the talk of carbon taxes coming down the line. All the hybrid SUVs seem new and so are expensive. We could probably pay €25k between savings, finance and trade-in. I really like the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, but they are diesel. At the moment I am not commuting, but I expect to be travelling to Dublin in the coming months about three times a week (300km a week), so I need something with low mileage.

Gillian: Your new mileage will be fine for a hybrid but would still sit okay into the diesel territory. There is a lot of talk around hybrid now, but there is also a bit of hype around the return of petrol sales. You are lucky to fall into all categories, so here are my suggestions for one of each to consider with your budget

Hybrid: 2017 Toyota CH-R 1.8 Hybrid Luna. The Luna Sport spec would be nicer, but it will put you over-budget. It looks well, drives well and won't see you wrong when you go to resell. It's a top seller for Toyota, and rightly so.

Diesel: Kia Sportage 1.7 Dsl. A 2017 is possible in budget, but it will be a basic EX spec. I'd suggest going for a 161/162 GSE spec. The Hyundai Tucson 1.7 Dsl is pretty much the same story here (look for Executive). It's just down to personal preference of the drive and the seven-year warranty is hard to turn down.

Petrol: Nissan Qashqai 1.2. Why not keep some of those savings or reduce your finance and stick with what you know and I am sure loved? The 1.2 SV or an even better specced SV Premium won't crush your pocket and is doing great in the market right now.

Eddie: Spot on, Gillian. I totally agree with your choices. I'd probably add taking a look at a one-year-old SEAT Ateca (diesel or petrol) - for value - and a Peugeot 3008 (one-year-old) for sheer class in the cabin.

I drive a 00 Focus estate, which I bought from new. It has 250,000 miles (yes miles) on the clock. It has never let me down and recently passed the NCT. It even includes a working cassette player. I drive 12,000 miles/year (round trip for work is all motorway). Family are reared, so it's basically my car. The estate has suited me over the years (DIY, bikes, gardening) etc and it still suits my lifestyle. I have a budget (if required) of €15,000. I tend to keep cars for the long haul, so as new as possible. I'd appreciate any suggestions.

Gillian: Why not stick with the Focus estate and opt for a 1.6 diesel but in a Titanium spec? It's a whole new shape to your current model and, well, it's a Ford. You can keep it for as long as you like, and you shouldn't have any issues.

Your budget should get you into a 2015 plate, but you might find it difficult to find one, so you might need to go back to a 141/142 model. As you are looking to keep your new motor for another good stint, a change might be nice.

Alternatively, why not take a drive in a Skoda Octavia 1.6 Dsl Ambition estate? Your budget will get you into a 14 and maybe even into an Elegance/Style model which would give you extra driving pleasure for your time spent on the road.

A Kia cee'd 1.6 Dsl EX estate would be nice too and will bring you up to 2015. This model sold well in the estate body and I've no doubt you will find one to suit.

Eddie: I'd go along with all those. Sticking with Ford is the obvious thing to do. I'm aware of your desire for reliable longevity so also look for a (scarce) Toyota Auris estate (132-reg possible). I'm not sure you need diesel but there aren't many petrols that would suit your lifestyle and budget.

I have a two-year-old Hyundai Tucson which I love. However, I am becoming more interested in the e-motor side of things. I cannot bring myself to look at the Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius, because they are not what I like. If you could advise on a SUV similar sized vehicle with e-capabilities, I would appreciate it. Willing to spend €20k next year (with trade-in). Anything available in this category in that price range? Current car 1.6 petrol, 161, Hyundai Tucson. Annual mileage 15k-20k max.

Gillian: If you are looking for a fully electric SUV within that budget, there is nothing available yet that I can think of.

It is still early days for electric vehicles, but the new Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius are both excellent buys.

We all have our preferences and I do hope you have gone to see the New Leaf and aren't basing your dislike of it on the older model. The new model has a lot more style and the improvements are massive.

This really leaves us with the middle ground, happy place of a plug-in hybrid. I'd recommend you look at a Kia Niro. While not quite the same size SUV as the Tucson, it is a compact crossover that looks well. When VRT and SEAI grants are deducted it works out at €30,995.

Eddie: Definitely hybrid/plug-in territory on your budget and mileage. The Niro plug-in is a good choice, so is the Toyota C-HR hybrid. But seeing as you are not buying until next year, how about waiting to look at the new Honda CR-V hybrid later this year? It's bigger than the others mentioned and promises a lot.

Finally, one 'pure' electric that gets overlooked is the Volkswagen e-Golf, which, at around €33,000, is really worth considering. Lovely drive and it's just about realistic for your mileage. Worth thinking about it.

I'm on the look out for a bigger car. I have a 161 Opel Astra Sri diesel manual with nearly 45,000km. It's in great condition and I've had it since new. I went to a BMW garage (I'm thinking of an X1). I was shocked to be offered €11,500 for my car. Am I being ripped off? The X1 was coming it at €42k for a 182 petrol manual. I haven't looked anywhere else since the shock of €11,500. Any advice much appreciated

Gillian: If you are looking to buy the X1 new, I'd suggest selling your current car privately to reduce the loss from what you paid just two years ago. It wouldn't have been the dealer's thinking to rip you off, but I suggest you'd get a better return selling privately and hoping to get somewhere around the €13,000-€13,500 mark.

There will be a buyer for it and you can then do a better deal I am sure on the X1 with nothing to trade in.

If the Astra does take a little time to shift, you may need to set your sights on a 191, but sure that's not really something to complain about.

Eddie: The X1 isn't much bigger/roomier than your Astra. It might look taller and all that, but it's not going to give you much additional space. Be aware of that.

If you don't wish to sell privately, try an Opel dealer. They are more likely to give you a few euro extra for your Astra. You can pitch it against a Mokka X or Grandland X crossover (great room). Also - if you are intent on buying posh, look at the excellent Audi Q2 or the larger Q3.

My budget is about €25k plus whatever I get for my 3008 (85,000 miles, 2010). I would like a Mercedes and a hybrid so have been looking at a three to four-year-old e250 or e300 hybrid in the UK. I have been surfing the net and using the VRT online calculator and it seems achievable. Any pitfalls I need to think about? Are those Mercedes models reliable?

Gillian: I would usually shy away from suggesting importing privately as a lot of our dealers are happy to do the hard work and source the best ones for their home soil customers. However, the E250 and E300 were never sold in big numbers in Ireland so sourcing in the UK is probably the way to go. It's a Mercedes, it's an E-Class, it's reliable. I'd have zero concerns and, in fact, I envy you. A beautiful car and a big step up from your current model. Best of luck.

Eddie: I don't like either of those Merc versions, to be frank. They feel old, clunky and are not a patch on newer generations of hybrids. I'd advise you not to buy one here (scarce anyway) or in the UK. I suggest a fairly fresh Mitsubishi PHEV, from here or abroad.

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