'I'm driving a Mercedes coupe but need to change it for more space. What do you recommend?'
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'
I am driving a Mercedes C220d Coupe AMG spec automatic. I do love it but need an extra bit of space. I now need four doors. My yearly mileage is about 40,000km. I have had a change of car up to this point about every 18 months. My husband is advising an SUV because it's national roads I travel and he feels it will handle both the weather conditions and terrain better. I sat into the Volvo XC60 the other day with the intention of taking it overnight, but I hated it so turned around on forecourt and dropped the keys back. My car is a 172 reg. Please advise.
Aidan: I think you should reconsider the cost/benefit of working an extra shift to pay for a car. You have a lovely motor, but it's a bit fresh as used cars go. It's probably got more mileage than average, so you might end up taking a bit of pain with depreciation if you drop back into a mass-market brand. Is there a lot of outstanding finance on the car? It's almost impossible to advise you if you can't clear the finance easily. If you can, then I suggest you do so and opt for something like a Mazda CX-5 or Honda CR-V. Premium brands will require a bigger budget and that means more work. Tough decisions for you, but for me it's easy. Buy a more financially manageable car and enjoy some spare time.
Eddie: I'm surprised by your reaction to the Volvo XC60. I like the Mazda CX-5 and I think the KIA Sportage might fit you well, as would a well-specced Hyundai Tucson and any one of many compact SUVs out there. However, I think you should consider a saloon too because I sense a lot of driving will be with just you on board. So, I'd look at a well-equipped Volkswagen Passat or Mazda6. Much nicer drives.
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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:
c Budget (including trade-in).
c Annual mileage (in kms).
c Size of car required (number of seats).
c Present car (make, model, year and mileage) if relevant.