Motoring Advice: Which should we buy? A KIA Sportage, Hyundai Tucson or Toyota RAV4?
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 are in a bit of a pickle over which vehicle to buy: a KIA Sportage, Hyundai Tucson or Toyota RAV4. We have taken a liking to the Sportage; we like the two-tone seating to get away from drab black, and the fact front and back seats are heated. But which is best to eliminate road noise; our 2008 RAV 4 is quite noisy (low mileage, great condition)? We thought there would be better straight deals on them coming so near the end of the year, but they're not budging very much.
Aidan: It's an almost impossible question. There are too many variables in determining road noise. Sure, decibel tests can be carried out, but real-world experiences can differ. For instance, consider the condition of the roads you travel, your perception of noise, the size of the wheels and the quality of the tyres. Believe it or not, sometimes the problem with road noise is exacerbated by tyres. There is even a decibel rating on tyres, so rather than simply buying the cheapest ones, it is advisable that everybody reads the headline figures of the tyres to check how loud they are and if grip in wet conditions is compromised over a premium brand tyre.
The amount of sound-proofing used in the car is a huge determining factor in the amount of road noise, too.
You like the Sportage, so take it for a spin on the route that you usually travel. Only then will you know for sure.
Eddie: If you don't buy the Sportage, you'll always wonder why. Don't worry too much about road noise. Most of it is generated by tyres, so concentrate on the sort you want, or wish, to have in your car. I also think you'll notice a pick-up in deals from here on in now the Budget is out of the way and January order books are being looked at. Sportage with quiet tyres it is.
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