Saturday 19 October 2019

Out of Focus; new Golf round; after Avensis; premium thought; dogs on go


Ford Kuga
Ford Kuga

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 need to replace my 03 Ford Focus which is on its last legs. I have a budget of €15k. My annual mileage is 12,000km. I need a car for four (two adults and two kids), but more space in the back would be great. Please advise on what I should consider.

Gillian: The obvious step up is a Mondeo and for €15k you could get a nice 151-reg 1.6-dsl Titanium model. Another obvious option is the Kuga; you should see yourself in a 2014, again in a Titanium spec but it only comes in a 2-litre diesel model for your budget and may be a little larger than required for your small enough annual driving.

Really, I think a hybrid would a nice move for you and the Lexus IS300h is one I have recommended a few times. A 132-reg would be €15k territory, but they are scarce so I'm not sure how easily you will find one.

After that, how about a Nissan Qashqai? There is more choice in a 1.2 petrol and there is a large boot and plenty of rear-seat space in the back. Look for an SV or even nicer SVE spec.

Another option is a Skoda Octavia 1.2. This makes for a great family-of-four car; you will have a few to choose from for differing spec and colour and your budget will happily see you into a pretty fresh three-year-old model.

Eddie: My instinct is to buy a 1.2-litre petrol Qashqai, but also take a drive in the well-priced SEAT Ateca though choice might be limited.

I have been thinking of changing for a while but now I need to. I am driving a 06 Golf (1.9 TDi 3dr) with more than 280,000km on the clock. I have recently moved home and now commute a 140km round trip every day (motorway driving).

I will also be changing jobs in the next few weeks. I won't be doing much mileage for work any more, but the commute will stay relatively the same. The Golf is taxed commercially and is not something I will need going forward. It's a dream to drive and I loathe having to give it up.

I don't know whether to stay with the Golf or go to Passat or look at an SUV. My wife drives a Seat Leon (2010) so we think it's best to hang on to that for now and change the Golf. I would probably have about €13-€15K to spend. I like the interior of the SE Business Passat as the seats are comfortable - and the TDi GT Golf.

Engine size isn't a major obstacle but I would need something comfortable. I'm not one for changing every few years. I also like the Volvo S40 and Mazda6. I'm not sure I'd have the budget to stretch to an XC60 though.

Gillian & Eddie: Stick with the Golf over the Passat unless you think you need the extra room. Your 06 is an old model style now and so with your €13/€15k you should come well up the years - into a 2014 or 2015. Because you will be spending a lot of your day in the car, go for plenty of goodies; the Highline model will give you that.

You could also go for a 2.0 engine that will pack in another 40hp more than the 110bhp of the 1.6. But you might just be onto something with the GT TDi. It's a driver's car. The Volvo S40 is another option and similarly priced to the Golf.

Again, look for a high spec model. They generally come pretty well kitted out. We both really like the Mazda6 but maybe it doesn't suit you as much as something smaller.

The XC60 is a good one too but do you need it? You'll be spending a good portion of price on badge. So we think another Golf is the way to go.

We have a 2-litre Avensis Luna 171-reg diesel with 43,000km done. We've had an Avensis for years (changing every 24 months). Now the Avensis is off the market and with, diesel getting a hard time, we were offered a trade to a new Corolla hybrid 1.8 for €8,000. We don't want or need a RAV4 and don't particularly like the C-HR. Do you think this is a good trade? Or should we hold on to the Avensis for a while and would there be a big difference in the drive and comfort of the Corolla and the Avensis?

Gillian: That trade in sounds like a pretty decent Cost to Change if you are going to another Luna spec. If you like the Corolla hybrid then I would go for it.

The Avensis has been a family favourite for as long as I can remember, but the last model (yours) just never made it. The BMW engine didn't sit right with customers and unfortunately the Avensis left our roads a little tarnished. The new Corolla, however, is continuing the good name and I say go treat yourself, you are getting a good deal.

Eddie: Did you know the new Corolla hybrid saloon has the same wheelbase as the old Avensis? Coincidentally, I've just been testing it here. I think it would suit you down to the ground. And the deal you're offered sounds good.

I am looking to change my 08 VW Passat for something more luxurious inside. My budget would be approx €17k. It would need to be a saloon as I have a young daughter. I do around 30,000km a year and want something fun to drive while looking well on the inside.

I don't mind having to go for a five or six-year-old car to stick to my budget. I have been thinking about an older Audi A5 or the Jaguar XE, but they are probably too expensive. I would also be worried about the reliability of an XE.

Gillian: Let's clear up the affordability issue first. For €17k you should find a 2013 A5 2.0 dsl SE with some change. Or you could spend that change and get an automatic with an impressive 177bhp (I would). That's within your five to six-year-old happy place.

The Jaguar would need a budget around the €20k mark. It is not as much fun as the A5, so don't be disheartened. You might see some 2014 A5s close to budget but be careful with the odometer reading. A 2013 should have around 120,000km; a 2014 around 100,000km. The A5 is a hatchback 5dr by the way. A saloon to consider is BMW's 5 series.

I will throw this one in but I'm not sure it's on your line of thought - a Volkswagen CC.

Eddie: I think you are wasting money on older 'premium' cars. They will most likely all have big mileage and whether you like it or not will be prone to niggling (maybe substantial) faults. So I would go for the highest (Highline) spec on a much newer Passat with as many options as you can get. A big overhaul of the car is due this year so use that to bargain down the price of a recent/fresh one. Fancy notions of premium luxury can be costly.

I am looking to buy an SUV/MPV for around €18,000. I am not looking for a new car. Anything from 2017 upwards would suit fine. We have two large dogs and they are destroying the back of my car - even with several covers on. So I need a vehicle with a large enough boot for the dogs and a small petrol (or hybrid if possible).

I like the look of the Peugeot 3008 (from 2017 onwards). However, the only way I can see that being an option is travelling to the UK. That is working out about €21,000 with VRT. In Ireland you are looking at a few grand more. Option B would be Ford Kuga or the Opel Grandland X.

My partner has a VW Golf but I don't want a hatchback or even an estate. I think the Hyundai iX35 is a bit small too. I am leaning towards the smaller engine models: 1.2-1.4 petrol as the miles/kilometres I put in are small. I do around 15,000km: work is under 20 minutes away. I do a round trip of about 590km every so often. I would like a 5-seater and nothing smaller than a Kia Sportage/Ford Kuga. My current car is a 2008 Ford Mondeo Zetec 1.8 TDCi (182,000km).

Gillian: A Peugeot 3008 would be a great buy but unfortunately €18k won't get the 2017 model. The Opel Grandland X only arrived in late 2017 so your choice would be limited to 181; again out of budget.

You mentioned the Kuga twice so I presume you like it. Yes, it would suit your needs but you won't find a petrol version. They are most popular as a 1.5 diesel; a 171 would be priced similarly to the 3008. So I suggest the Nissan Qashqai. It has a 1.2 petrol model; a 171 is priced around €18k.

That would be for the base model XE which is scarce as most sold comprised the SV trim. You would need to go back to 2016 for that. The ix35 would also be plenty roomy for the dogs but it stopped in 2015.

It was replaced by the Tucson which had a 1.6 petrol but it would need to be a 2016 plate to fit in with your money. One to consider is the Renault Kadjar. The boot space is slightly larger than the Qashqai and it comes well specced but limited in numbers in the petrol engine.

Eddie: Let me be something of a contrarian here. You say you don't need an estate but I think you do because your dogs need to be properly restrained when you have them on board. And that means confining and securing them in the luggage compartment.

And an estate (I'm thinking Skoda Octavia Combi here) lets you seal off the cargo area from the cabin. Please take a lot of time to think about this because pets in cars are potentially lethal if you have to stop suddenly.

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