We have a budget of €30k for a family car with a large flat boot for the dogs
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'
My partner and I are in our 30s (no kids) and are considering replacing our 2004 Fiat Punto 5dr petrol hatchback with 86k miles (annual mileage 6k). The car is starting to need replacement parts over the last year (emergency fuel button fault, front wiper mechanism). And the transportation of our two dogs (border collie, cocker spaniel) can be a right pain. We have a budget of €30k, ideally require a large flat boot for the dogs and the new vehicle to be no more than a 2014 reg. We have been looking at a VW Touareg, Land Rover Discovery/Range Rover, Volvo XC90 or Kia Sorento. We have been also considering large family estates like Skoda Superb, VW Passat or Toyota Avensis.
Aidan: Large, premium SUVs are all well and good but maintaining a used one on this budget will bring a sharp shock to the system. If you think a Punto's wiper mechanism is expensive, wait until you need brake discs and pads for a Range Rover. You don't need a diesel car but most in this segment tend to be. You might find a new 1.2-litre petrol Peugeot 3008 SUV in Active trim comes in on budget. Your dogs should have enough room, once properly restrained in the back. The same can be said of the Nissan Qashqai with its 1.2-litre petrol engine. Petrol is making a big comeback but I still think there are limits to its attractiveness. Estates are not popular with petrol engines but a petrol Octavia (called Combi) would suit you. A Prius+ (a 5+2 seater) might just work too.
Eddie: On your mileage you shouldn't be looking to buy a big SUV. Buy a petrol estate - I'd add the KIA cee'd SW to Aidan's options - so there is room for you two and the dogs. Make sure they can be safely transported. But do not spend that sort of money on a big diesel SUV.
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