I’m looking for a car that’s economical, just for me — a 60-year-old woman — but able to go on weekends away and long distances. I want good back support and something I can sit up in. I have looked at Honda HR-V and Kia Sportage, but would prefer a hatchback with all bells and whistles and not a four-wheel drive. I would hope to have it for 10 years. Marion Byrne, email I’d suggest you wait, just a little, and investigate the new breed of compact SUVs. Right now you can choose from the Subaru XV and Renault Captur, which I give The Tick, but soon enough there will also be a Mazda CX-3 that looks like the pick of the litter.
AWD FOR OFF-ROAD
We are looking at buying a Kia Sportage and was wondering if is it worth the extra money for the SLi over the Si premium to get the extra features, particularly the reversing camera as a review on Carsguide said the small rear windows makes it difficult to see out? Also does the all-wheel drive on the SLi make the car handle better on-road? Debbie, email Definitely pay extra for the camera, but if you’re not going camping or off-road then there is no point to allwheel drive.
We currently have a Peugeot 308 2012 sevenseat wagon, which is great. The problem is we have four growing children and are looking at possibly the Toyota Tarago people-mover. What do you suggest would be the best vehicle for space, practicality and, obviously, reliability? Darren Traynor, email The Tarago is good but old and expensive. There’s a new Kia Carnival and even the old model got The Tick from me, especially for value.
NICE BUT PRICEY
I am considering buying a Mercedes-Benz C250. What do you think? Wayne Slattery, email It’s a great car and gets The Tick. But why spend extra on the C250 when the C200 is perfectly fine, and cheaper?
MANUALS OFF MENU
What is with the reluctance of manufacturers to sell manual cars? At the moment I have a 2008 Ford Focus diesel and am looking to replace it with something a little bigger, still in a diesel. I would like a Ford Mondeo but here in Australia it only comes with automatic. So it would seem I only have two choices, Nissan X-Trail and Honda CR-V. Which of these would you prefer? Neville Lynch, email More than 80 per cent of cars sold in Australia are now automatics and that share is still rising, fast. When companies are looking to cut cost and complications from their line-ups, it’s easy to drop a manual that few people want. Between X-Trail and CR-V I give The Tick to the Honda.
GOLF IS GREAT, BUT ...
I have a 2014 VW Golf Comfortline six-speed manual with driver assist and navigation package. The satnav has no red light warnings and the accent is dreadful. It reminds me of the old portable GPS of years ago. On the plus side it’s so easy to use compared with my previous car, a 2012 Renault Latitude. I believe the mirrors fold but I can’t activate this function. Also, I thought there were tyre pressure monitors — but where? Otherwise a great car. Beautifully made with a feeling of quality and, after years of automatic driving, the manual is wonderful.
Mazda CX-3: Pick of the coming SUV litter