Back and for­ward

Herald Sun - Motoring - - WHICH CAR? -

Your com­plaint about stiff sus­pen­sion is valid for cars but un­usual on most SUVs, as their tyres cus­tom­ar­ily have more cush­ion­ing. Find­ing a car with a driver’s seat height be­tween a sedan and a large SUV puts you in the mar­ket for a com­pact SUV. Here are our picks.

CHOICES

re­cent facelift (iden­ti­fied by a large chrome nose) but it pre­vi­ously re­ceived changes un­der the skin to im­prove quiet­ness and re­fine­ment. It has com­fort­able sus­pen­sion and a roomy cargo hold and can be found for $25,000 neat drive-away most months (the price of $25,990 can be re­duced to $24,990 by us­ing the $1000 gift card as a dis­count). I keep rec­om­mend­ing this car but, look­ing at the sales charts, no one seems to be lis­ten­ing to me. But the Trax just got a facelift ear­lier this year and a new turbo 1.4-litre petrol en­gine in the base model. Its styling is not to ev­ery­one’s taste but it’s the per­fect size for the city, has the seat height you want plus a de­cent cargo hold. This month the Trax LS is $24,990 drive-away with auto and three years’ free ser­vic­ing. A bar­gain. The HR-V just got built-in nav­i­ga­tion as stan­dard across the range, in ad­di­tion to its Apple Car Play/An­droid Auto. The Honda starts from $26,990 drive-away with auto (metal­lic paint adds $575). A good driv­ing po­si­tion with clear in­stru­ment graph­ics and a mas­sive cargo floor should suit your needs.

WILD­CARD

Even if you weren’t happy with your pre­vi­ous Out­back, it’s worth a test drive in the next gen­er­a­tion XV — it ar­rives in a cou­ple of weeks. It’s a high­rid­ing ver­sion of the Im­preza hatch, which has among the most sup­ple sus­pen­sion in its class. Given the XV will have off-road tyres, it ought to be even more com­fort­able.

VERDICT

Wait to try the Subaru XV or pur­chase the Mit­subishi ASX — not only for com­fort and the way that it drives — but also be­cause of the five-year war­ranty. In 2013 I had a car ac­ci­dent sw­erv­ing to avoid a child chas­ing a dog. I ended up in a tree, with mul­ti­ple neck, back and mus­cle in­juries. I bought a new Subaru Out­back, as the seat height made ac­cess easy. But af­ter nig­gling prob­lems and sus­pen­sion that was too stiff for my back, it’s time for a new car. I need a car that’s easy to get in and out, with not much strain on my back and has com­fort­able sus­pen­sion on bumpy roads. I have found the Toy­ota Prado 4WD and Kluger SUV too high and sedans like the Toy­ota Camry too low. I pre­fer an SUV with a flat boot. The Mercedes GLC was a too nar­row for me and I found the lum­bar sup­port too com­pli­cated.

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