Back and forward
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 Camry too low. I prefer an SUV with a flat boot. The Benz GLC was too narrow and I found the lumbar support too complicated. Remon Eskandar, via email 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.
Mitsubishi ASX, $25,990 drive-away The Mitsubishi has had a 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). Holden Trax, $24,990 drive-away 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. Honda HR-V, $26,990 drive-away 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.
Subaru XV, from $27,990 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.
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.
SUBARU XV HOLDEN TRAX MITSUBISHI ASX HONDA HR-V