James Rup­pert

Which car next af­ter 130,000 miles with a re­li­able Honda CR-V?

Autocar - - THIS WEEK -

How to re­place a re­li­able old SUV

It would be great to stick an MG ZTT on a De­fender chas­sis

An­other week, an­other ques­tion from a reader that leads to the al­most in­evitable SUV an­swer. Well, I was deal­ing with some­one who had been very happy for the past seven years on ac­count of the fact that his 2005 Honda CR-V Sport, a diesel, had achieved 130,000 very ef­fi­cient and trou­ble-free miles. He could have kept it go­ing but felt like hav­ing a re­place­ment. There was £9000 to spend and the biggest ques­tion mark was, as he put it: “We don’t know what to do about the diesel or petrol dilemma.”

Es­sen­tially, the main re­quire­ments were a high driv­ing po­si­tion, de­cent ground clear­ance, au­to­matic gear­box, com­fort­able seats, air con­di­tion­ing and good load-car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity. There was a dog in­volved and, if you won­dered, it was a large Airedale ter­rier. Cer­tainly, this makes him an ideal SUV can­di­date, not least be­cause he lives where coun­try roads are at their pot­holed poor­est. On top of that, as an en­thu­si­as­tic boat owner, he’s al­ways shift­ing stuff to the coast via the mo­tor­way net­work. Prob­a­bly the most in­ter­est­ing fact is that the last car he truly loved was an MG ZTT. What he craved, though, were Honda and Toy­ota lev­els of re­li­a­bil­ity.

I love the idea of a ZTT, too, and it would be great to stick one on top of a De­fender chas­sis. Great off road, hor­ren­dous on the mo­tor­way. What about one of those MG GS SUV things? I’ve seen them up close in car show­rooms and they seem okay. De­pre­ci­a­tion has not re­ally kicked in yet so they are not be­low £9000. How­ever, I did see one with 3000 miles, a 2017 1.5 TGI Ex­plore, at £10,300. It was at a dealer as well. The next near­est was £1000 more.

I’ve gone early there by com­ing down firmly on the side of petrol power. Un­less there are big mileages, or the diesel is re­ally cheap, there re­mains too much un­cer­tainty to lum­ber a pri­vate buyer with the wrong type of fuel just now.

The near­est we have to a Bri­tish­built MG is a Nis­san Qashqai. They seem to cope very well with the in­dige­nous pot­holes. A 2010 2.0 CVT au­to­matic in N-tec spec with 55,000 miles is £6500, which seems like a rea­son­able buy. Pet-free up un­til now as well. Trou­ble is, the Qashqai is a tad vanilla, so for a dash of ZTT piz­zazz, maybe he should go for a more chal­leng­ing Nis­san Juke.

I am still out to save money so a 2012 1.6 Acenta Pre­mium Xtronic Juke with 60,000 miles should fit the CR-V hole in his life. The dog could feel a bit claus­tro­pho­bic in the back. That’s why you can rec­om­mend any­thing, but the proof of the SUV pud­ding is the ac­tual test drive. Same time, same place, next week.

MG GS: still a bit too new for de­pre­ci­a­tion to have bit­ten hard

Uk-built Qashqai is a sen­si­ble, if a lit­tle bland, choice of SUV

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