Currently reading: James Ruppert: looking for a used car? Consider a Kia
If you’re after a used car, put South Korea’s Kia on the shortlist

I love questions. I may not get the answers right, of course, but it is jolly nice to be asked.

At the moment, I get one a week (please keep them coming), and the latest one could not have been simpler: should I buy a Kia or a Ford people-carrier?

Well, actually, neither is a good idea on aesthetic grounds. My loathing of any vans with windows is well documented and deep rooted. However, the value of seven seats can never be underestimated, especially when families are involved, so I had a good search online.

Find a Kia Sedona for sale on PistonHeads

S max 2015 8486

I discovered that a 2015 Ford S-Max 1.6 TDCi Zetec with 37,000 miles can be had for £10,999. It is supposed to do around 54mpg overall. A one-owner car at a dealer, it seems like jolly good value, which is what all older Fords quickly become.

As for a Kia carrier, well, we haven’t had the Sedona here for a few years. That would give us the opportunity to look at the rather more interesting shape of a Kia Sorento. With a 2015 car in mind, this SUV is going to cost a tad more than the S-Max. A new-shape 2015 2.2 CRDi KX-1 with one previous owner and 25,000 miles is going to give us 49mpg. The cost? Just a smidge over £16,000.

The choice is obvious, then: the super-value Ford wins the day. It is great to drive and the amount of money being spent is less. That’s a used car win... except it isn’t, because the person asking the question also wanted reliability, a warranty and resaleability. Well, resale is a difficult one, but right here we have a fashionably practical and desirable SUV and the winning card is the balance of a manufacturer warranty.

Kia isn’t simply all about offering reassurance, which is what modern car buyers want. It also makes jolly nice cars. The rest of us can make a case for the Ford because it is a hoot to drive and not as much money, although both are irrelevant. Here is proof that used car buyers are different.

Days later, a long-standing Autocar reader wanted a towing barge that is up for the challenge of 20,000 miles a year and really must not break down. An Audi A4 Allroad is a fantastic temptation, especially as £10,750 gets you a 2012, 86,000-mile 2.0 TDI, but if there are problems, it will cost a bit to fix. Instead, you could just bag a boring old 2.2 CRDI Sorento. Same year, but more kit and fewer miles. Certainly, the sensible buy.


Read our review

Car review

The new Kia Picanto gets lashings of style and a good 1.2-litre petrol engine to make it a compelling choice in the city car market, but the Volkswagen Up makes for stiff competition

Back to top

I think the used car world may well be turning Kia shaped.

What we almost bought this week: 

CITROEN C3 PICASSO - Often overlooked, the smallest Picasso is a very clever little machine, with tonnes of space inside, a comfortable ride and a neat sliding rear seat. They cost peanuts too, with lots for under £2k, making them savvy used buys. Go for a petrol one: they’re nippy enough, mechanically simple and reasonably frugal.

C3 picasso

Tales from Ruppert’s garage: 

BMW 320, MILEAGE 80,933 - I did say that I was going to tell you about the kindness and overall goodness of Autocar readers. Huge thanks, then, to Mark Rozhon, who went that extra mile by spotting an E21-gen 3 Series brochure in a recycling bin. He rescued it and thought of me and the Baby Shark. What an absolute star. There is a lovely image in it of a gold one just like mine.

I’ll tell you soon about the radio I’m not very pleased with and the stick-on aerial that I loathe. There is lots more minor sorting to do before I’m happy. Meanwhile, thanks, Mark.

A to Z Bangerpedia:


Back to top

E is for Elantra:

Remember these? Late Hyundai Elantras came in just one flavour, a 2.0 CRTD CDX five-door hatchback. Everything was standard apart from sat-nav.

There are some low-grade interior plastics but the styling isn’t too offensive, being ever so slightly Toyota and vaguely European. What you are getting is a full-sized family car, with comfy seats and plenty of space.

Older models offered an estate and more engine options. The difficult thing now is finding any for sale, but £500 buys a 1.6 or 2.0 from 2001 with a full MOT.

Readers’ questions: 

Q. Has the new Honda NSX had any effect on values of the original? I have one that I’ve owned for 10 years and would like to know if it’s now worth any more. Peter Tweedy, Nottingham

A. NSX values were already on an upward slope before the new car came along. They aren’t rising quite as rapidly as they once were but are still creeping upwards, so your car might be worth more than you reckoned. AR

Q   nsx

Q. Our Volkswagen Touran has been a very good car, but now I want something a bit more exciting. It still needs to seat seven, though. I’m wondering about an ex-demo Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace. What do you think? Sandy Walters, via email

Back to top

A. The Allspace isn’t a bad car, but space in the rearmost seats is pretty cramped. If you want an SUV, the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq are better bets, and should cost you slightly less to buy. Alternatively, have you thought of a Ford S-Max? It has even more space, looks good and should be fun to drive. AR

Read more 

Honda NSX review 

Kia Stonic review

Used car buying guide: Toyota Supra

Add a comment…