As car enthusiasts, we forget that normal car buyers, who make up the massive majority of owners and drivers, just want a vehicle that works and is practical. Alan got in touch recently because his other half wants to change her 2015 Hyundai i10.
Alan explained: “It’s the most reliable car we’ve ever had. Her main gripe is that the brakes are quite sharp and (especially when I’m driving) have a tendency to hurl her in the direction of the windscreen. I also like that you can fold the rear seats flat for loading bigger items. It’s a pity, though, that the front passenger seat doesn’t move or fold much. Is there a medium-sized car in which all of the passenger seats fold fairly flat?”
Folding front passenger seats are often found in people carriers, but there are some quite compact modern cars that might suit Alan (I’m betting he doesn’t want an old Austin Maxi). Despite the clever cinema-style ‘Magic’ seats of the Honda Jazz, it’s the conventional utility offerings that are our best bet for true versatility.
Then there’s the Renault Kangoo, which these days is more of a pure van than a people-friendly car. It’s a chance to save some money, though, and I rather liked a one-owner 1.6 petrol from 2011 with just 13,000 miles. Alan’s mileage isn’t much, the automatic gearbox is welcome and the fuel type makes life even easier. Top that off with a tempting £6950 asking price and the inclusion of a dealer warranty.
The versatile work, though, is left to compact people carriers, especially those in which the front passenger seat folds down to become a table top. Think Ford B-Max, which is a pretty decent example of the breed.