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I currently run a 2007 VW Touran diesel with 42,000 on the clock, which had some problems with the electronics, eventually sorted by the dealer under guarantee. I no longer need such a large car as it was bought because it had lots of space behind the back seat for my dog. I am looking for a smaller replacement, not too small as I am 6ft tall. I like the high seating position of the Touran, but would like a car 4/5 door rather than a MPV, the only one I can find seems to be the Golf Plus, possibly a Bluemotion version but your readers seem to be forever reporting faults with VWs. Could you recommend any alternatives? I would like to have the VW safety features of ESP and Traction Control, I would also be looking for low day-to-day running costs and reliability as I live in a remote area. I travel 10/12000miles yearly, mainly shortish journeys but occasional long trips to Somerset, so comfort would be a factor. Budget would be around £12,000 plus the Touran.

Asked on 17 July 2010 by John Allan, Edinburgh

Answered by Honest John
The new Vauxhall Meriva is now best in class. Surprisingly good: Test and video: The Citroen C3 Picasso isn't bad either: Test and video: But if it’s a car you want, don’t dismiss a Toyota Auris or a KIA Venga. They are both about 3” higher than the average hatchback.
Dear Honest John,

Please help me choose my next car. I would like it to have:
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