Can you recommend a compact and comfortable car to replace my Mazda 3?

Four years ago, HonestJohn.co.uk recommended a Mazda 3 for me. I very much like it: it's comfortable, got good performance, and is very economical. However, I find it a bit big and the visibility is not as good as it can be, so I find it hard to park neatly.

Where we live, there is now no new car dealers. The nearest ones sell Volkswagens, Citroens, and Vauxhalls. Further away is a Toyota dealer.

The kind of motoring we do would lend itself to an electric car, but they are too expensive for me to buy and insure. Therefore a petrol car would be the best compromise. I feel that because of my age, I would need an automatic, as my left knee can give me trouble.

Currently, my wife and I favour a Volkswagen, either a Golf or a Polo. But we are also open to the idea of a Toyota. I am not a petrolhead, but I want to be able to overtake safely and the car needs to be comfortable. What do you suggest I buy?

Asked on 17 January 2022 by James Irvine

Answered by Dan Powell
If visibility and comfort are key issues then I wonder if you might be better with a small SUV. The Toyota C-HR is very comfortable and its raised driving position will provide an excellent view of the road. What's more, because it sits higher from the road, you won't need to bend down to get in/out and this means access will be a lot easier than your low-slung Mazda 3.

The C-HR has an excellent reputation for reliability and the 1.8 petrol hybrid will return around 58mpg, according to Real MPG submissions: www.honestjohn.co.uk/realmpg/toyota/c-hr-2016

The Volkswagen T-Roc is also very good, it was ranked as one of the UK's best SUVs in our latest Satisfaction Index: www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/driving-1/2022-01/pothol.../
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