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Which small station wagon should I buy?

My needs are varied. Most trips tend to be in the city with the occasional long trip and annual trip to Germany. I thought of buying a supermini estate (Peugeot 207SW) but people tell me to avoid all Peugeots, so which car is better for the above scenarios: a Peugeot 308SW, Volvo V50 or A-class? I am looking to buy used. If my request was carte blanche what small estate car or MPV would suit the city and country trips I mentioned. Please exclude Jap/Korean cars. They just leave me cold.

Asked on 3 March 2012 by WW, via email

Answered by Honest John
The only small station wagons (defined by flat load lips) are the Ford Fusion, Peugeot 207SW, Renault Clio Sport Tourer, SEAT Ibiza ST and Skoda Fabia estate. Of them the 207SW is the best, but the 1.6 120PS engine is a bit flat. Newer, but maybe too new for your budget, the SEAT Ibiza ST makes sense with the 1.2TSI 105 engine. Also consider a Mk II Jazz 1.4 manual because that has a cavernous and versatile interior. If instead you're looking for character, then a Mazda 2 1.3TS2 has it in spades. A Suzuki Swift is good too.
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