Which diesel SUV for short school runs and easy loading of a wheelchair?

Our trusty 2004 Nissan X-Trail, at 160,000 miles, worries me and may need replacing. Whilst the engine is still sweet, there is a fuel judder at 1800rpm again. Last year we replaced the EGR, camshaft and crankshaft sensors and fuel filter valve. I fear that the short journeys may be catching up with it and it may have to go. It is my wife's car and she needs to transport a four-year-old child, plus disabled mother, so we need room in the back for a wheel chair.

We live in rural Scotland and in recent years, the X-Trail has been superb at dealing with the bumps and snow. It is also perfect for carrying the above listed cargo. It needs to pull a braked trailer, during the summer months, the max weight being 1.2 tonnes. The annual mileage is 12-15,000 miles, and the daily journeys will frequently be seven miles each way to nursery school. I had a Kuga until recently, but traded it for a RAV4. The RAV4 is much better for the wheelchair, given the lower back as a result of the side hung door and I would happily get another RAV4 to replace the X-Trail, but am worried about the diesel and short trip combination. Any thoughts?

Asked on 5 January 2013 by DM, Irvine

Answered by Honest John
A RAV4 2.0i Valvematic manual is almost as low CO2 and almost as economical as the diesel (the Valvematic Multidrive S automatic is lower CO2 and more economical than the diesel automatic). But if you need a diesel, both the Nissan Qashqai 1.6DCI 130 and the Mazda CX-5 2.2d Skyactiv have the latest exhaust manifold in head engines for fast warm-up and hopefully no DPF problems, though the CX-5 Skyactiv has suffered some fuelling problems in Australia.
Similar questions
Could you recommend a reliable small to medium car or SUV for an average of 10,000 miles per year, primarily consisting of short journeys for a couple of OAPs? We wish to avoid expenses associated with...
I'm looking for a second-hand SUV for my wife to do the school run in. I don't want to spend a fortune but want something comfortable that is not thirsty. What do you think about a 2005 Volvo XC 90 2.5T...
I have advised my wife that for only about 5,000 miles per year she needs to stick to a petrol automatic SUV because it's cheaper and diesel engines do not like short runs from cold. She has looked for...
Related models
Very comfortable front seats with good ride. Feels well built. Strong Renault sourced dCi diesels. Elevated driving position and good visibility.
Excellent, honest vehicle, decent to drive on road and best in class off road. Better than original Freelander.
Economical and efficient. Comfortable ride. Well equipped as standard. Practical and spacious yet compact.
Practical with a good boot and plenty of rear leg room. 2.5 hybrid with 2WD or 4WD available. Five year warranty. Proving very reliable.

Value my car

Save £75 on Warranty using code HJ75

with MotorEasy

Get a warranty quote

Save 12% on GAP Insurance

Use HJ21 to save on an ALA policy

See offer