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.
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