Which petrol automatic SUV should we buy for motorway and local use?

Over the past four years our situation has changed. I no longer drive due to eye problems and my wife now does all the driving. She is in her mid 70’s. Until now we have retained our two cars, a 1999 BMW 530d (now at 123,000 miles) and a 2000 Suzuki Ignis 1.4, (now at 62,000 miles). We’ve said that we will change to one car when one of them begins to play up and the Suzuki is now doing that, and my wife finds the BMW rather big for local parking etc. We are currently driving no more than 12,000 miles a year, mostly on motorways.

We are looking at an SUV primarily for the higher driving position and its combination of comfort and functionality. We are considering petrol, not diesel. We don’t really need 4WD, but do want front wheel drive, as the Suzuki has always trumped the BMW in the snow. So we are thinking of an automatic BMW X1 (as is the present BMW), probably a 2-litre. We’ve looked at the Nissan Qashqai, and Volksagen equivalents, but tend to return to the X1 because of comfort, size, and reliability.

Our budget is £25k plus whatever we get for the present cars. What would be your recommendation?

Asked on 10 August 2013 by AS, via email

Answered by Honest John
An X1 makes sense. You could also consider a Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv D automatic 4WD or 2WD, or a Honda CR-V 2.2iDTEC auto 4WD or 2WD. Or the new Toyota RAV4 2.0i Valvematic Multidrive S (which is 4WD). But the new kid on the block is the Peugeot 2008 with Grip Control (from £16,195). This combines electronic traction control with 195/60 R16 Goodyear Vector 4 Season mud and snow tyres to provide near incredible traction on snow. I drove one up a very slippery 1-in-3 snow-covered ski slope with no problems at all.
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