Can you recommend a fun vehicle which is a bit 'different'?

I'm now 64 and retired but still love cars. We have a nice 2000 model Jaguar XKR coupe for classic car shows and summer day driving. For everyday driving and towing the caravan we have a 2011 150PS Freelander 2, but this includes regular 120 mile family runs and all the local stuff. I want a third car to ease the mileage on the Freelander but not something that shouts "pensioner now approaching".

Good, sensible options like a Jazz, a Cee'd, a Clio or a Golf GTI don't fit the bill. I want "different". To be different but to still enjoy the drive and worthy of a weekend polish I am thinking of 2005/6 Toyota RAV4 short wheelbase or a 2006-2008 Beetle, perhaps even a convertible model if the better summers persist. The mileage will be 5000pa.

I'm budgeting about £6000 but can spend perhaps £8000. I'll cope with low/mid 30s mpg for the pleasure of driving something different. There will normally only be two adults but on occasion two grandchildren in their child seats, and we do live 1000ft above sea level so we're a bit in the sticks with poor winter road conditions.

Asked on 5 October 2013 by MN, via email

Answered by Honest John
You've got your Freelander for snow, so no need for another 4WD. A late Toyota Celica would be good, especially a GT180. That's got back seats. But I understand the desire for a convertible. October is quite a good time to buy one because summer is over. Even better next month. I'd prefer a MINI R57 to a Beetle, but it's up to you: www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/mini/mini-converti.../
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