Car Buyers' Guide: Replacement for an aging sedan
If you want to move on quickly the best way is to trade the Cefiro in with a used car dealer.
Mike currently drives a 1994 V6 Nissan Cefiro which has provided him and the family with reliable transport around Hamilton for the past 10 years or so.
With an odometer fast heading toward the 200,000km mark he feels it's time to quit the vehicle while they are still on good terms.
"It's been a fantastic vehicle reliability wise, has plenty of power to tow our reasonably small caravan over the Coromandel hills a couple of times per year and is comfortable on long journeys," he said.
"Because towing the caravan is not such a huge priority and we are unsure if we will continue long term, we wondered if a practical modern midsize SUV-style vehicle would do the job?"
As an aside, a small coolant leak from the water pump seal has also just developed on the Cefiro. Mike's additional dilemma therefore is: does he spend the money on replacing the water pump prior to sale and what is the best way to move the car on quickly.
Okay let's deal with the supplementary question first. You can try selling the car privately and hope for a quick sale, but the chances are it's not going to be an easy vehicle to sell.
If you want to move on quickly the best way is to trade the Cefiro in with a used car dealer. It sounds like its value is around $1500 and is best used as a bargaining tool to help reduce the price on a replacement vehicle.
Kia Sportage 2011
It's a modern looking vehicle with lots to offer in terms of comfort, safety and performance. Strong points include the EX's 2-litre six-speed automatic which would be ideal for towing the caravan. The addition of reversing sensors, folding door mirrors and hill start assist are all great options for around town driving while on the open road safety is enhanced with Electronic Stability Control and multiple airbags. There is a 2.4L petrol AWD model also.
Hyundai ix35 2010
Basically it's the same vehicle as the Sportage but with a different body skin. Some will argue one brand is better than the other but that may well depend on which franchise yard you are standing on at a given time. Hyundai definitely sell in higher volumes but that is a reflection of a difference in marketing strategy and customer type rather than having a superior model range. Check out specification levels carefully, however, as there may well be upgrades and enhancements one brand has over another with a particular year model.
Nissan Qashqai 2011
The Nissan ticks most of the boxes but if towing over those demanding Coromandel hills is likely to continue, I would prefer the more conventional style automatic transmission rather than the fuel saving benefits of the Constant Variable Transmission.
You should be aware of the caravan's laden weight, and compare it with the braked towing recommendations of any vehicles that appeal. As well, it pays to keep a little up your sleeve and not tow to the limits of a vehicle's capabilities for long spells.