October 2009

you maybe have a family, carry goods around on a regulard basis you need a car that can carry stuff simple, but a boxey looking bland machine will not do, you want some style and a good drive, heres four estate cars that still look the business.

1) alfa romeo 159 sportwagon: yeh a real surprise here not, take a look at one of these and i defie you to walk on buy and buy something else, stunning car and thats before you even drive it and of couse its still a load carrier.

2) renault laguna tourer: style and value, available for silly money now, great looks and high spec make these superb cars.

3) saab 9-5 estate: naughty looks with high quality build and you have a sporty large estate car, makes a good allternative to the german equalivents.

4) volvo v70: why becouse you cannot have a list of the best estate cars without including a volvo, its in the rules and thats why i have put it in, that and the fact that in allmost everyway there some of the best load luggers around.

throw everything in the back and off you go !

graham www.mathildasjoy.com


with a respectable budget and a carefull eye, its amazing what sort of car can be had for a 20k budget, yes you can go down to your local vauxhall dealer and buy a shiny new vectra, but what if you want something a bit more special, something that doesnt make you feel like a photo copier salesman, then read on, heres my 20k picks !

1)  audi a4 Quattro: most 08 mid range models available, one of the best built cars on the road with purposefull looks, a great motor car.

2) jaguar xj tdvi: these big stunning looking cars are super smooth and stand out a bit more for me over the big mercs and beemers, super engines and you have a high performance cruiser, one of the finest cars in the world says me.


3) range rover: 02 onwards, the best offroader in the world, or just maybe the best everything in the world, comfortable, fast, well built and stylish, theres a reason why so many people opt for these incredible cars.

4) c-class saloon: 07 onwards, predictable yes, but this is one of the best cars in its class and with better looks in its latest guise, if you can live with plenty on the road its a superb choice.

5) porsche 911: truly iconic super car that everyone has dreamt of owning at some point, for 20k you could be driving this amazing german super car that can be used everyday as your commuter.

of course if you have 20k dont take my word for it, just take any of the afore mentioned cars for a drive and get smiling, there all that good.

graham www.mathildasjoy.com

cheap cheap with a bit more cheap, thats the key word for your next car, so armed with one thousand pounds can you get something that could drive you two hundred miles down the motorway, take  four of you to the coast for the weekend and still look nice on the drive outside your house ? and all this whist still getting 30mpg and not costing the earth to insure.

heres three cars that will do all the above and then some, i could find any of the following cars in an afternoon, why because theres loads still out there.

1) ford escort 1.6 16v: shaw its been around for ever and was discontinued some years ago in favour of the focus, but there still plenty of life in a late 90’s model, electric window and punchy engines, they may not be the best at anything in particular but take some beating overall.

2) citroen saxo 1.4: small dimensions but spacious inside, these nifty little french cars still look good, economical and cheap to insure these are great cars, lots of safety features and good spec make this a super city car with the legs for longer journeys.

3) vw polo 1.4 cl: what can i say its a vw with compact size, better made than any comparable car of its size and if looked after will go on and on, if you dont care about cars but want something unfussy and reliable this is the car, if you want something with a bit more style, then stick on some modest alloys and again this is your car.

with one thousand pounds motoring can still be fun and stylish, all these cars are chap to service and maintain and would be good everyday companions.

graham www.mathildasjoy.com

speed speed and more speed, for you a quick car is whats required, nothing played with, no go faster stripes just a fast car, no budget for a Porsche, but a car that when you drive it you no what its capable of, heres my three.

1) mitsubishi evo: maybe not the prettiest car out there just lots of bulges and spoilers, but fast, a road going rally car, high performance police persue car, its a serious bit of kit, but for all that power on tap, its still a four door saloon with a decent bedside manner for normal everyday driving.

2) renault clio sport v6: take one lightweight french hatchback and stick in a huge engine and you have an amazing car, short on versatility yes, but as a road rocket difficult to beat/catch.

3) escort cosworth: fair enough an oldie but my word a goody, now entering modern classic status, this was an incredible bit of kit, ford gave the three door shell of an escort to english engineering specialists cosworth and out came the beast, still probably one of the fastest point to point cars on the road today, so there

happy hunting and carefull of the speed cameras !

graham www.mathildasjoy.com

big bulky and cumbersome on the road with big thirsty engines is how some will see this sector of the car market, but to some the rugged looks, versatile boxey shape and go anywhere ability make them an appealing choice, it wouldnt pay for us to all like the same thing, so here are three of the best on the market, remember that you can still get a great off roader with decent driver standards for the regular school run/commute.

1) isuzu trooper: big heavyweight 4×4, consider it a cheaper alternative to a discovery, reliable and well built its alot of car for the money, also loads around, so finding one should be easy.

2) jeep grand cherokee: this american toughie have been around and developed for along time which means there well made and with a touch of power to boot, good spec with electric everything, again good value for money.

3) land rover discovery: the classy choice, with off road abilities unmatched, lacking on road performance but still a very capable car, versatile and strong with latter ones much better built, get the barber jacket look at home in the country.

they may not be anything there that is not expected, to me they are the best at what they do and you dont lose to much in the way of on road drive.

graham www.mathildasjoy.com

not much money, limited budget but need a car and dont really want to part of the masses in there fords and vauxhalls, well here three cars on a budget that can still put a smile on your face and not hurt too much at the petrol pumps.

1) alfa romeo 156: anyone who reads my blogs wont take long to notice that i have a soft spot for alfas, shaw they have had a reputation as problematic, but they are much better products these days and whilst maybe not as well built as some cars out there, theres nothing quite like the drive and sound of these sporty saloons, big boot and very cheap to buy, they still stand out from most cars on the road.

2) fiat seicento sporting: had one as a loan car whist mine was having a service and i didnt want to give it back, more space than you would imagine for such a compact car and in sporting trim really is a punchy little performer, think of it as a baby gti.

3) land rover freelander: a real versatile car with rugged looks and genuine off road abilities, and unlike many off  roaders a great drivers car on the road too, they have been around a while now and that makes them pretty cheap now.

hope that helps and happy hunting

graham www.mathildasjoy.com

your in the market for a car, some distance driving, some city, you need space to carry occasionally four people, but dont want something to large either, its got to be economical and easy to drive. its a simple choice between the ford focus, vauxhall astra or the vw golf, all will make great buys and give fun driving whilst ticking all the above boxes.

but what if you want something different, something thats not parked on every street corner, something that can do all the above but also be something you would recognise whilst parked in the supermarket car park !

heres three alternatives:

1) alfa romeo 147: stylish italian hatchback, great to drive with smashing gutsy engines, decent spec and with alot less hassle than in history, a car to put a grin on your face every time you drive it and every time you head towards it in the car park.

2) chrysler pt cruiser: retro styling may not be to all tastes and fair enough its been around a while, but its a “people carrier” and as such its versatile and in my opinion looks great, and a lot more interesting than a renault megan me thinks !

3) volvo  c30: a sporty and youthful volvo, newest of bunch to market, a cracking car and now falling into good secondhand buys, a great choice with only drawback being 3 door layout, but if you can live with that.

these cars are based on the compact hatch market and i have been flexible on prices, but all represent that part of the market, and the alternatives seem a fair bit more interesting than the regulars.

graham www.mathildasjoy.com

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