India Markets closed

Car choice: Astra or 3-series to replace a people carrier?

James Ruppert

A car for the head

Two adults and two children means that any reasonable-sized hatchback will do and John can save some money. Whereas the people carrier is all about conspicuous people moving, I reckon John should go for a much more anonymous hatch, like a Vauxhall Astra. Here is a car which is cheap to run and, most importantly, cheap to buy. On a practical level there is plenty of room inside. We found a lovely 2010 1.6 SE petrol hatchback with a full service history and just 39,000 miles. This was advertised at £5,000.

A car for the heart

Perhaps John wants a little more style, as he mentioned a BMW. A 3-series is a handsome car with a very functional and clearly laid-out interior. It may be a little tight in the back, but John’s children are small, and more importantly the boot is large enough. Driving is certainly fun and every model appeals to those who enjoy sharp, sporty responses. Staying away from diesels and large petrol engines, we found a 2006 318i SE Touring estate with 46,000 miles. This had been very well looked after and worth £5,000.

If you would like James Ruppert to help with your car choice, email For more motoring views visit