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Kathy ASKED THE GUIDE

What car should I buy?

I'm currently looking to buy a new car and never had to do this before. My late husband was the car expert in our relationship. I currently drive a 2007 Toyota Aurion Sportivo and love it. Unfortunately it has close to 300,000km on it and I need to replace it.

I drive approximately 20km each way to work daily and have to drive on a small strip of dirt road. I travel occasionally, and as such, would like a car with power and pick-up and room for grandchildren.

I was set on buying a 2020 Toyota C-HR Koba but I haven't been overly impressed with the reviews. I also like the Isuzu MU-X. I want something that is honest and reliable and that will hold its value.

Boy, there’s a big difference between a Toyota CH-R and an Isuzu MU-X, Kathy. Rarely would both those models make it to the same short-list. In any case, the problem you’ll face is that buying any brand-new car involves waving goodbye to a large chunk of its residual value the same day you drive it home for the first time.

Who is advising you to get rid of the Toyota? I’ve seen plenty of V6 Toyotas with more than 300,000km showing and still going strong. And if the mileage does worry you, what about finding a low-kilometre second-hand Aurion and pocketing the many thousands of dollars you’ve saved by not buying a brand-new car? You already know you love the way the Aurion drives (and its reliability is beyond question) it’s big enough for grand-kids and it’ll handle its share of dirt-road action.

If you can’t find an Aurion, a V6 Camry is a good alternative, offering a similar level of interior space, performance and lots of value for money. A later-model example will also have side-curtain air-bags to protect rear-seat passengers. And when the word honesty is used in the context of cars, a Toyota Camry is one of the first mental images to appear.

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