Another week, another question from a reader that leads to the almost inevitable SUV answer.
Well, I was dealing with someone who had been very happy for the past seven years on account of the fact that his 2005 Honda CR-V Sport, a diesel, had achieved 130,000 very efficient and trouble-free miles. He could have kept it going but felt like having a replacement. There was £9000 to spend and the biggest question mark was, as he put it: “We don’t know what to do about the diesel or petrol dilemma.”
Essentially, the main requirements were a high driving position, decent ground clearance, automatic gearbox, comfortable seats, air conditioning and good load-carrying capacity. There was a dog involved and, if you wondered, it was a large Airedale terrier. Certainly, this makes him an ideal SUV candidate, not least because he lives where country roads are at their potholed poorest.
On top of that, as an enthusiastic boat owner, he’s always shifting stuff to the coast via the motorway network. Probably the most interesting fact is that the last car he truly loved was an MG ZT-T. What he craved, though, were Honda and Toyota levels of reliability.
I love the idea of a ZT-T, too, and it would be great to stick one on top of a Defender chassis. Great off road, horrendous on the motorway. What about one of those MG GS SUV things? I’ve seen them up close in car showrooms and they seem okay. Depreciation has not really kicked in yet so they are not below £9000. However, I did see one with 3000 miles, a 2017 1.5 TGI Explore, at £10,300. It was at a dealer as well. The next nearest was £1000 more.