Practical, fun and sporty

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Name Julina Wadsworth
Age 41
Drives Mini Cooper
Budget 15,000
Wants A practical, fun car for the country and transporting my dog. Ideally, Id like a sporty, 4x4-style car.

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Skoda Yeti 1.2 TSI S 2WD, 14,570
Target Price 13,494

With its 4x4 styling, punchy engine and cushy ride not to mention bags of room for the dog the Yeti should answer all of Julinas needs. This is our favourite Yeti. Although a 1.2-litre engine might not sound impressive, its turbocharged so is surprisingly powerful. Its economical, too. Only a little wind noise on the motorway detracts from the Yetis appeal. S trim has enough equipment for most tastes, including alloy wheels, air-con, electric windows and traction control. If Julina wants more, another 1430 will get her the SE model.

Nissan Qashqai 2.0 Acenta, 09/09
Price 14,000

The Qashqai offers hatchback handling and is a competent motorway cruiser. Theres plenty of room for a dog in the boot as well. Resale values arent strong, which explains the cars reasonable price as a nearly new buy. The 2.0-litre engine is smooth and responsive, and Acenta trim is well equipped.

Toyota RAV4 2.2 D4D XT-R, 07/07
Price 14,000

A tough-looking 4x4 thats surprisingly good to drive on- and off-road. The side-opening tailgate wont suit everyone, but theres enough room in the boot for a dog. This 2.2-litre diesel engine is refined and offers much better economy than the petrol model, while XT-R trim offers the best value for money.