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Name Gillian Riley
Age 45
Drives Vauxhall Zafira
Budget 20,000
Wants: 'A big boot, low running costs and decent reliability. I do about 10k miles a year, so I'm not sure if petrol or diesel is better.

I'm a bit of a badge snob, too!'

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VW Passat Est' 1.4 TSI R Line
Price 18,800
Target Price 17,459

There are plenty of fine family estates, but the best (the Ford Mondeo and Mazda 6) lack the classy badge Gillian wants. The Passat is upmarket and practical. We'd go for the excellent new 1.4 petrol.

Audi A6 Avant 2.0 TDIe, '08/58
Price 19,700

This 136bhp diesel A6 is designed to be green rather than gutsy. On the plus side, it's cheap and very economical, and has the classy badge that Gillian's after. The downside is sluggish performance.

Volvo V70 2.0D SE, '08/08
Price 19,800

Gillian won't be doing high mileages, but we'd still go diesel in the case of the Volvo. It will hold its value better than the petrol versions, and does loads more miles to the gallon. The V70's boot is vast, too.