What Car? Personal Shopper: best narrow car

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give our new and used car choices, and tell you how much we can save you...

Audi Q2

Buying used

  • Our recommended choice: 2018 Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI Sport S tronic
  • Price: £16,500
  • Mileage: 18,000

Quality counts, and as you get older it becomes a practical necessity, rather than a luxury. Audi lends a permanence and a high-quality feel to its interior materials, and the compact Q2 offers all that's good about the brand in one small package. It's neatly raised up to provide a fine driving position and the excellent visibility you'd expect when shopping for a small SUV; its interior is a work of art, too, and features an infotainment system that's easy to get along with. There's plenty of room for friends and family and for transporting all your shopping, too. The good news is all this quality comes reasonably cheap. You can buy a one-year-old automatic Q2 for around £16,000 a good discount on its new price and just about unbeatable in its field. It is slightly wider than Dorothy's Juke, though.

  • Also consider: 2018 Renault Zoe R110 ZE40 Dynamique nav
  • Price: £16,400
  • Mileage: 1000
Renault Zoe front - 19 plate

Here's a left-field alternative. If Dorothy garages her car regularly, why not go the whole hog and install an electric wall charger in there? With this done, she can purchase a Renault Zoe, our favourite compact electric vehicle, and enjoy zero-emissions motoring with no fuel costs. Our budget buys her a nearly-new car, and one with a long range too – according to the latest WLTP tests it will go for 186 miles on a full charge. The Zoe is quiet and easy to drive, with low running costs. It's spacious and practical, and has a higher driving position too. 

  • Also consider: 2018 Volkswagen Polo 1.0 95 TSI SE DSG
  • Price: £16,000
  • Mileage: 1200
 8: Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95

Be in no doubt, the Polo is one of our favourite small cars. It's comfortable, practical and refined. At the same time, it's well equipped, especially in the SE spec we've found here. The 1.0-litre turbocharged engine is full of pep and vigour, and yet provides remarkable fuel economy in everyday use. It's a quality car with an excellent record for resale values and reliability, borne out by its classy interior and seemingly unburstable build quality. It'll easily fit in Dorothy's garage and, while it doesn't offer the raised-up driving position of an SUV, it still offers excellent visibility all-round and decent adjustability in its seat and steering wheel.

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