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I have an old 91 Corolla sedan, about 4x year I pack it to the gills and head off camping. Trying to find a replacement for it is tough,

New Corolla Hatch or even Sedans seem to have shrunk in luggage space drastically. The Corolla wagons while not a bad size & price have shocking safety ratings.

Looking at Mazda for an option the 3 feels like a reduction in space as well, which leaves the 6 or Cx5. The issues here are they are right at the top of (or exceed) what I wanted to pay, and they look reasonably fuel thirsty, I'm not a huge city driver (mostly using public transport to get to work) but equally I don't want to spend a fortune on the city running I do actually do as they tend to be the shorter fuel consumptive type trips.

Obviously you pay a premium price at the more mainstream (name) brand dealers. If you went elsewhere to just any old yard, advertising on Trade Me for example, how do you avoid picking a lemon (is an just buying an AA report going to guarantee that?) or a yard that isn't going to support that purchase if it all goes pear shaped (even if they should, there must be a reason why there are so many cut-price dealers or am I chasing a myth?). How do you pick a yard as the best option as opposed to a private deal where you have no consumer rights locked in?

Do you have any suggestions on how I could get my wish-list of:
- Comparable size boot space to the current car I own
- NZ New
- Is not fuel thirsty for city driving
- Has a decent safety rating for myself and the folks I take for a ride
- Ideally capped at $20,000


Hi there,
This is an excellent question, and can be a difficult choice finding the right car.
Often with the older NZ new vehicles, we have seen that they tent to retain the larger engine sizes 1.8-2.4ltrs, while imports we see tend to be commonly around 1.5-1.8ltrs. A few suggestions could be a Subaru Impreza hatch or Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander, Mazda CX5 is also a good choice.