Could you recommend a van-like car for short trips and with lots of load space?

We recently had to scrap our second car, a 1996 Golf GTI that had fully foldable back seats, making it ideal for its later life of short journeys to and from the station, allotment and tip. I would love a van to cope with the grotty loads, but my husband doesn't want one sitting on the drive. Our trusted mechanic has also advised us against diesel because its main journeys will be less than two miles, which is not great for any engine, least of all a diesel with a DPF. He has also advised us against anything French or Italian.

We have very little interest in cars, so could you suggest a second hand vehicle that has some van-like qualities in the boot department. We are also environmentalists, so 4WD SUVs are out of the question. We have a reasonable budget, but the car will be a workhorse for filthy jobs. We considered electric, however the prices are outrageous, and it will be back-up car for my 46 mile round work journey when the main car is being serviced.

Asked on 14 December 2013 by DV, Monks Risborough

Answered by Honest John
Sensibly, a Dacia Logan MCV station wagon at just £6995 for the cheapest version: Moving up, a Citroen Nemo Multispace or Peugeot Bipper Teepee. Moving further up, a Ford Tourneo Connect 1.0 EcoBoost Studio at £14,250. Next, a Citroen Berlingo Multispace or Peugeot Partner Teepee. They are both French (obviously) but you can order 1.6 petrol versions. Next after that, a Renault Captur 90Tce or a Peugeot 2008 1.2 petrol: Volkswagen Caddy Maxi Lifes are a bit big. Very small, a Suzuki Splash or Vauxhall Agila:
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