Daily Telegraph



QMy Land Rover Discovery Sport has covered 12,500 miles and the manufacturer warranty is about to expire. I am aware of a local Discovery Sport, of similar age but higher mileage, that suffered catastrophic engine failure. This makes me nervous. I am not keen to spend more than £700 on a 12-month extended warranty, so while I like my Discovery very much I wish to change it for something potentially more reliable. I live on a hill, so four-wheel drive and a bit of ground clearance are required. I would be happy with a smaller all-wheel-drive petrol or – at a push – a hybrid car. I am over 80, so whatever I buy may be my last car. What would you suggest? – MB A All-wheel-drive versions of smaller SUVs are actually not all that common. They do exist, but they tend to consist of high-end models with more powerful petrol engines, which makes them quite thirsty. That might not be an issue for you, but I thought I should mention it. I would go for the Hyundai Tucson. The top-of-the-range 4x4 Ultimate has all the bells and whistles, plus a 1.6-litre mild-hybrid turbo engine that isn’t preposterous on fuel. Hyundais are generally reliable and their five-year warranty is better than average, so it should last if you decide you don’t want to change your car again. In addition, the latest Tucson is smartly finished inside. My next option would be the Mazda CX-5. One of our favourite SUVs, the CX-5 is smart to look at and good to drive, while its plush interior is delightful. Choose the 2.5-litre petrol engine, which is smooth and reasonably powerful, and you get all-wheel drive as standard; it undercuts the Hyundai on price, but the warranty isn’t quite as good. You don’t sound very keen on full hybrids, which is a shame because a Toyota RAV4 would be right up your street. Four-wheel drive is standard on all RAV4s, and you get a gutsy version of Toyota’s excellent hybrid powertrain, which is why we like it. Toyota’s reputation for reliability is hard to fault, while you also get the option of upgrading to a 10-year warranty. Don’t let the hybrid powertrain put you off – the RAV4 is worth a look.