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Oh Toh: Every dog has its ride

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I’m a recently married executive and I have a BMW 5 Series and a Mercedes-Benz 300E.

Our daily driver is a Proton Inspira which is a really good drive and so easy to maintain.

However, none of these cars can fit our Rottweiler and I’m thinking of getting a station wagon such as a used Subaru Legacy which is now being advertised for around RM50,000-60,000 for a 2011 model year.

Alternatively, I’ve seen a BMW 525i Touring (six-cylinder naturally aspirated).

What are your suggestions?

- T. Mumby

 

 

Reply: You are right about a station wagon to take your Rottweiler on road trips or to the neighbourhood park but the body type is a rare breed in Malaysia as consumers here prefer SUVs.

My suggestions would be SUVs since options here are plentiful and you can get some extremely good deals in the used car market. For around the RM50,000-60,000 range you have set aside, there are some large, practical and comfortable SUVs available.

Since it does appear that this vehicle will primarily be for the Rottweiler, a large SUV would be perfect. The previous generation Hyundai Santa Fe is a good bet. It is a seven-seater so you can fold the third row and that should be sufficient room for your dog.

Furthermore, it has a 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine that makes loads of torque and the ride is comfortable as well. You should be able to find one online (2006-2012) for around RM50,000 or so.

If you prefer something continental, the only example around that budget would be an E83 BMW X3 that can be found for approximately RM55,000-68,000 depending on the specifications and equipment level.

The Bimmer is a lot smaller than the Santa Fe though and a lot costlier to maintain as well.

Now if absolutely must have something that resembles a wagon, the Subaru Legacy you suggested would be a good and fun bet. Alternatively, you could have a look at its cousin, the Subaru Forester.

Lastly, the Volvo V50 would certainly be worth a look at as well. You can get one with the turbocharged 2.5-litre mill that would give it plenty of punch and it is undeniably the safest car on this list.

If I had to give you a shortlist from here, it would be a close fight between the Santa Fe and the V50. You should start with them and make your way to the other suggestions once you are absolutely sure the Hyundai and Volvo will not gel with you and your dog.

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