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Should I buy a crew cab?

Hi guys. For years we have been a two-car family. My wife drove the family car and I had the van. We are seriously considering becoming a one-vehicle household and want to ask your opinion on crew cabs. I have heard so many different views that that I'm confused. Can you recommend a model?

David McNamara (Clare)

Apr 2010 Filed under: pick-up

Expert answer

The crew cab did enjoy a golden period in the early part of the last decade when there was a considerable tax break, with minimum VRT being charged on them. As a result, sales boomed for a period until this loophole was closed. Sales of the crew cab models aren't as strong as they used to be, especially since the building trade has been so badly affected by the economic downturn.

However, for someone like you they might still make an awful lot of sense because they offer the best of both worlds. They are useful as work vehicles with generous load bays and strong diesel engines that are capable both of high mileage and also towing duties. As everyday passenger vehicles they aren't as comfortable as a regular car and in some cases they aren't even as comfortable as a normal SUV, as most have a pretty basic chassis.

The main choices are between the Mitsubishi L200, the Toyota Hilux and the Nissan Navara. The L200 Double Cab €26,995 new - that includes a significant price reduction recently. It has a 2.5-litre diesel engine that puts out 136bhp. CO2 emissions of 228g/km mean that it will cost you €2,050 per annum to tax, which is pretty high.

The Navara has a 2.5-litre diesel engine with 171bhp and that is quite a bit more power than the Mitsubishi and it too has emissions of Band G, at 264g/km. Prices start at €34,135 for the Navara Double Cab.

The Hilux comes with a choice of 2.5- or 3.0-litre diesel engines, with 120- and 170bhp respectively. The Hilux has emissions that are in Band E, so you at least save yourself €1,000 in road tax. Prices start at €29,575 for the 2.5-litre Double Cab model.

Having said all that, the best options are likely to be used where there are huge savings.

A 2007 Navara will cost you €16,500 from an approved SIMI dealer: for example

Or a 2007 Toyota Hilux will cost you €19,000:

Or a 2006 Mitsubishi L200 will cost you €14,950:

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