Audi A3 Sportback
The Audi A3 Sportback was last year's overall Car of the Year, so it should be no surprise that it still features prominently in 2014.
It has a genuinely broad range of talents. Climb into the car and the first thing that strikes you is the impressive cabin, which has all the class and finesse of models further up the Audi family tree.
Although the small diesel offers lower company car tax bills, our favourite version is the 1.4 petrol, which is smooth, punchy and economical. It is also around £1100 less to buy.
That saving matters too, because the Sportback is not a cheap car. Having said that, the blow is somewhat softened by strong resale values that make it affordable to run even by standards of cars that cost less to buy initially. In our favoured SE spec, Bluetooth, a USB socket, voice control and manual air-conditioning are standard, as is the impressive, intuitive infotainment system.