What Car? Used Car of the Year - Family car

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Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI S
Year '06/06
Price £7000

The Volkswagen Passat is big on style, space and ability, so you might be shocked to find you can have it all for just £7000.

Going for the 1.9-litre diesel model in entry-level S trim really helps to keep down the cost of buying one.

It's such a great value-for-money package that the Passat has not only beaten competition from familiar family car rivals such as the Ford Mondeo, it has also brushed aside more upmarket models from the compact executive class.

The supple suspension makes the Passat almost unbeatable on a long motorway journey, while the taut steering and chassis let you have some fun when you get the chance.

Judge's view
Name John Owen
Job Buyer, Fords of Winsford car supermarket
Verdict: 'The Passat is well built, reliable, roomy and has great fuel economy. This car has it all, whether you're looking for a family or company car.'
The engine has more than enough power and flexibility and it has proved to be durable and economical.

You'll find masses of space in the cabin and you should be able to make yourself very comfortable behind the wheel.

Rear-seat passengers do miss out on stereo speakers and electric windows in S specification, but everything else you'd expect to find is there, including air-con, a CD player and plenty of airbags.

This engine and trim combination has been a big hit with new car buyers, so you won't have to look far to find yourself a used one. Hunt around car supermarkets, online and at dealers for the best price, and reject any cars that look like they haven't been cared for – there are so many, you'll find a good one quickly.

Buyer's Guide
Power 104bhp Fuel Economy 47.9mpg (average) 0-60mph/Max 12.1sec/117mph Insurance Group 7 CO2 emissions 157g/km Road tax £150 a year
euro NCAP Rating 5 starsReliability Rating 3 stars Service Intervals Variable

Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi Zetec 5dr
Year '05/05
Price £5600
Fantastic to drive, with a punchy diesel engine and lots of equipment in this trim. It's reliable, too.
Mazda 6 1.8 TS 5dr
Year '04/04
Price £5200
Robust build means higher-mileage 6s shouldn't be ruled out. Sharp to drive and lots of toys for your cash.
Lexus IS220d SE
Year '06/06
Price £11,500
Smooth and sure to be dependable, the IS also stands out from the crowd in the company car park.

BMW 320d ES

Year '06/06
Price £12,200
The 320d is brilliant to drive, has a well-crafted cabin and a slick engine. ES trim has all you'll need.

What Car? Used Car of the Year - MPV


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