Used Car of the Year 2010 - Small family cars

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Winner Small family cars
Kia Cee'd 1.6 GS
Year '08/08 Price £6000
This was a decision that took our judges some time. The problem? The Ford Focus has been the best used small family hatchback for the last few years, and only a great car could steal its crown. This Kia is that car, and you can pick up a used model for just £6000.

Since its launch in 2007 it has established itself as a reliable and dependable hatchback. It was best small family car in this year’s JD Power survey, and the only model to achieve a full five-star result. As the Cee’d comes with a seven-year warranty from new, you still get five years’ cover if you buy a two-year-old model – something rivals can’t match.

Light, responsive steering, limited body roll and a reasonable ride make the Cee’d decent to drive. The cabin will take four adults with ease, or five at a pinch, and the boot is well shaped and easy to load, although it isn’t the biggest. The 1.6-litre petrol engine is smooth and reasonably punchy, and it won’t guzzle unleaded.

Judge's view
Steve Fowler,
editor-in-chief, What Car?

‘Whether you’re buying privately or at a dealer, you’ll have the remainder of Kia’s seven-year warranty for great peace of mind. The Cee’d’s a JD Power class winner, too.’
The GS trim is the sweet spot of the range because it comes with alloys, a CD player, air-conditioning and remote central locking. If you’re after something a little sportier, the three-door Procee’d cuts more of a dash, but it’s harder to find and more expensive to buy.

The Cee’d isn’t that well known on the used market, or as common as the Focus, but we think that works in its favour, and gives the Kia an air of exclusivity. However, as more cars come on sale, and people cotton on to the Kia’s capabilities, we think interest in the Cee’d will grow.

You won’t struggle to pick up this Cee’d, though. Dealerships still have the best selection of vehicles, and if you opt for a car 18-months old or younger on Kia’s approved used scheme the warranty gets topped up to the original seven years.

Need to know
Power 124bhp
Fuel economy 44.1mpg
0-60mph 10.9sec
Max speed 119mph
Insurance 17
Road tax £155
CO2 emissions 152g/km
Euro NCAP rating 5/5
Reliability rating 5/5
Service intervals 10,000 miles



Runners-up
Toyota Corolla 1.6 T3 5dr
’03/53, £3500
It is our budget option, but that doesn’t stop this Toyota being reliable and capable, as well as affordable.

Ford Focus 1.6 115 Zetec Climate 5dr
’07/07, £5830
The previous champion takes a silver medal, with a great combination of refinement, handling and a low pricetag.

Nissan Qashqai 1.6 Visia
’07/07, £8460
The Qashqai is a new generation of small-family hatchback, and now good value as a used car.




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