Used Car of the Year 2008 - Superminis
Winner: Ford Fiesta 1.25 Style Climate 5dr
Some people might turn their nose up at the blue badge on the front, but it's hard to argue against the value offered by the humble Ford Fiesta.
The sheer number of vehicles on the market means that prices are low, and garages will compete against each other to offer the best deals. The great part is that you'll be getting an accomplished and dependable car that shames more expensive rivals.
The Fiesta's one of the best-handling superminis on the market, with firm suspension to minimise body roll, and great grip through the bends. Some may find the ride a little firm around town, but it's far from uncomfortable.
Despite its size, the Fiesta feels composed on twisty roads and is stable at motorway speeds. It's not quite as refined as some rivals but, at this price, that's a moot point.
The 1.25-litre petrol unit is our preferred engine. It's nippy enoughto make the Fiesta entertaining, but still delivers good economy.
The Style Climate model has essentials like air-con, a CD player and a height-adjustable driver's seat, but if you want alloy wheels it might be better to look towards the more expensive Zetec version.
Our judges opted for the five-door model due to its practicality, but the three-door version makes sense if the price is right.
Where from and how much?
When it comes to buying a used Fiesta, the world is your oyster. Franchised Ford dealers always have a healthy selection, but the real bargains tend to appear at car supermarkets and the larger independents.
Ex-hire and loans cars can make a good buy, as some get only very light use before being sold on.
Fuel economy: 45.6mpg (average)
0-60mph/top speed: 13.6secs/101mph
Insurance: Group 3
Service intervals: 12,000 miles
Honda Jazz 1.4 SE, '03/03 £4500
Fiat Panda 1.2 Dynamic air-con '06/06 £3325
Toyota Aygo/Citroen C1/Peugeot 107 1.0 5dr '06/56 £4800
Mini Cooper (Chili pack) '05/05 £7525