What Car? Used Car of the Year - Superminis

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  • UK's best used cars
  • Nine categories covered
  • The full results here
Nissan Note 1.4 SE
Year '06/06
Price £5000

The quirky Nissan Note is a genuine used gem, and proves that great cars come in all shapes and sizes.

It looks boxy, but it's this shape that gives the car its greatest strength – space. You'll be surprised just how much room there is inside. In fact, it's so successful in its use of space that you can almost think of it as a small MPV, rather than a supermini.

Four adults can travel in comfort, but there's space for five if need be, and the rear seats slide to maximise legroom or boot space. There are also plenty of cubbyholes and storage pockets in the cabin, too.

On the move, the Note is nimble and well suited to urban driving. It's also stable at higher speeds, but the firm ride can mean it's jiggly on poor surfaces.

Judge's view
Name Alan Senior
Job Director Vehicle Information Publishing
Verdict:'The Note delivers plenty of space and good economy with low overall running costs, all rolled into one appealing package.'
The 87bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine is peppy enough to make the car lively, but it's quiet and will keep fuel bills down.

Our judges prefer SE models, because they come with air-con, alloy wheels, remote central locking and electric windows all round.

All models have reasonable road tax and running costs, and the Note has proved reliable so far.

The Note isn't the most common of superminis, but its lower profile on forecourts helps make it a bargain buy. Independent dealers and car supermarkets have plenty of competitively priced cars to choose from, so they're ideal places to pick up a Note.

Vehicles for sale privately are few and far between, but they could save you a considerable sum.

Buyer's Guide
Power: 87bhp Fuel Economy: 44.1mpg (average) 0-60mph/Max: 13.1sec/103mph Insurance: Group 4 CO2 emissions: 152g/km Road tax: £150 a year euro NCAP Rating: 4 starsReliability Rating: 4 stars Service Intervals: 9000 miles

Fiat Panda 1.1 Active
Year '05/05
Price £3400
The cheap-to-own Panda makes a great first car for a young driver, or for those on a tight budget.
Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 5dr
Year '05/55
Price £5000
Last year's winner is still a cracking supermini at a great price, and high numbers make it easy to find.
Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Life (AC) 5dr
Year '07/07
Price £6500
There are now sufficient numbers of the refined, roomy Corsa on the used market to make it great value.

What Car? Used Car of the Year - Small family car


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