Used Car of the Year 2010 - Superminis

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  • 35 brilliant buys…
  • …from just £3000
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Winner Superminis
Vauxhall Corsa 1.2 Design AC 5dr
Year '06/06 Price £4990
Buying a small car doesn’t always mean making a compromise, even if you’re on a tight budget. The Vauxhall Corsa delivers a great deal in a supermini-sized package.

It’s spacious enough to seat a family of four in comfort, with room for five if you cosy up. There’s good boot space, plus a split-level floor and split-folding rear seats.

The Vauxhall is also big on refinement, with little road- or wind noise, and the engine only starts to sound thrashy when pushed hard. Our judges prefer the ride of this Design model, which strikes a good balance between sporty and comfortable, but if you fancy something a little edgier, you might want to opt for the more firmly suspended SXi. The 1.2-litre petrol is perfectly at home in town and on A-roads.

Judge's view
Anson Moniz,
director of operations,

‘The Corsa has been a firm favourite for almost 20 years. It’s reliable, easy to drive, and has a responsive engine with very low running costs.’
Design models come with 16-inch alloys, air-conditioning, front electric windows, heated door mirrors and an MP3-compatible stereo. There are also curtain airbags and ISOFIX child seat mounting points.

In fact, the only aspect of the Corsa that is small is the running cost. With 48.7mpg and an insurance rating of group 9, it’s unlikely that you’ll need to extend your overdraft.

There’s a huge number of used Corsas available and, while that’s not the best news for dealers, it’s great news for buyers. Car supermarkets are also packed with them, and there are deals to be done if you’re brave: with so much choice you can afford to be picky and haggle over the asking price.

You may be tempted to save a few pounds and opt for a three-door Corsa, but it’ll prove a false economy in the long run. You won’t save than much on the purchase price, and the car won’t prove as easy to sell on later.

Need to know
Power 79bhp
Fuel economy 48.7mpg
0-60mph 13.0sec
Max speed 104mph
Insurance 9
Road tax £110
CO2 emissions 139g/km
Euro NCAP rating 5/5
Reliability rating 4/5
Service intervals 20,000 miles

Fiat Panda 1.2 Dynamic
’05/55, £2909
Whether you’re a student strapped for cash or just want to save money, the Panda is perfect for budget motoring.

Suzuki Swift 1.3 GL 5dr
’06/55, £3955
Think of the Swift as like a Mini, but without the high pricetag. It’s fun to drive, stylish and reliable.

Nissan Note 1.4 Visia
’07/57, £4585
Last year’s winner is still a cracking buy. Incredibly spacious, only its scarcity stops it scoring higher.

Used Car of the Year 2010 - Small family cars


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