Used Car of the Year 2012 - Superminis

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  • All the winners from 27 contenders
  • From city cars to fun cars
  • Buy a winner from as little as £4000
used car of the year runner-up
used car of the year runner-up
Winner Supermini
Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 5dr
Age 2009/09
Dealer price £6695
Private price £6095

The Ford Fiesta is no stranger to What Car? awards; we named it our overall Car of the Year in 2009, and last year it won this used supermini category. Our judges all agreed that it was impossible to award the category to anything else when the Fiesta offers so much to the used car buyer for so little money.

First, the Fiesta is a riot on the open road; in fact, no other supermini is capable of putting a bigger smile on your face. It’s also very refined for this class of car, so much so that it almost feels as if you’re driving the Fiesta’s bigger brother, the Focus.

Inside, there’s plenty of headroom front and back, and the driver will have no problem getting comfortable.

The 81bhp version of Ford’s 1.25-litre petrol engine has decent poke for its size, certainly enough for urban situations. By choosing Zetec trim you get electric front windows, remote locking and air-con as well as alloy wheels and traction control. Zetec trim also features a slightly sharper suspension set-up to make the most of the Fiesta’s brilliant chassis.

The Fiesta is safe, too, with a maximum five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, and running this car won’t break the bank because it manages a respectable 49.6mpg and road tax is only £120 a year.

The Fiesta is also reliable. Most complaints cover minor faults with the stereo and dashboard trim; find a car less than three years old and a Ford dealer will sort those.

Runners-up

Mini Cooper
1.6 (Pepper pack)
’08/08, £8045
The Mini handles like a grown-up go-kart, with accurate and well-weighted steering, and great body control in corners.
used car of the year runner-upVolkswagen Polo
1.4 SE 5dr
’09/59, £7915
The Volkswagen Polo distils much of what’s great about its larger sibling, the Golf, into a desirable supermini-sized package.
Judge's view
Steve Huntingford
New cars editor,What Car?
'The Fiesta shows that you don’t have to spend big to have big fun. It’s an absolute joy to drive, whether you’re trundling through town or zipping along a B-road.'

Click here for small family car winners >>

Used Car of the Year 2012 - Small family cars

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