The five-star cars for less than 20,000

These five-star cars are all proof that you don't need to shell out loads for a fantastic car – they're all available for less than £20,000

Words By

Matthew Burrow

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If you buy a five-star car, you can be certain that you are getting one of the best cars on the market today. You might think that you'll be forced to pay through the nose for the privilege of owning one of these cars.

In fact there's a variety of five-star cars available for less than £20,000 and one that you can pick up for less than half that. From city cars to SUVs, there's something for everybody.

Here's our round-up of five-star cars that you can buy for less than £20,000.

Audi A3 1.4 TFSI 122 SE

The A3 was What Car? Car of the Year 2013. It's got a stylish cabin made from premium materials that feels leagues ahead of the competition. Again we'd recommend the 1.4-litre petrol engine which is powerful and economical.

SE trim is well equipped. Whichever trim you decide to go for, we'd recommend selecting the SE suspension. It's a no-cost option and makes the A3 comfortable and good to drive.

Ford Fiesta 1.0 T 100 Ecoboost Zetec S/S 5dr

Ford's Fiesta is the UK's best-selling car and with good reason. It's the best small car to drive and there are some brilliant discounts available. Our favourite is the 1.0T 100 Ecoboost Zetec 5dr.

It comes with an economical 1.0-litre petrol engine that has all the power most buyers need and Zetec trim has air-conditioning, remote locking, front electric windows and alloy wheels. Not only does it get five stars, it also won Best Small Car of the Year 2014.

Ford Fiesta 1.6T 180 Ecoboost ST2

The second Fiesta in our five-star list is our Hot Hatch of the Year 2014.

The Fiesta ST is great fun to drive but also can be used every day thanks to its decent running costs and practical interior. It's one of the most fun cars you can buy for less than £20,000.

Hyundai i10 1.2 SE

With a list price of less than £10,000, the Hyundai i10 is the cheapest car on this list. The five-door, five-star city car is quieter and more practical than its rivals.

It's also cheap to buy and run and comes with a five-year warranty. There's room for five people, and the boot's decent. The i10 is the best city car on the market.

Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T 115 Acenta

The new Nissan Qashqai is the What Car? Car of the Year 2014. It is the most refined small SUV on the market and is a great all-rounder.

This 1.2-litre petrol model is powerful enough to cope with any situation but is best suited to town driving. Acenta trim has plenty of equipment and there are already some great deals to be had.

Seat Leon SC 1.4 TSI 140 FR

This is our pick of the Leon range. It's stylish, practical and good to drive and also genuinely sporty. FR trim is good value and well equipped. It comes with front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control and larger alloy wheels.

Skoda Octavia 1.2 TSI 105 SE

Buyers after a huge car for not much money should look no further than the Skoda Octavia. It's decent to drive and cheap to buy and run, but its most appealing feature has to be the amount of room on offer. The cabin is huge and there's a large boot; it's a lot of car for the money.

The 1.2-litre petrol engine sounds like it would struggle to shift the Octavia but it actually has no problems at all. SE trim comes with air-conditioning, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors.

Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 122 S 5dr

The seventh-generation Golf is the best one yet. It's refined, comfortable and enjoyable to drive. The cabin is well built and practical and refinement is very good. It's all the car most people will ever need.

Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 High Up 3dr

Volkswagen's Up was our Car of the Year in 2012. It's economical, spacious and good to drive with a slick gearbox and a sprightly 1.0-litre petrol engine.

It's more expensive than rivals but it does have a classy interior and High Up spec comes with sat-nav, heated front seats and air-conditioning.