It's amazing to think that the Audi A3 Sportback is one of the oldest cars in its class, yet still proves to be an outstanding all-rounder. True, some rivals are less expensive, but the A3's higher initial cost will be partially offset by its strong resale value. The Mercedes A-Class runs the A3 close in many respects, but ultimately this is still our pick of the premium family car contenders. If you're looking for practicality and aren't a badge snob, though, then the Skoda Octavia is both spacious and cheap.get the best price
Trim: S Line
S line trim is focused on sporty looks; you get even larger wheels (18in), a bodykit, LED headlights, part-leather upholstery and aluminium interior inlays. You get stiffer sports suspension as standard, although luckily you can revert to regular suspension for no extra charge for a smoother ride.
Engine: 30 TFSI 116
This entry level engine (now badged 30 TFSI) still has plenty of pep, but needs to be revved hard to get up to motorway speeds with any vigour. It's a good engine if you're on a tight budget, but we'd recommend the more powerful and refined 1.5 TFSI if you can stretch to it.