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: 40 TFSI Quattro
The 2.0-litre petrol engine has lots of power and low-rev shove – more than enough, in fact, to make the A3 a fairly swift hatchback. It’s not much faster in the real world than the 1.5, though, and it’s more expensive to buy and run. It is, however, available with four-wheel drive, whereas most A3s are front-wheel drive.