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: S3 Black Edition
Adds a B&O Play premium sound system, rear privacy glass, black door mirrors and magnesium-look 18in alloy wheels, plus other styling upgrades to the standard S3 spec.
Engine: S3 TFSI 300 Quattro
The S3 comes with an even more powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and, combined with standard a four-wheel-drive system and a quick-shifting, seven-speed auto 'box, it is the real McCoy when it comes to high-performance hot hatchbacks.