5-star cars for less than £30,000
A £30k budget will get you some of the best cars on sale – but there are also 5-star cars available for a lot less than that...
Price from: £26,875 Our pick: 1.4 TFSI Sport
The A3 Cabriolet is the most affordable convertible model Audi offers, but it's also one of the best around. The electronic roof can be folded away at speeds of up to 31mph, while the 1.4-litre petrol engine we recommend is economical but sporty, and the A3 strikes a superb balance between comfort and agility.
Price from: £29,215 Our pick: 2.0 TFSI Sport
We named the coupé version of the Audi TT as a category winner at this year's What Car? Awards, so it's no surprise that the convertible version to perform strongly, too. It really impresses with an exciting drive and the same high-tech interior, even if it's a strict two-seater. Our favourite Sport trim gets you 18in alloy wheels and Bluetooth connectivity, though you'll want to specify rear parking sensors and the optional wind deflector as well.
Price from: £18,495 Our pick: 2.0 SE-L
If driving fun is a high priority for your next car, then the Mazda MX-5 should be at the very top of your list. Not only is the MX-5 great fun on the open road, it's also got a quality interior and a refined and fairly economical range of petrol engines. Plus, it's the cheapest two-seater sports car you can buy.
Price from: £16,295 Our pick: ST-2
The Ford Fiesta ST has been on sale for a while now, but it's still our favourite hot hatchback. Part of the ST's appeal, of course, is that it's based on the already impressive standard Fiesta, and doesn't lose much of that car's practicality or everyday usability in its transformation into a hot hatch. It also offers excellent handling, a sporty petrol engine and sensible running costs.