Best used family cars 2018 (and the ones to avoid)

Whether it's something sensible, something smart, something practical, or just a great all-rounder, our guide will help you work out which used family car is best for you

Words By Alex Robbins

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7. Mazda 3

If you need great fuel economy, but you also want a car that’s fun to drive, you should have a look at the Mazda 3. Both diesel and petrol versions achieve impressive real-world fuel economy, while a sparkling, involving chassis means it’s a treat if you get a bit of twisty road to yourself. The downside is that it’s quite noisy on the move, so long motorway trips can be a chore. However, the 3 is a car that combines fun with frugality, which makes it very desirable nonetheless.

We found: 2016 2.0 SE-L, 34,000 miles, Β£9,494

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6. BMW 1 Series

Fancy the quality, image and exciting driving style of a BMW, but in a family hatchback package? That’s where the BMW 1 Series comes in. The sacrifice you make is that it isn’t as spacious as some rivals, and equipment can be a bit stingy on some versions. But if driving involvement is paramount, or you just want the quality and kudos of a BMW, the 1 Series will be hard to resist. And as an added bonus, it offers a range of very efficient engines.

We found: 2013 118i Sport, 30,000 miles, Β£10,142

Read the full BMW 1 Series review

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5. Audi A3

As a new car, we reckon the Audi A3 is the best family hatchback around – in fact, it was recently crowned our 2017 Family Car of the Year. Trouble is, it holds its value very well, which makes it a very expensive proposition as a used car. If you can afford it, though, you still get the same spacious, high-quality interior with a beautifully designed dashboard, superb ride and handling, and excellent engine range to choose from, all of which means it’s worth considering, despite the extra cost.

We found: 2014 1.4 TFSI Sportback Sport, 44,000 miles, Β£13,700

Read the full Audi A3 review

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