4. Ford Focus
The Ford Focus is Britain’s most popular family hatchback – and it isn’t hard to see why. First up, it’s great value – cheap both to buy and to run. It’s also great to drive, with a lively chassis and responsive steering. Choose a 1.0-litre turbo engine, and it feels peppy enough for most people, too, and while it isn’t quite as classy as a Volkswagen Golf inside, the ubiquitous Titanium-spec model does at least get plenty of equipment. What’s more, there are loads of examples out there to choose from, so finding a good example shouldn’t be hard.
The Volkswagen Golf is a fantastic all-rounder, combining excellent comfort, enjoyable handling, enough space for most small families, a high-quality interior and quiet road manners. Of course, the smart styling and Volkswagen badge mean it’s a desirable car, and so it commands a bit of a premium over some of its rivals, but it still isn’t too expensive, and for the Golf’s considerable range of talents, we reckon the premium is, in most cases, worth paying.
A strong combination of comfort, equipment and space have made the Skoda Octavia a huge favourite with family buyers. Granted, its interior isn’t quite as swish as that of the Volkswagen Golf upon which it’s based, but what it does offer is a vast boot and loads of room for rear-seat passengers. What’s more, it drives tidily, with composed handling and a comfortable ride, and it’s even great value. So while it might not be all that stylish, the Octavia is a fantastic used family car choice.
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