Better value than the Golf, and more spacious than the Leon, the Skoda Octavia is the best all-round choice of the three at this price. Its interior isn’t as classy as the Volkswagen’s, and its a car a little less involving to drive than the Seat, but you’ll soon forget about those downsides when you realise how much more space you’ve got to play with. Also helping make the Octavia’s case is the fact that it gets plenty of standard equipment, and that it’s delightfully smooth at high speeds, making it a splendid long-distance cruiser.
We found: 2014 1.4 TSI SE, 17,000 miles, £9995
And the family cars to avoid…
The CT's hybrid drivetrain makes it cheap to run, but it’s very expensive to buy used, and has terrible ride quality and loads of engine noise.
It might be surprisingly good fun to drive, but that isn’t enough to save the MG 6, whose woeful build quality, noisy, inefficient engines and oddball looks make it one to avoid.
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