7. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic’s excellent reputation for reliability is the main reason for choosing one, but you might also fancy one for its off-the-wall, sci-fi-inspired looks or wacky interior. That interior has its flaws, however, and driving the Civic isn’t entirely pleasurable due to excessive tyre noise and an unsettled ride. That said, if you want a reliable family car that cuts a dash, it should be on your list of potentials. Avoid diesels, though, because they tend to wear their clutches out rather prematurely.
We found: 2008 1.8 i-VTEC SE, 62,000 miles, £3872
6. Kia Cee’d
The Kia Cee’d will never win any awards for the most exciting car here, but it does have one trick up its sleeve: buy a 2011 car with less than 100,000 miles on the clock and it’ll come with at least a few months of its dealer warranty on it. Where else can you get that for £5,000? The Cee’d is a decent enough thing, too, with a comfortable ride and a robust cabin. You have to live with some slightly cheap-looking plastics and a bit of road noise, but the peace-of-mind it offers might be enough to counter that. Watch for sticking door locks and power steering issues.
Quiet, comfortable, efficient and good value – that’s the Vauxhall Astra in a nutshell. It isn’t as good to drive as some rivals, and it doesn't have the same high-quality feel as others, but the Astra makes a great all-rounder at a very reasonable price. What’s more, because there are so many of them around, you’re left with a great choice of cars. Watch for reliability niggles, though – there are quite a few of them on the Astra, including flywheel and clutch issues and electrical gremlins.
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