It’s an obvious choice – but there’s a reason for the Volkswagen Golf’s placing here. Its blend of enjoyable handling, comfort, space and quality is a winner, and has been for years. What’s more you also get an upmarket feel, a decent amount of equipment, and handsome looks into the bargain. No matter which generation you buy, you won’t go far wrong with a Golf. For this price, the best bets are 1.9-litre diesel models, which have a good reputation for reliability, and petrol-powered cars.
We found: 2008 1.9 TDI Match, 81,000 miles, £4,031
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