4. Renault Clio
The Renault Clio has been a popular choice for all of those seeking a good-looking, refined and grown-up small car. Picking Dynamique Nav means you get sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers, a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen and keyless entry. The 1.5 dCi 90 offers the best fuel economy but, unless you’re planning to do lots of motorway miles, you’ll probably be better off with the 0.9 TCE petrol.
The Volkswagen Polo costs more to buy than many of its rivals, but you do feel as though you are getting more. Avoid the low-power petrol cars and you’ll have a small car that allows you to tackle long-distance drives in comfort, thanks to low levels of wind noise, a supple ride and a nicely finished interior that mimics the larger Golf. The small turbocharged petrol engines are the best picks as they tend to be smoother and quieter than the diesels.
We found: 2014 1.2 TSI SE 3dr, 14,347 miles, £8450
2. Skoda Fabia
If you ignore some of the cheaper-feeling interior plastics and concentrate on what the Skoda Fabia really is – a cheap Volkswagen Polo – then you can understand why we made the Fabia our Car of the Year in 2015. If you stick with SE specification cars, you get an impressive level of equipment for a very attractive price. What’s more, the Fabia has lots of interior space for a car of its size and a comfortable ride, which makes it an excellent choice.
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