7. Honda Jazz
Dependable, practical and economical: that’s the Honda Jazz in a nutshell. It doesn’t offer the same zing as some rivals, and its interior is a little tacky, but what it does have on its side is proven reliability. With clever rear seats that provide enough room for two six-footers, and can also fold up like cinema seats to give more luggage space, few rivals are as versatile. Throw in light steering around town and it all adds up to a car that's very easy to live with.
We found: 2009 1.4 i-VTEC ES, 44,000 miles, £4500
Who hasn’t found themselves fancying a Mini? With its puppy-dog looks and vast range of colours and options, the ‘new’ Mini is the kind of car that appeals to the heart rather than the head. Indeed, this second-generation model doesn’t offer much in the way of rear leg room or boot space, but you might not care when you drive it – even the entry-level One model is a real hoot. We’d go one up the range and get a petrol-powered Cooper with the optional Chili Pack. It’s the best blend of fun, frugality and resale desirability.
While earlier Vauxhall Corsas were often underwhelming, this version was good enough to scoop our Car Of The Year award when it was first introduced in 2007. The reasons are clear: smart looks, a great interior, plenty of space, decent build quality and affordability, both in terms of buying and running costs. Much of that is still true as a used buy, though it’s worth noting that smaller engines feel a bit gutless, so a 1.4-litre example is the best option.
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