Brilliant new cars and the bargain used alternatives
We reveal the best new cars in every sector, and the brilliant used alternatives that will save you thousands...
New – Volkswagen Touran
The latest Volkswagen Touran doesn't have any real weaknesses. It's very practical and comfortable, with a high quality interior. On top of that, the third row of seats are spacious enough to accommodate even tall adults, and they stow easily into the boot floor when not in use. All this comes at a reasonable price with decent running costs. And it's even better to drive than most rivals.
Used – Citroën Grand C4 Picasso
If you’re one of the many people who needs a seven-seater, the chances are you’ll also want something comfortable. After all, travelling with kids can be a stressful experience, so you’ll want your car to soothe as best it can. That’s why we like the Citroën Grand C4 Picasso so much – its suspension is soft, and with a calming, airy interior that houses lots of clever tricks, it’s a fantastic family car. But even better news is that used Picasso prices are relatively low, so it also manages to be excellent value.
New – Skoda Superb Estate
Skoda is famed for making affordable and practical cars, and the Superb Estate continues that tradition. However, it's far more than just a massive box on wheels: the Superb is also luxurious, very comfortable and comes with a range of strong and economical engines. In terms of pure carrying capacity, it can carry five adults and their luggage without breaking a sweat, and with its rear seats in place can hold one more large suitcase than a Ford Mondeo. It's impressive in every respect.
Used – Skoda Octavia Estate
Another estate and another Skoda, but here it's the Octavia that makes most sense. Like all Skodas, it’s great value, costing less than the equivalent Volkswagen Golf, and about the same as a Ford Focus, but its boot is larger than many cars from the class above. What’s more, it’s good to drive, with a solid, reassuring feel, and while the ride is a touch on the firm side, it’ll still be comfortable enough for most people.
New – Ford Fiesta ST
The Ford Fiesta might not be particularly powerful by hot hatch standards, but it can still leave most cars trailing on a challenging road because it dives in to corners and the steering is full of feel. Throw in a slick manual gearbox and supportive Recaro seats and you have a car that’s addictive to drive. And yet you pay remarkably little for it; there are plenty of good deals if you’re buying outright and PCP finance is cheap.
All of the things that make the Fiesta ST so much fun when you're buying new apply equally when you look at used examples. And thanks to heavy depreciation, used STs are within easy reach.
We found: 2015 ST-2, 28,000 miles, £10,958