Skoda Superb 1.6 TDI Greenline S
Target Price: 16,015
Resale value 7965
True MPG: 47.9
Three-year cost: 18,443
The What Car? Target Price really comes into its own with the leanest, greenest Skoda Superb. If you succeed in haggling down this car to our goal, you'll get a monster of a family car for 16k.
The Superb provides limousine levels of rear legroom, plus a boot that'll swallow not one but two weeks' worth of groceries. It even has a clever boot mechanism that allows it to function as either a saloon or a hatchback.
Of course, a low Target Price doesn't necessarily mean that a car is a bargain over three years, but the Superb also stacks up in the areas that matter. It's surprisingly cheap to run as well as to buy.
First, it has decent residual values and servicing costs. Then there's its real-world fuel economy; even in our True MPG test, conducted on a mix of British roads, it managed nearly 48mpg. That's a very impressive figure for such a large car.
It all adds up to make not just a great family car, but maybe all the vehicle you'll ever need.
BMW 116d ED
Target Price: 19,605
Resale value 9775
True MPG: 56.9
Three-year cost: 16,091
The latest BMW 1 Series is a far more accomplished family car than before. In 116d ED guise it's a great long-term buy. With no road tax to pay, and more than 55mpg in our real-world True MPG test, it's a genuine eco-champ. Strong residuals, respectable performance and great cruising refinement from the 1.6-litre diesel engine add up to a fine three-year package.
Audi A3 2.0 TDI 150 SE
Target Price: 20,841
Resale value 10,325
True MPG: 54.1
Three-year cost: 17,347
You'll already get a decent discount on the all-new Audi A3, but that's not the only reason why it'll be good value over three years. Rock-solid residual values will be your friend, bringing down the three-year running cost and allowing you to enjoy the A3's punchy performance and sublime cabin quality. There's also decent space for four adults, and SE suspension strikes a great balance between comfort and control.