Most popular used car reviews of 2017
Which was the most popular used car review on whatcar.com in the last year? Read on to find out!...
Most popular used car reviews of 2017
Each year, we keep a careful record of the number of times you look at our used reviews, and from that we’re able to compile a list of the top 10 most popular ones. And here they are, from number 10 all the way down to our most viewed used car review of the year. The winner might not surprise you, but it might interest you to know that it got almost twice as many views as the car that finished in the 10th slot. Read on for the full slideshow – and here’s to a happy 2018!
10. Skoda Fabia
One of our favourites, this third-generation Fabia was our What Car? Car of the Year winner in 2015, when we had no hesitation in labelling it the most rounded small car on sale – and we still rate it very highly, indeed. That's because the Fabia is practical, well equipped and cheap to run. It’s also great to drive and is available with a wide range of engine options. Moreover, it now features two turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol units that have impressed us with their blend of performance and fuel economy. There’s also a trio of 1.4-litre diesels, all of which offer excellent economy for those who clock up higher mileages.
9. Volkswagen Golf
Very few cars have the classless appeal of the Golf and, with this seventh-generation model, Volkswagen managed to come up with a car that’s not only as multitalented as its predecessors but improves on them significantly. For starters, there’s the range of low-capacity turbocharged petrol engines, which punch far above their weight in terms of performance yet return impressive fuel efficiency. Then there’s the interior, built out of even more upmarket-feeling materials than before and laid out almost ideally, with all the major controls right where you need them to be. To drive, the seventh-generation Golf is deeply impressive; comfortable and stable at any speed, yet it also offers enough response from the chassis and sharpness from the steering to make the car enjoyable.
8. Honda CR-V
The name SUV may stand for ‘sport utility vehicle’ but the third-generation Honda CR-V trades the ‘sport’ part for comfort. Honda engineered its family SUV with an emphasis on cosseting, so it has comfortable seats and a smooth ride. Honda also realised that some of its customers might not necessarily need four-wheel drive to tow horseboxes out of muddy fields and would appreciate the reduced fuel consumption this omission would bring. So the CR-V can be had with two-wheel drive – indeed, many of the used examples you’ll find for sale today are specified as such. Whichever you pick, it’s spacious, practical and reliable.
7. Audi Q5
This popular SUV arrived in 2008 and, since then, more than 1.6 million have been sold. The Q5's interior is accommodating, particularly if you find a car with the optional sliding rear bench. Head room in the rear is also ample for two tall adults and the boot’s big, too. To drive, the Q5 follows Audi’s well-trodden path of being quiet but with a rather firm ride, particularly if you choose an S line model with large alloy wheels. One positive outcome from this is the handling, which is impressively sharp for a large SUV. An engine range spanning petrol, diesel and four to six cylinders adds to the Q5’s draw and ensures prices have remained robust, along with the enduring appeal of Audi’s interior fit and finish.
6. Volkswagen Polo
What’s so clever about the Volkswagen Polo is that it shares many of the attributes that buyers love about its larger sibling, the Golf. This means it holds onto its value better than most, so expect to pay a bit more for a Polo than you would an equivalent Ford Fiesta or Skoda Fabia. However, if you do, you’ll get a classy and competent car that’s good to drive, beautifully built, reasonably spacious inside and relatively cheap to own. As well as that, it rides well and it's refined at motorway speeds, too, while its light controls and good visibility make the Polo a doddle to use in town.
5. Vauxhall Insignia
The Insignia might look a little so-so but it has a classy, well-built interior with upmarket-feeling plastics. There’s loads of room in the interior, as well as a practical boot that can take larger loads than the Volkswagen Passat or BMW 3 Series. No Insignia is enormously fun to drive, though. Safe, stable and competent, yes, but steering that is remote and overly light saps any engagement from the experience. It’s on the motorway that the Insignia feels most at home. Here, the smooth ride quality damps out expansion joints and bumps – as long as you choose a model with smaller wheels; larger wheels with their lower tyre sidewalls tend to ruin the ride quality.
4. Land Rover Freelander
The second-generation Freelander represented a big step up for the British company’s smallest product. With smarter looks inside and out, it could take on premium-badged opposition for the first time. The Freelander majored on its off-road ability and its chiseled good looks, and it soon proved immensely popular on school runs the length and breadth of the UK. It’s still hugely popular on used car forecourts, despite its somewhat average reliability survey results.
3. Ford Focus
The Ford Focus has always been the hatchback of choice for keen drivers. It steers, stops and handles crisply, and there’s a good choice of petrol and diesel engines that offer plenty of straight-line punch and decent economy. Where the Focus perhaps lags behind its rivals is in the amount of space it offers, with less rear leg room than you’ll find in a VW Golf or Nissan Pulsar, and a small boot for the class. However, its sporty drive, combined with Ford’s reputation for building cars that are good value for money and generally reliable, has made it a firm fixture in the UK best sellers list for many years.
2. Nissan Qashqai
We like the second-generation Qashqai here at What Car?. It was developed on UK roads and you can tell by the way it strikes such a good balance between ride comfort and handling. The steering is responsive, the body doesn’t lean too much in corners and there’s lots of grip, yet the Qashqai also rides bumps and potholes with real composure. On top of that, it’s practical, good value, cheap to run and reasonably reliable. No wonder it’s one of our favourites. After all, it was the car that made the SUV popular.
1. Ford Fiesta
Perhaps it’s not surprising that one of Britain’s best-selling cars should be the most viewed on our used reviews website, especially when it’s one as popular as the evergreen Ford Fiesta. It’s a tough act to beat, after all. It’s great to drive, with quick steering, excellent levels of grip and very engaging handling. It rides smoothly, it’s quiet and stable, and it’s even relaxing on a long motorway drive. In fact, it’s an extremely classy and grown-up small car. There's a huge selection of engines to choose from, too, with later models getting tiny three-cylinder petrol turbos that offer plenty of punch and decent economy. All in, it’s a superb small car and an excellent used proposition.