Taking a look at the used car market opens up plenty of alternatives, and, as always, your money goes a lot further, so suddenly cars from the class above become affordable. You can even get a premium badge for your £20,000, while still putting space at the top of your list of priorities.
Our recommended choice: 2017 Volkswagen Passat Estate 2.0 TDI GT DSG
Price £19,000 Mileage 11,214
The Passat Estate has long been a bastion of middle-class driveways across Britain, but don’t let its well-to-do image lull you into thinking it’s expensive to buy. These days, a second-hand Passat Estate is barely any more costly to buy than the equivalent Ford Mondeo, which makes it a bit of a used car bargain.
Take the rather handsome example we’ve found in the What Car? Classifieds for you, then. It’s a year old and has covered just 11,000 miles – about what you’d expect for a big diesel estate like this. It also comes with Volkswagen’s excellent DSG automatic gearbox, mated to the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which is our favourite in the Passat range.
And because it’s the lavish GT version, it gets tri-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic glass roof and an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen. There's also, of course, a huge boot for all the family clutter and loads of space in the back. All this can be yours for just £19,000 – giving you change to spend on extending the warranty by a year to make up the difference between the new and used options here.
Also consider: 2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon 1.7 CRDi ISG GT-Line S DCT
Price £19,989 Mileage 9486
If warranty is an issue, though, you could pick this vast Kia Optima Sportswagon estate. It’s a top-of-the-range GT Line S, so it’s loaded with toys and looks very sporty, and, like all Kias, had seven years’ warranty when new – of which six are still left today. Having done just over 9000 miles, it’s barely been used.
Also consider: 2017 BMW 320i Touring SE Step auto
Price £19,732 Mileage 20,544
If the Passat and the Kia are too big for you, look at this smart BMW 3 Series Touring instead. It’s a smooth, powerful 320i with a petrol engine – although similar diesel models are also available, should you wish – and in our favourite trim, SE. It’s just two years old, has done 20,000 miles and is cracking to drive.
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