The best cars to buy for less than £25,000
Got £25k to spend on your next car? From small hatchbacks to SUVs, we name the models you should have on your shortlist – and how much we can save you...
The best cars to buy for less than £25,000
A budget of around £25,000 for a new car is achievable for most buyers, and the good news is that for this kind of money, you can drive one of the best models on the market – whether you're looking for a city car, an SUV, or something in between.
In this slideshow, we've sifted through our latest Target Price research – which shows you the most you should pay for a new car, and is the maximum you'll pay through our New Car Buying Service – to name the top 10 cars that should be on your shortlist.
All of the cars featured here gained at least a four-star rating on our road test, and many are also What Car? Award winners, so you know they're among the best in the business. In each case, you can find out more about each car by following the links to our full reviews, or see if you can save even more by following the links through to our free deals service.
10. Volkswagen Golf
Model 1.5 TSI 150 Life | List price £24,495 | Target Price £23,431 | Target PCP £253 per month | What Car? rating 4 stars
The latest Volkswagen Golf is a fine family hatchback, with a comfortable ride and tidy handling which means it's comfortable for both long and short trips. The 1.5-litre petrol you get here is the engine that will make the most sense to most people; it's pleasantly peppy while also keeping running costs in check. Meanwhile, Life trim gets you everything you need, including climate control, adaptive cruise control and 16in alloy wheels.
9. Seat Arona
Model 1.0 TSI 115 FR Sport | List price £22,960 | Target Price £20,416 | Target PCP £223 per month | What Car? rating 4 stars
Looking for a small SUV that places a big emphasis on driver engagement? Then you'll want the Seat Arona on your shortlist. With tidy handling and a peppy 1.0-litre engine, it will put a smile on your face as you thread corners together on a country road, yet it also roomier than most rivals, so will suit the family's needs too.
8. Volkswagen T-Cross
Model 1.0 TSI 95 SE | List price £20,205 | Target Price £19,433 | Target PCP £228 per month | What Car? rating 4 stars
With a spacious, flexible interior and an impressive array of safety kit, the Volkswagen T-Cross makes for a fine and sensible small SUV. Add in our recommended 1.0-litre petrol engine, though, and it's also a fine cruiser, with enough performance for any situation. Better still, it won't cost you a lot to run; it proved to be very frugal in our real-world True MPG tests.
7. Skoda Superb
Model 1.5 TSI SE | List price £24,850 | Target Price £22,812 | Target PCP £226 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
In terms of how much space you get for your money, the Skoda Superb represents the bargain of the century. However, there's more to this executive car than just starship-levels of cargo capacity. You see, the Superb is also great to drive and well equipped. The 1.5-litre petrol engine you get here is our pick of the range, because it has enough poke to make short work of most journeys, but also won't cost you a lot to run.
6. Skoda Kamiq
Model 1.0 TSI SE | List price £20,520 | Target Price £19,262 | Target PCP £188 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
The same value for money ethos which puts the Superb on this list also applies to the firm's smallest SUV, the Kamiq. It might not seat you as high up as other small SUVs, but it still makes for a superbly practical family car, with a remarkably roomy boot and rear bench, a comfy ride and, in SE trim, more kit than you might expect for the price. Indeed, the kit list includes cruise control, automatic lights and wipers and rear parking sensors.
5. Hyundai i10
Model 1.2 SE | List price £11,865 | Target Price £10,721 | Target PCP £220 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
Welcome to the first of our What Car? Award winners, the Hyundai i10. The i10 scooped up our Value Car of the Year title earlier this year by being comfortable and quiet to drive, by offering decent rear space – something not always seen in city cars – and by offering loads of safety kit as standard. That you can grab our favourite version with a decent discount shows why these Target Price deals are worth paying attention to.
4. Citroen Berlingo
Model 1.2 Puretech Feel M | List price £20,910 | Target Price £18,322 | Target PCP £264 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
Let's say that you need a big car to transport your family and all of their luggage, but you don't want an SUV. Well, the next logical place to turn is a people carrier, and the Berlingo is the best of the bunch. It's got enough space inside for a camping trip with all the family, plus with our recommended 1.2-litre petrol engine it offers pleasantly peppy performance. You don't need to spend much more to get the seven-seat XL version, either.
3. Volkswagen Polo
Model 1.0 TSI 95 Match | List price £17,870 | Target Price £16,722 | Target PCP £191 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
The Polo is proof that you don't need to spend a lot of money to drive a great small car. In fact, it has many of the attributes that we love about the larger and more expensive Golf, including a classy interior. Generous space means that longer trips with the family need not be uncomfortable, while a supple ride and quiet driving manners make the Polo a joy to drive every day – little wonder, then, that it's our reigning small car champion.
2. Skoda Scala
Model 1.0 TSI SE | List price £19,250 | Target Price £17,869 | Target PCP £188 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
The Scala is the third Skoda to feature on this list, but the first of the brand's models to be a What Car? Award winner. The Scala is our reigning Family Car of the Year because it's spacious, has a comfy ride and tidy handling, and doesn't cost a lot to buy or run either. In fact, when you take our Target Price saving into account, it's nothing short of a bargain.
1. Ford Puma
Model 1.0 Ecoboost mHEV Titanium | List price £20,985 | Target Price £19,689 | Target PCP £220 per month | What Car? rating 5 stars
The Ford Puma isn't just the best small SUV you can buy in 2020, it's our Car of the Year, meaning it's the best car full stop. Why? Well, as well as offering all of the space and practicality that growing families will expect from such a car, the Puma also uses clever mild hybrid technology to lower your fuel bills. Add in that it's also great to drive, and this really is the complete package.
*Target Prices correct at time of writing according to latest mystery shopping data, but subject to change
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