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Top 10: The best used Vauxhalls

What Car?'s guide to the best Vauxhalls on the used market

Words By Matthew Burrow

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Vauxhall has a model in nearly every car category, and the good news for used buyers is that they all depreciate strongly. However, which are the models that are worth considering if you're looking for a used car?

Here's our list of the top 10 used Vauxhalls:

1. Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the UK's best-selling cars and with good reason. It's practical, cheap to run and well-built. There's even more good news for used buyers: there are loads of good examples on the market and there are some real bargains to be had.

Models equipped with the 1.4T petrol engine make a good buy because after three years and 36,000 miles they are worth a little more than 33% of the original on-the-road price. That's a hefty chunk of depreciation that results in high-spec SE models with either three or five doors being remarkably good value.

The only versions we wouldn't recommend are those powered by the 1.0-litre engine - they feel underpowered - and entry-level trims that do without air-conditioning.

Whichever model you choose, you'll end up with a small car that's comfortable, good to drive and spacious enough to carry five.

What to look out for: grinding and squeaking brakes can cause owners headaches.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Corsa from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

2. Vauxhall Zafira

The Vauxhall Zafira is one of our favourite used MPVs for one main reason; it offers fantastic value for money. It's a genuine seven-seater that depreciates very strongly making it a popular choice on the used market.

After three years and 36,000 miles, the Vauxhall Zafira is worth less than 30% of the original on-the-road asking price, whichever model you choose.

We'd go for a 1.7 CDTi, 110 or 125. Both offer decent performance and are cheap to run. It's also worth looking for high-spec Elite models. They'll cost you a few hundred pounds more to buy but come with more kit including climate control and leather seats.

What to look out for: the tailgate mechanism can fail, causing it to stick shut.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Zafira from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

3. Vauxhall Astra

Third on our list is another of the UK's best sellers, the Vauxhall Astra. The stylish family hatchback has a great interior that's spacious and has a quality feel. The Astra is also refined and comfortable. When new, it's beaten by the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus but it's definitely worth considering as a used buy.

Which Astra should you go for? That really depends on how much mileage you're going to do. If you're a private buyer who isn't going to be doing a massive amount of mileage, it's worth looking at petrol-powered versions like the 1.6i VVT. They depreciate more strongly than their diesel counterparts and you could find a real bargain.

If you're going to be covering more than about 12,000 miles a year you're better off choosing a diesel. Our pick is the 1.6 CDTi 110 Ecoflex. It's cheap to run and there's loads of them on the used market. Our preferred trim is Tech Line which comes with air-conditioning, alloy wheels, Bluetooth, sat-nav and DAB digital radio.

What to look for: the quality feel can be deceptive, some owners complain of trim rattles.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Astra from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

4. Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer

The Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer is a decent small family estate with a generous 500-litre boot. Like the Astra hatchback, it's spacious and comfortable with a decent specification.

The Astra Sports Tourer depreciates more heavily than the hatchback so there some bargains to be had.

We'd recommend sticking with diesel power, the petrol engines feel a bit out of their depth.

As with the hatchback, our favourite is the 1.6 CDTi 110 Ecoflex in Tech Line trim. It's got low running costs and a generous specification.

What to look for: a rumbling noise from the rear can mean the rear shock absorbers need replacing.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

5. Vauxhall Insignia

On the used market, the Vauxhall Insignia offers fantastic value. There are so many around that you can find a decent example at a bargain price if you're willing to shop around.

It's got a spacious cabin and 520-litre boot, the only thing that limits the Insignia's practicality is the sloping roofline which eats into the rear headroom.

The Insignia isn't as refined as its rivals. The diesel engines are noisy and there's a lot of wind and road noise.

Most Insignias on the used market are diesel-powered and are the ones to go for if you do a lot mileage, however we would recommend test driving it on the motorway to make sure you can live with the noise. If you don't do massive mileage, it's worth looking for a 1.4-litre petrol model. They depreciate more heavily than the diesel models and the engine is a lot quieter.

Entry-level Design trim is well equipped with Bluetooth, DAB and cruise control.

What to look for: electrical problems are the most common complaint.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Insignia from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

6. Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer

Like the Insignia hatch, the Insignia Sports Tourer is beaten by rivals when new but is worth considering as a used buy.

There's plenty of room for four adults in the cabin and a decent boot, it's just a shame that it's not as practical as rivals. The boot is shallow, there's a large bumper to load things over and it's too easy to bang your head on the tailgate.

What's the Sports Tourer's saving grace? Again, it comes down to value for money. After three years and 36,000 miles, you should be able to find a number of decent used examples with generous specifications for less than Β£10,000.

What to look for: as with the hatchback, it's electrical problems that cause the most issues.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

7. Vauxhall Meriva

The rear-hinged rear doors on the Vauxhall Meriva differentiate it from everything else in the class. They mostly work well, but can make it tricky to load a child into a car seat in tight car parks.

As a used buy, look out for 1.4T 120 SE models. They get the smooth 1.4-litre petrol engine and SE trim comes with alloys, a panoramic glass roof as well as air-conditioning, cruise control and electric windows all-round. New, this model has an on-the-road price of nearly Β£20,000 but if you shop around you should be able to find three-year-old versions for between Β£6000 and Β£7000.

What to look for: on diesel models check the DPF warning light is not illuminated.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Meriva from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

8. Vauxhall Adam

Vauxhall's stylish city car is starting to come on to the used market in decent numbers. It's not as practical as its rivals but it is well equipped - all Adams come with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and DAB digital radio as standard. As such, we'd recommend sticking with the entry-level 1.2 Jam model.

However, if you want a small used Vauxhall, we wouldn't suggest the Adam. Instead you'd be better off going with a Corsa. There are more available for around the same money and the Corsa is more practical and refined.

What to look for: check the windscreen wipers; some owners report that they collide in use.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Adam from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

9. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer

The Zafira Tourer was sold alongside the Zafira as a more premium product. As such, it's more stylish and all models are generously equipped with alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control and DAB digital radio.

Why, then, does the Zafira appear at the top of the list and the Zafira Tourer appear nearer the bottom? It all comes down to value. The Zafira depreciates heavily and is widely available on the used market and so is the one we would go for if we were looking for a mid-sized MPV.

What to look for: make sure the DPF warning light isn't illuminated on diesel models.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer from the What Car? Approved Used scheme

10. Vauxhall Mokka

The Vauxhall Mokka has its work cut out. The small SUV category is one of the most competitive. As a new buy, the Mokka is hard to recommend, but now that more are appearing on the market, it's worth considering as a used buy.

We'd recommend going for the 1.4T. It's smoother than the diesel-powered cars and quieter. It should also prove to cheaper to buy thanks to worse depreciation.

All models are very well equipped, with dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, 18-inch alloy wheels, DAB radio, a USB socket and cruise control as standard. We'd recommend going for a Tech Line model which adds sat-nav to this list.

What to look for: check the auto lights and wipers work as they should.

Find good examples of the Vauxhall Mokka from the What Car? Approved Used scheme