7th - Volvo XC60
Years: 2008-2017 Budget from: £8200 Our favourite: D4 Drive SE
We've been impressed with the new Volvo XC60, and the fact that the previous model has held on to its value so well shows how sought after it is on the used market. This is a prestigious, practical and spacious family SUV, and the diesel engine we recommend is both economical and gutsy.
6th - Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Years: 2006-2012 Budget from: £5000 Our favourite: C220 CDI SE
If you're looking for a used executive cruiser, the chances are that the C-Class is already on your shortlist. It's not as sharp to drive as the rival BMW 3 Series, but it's still reasonably spacious and comfortable over long journeys. There's a wide variety of models to choose from, too, including performance-oriented AMG versions if your budget will stretch that far.
5th - Audi A3
Years: 2003-2013 Budget from: £1200 Our favourite: 1.4 TFSI SE Sportback manual
Posh family hatchbacks don't come much better than the Audi A3. It's based on the Volkswagen Golf but offers a more upmarket interior designed to make it feel, well, like a larger Audi. It's not without its problems – resale values for cared-for models remain high and its ride is firmer than in most rivals – but the A3 remains a desirable and practical choice.
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