Top 10 safest used cars 2019
The safest used cars in Britain have been revealed, but which model has taken the number one spot? And which is best for new parents?...
Top 10 safest used cars 2018
Every year, Euro NCAP crash tests the latest models to find out how safe they are. But if you're buying used, it can be harder to know what will be best at protecting you and your loved ones in an accident.
To help redress the balance, Thatcham Researsch and Co-op Insurance have come together to crown Britain’s safest used car. They looked at models that cost less than £15,000 used, have a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, come equipped with automatic emergency braking and emit less than 120g/km of CO2.
Here we count down the top 10. Plus, we've got the best five cars for new parents, where the judges put more of a focus on the Euro NCAP child occupant protection scores and how easy and safe it is to fit a child seat.
10. Vauxhall Astra
Vauxhall's latest Astra isn't just a safe choice. It's cheaper to buy used than many rivals, including the Volkswagen Golf, plus it combines a spacious interior with attractive pricing and efficient engines.
9. Nissan Pulsar
The Pulsar is a family hatchback that’s designed to appeal to those seeking a straightforward, no-nonsense car for a bargain price. And yet there are no signs of cost-cutting when it comes to standard equipment or safety.
8. Nissan Qashqai
This former What Car? Car of the Year remains one of the best family SUVs on sale, while the fact that it's a mainstay of the UK's top 10 sellers list ensures there are plenty of used examples to choose from.
7. Kia Rio
We like the Rio's refined range of petrol engines. What's more, it's well equipped, with even entry-level versions offering air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and electric windows.
We found: 2017 1.25 2, 12,477 miles, £10,000
6. Volkswagen Golf
Ask 10 people to name a family car and chances are at least half of them will mention the Golf. It's consistently among the most popular new cars sold in the UK, and with good reason: there's such a wide range of engines on offer – from frugal petrols through to diesels and even an electric variant – that there's a model to suit everyone.
5. Mazda 3
The 3’s biggest selling point is that it’s great fun to drive, with sharp handling and responsive engines. However, it also manages to be efficient, reliable and, of course, safe.
We found: 2017 2.0 SE-L Nav, 14,748 miles, £12,590
4. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
It isn’t the most versatile MPV out there, but the 2 Series Active Tourer makes up for that by being more enjoyable to drive than direct rivals. It’s also comfortable and classy inside, while its ranking in this table shows it will perform well in a crash.
We found: 2016 218d SE, 16,480 miles, £14,485
3. Hyundai i30
If you value a comfortable ride over fun handling, the i30 is worth considering. A one-year-old example will still have a longer warranty than most brand new cars, thanks to Hyundai's standard five-year, unlimited-mileage package.
2. Honda Civic
The latest Civic hatchback is good to drive, has a big boot and comes with lots of active safety aids, including lane-keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition. Just make sure you can live with its fiddly infotainment system.
We found: 2017 1.0 VTEC SE, 11,462 miles, £14,295
1. Volvo V40 (with safety pack)
Even in standard form, the V40 is a safe car. However, the optional safety pack brings extra kit that genuinely makes a difference to your chances of avoiding a crash, so if you can find a used V40 so equipped, it's worth snapping up.
We found: 2016 D2 R Design, 16,174 miles, £13,995
5. Toyota RAV4
Research suggests that the majority of parents (60%) choose to change their car when expecting their first child, with one of the key reasons being to get improved safety features (47%).
If you find yourself in that position, the spacious RAV4 SUV is the fifth-best used buy, according to Thatcham Researsch and Co-op Insurance.
4. Nissan Qashqai
The Qashqai is eighth on the main list, but fourth here, with its elevated seating making it easy to fit a child seat and Euro NCAP giving it an impressive 83% score for child occupant protection.
3. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
The 2 Series Active Tourer beats the Qashqai for a second time, though, combining more flexible seating with an 85% child occupant protection score.
2. Volkswagen Touran
The Touran is What Car?'s reigning MPV of the Year, blending a well built interior with an enjoyable drive and an 89% child occupant protection score. The one drawback when you're buying new is that it's a bit pricey, but even this isn't an issue on the used market.
1. Mazda CX-5
As good as the Touran is, it's the previous-generation CX-5 that takes the top spot. As a large SUV, it makes a hugely practical family car, plus it's great fun to drive and superb at protecting children sitting in the back.
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