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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?...

24 Jul 2018 07:40

Top 10 safest used cars 2018

Volvo V40 crash test

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 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.

We found: 2017 1.4T 16V 150 SRi, 2697 miles, £13,295

Read our Vauxhall Astra used review >

Find a used Vauxhall Astra in the What Car? Classifieds >

9. Nissan Pulsar

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.

We found: 2015 1.2 DIG-T Acenta, 11,800 miles, £8489

Read our Nissan Pulsar used review >

Find a used Nissan Pulsar in the What Car? Classifieds >

8. Nissan Qashqai

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.

We found: 2016 1.5 dCi N-Connecta, 14,958 miles, £14,995

Read our Nissan Qashqai used review >

Find a used Nissan Qashqai in the What Car? Classifieds >

7. Kia Rio

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

Read our Kia Rio used review >

Find a used Kia Rio in the What Car? Classifieds >

6. Volkswagen Golf

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.

We found: 2017 1.5 TSI SE 5dr, 17,635 miles, £14,999

Read our Volkswagen Golf used review >

Find a used Volkswagen Golf in the What Car? Classifieds >

5. Mazda 3

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

Read our Mazda 3 used review >

Find a used Mazda 3 in the What Car? Classifieds >

4. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

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

Read our BMW 2 Series Active Tourer used review >

Find a used BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in the What Car? Classifieds >

3. Hyundai i30

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.

We found: 2017 1.0 T-GDi SE Nav, 13,264 miles, £13,980

Read our Hyundai i30 used review >

Find a used Hyundai i30 in the What Car? Classifieds >

2. Honda Civic

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

Read our Honda Civic used review >

Find a used Honda Civic in the What Car? Classifieds >

1. Volvo V40 (with safety pack)

Volvo V40

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

Read our Volvo V40 used review >

Find a used Volvo V40 in the What Car? Classifieds >

5. Toyota RAV4

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.

We found: 2016 2.0 D4-D Business Edition 2WD, 56,650 miles, £13,928

Read our Toyota RAV4 used review >

Find a used Toyota RAV4 in the What Car? Classifieds >

4. Nissan Qashqai

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.

Read our Nissan Qashqai used review >

Find a used Nissan Qashqai in the What Car? Classifieds >

3. BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

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.

Read our BMW 2 Series Active Tourer used review >

Find a used BMW 2 Series Active Tourer in the What Car? Classifieds >

2. Volkswagen Touran

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.

We found: 2015 1.6 TDI 105 Bluemotion Tech SE, 19,450 miles, £13,991

Read our Volkswagen Touran used review >

Find a used Volkswagen Touran in the What Car? Classifieds >

1. Mazda CX-5

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.

We found: 2015 2.2D SE-L Nav, 40,764 miles, £13,129

Read our Mazda CX-5 used review >

Find a used Mazda CX-5 in the What Car? Classifieds >


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