Used Car of the Year Awards 2022: City cars
With demand for used cars on the rise, you’ll want to know which are the best buys. That’s where our annual Used Car Awards come in. These are our favourite city cars...
Prices from £5000
They say good things come in small packages, and the Picanto is proof of that. Despite being the ideal size for urban use and relatively cheap to buy, Kia’s baby won’t leave you yearning for the creature comforts of something larger.
The smart-looking interior is well equipped in mid-range 2 trim up, although you’ll need to seek out higher-spec 3 trim for the best infotainment system. With room for four adults and a good-sized boot, the Picanto is more practical than most rivals, too, trouncing the Fiat 500 and Toyota Aygo.
Meanwhile, there's lots to like about the way the Picanto drives, with sharper handling than the Hyundai i10 and good refinement, plus nippy performance from any of its frugal petrol engines around town. The more powerful 1.25-litre version is ideal if you do regular motorway miles.
We’d look for a 2018 Picanto 1.0 in 2 trim for about £6000, which is tremendous value and gives it the edge over its rivals. It will still have four years of Kia’s market-leading warranty left – not that most owners will need it, given that the Picanto proved soundly reliable in our latest survey.
One we found 2018 Kia Picanto 1.0 2, 14,000 miles Price £5990
Hyundai i10 (2015-2020)
Prices from £4000
In terms of refinement, the i10 edges out all of its rivals. It’s nearly as good to drive as the Picanto, too, while being reliable and having one of the best infotainment systems in its class. Around £8000 will get you a two-year-old i10 in well-equipped SE trim, with either an economical 1.0-litre engine or a gutsier 1.2. You’ll still have a few years of Hyundai’s five-year warranty cover left, too.
One we found 2019 Hyundai i10 1.0 SE, 2000 miles Price £8000
Volkswagen Up (2012-present)
Prices from £3000
A former Car of the Year, the Up remains the go-to city car if interior quality is a priority. It’s stylish, too, looking as fresh today as it did when it was launched back in 2012. Other attributes include a supple ride and agile handling, although the Up isn’t as practical as the Picanto and it’s light on safety kit compared with the i10. We’d up the budget to £5000 and bag a good 2015 car.
One we found 2015 Volkswagen Up 1.0 Move, 36,500 miles Price £5000