Used Car of the Year Awards 2022: Family 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 family cars...
Prices from £10,000
What elevates a car from being a home run to a ‘smashed out of the park’ home run? In the case of the Audi A3, it’s refinement.
The third-generation model aces all the regular family car characteristics, but then adds an extra layer of sophistication and quality into the mix that’s impossible to ignore. That helped it win our overall Car of the Year Award in 2013, and now it’s a brilliant used buy.
For starters, its interior has a plethora of upmarket materials and a top-notch infotainment system that we actually prefer to the current model’s, which doesn’t feel quite as classy. On the road, the A3 strikes the perfect balance between a supple ride and tidy handling. You get loads of choice when it comes to engines and trim levels, too. Our favourite variant is the petrol 1.5 TFSI Sport; a 2018 example can be yours for around £14,000, while earlier versions start at £10,000.
The A3 is a much better all-rounder than the Kia Ceed and Honda Civic, and offers a level of desirability and quality beyond even that of the excellent Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf. All that makes it our top pick here.
One we found 2018 Audi A3 1.5 TFSI Sport, 40,825 miles Price £14,189
Skoda Octavia (2013-2020)
Prices from £5000
The Octavia is the most practical of all family hatchbacks. In fact, with its spacious interior and large boot, it might be a better fit for your needs than our winner, the A3. We’d opt for the later 1.5 TSI SE model, which is good to drive and economical; a year-old example should cost no more than £15,000. It’s more comfortable than a Seat Leon and a better all-rounder than the Hyundai i30.
One we found 2018 Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI SE, 42,000 miles Price £14,390
Volkswagen Golf (2013-2020)
Prices from £8000
The Golf in this seventh-generation form can’t match the A3’s premium feel, and its infotainment is less intuitive. However, it’s a well-rounded car with a classless appeal, and you should be able to find a five-year-old example for less than the equivalent A3. It’s practical, smooth and enjoyable to drive, with a more upmarket interior than rivals such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.
One we found 2016 Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI Match BlueMotion Edition, 36,000 miles Price £9995