Used Car of the Year Awards 2022: Small 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 small cars...
Skoda Fabia (2015-present)
Prices from £6000
This generation of the Skoda Fabia may be on the brink of being replaced in new car showrooms, but it’s still one of the most well-rounded small cars you can buy. As a cheaper used prospect, it makes even more sense – which is why it’s our top choice in this category for the fourth year on the trot.
Practicality is one of the Fabia’s biggest assets, with plenty of room inside for four adults and a generous-sized boot, giving it a useful advantage over rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift. Plus, it feels robust and has a strong reliability record.
As well as being easy to drive, the Fabia is capable and composed in corners and quiet and comfortable on the motorway, although its ride is less settled around town.
Finally, the Fabia is modestly priced, undercutting the equivalent Seat Ibiza. Our ideal combination is a two-year-old example with a smooth, gutsy 94bhp 1.0 TSI petrol engine and in well-equipped SE trim for around £8000. For that outlay, you’ll get a car that blends many of the individual skills of its rivals in a single versatile package.
One we found 2019 Skoda Fabia 1.0 95 SE, 12,000 miles Price £8000
Seat Ibiza (2017-present)
Prices from £7500
The current Ibiza is one of the most enjoyable cars in this class to drive, feeling more agile in corners than the Skoda Fabia, at the expense of a firmer ride. It’s practical, too, and should be cheap to run. It’s proving slightly more reliable than the equivalent Volkswagen Polo and better value than an Audi A1. Look for a two-year-old 1.0 TSI 95 in SE trim for around £12k.
One we found 2019 Seat Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95 SE, 12,000 miles Price £12,000
Suzuki Swift (2010-2017)
Prices from £3000
An even more affordable option than the Skoda Fabia and other rivals such as the Ford Fiesta is this previous-generation Swift. The sweet spot is a 2016 example for £6000. For that, you get a car that’s more fun to drive than the Fabia and the budget-priced Dacia Sandero, with lively handling and nippy performance, although the interior isn’t as nice as the Fabia’s and there’s less space.
One we found 2016 Suzuki Swift 1.2 SZ4, 49,000 miles Price £6000