What Car? Personal Shopper: best car for a traffic jam

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give you our top new and used car choices, and even tell you how much we can save you...

Volkswagen Golf GTE

Buying used

  • Our recommended choice: 2018 Volkswagen Golf GTE Advance
  • Price: £25,810
  • Mileage: 1204
Used Volkswagen Golf GTE

The Golf GTI is often cited as the car that does everything, but these days, when electrification is such a buzzword and there's the impending threat of ultra-low emissions zones, it’s the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid GTE that best fits that billing.

Think about it: if you want a fast car, it has 204bhp on tap when there's some charge in the batteries. If you want an economical car, it’ll cover between 25-30 miles on electric power alone before using its economical 1.4-litre petrol engine to finish the job. Plus, it has all the typical Golf virtues of a well-made interior and quiet motorway manners, while range-topping Advance trim adds a digital instrument display, an 8.0in infotainment system and the all-important adaptive cruise control.

It will require you to tap the accelerator to get the car going again if it’s been stationary for more than a few seconds, but that’s not a big ask considering how much it aids you in town traffic.

This particular example has done just 1204 miles and is barely a year old, which makes it all the more amazing that you can buy it for just £25,810 – a useful 20% saving on its original list price.

View this car in the What Car? classifieds or read our used Volkswagen Golf GTE review

  • Also consider: 2018 Volvo V40 T3 R Design auto 
  • Price: £16,990
  • Mileage: 10,975
Used Volvo V40

It's not our favourite family car, but the Volvo V40 is at least a safe purchase – not only for its competence and value but also for its actual safety. There are a huge number of passive and active safety systems on the V40 that only just stop short of letting it drive itself. If you find an example like this one with the optional Driver Support Pack, adaptive cruise control is added along with blindspot monitoring and lane departure warning. Mind you, this was an expensive pack when new and therefore not every V40 will have it.

View this car in the What Car? classifieds or read our used Volvo V40 review

  • Also consider: 2015 Jaguar XE 2.0 25t 240 Portfolio
  • Price: £24,197
  • Mileage: 5078
Used Jaguar XE

If you fancy something from the class above, take a look at this sleek Jaguar XE. It comes loaded with goodies such as heated and cooled front seats, a Meridian premium sound system and adaptive cruise control with queue assistance. Rear seat leg room and boot space are both in short supply, but this is the one to have if you like driving.