What Car? Personal Shopper: family car for £20,000

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

New Volvo V60 vs Audi A4 Avant vs Skoda Superb Estate

Buying used

  • Our recommended choice: 2017 Audi A4 Avant 1.4 TFSI 150 Sport
  • Price: £19,000
  • Mileage: 14,000
Audi A4 Avant 2021 front right tracking

If there's serious family work to be done and a reasonable budget to play with, there's no point in poncing around; you want a top-flight executive estate. The Audi A4 Avant takes all the good qualities of the admirable A4 saloon – it's impressively refined, has plenty of power with this smooth 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine, combines that with good economy and, to top it all off, has a wonderfully classy interior – and adds a dollop of extra space at the back. It will see off the family holiday with disdain and cruise comfortably down a motorway all day long, as well as be handy on the school run. Our budget buys a 2017 car with a low mileage from a franchised dealer. 

  • Also consider: 2017 Skoda Kodiaq 1.4 TSI SE [7st]
  • Price: £20,000
  • Mileage: 14,000
New Mazda CX-5 & Ford Kuga vs Skoda Kodiaq

If you need space (and we mean big space), try a barely used Skoda Kodiaq. We all know the fabulous Czech offers exceptional value for money, but it's also good to drive, comfortable to be in and incredibly spacious inside. The advantage here is you get seven seats, with the two foldaway seats in the boot being easily big enough for larger children or smaller adults. Under the bonnet is a punchy but frugal and delightfully smooth 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine. For £20k, you can find yourself a 2017 car with a full service history from a Skoda dealer. 

  • Also consider: 2017  BMW X1 sDrive18i SE
  • Price: £19,995
  • Mileage: 9000
2015 BMW X1 xDrive20d review

Your budget buys you a premium badge on the bonnet of an SUV in the form of the handsome BMW X1. This petrol-powered version packs a creamy 138bhp punch, and it's front-wheel drive, so has less weight to drag around. It's spacious, it's practical and it has an interior that's to die for. On top of that, it drives well, with fine handling, eager steering and a firm but fair ride. Oh, and its infotainment system is the best in the class. 

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