What Car?'s 5-star cars you can buy for less than £25k
These five-star models are all proof that you don't need to shell out a fortune to get a fantastic car, whether you're shopping for a city car, a family hatchback, an SUV or even a spacious estat...
If you buy a car that achieved our top five-star rating, then you can be certain that you're getting one of the best cars on the market today.
These cars are nearly always at the top of their respective classes, and among them are plenty of What Car? Car of the Year Award winners too.
You might think that you'll be forced to pay through the nose for the privilege of owning one of these cars, but there's actually a variety of five-star cars available for less than £25,000, and one that you can pick up for less than half that. From city cars to SUVs, there's something for everybody.
Here's our round-up of five-star cars that you can buy right now for less than £25,000.
Our recommended version: 1.25 3 5dr
List price: £13,150
Target Price: £12,534
Our reigning city car champion offers tidy handling, a good-size boot by the standards of the class and excellent infotainment on upper trim levels.
Kia Picanto - interior
It's good to drive and reasonably practical, too.
Our recommended version: 1.0 TSI 95 FR
List price: £17,240
Target Price: £15,229
The Ibiza is a fantastic choice in the small car market. It's deceptively spacious inside, comes with a range of peppy engines and is great to drive.
Seat Ibiza - interior
In short, it's a fantastic choice.
Our recommended version: 1.0 TSI 95 SE
List price: £16,450
Target Price: £15,240
The Polo is the best small car you can buy right now.
Volkswagen Polo - interior
Offering a superbly spacious interior, impressive refinement and a strong range of petrol engines - of which this 1.0-litre version is our favourite - the Polo really is the perfect small car.
Our recommended version: 1.0 TSI SE Technology [EZ]
List price: £18,075
Target Price: £16,584
The Arona might be Seat's smallest SUV, but it's surprisingly spacious inside and great to drive, offering tidy handling and a comfortable ride.
Seat Arona - interior
It will hold onto its value well, too, and our recommended SE Technology versions come with rear parking sensors and an upgraded infotainment system.
Our recommended version: 1.0 TSI 115 SE
List price: £19,550
Target Price: £19,176
The T-Cross is the best small SUV you can buy right now – it's great to drive, spacious inside and comes with an impressive array of safety equipment.
Volkswagen T-Cross - interior
Plus it's competitive on running costs, so whether you're a company car driver or private car buyer, it deserves to be on your SUV shortlist.
Our recommended version: 1.2 Puretech Feel M
List price: £19,650
Target Price: £17,497
The Berlingo is our reigning champion in the family MPV market.
Citroën Berlingo - interior
Why? Well, for starters it's incredibly spacious inside for both passengers and luggage, and the 1.2-litre petrol engine we recommend is delightfully flexible. It represents excellent value for money, too.
Our recommended version: 1.5 TSI SE
List price: £20,940
Target Price: £19,231
The Octavia is quite simply the best family hatchback you can buy, which is why it earned our maximum five-star rating.
Skoda Octavia - interior
There are more stylish options, but if your priorities are a comfortable ride, loads of space and generous standard equipment for a very affordable price, then little gets close.
Ford Fiesta ST
Our recommended version: ST-2 3dr
List price: £20,700
Target Price: £19,577
The Fiesta ST might only have a three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine under its bonnet, but it's still enough to make this hatchback feel pocket-rocket fast.
Ford Fiesta ST - interior
In fact, the Fiesta ST is excellent to drive, with superb handling and a great driving position. It's one of the best hot hatchbacks around.
Our recommended version: 1.5 TSI EVO Match 5dr
List price: £22,745
Target Price: £20,830
Ask 10 people to name a family car and chances are most of them will mention the Volkswagen Golf.
Volkswagen Golf - interior
It's consistently among the most popular new cars sold in the UK, and with good reason: with such a wide range of engines and versions on offer, there's a model to suit everyone. It's also brilliant to drive and competitively priced.
Our recommended version: 1.5 TSI SE
List price: £23,295
Target Price: £21,835
This replacement for the Yeti combines superb practicality with a comfortable ride, plus it's available with luxurious features such as virtual instruments and gesture control.
Skoda Karoq - interior
It has a smart-looking interior that's loaded with kit, too.
Our recommended version: 1.6 TDI 115 SE DSG
List price: £29,425
Target Price: £23,971
The Touran is an excellent choice if you're shopping for an MPV.
Volkswagen Touran - interior
It's spacious, good to drive and feels very well built. It does carry a premium price tag, but hefty discounts ensure this isn't a problem.
Our recommended version: 2.0 150 CR SE
List price: £24,530
Target Price: £24,530
The Skoda Superb is comfortable, well equipped, great value for money and one of the roomiest cars in its class.
Skoda Superb - interior
It's a great buy, then, and should definitely be on your executive car shortlist.
Skoda Superb Estate
Our recommended version: 2.0 TDI 150 CR SE
List price: £25,810
Target Price: £25,810
The Skoda Superb is already one of our favourite executive cars, offering comfort and practicality in equal measure.
Skoda Superb Estate - interior
This estate version is even more spacious, and offers exceptional value for money. In fact, we think it's the best estate car you can buy at this price.