Buying a used hatchback - what's best for a new driver?

I am 25 and I have recently (six months ago) passed my test. I am looking to purchase a used car and my budget is £2000-£4000. The car I learned to drive in was a Volkswagen Golf Mk V and I have had a lot of practice in similar hatchbacks.

I have narrowed my choices down to three cars; Volkswagen Golf Mk V, Ford Focus or the Audi A3.

My question then is:

1. Which out of the 3 cars (bearing in mind my budget) do you think would yield the most value for my money?

2. What kind of condition should I expect for the price?

Asked on 13 January 2014 by Le jean

Answered by Honest John
The Focus will be best value, the Golf worse value because you are buying status rather than quality, and the Audi will be worst value because you are buying more status than the Golf but no better quality. For this sort of money you should seek out a facelift Focus Mk II from 2008 (the one with long headlights). Go for a plain 1.6 with a/c. Might be called an Edge or a Zetec. A KIA cee's or Hyundai i30 1.4 or 1.6 might be better, but this age were quite low geared so a bit noisy on the motorway.
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