Buying a used small car - What should we buy?

We're looking at buying a small second-hand car (e.g. Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, Vauxhall Corsa size). We want to spend around £5000 and would like a good deal with as low mileage as we can get.

We initially thought no older than five years but have just test driven a 2008 VW Golf which has had 3 owners, around 30,000 miles on the clock, good condition with full history for £4000. Just wondering what your thoughts were on this - is it a good deal (even though it's a slightly older car than we initially were looking at) and should we take it?? Thank you!

Asked on 21 June 2016 by H Dickson

Answered by Honest John
On the basis of reader feedback, Golf V and VIs initially look really good (which is the intention) but for reliability are disaster zones. See Strangely, and somewhat surprisingly, readers report very few faults with Corsas and the 2008 - 2013 Fiesta also comes up relatively trouble free.
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