Best compact executive car?

I have just retired and would like your advice please on the best value for money small executive car. As I would only consider a petrol engine your view on the best engine and gearbox would be appreciated too. My annual mileage is 8000 miles and my budget is £30k.

Asked on 14 September 2016 by Gardenerman

Answered by Honest John
Probably a BMW 3 Series with the new 2.0 litre engine and 8 speed torque converter transmission. But it is due for replacement at some time next year. A3 probably best with the 1.4TSI ACT 150 engine, but that needs a new timing belt every 4 years.
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