Top 10: Used family cars for £15,000
After a decent all-round family car? If so buying used makes a lot of sense. True you don't get to pick the colour or enjoy that new car smell, but you don't take that big hit on depreciation either. A budget of £15,000 can get you a lot more than you may think too.
Considerably bigger than its predecessor, this latest generation Civic model is halfway to Accord territory, which is good news for both boot space and room in the back. It may not have the magic seats of before, but the quality and design of the interior is step forward. The 1.0 VTEC is the engine to go for but stick the standard manual - the CVT makes it very sluggish.
We know that it doesn't have the most exciting of images - vRS versions aside - but the Octavia is hugely spacious, comfortable and very good value too. It was facelifted at the beginning of 2017 and although not everyone is fan of the new look (those awkward headlights in particular it would seem) you can get the revised model - around a year old - for this money, both hatchback and estate.
We get a lot of people asking us for advice on what used car to buy. And the Hyundai Tucson is a car we find ourselves repeatedly recommending. Why? Well it does so much so well. It's comfortable, good quality and is proving reliable too. For this budget there's plenty of choice and you can find a low mileage example that's around two to three years old. That means it still has plenty of the five-year warranty left too.
The MPV may no longer be in favour as everyone decides they want an SUV or crossover, but when it comes to space, especially if you have growing teenagers, a people carrier still ticks all the right boxes. And MPVs don't have to be boxy as the latest Scenic shows. Renault may not have the best reputation for reliability in the past, but we get few reports of problems with many of its latest models.
It's not the most practical of small crossovers, but the CX-3 is one of the best handling and most enjoyable to drive. It also comes with plenty of standard kit and for this money you can get a top of the range Sport Nav model. Unless you're covering big mileages, we'd stick with the 2.0-litre petrol which is proving economical with owners according to Real MPG.
If you want reliability - buy a Toyota. That's pretty much the best advice we can give to anyone looking at used cars. While the Auris may not be the most exciting of hatchbacks around, it's very unlikely to ever go wrong. For a £15k budget you can get a two-year old low mileage hybrid model - ideal for around town and lots of short journeys.
We regard the Arona as one of the best small crossovers around - it's more comfortable, practical and stylish than the majority of its rivals. It's also cheaper than the equivalent T-Roc. Used examples are starting to filter onto the market, mainly 1.6 TDI models, although there is the odd 1.0 TSI around - much better for low mileages and no DPF to worry about.
Yes, we know it's predictable but there's no way we could have this list and not include the Ford Focus. Yes it's ubiquitous, but there's a good reason the Focus is so popular - it's an excellent family hatchback. We've seen plenty of examples less than a year old and with just a few thousand miles on the clock for this money. We'd go for the 1.0 EcoBoost 140 engine and the ST-Line trim. A lot of Focus for the money.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer
You wouldn't exactly put the 2 Series Active Tourer under the banner that reads 'sporty' or indeed 'sexy', but it's not without its charms. It's easy to drive and comes with some impressive engines including the turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol that's shared with the MINI (confusingly badged 218i in the BMW). For £15k you can get a two or three year old model, either petrol or diesel.
You could get an older Volvo XC60 for this money, but you're also looking at considerably higher mileages. So we think the V60 is better value for money. It may not have the posh interior of the newer Volvo models, but you're guaranteed comfort - Volvo has some of the best seats around - and the diesel engines are proving economical too.