Best used cars: Top SUVs, small motors and convertibles revealed

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Hyundai i10


Used Value Car of the Year

Winner: Hyundai i10 (2014-2019) – less than £6,000 

Budget option: Suzuki Celerio (2015–2019) – less than £4,000

Suzuki Celerio

If you want a great city car on the used market, look no further than the Hyundai i10 (left) or Suzuki Celerio (right)

Used Small Car of the Year

Winner: Skoda Fabia (2015–present) – less than £8,000

Budget option: Ford Fiesta (2008–2017) – less than £5,000

Skoda Fabia

Ford Fieta

Skoda’s Fabia (left) took the title as best used small car, with the previous-generation Ford Fiesta (right) the choice budget option

Used Family Car of the Year

Winner: Skoda Octavia (2013–2020) – less than £15,000

Budget option: Vauxhall Astra (2015–present) – less than £8,000 

Skoda Octavia

Vauxhall Astra

The Skoda Octavia (left) has been named the best second-hand family car, though the Vauxhall Astra (right) is also recommended by What Car?’s road test team

Used Executive Car of the Year

Winner (& budget option): Audi A4 (2015–present) – less than £14,000

The Audi A4 is the standout second-hand executive model, according to the car magazine

The Audi A4 is the standout second-hand executive model, according to the car magazine

Used Luxury Car of the Year

Winner: Audi A8 (2017–present) – less than £40,000

Budget option: Volvo S90 (2016–present) – less than £20,000

Audi A8

Volvo S90

Luxury cars depreciate at a rapid rate from new, meaning you can get a lot of car for your money on the used market. The best option – if you have £40k to spend – is the Audi A8 (left), or for half that you should consider the Volvo S90 (right) 

Used Small SUV of the Year

Winner: Seat Arona (2018–present) – less than £12,000

Budget option: Renault Captur (2013–2019) – less than £8,000

Seat Arona

Renault Captur

The smallest Seat SUV in the range, the Arona (left), was deemed the best second-hand small SUV, while the recently replaced Renault Captur (right) was the best option if you want to spend less than £8,000

Used Family SUV of the Year & Overall Used Car of the Year

Winner (& budget option): Seat Ateca (2016–present) – less than £13,000 

The Ateca won this segment but also took the overall Best Used Car of 2019 crown in the What Car? Awards

The Ateca won this segment but also took the overall Best Used Car of 2019 crown in the What Car? Awards

Used Large SUV of the Year

Winner: Volvo XC60 (2017–present) – less than £25,000

Budget option: Skoda Kodiaq (2016–present) – less than £19,000 

Skoda Kodiaq

Volvo XC60

There are plenty of models to choose from in the large SUV sector. On the second-hand market, buyers should consider the Skoda Kodiaq (left) and Volvo XC60 (right)

Used Luxury SUV of the Year

Winner: Audi Q7 (2015–present) – less than £35,000

Budget option: Volvo XC90 (2015–present) – less than £25,000 

Audi Q7

Volvo XC90

The big and pricey Audi Q7 (left) is the best luxury SUV option second hand, though the Volvo XC90 (right) is a strong option for a smaller outlay

Used MPV of the Year

Winner: Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer (2018–present) – less than £15,000

Budget option: Citroën C4 Picasso (2014–2018) – less than £10,000

Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer

Citroen C4 Picasso

If you want a large MPV, then look no further than French brand Citroen. The current Grand C4 Spacetourer is the top choice, though the C4 Picasso it replaced is also a good choice if you have a smaller budget

Used Estate Car of the Year

Winner: BMW 5 Series Touring (2017–present) – less than £25,000 

Budget option: Skoda Octavia Estate (2013–2020) – less than £10,000

BMW 5 Series Touring

Skoda Octavia Estate

If you want a capable used estate car, look no further than the BMW 5 Series Touring (left) and – on a tighter budget – the just-replaced Skoda Octavia (right)

Used Hot Hatch of the Year

Winner: BMW M140i (2016–2019) – less than £18,000

Budget option: Ford Fiesta ST (2013–2017) – less than £12,000 

BMW M140i

Ford Fiesta ST

If you want cheap(ish) thrills, then these are the best second-hand hot hatches – the BMW M140i (left) and Ford Fiesta ST (right)

Used Coupé of the Year

Winner (& budget option): Audi TT (2015 –present) – less than £15,000 

What Car? said the best used coupe option is the latest Audi TT, with examples available for less than £15,000 on the second-hand market

What Car? said the best used coupe option is the latest Audi TT, with examples available for less than £15,000 on the second-hand market

Used Convertible of the Year

Winner: Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2017–present) – less than £30,000

Budget option: BMW 2 Series (2014–present) – less than £15,000 

Mercedes-Benz E Class Cabriolet

BMW 2 Series Convertible

If you want a second-hand car that allows you to feel the breeze in your hair, the best choices are the Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet (left) or the less expensive BMW 2 Series Convertible (right)

Used Sports Car of the Year

Winner: Porsche Cayman (2013–2016) – less than £35,000

Budget option: Mazda MX-5 (2015–present) – less than £20,000

Porsche Cayman

Mazda MX-5

If you’re willing to fork out a still relatively high price on the second-hand market, a Porsche Cayman (left) is the best used sports car you can purchase. If you want to spend less, the current Mazda MX-5 (right) is another option

Used Performance Car of the Year

Winner: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2016–present) – less than £45,000

Budget option: Mercedes C43 AMG (2016–present) – less than £25,000 

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Mercedes C43 AMG

Alfa’s Giulia Quadrifoglio (left) is a seriously good performance car, though you will need to pay quite a large sum to get one, even on the used market. If you want to spend a little less, the Mercedes C43 AMG (right) is an excellent alternative 

Used Hybrid Car of the Year

Winner (& budget option): Hyundai Ioniq (2017–present) – less than £15,000 

Hyundai's Ioniq hybrid is the top choice model if you want a used car with a battery and electric motor to supplement a combustion engine

Hyundai’s Ioniq hybrid is the top choice model if you want a used car with a battery and electric motor to supplement a combustion engine

Used Electric Car of the Year

Winner: Nissan Leaf (2018–present) – less than £25,000

Budget option: Nissan Leaf (2011–2018)  – less than £13,000 

Current Nissan Leaf

Original Nissan Leaf EV

The Nissan Leaf, both new (left) and old (right), are the top used choices if you’re in the market for a second-hand electric vehicle

Used Approved car scheme

Winner: DS Certified

Special mention: Kia Approved Used, BMW/Mini Approved Used

DS won the award for best used car scheme for the second year running for its 'outstanding' 24-month warranty on cars up to four years old

DS won the award for best used car scheme for the second year running for its ‘outstanding’ 24-month warranty on cars up to four years old

Source: What Car? Used Car of the Year 2021 Awards 



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