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The 10 best cheap used cars

June 05, 2017 by

You can get great deals on the used car market. Buying an affordable used car doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sacrifice on performance, practicality or space, however. We’ve rounded up 10 great used cars of all shapes and sizes that all make fantastic second-hand buys thanks to the value for money they offer.

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Here are the best cheap used cars on sale:

1. Kia Sportage

If you’re after a practical, robust and capable family SUV, the previous-generation Kia Sportage makes a great second-hand choice. It boasts a roomy, well-built feeling interior, sizeable enough to comfortably seat four adults. The 2.0-litre diesel engine strikes a good balance between performance and economy while, thanks to a soft suspension setup, the Kia is comfortable on the road. Best of all, it comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year manufacturer warranty that can be transferred to new owners. Expect to pay from around £7,000 for a used Sportage in good condition.

2. Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the best choices in the family hatchback segment. It’s a well-rounded car with a spacious cabin, a 370-litre boot suitable for family trips and all models are well equipped. The cabin is simply laid out and feels well built, plus the Astra can be had with either seven or eight-inch touchscreen infotainment systems. It’s a great motorway cruiser thanks to its plentiful grip that helps it feel relaxed at speed, while the frugal 1.6-litre diesel is capable of returning up to 76mpg. Costing from around £7,000, used Astras represent great value for money and are easy to come by.

3. Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster offers rugged styling, optional four-wheel drive and a spacious interior with a generous 475-litre boot. New Dusters are the most affordable new SUVs on sale but, if you’re looking to save even more, used examples can be had for as little as £5,500. Don’t be fooled by its price tag, the Duster is composed on the move, fairly cheap to run and can make a decent attempt at off roading – the optional four-wheel drive will be useful off the beaten track. The interior may be a bit spartan, but there’s plenty of space and the chunky styling fits the car’s overall rugged look.

4. Ford Fiesta

The previous-generation Ford Fiesta was Britain’s best-selling car all the way until going off sale thanks to being a fantastic all-rounder. It features attractive styling, an incredibly involving driving experience and decent comfort and refinement when you’re not driving quickly. The interior is cluttered but reasonably well built and the boot is just large enough for a couple of suitcases. All models feel agile thanks to excellent steering, while Ford’s turbo 1.0-litre EcoBoost engines offer plenty of pep. Used examples cost around £4,500, making the Fiesta an easy second-hand buy.

5. Suzuki Vitara

The Suzuki Vitara is a chunky small SUV boasting rugged looks and plenty of space for growing families. The well-built cabin is roomy with a practical 375-litre boot, although some of the plastics don’t feel especially expensive to the touch. Four-wheel drive versions have good off-road ability and all models are surprisingly fun to drive on the road – especially the Vitara S with its 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine. The Suzuki badge isn’t quite as desirable as rivals, but it’s worth considering thanks to some great used deals. A nearly new, low-mileage example can be had for less than £12,000.

6. SEAT Leon

The SEAT Leon is the VW Golf’s Spanish platform mate. To our eyes, the Leon more striking thanks to sharper styling lines and a more aggressive look than its German counterpart. Thankfully, it’s just as practical, boasting a well-built interior and a 380-litre boot. The Leon is easy to drive and can offer great fuel economy – the 1.6-litre diesel can return an impressive 71mpg. With its smart looks, spacious interior and solid driving experience, the Leon makes a great used purchase with some examples costing less than £7,000.

7. Vauxhall Insignia

The Vauxhall Insignia is a spacious family car with a well-built interior that can comfortably fit four passengers and all their holiday luggage. Lots of grip and good ride quality make it an ideal car for motorway cruising. The 530-litre boot has a large opening and it can be expanded to 1,470-litres with the back seats folded. Engines range from a frugal 1.6-litre diesel to a powerful twin-turbo V6 in the VXR – capable of an impressive 170mph. The Insignia has recently been replaced by the new Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport so expect to find a great deal on a used Insignia – we’ve seen pre-owned models for as little as £3,000.

8. Suzuki Swift

The Suzuki Swift is a fun little car that offers a decent interior space, good equipment levels and small city-friendly dimensions. The interior feels solidly built and its 211-litre boot is enough to carry the weekly shop. The Swift’s trump card is its spectacular handling, with firm suspension and a range of peppy, economical engines helping it dart around town while keeping running costs to a minimum. The latest model has now emerged so you’ll find some great deals on the previous-generation version – we found some second-hand models priced from just £2,500.

9. Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 offers cute retro styling both inside and out, while plentiful personalisation options mean two similar 500s are hard to find. The Fiat 500 can also be had as a 500C convertible or as a speedy Abarth 595. The 500 is nimble around town thanks to light steering but is just as happy to cruise on the motorway as long as you avoid the weedy entry-level engines. The extremely frugal 1.3-litre diesel engine is capable of returning up to 83mpg if you have a very light foot but the TwinAir petrol engines are much better suited to the car’s fun character.

10. Peugeot 208

The Peugeot 208 boasts a spacious, smart interior with an oddly small steering wheel. The 208’s interior isn’t as cluttered as some rivals with many functions handled by the car’s infotainment system standard on most models. There’s good amounts of passenger space and its practical 285-litre boot should be large enough to hold the weekly shop. The 208 may not be exciting to drive, but it’s easy to place on the road and is fairly comfy. High mileage drivers should check out the 1.6-litre diesel engine that can return an impressive 94mpg. Used examples can be had for around £3,500.

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