You might assume £30,000 is a reasonable budget for a car. You might expect to be able to afford a mid-range family car or entry-level compact executive saloon in that range but we’ve found ten bargains that get you loads of bang for your buck. Some are almost supercar quick for premium supermini money…
We’re looking at 10 of the best choices available today for less than £30,000 – some have higher recommended retail prices but, thanks to carwow’s brilliant discounts, all are well within your reach.
Find out exactly how much you could save by configuring your dream car in our new car deals page to see the offers carwow could help you get. If you’ve a slightly tighter budget, check out the best cars on sale for less than £20,000.
1. Ford Focus RS
Praise for the latest Ford Focus RS is near-universal – a 345hp 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine hammers the RS from 0-62mph in just 4.7 seconds and continues to a top speed of 165mph. A four-wheel-drive system ensures huge traction in all weathers but, unlike systems employed by many other manufacturers, Ford’s can still misbehave if provoked. A dedicated ‘Drift Mode’ allows lurid, tyre-smoking powerslides – the likes of which are impossible in any of its major rivals.
Best of all, it’s brilliant value for money. It’s priced at a fiver less than £30,000, and nothing can match its performance or fun at that price. This has to be one of the greatest performance bargains ever sold.
Take a look at the Ford Focus RS deals page to spec up your perfect car and see how much you could save.
2. Volkswagen Golf R Estate
If the Focus RS is just a little too wild, or you crave a little extra practicality, the Volkswagen Golf R Estate might just be the perfect solution. It’s powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and can crack the 0-62mph sprint in 5.1 seconds.
Despite the speed, it has plenty of room for five in the solidly built cabin. This estate version has an enormous 605-litre boot – a whopping 225 more than the already practical Golf hatchback. All this in a car that achieves a claimed 39mpg. The VW Golf R Estate might just be all the car you’ll ever need.
Check out the Volkswagen Golf R Estate deals page to find the latest savings.
3. Jaguar XE
The compact executive saloon class is among the most fiercely contested of any sector. Whether you choose the Mercedes C-Class, Audi A4 or the BMW 3 Series, you’ll be far from buying a dud. The Jaguar XE, however, manages to combine a sense of class, quality and enjoyment that even its closest rivals have a tough task competing with.
It’s constructed extensively from aluminium to both improve rigidity and reduce weight meaning the XE feels agile and secure from behind the wheel. When equipped with the 163hp 2.0-litre diesel engine (available for a shade less than our £30,000 limit) the Jaguar will achieve a deeply impressive 75mpg in official tests.
Spec up a Jaguar XE through our deals page to see the savings on offer.
4. Jaguar XF
Sitting one place behind in fourth (and with a wowscore just one tenth of a point lower) is the XE’s big brother – the Jaguar XF. It underwent a complete redesign in 2015 to keep it near the top of the mid-size executive car segment. The switch to aluminium in its construction has reduced weight by as much as 190kg, making up for a slight increase in size. The cabin is spacious, the ride quality is well balanced and the engines are smooth and frugal.
While Jaguar’s prices suggest it isn’t possible to bag one within our £30,000 budget, a quick shop through our Jaguar deals show that you’ll be able to save almost £3,000 on average – just enough to allow it to deservedly creep into our top 10.
5. Audi TT Roadster
Anyone who considers style and image to be their top priorities would be hard pressed to find a more desirable car for the money than the Audi TT Roadster. The little two-seater sports car is something of a fashion icon, with a cutting edge look which makes some of its closest rivals look a little plain in comparison. The cabin is a true thing of beauty – it’s hard to find a nicer place in which to sit at even twice the price.
It has substance though – even the base 1.8-litre turbocharged model cracks the 0-62mph dash in 6.9 seconds and it’s reasonably good fun around the corners, too. Best of all, the convertible roof can be wound back to make the most of the sun during those rare moments it presents itself.
Head over to the Audi TT Roadster deals page to see the latest discounts available.
6. Volkswagen Golf GTE
Should you match Volkswagen Golf GTE’s 166mpg figure, chances are you’ll become rather unfamiliar with your local service station. The petrol/electric hybrid’s ability to cover 31 miles on electric power alone means many drivers won’t even need a drop of petrol to cover their daily commute. Its exemption from the London congestion charge makes the GTE an ideal candidate for anyone who chooses to drive into the City, too.
It might be a hybrid, but that doesn’t mean its eco credentials compromise its abilities elsewhere. With a total output of 204hp from a combination of 1.4-litre petrol engine and electric motor, a 7.6-second 0-62mph time makes it feel very quick. Inside, it will feel familiar to any Golf buyer, with a well-laid out and high quality cabin.
See how much you can save on a new Volkswagen Golf GTE by trying out our deals page.
7. Mercedes C-Class Coupe
If a stylish two-door appeals but the Audi TT doesn’t quite offer the levels of practicality you need, the Mercedes C-Class Coupe might just offer the perfect solution. It’s a full four seater so could almost be considered a miniature GT car on a budget.
The cabin is wonderful – both to look at and to touch – and its refinement is about as good as you’ll find at this price. The starting point of the range, the C200 Sport, combines a 7.7-second 0-62mph time with an official 53.3mpg fuel consumption figure.
Find all of the latest discounts for the Mercedes C-Class Coupe on our deals page.
8. Audi A4 Avant
An estate car is traditionally all about having a big boot so, in terms of bare figures, the Audi A4 Avant has its closest rivals beaten. The balance may only be slightly in the Audi’s favour but, at 505 litres, the load bay is larger than that found in the back of both the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate.
The latest model takes all the strengths of previous A4s – style, refinement, build quality – and enhances on each of them along with many other areas. The body is incredibly aerodynamically efficient, meaning not only is wind noise minimal inside the cabin, but fuel consumption is reduced on a motorway cruise. The ultra frugal 2.0-litre TDI Ultra achieves a claimed 70.6mpg in official tests.
Check out how much you could save using carwow’s Audi A4 Avant deals page.
9. Nissan 370Z
There are a number of talented small coupes on the market, the aforementioned Audi TT among them. Few at this price, however, can match the old school, hairy-chested performance of the Nissan 370Z. Power comes courtesy of a 324hp 3.7-litre V6, enough to propel the rear-wheel drive Nissan from 0-62mph in 5.3 seconds.
It’s fun to drive, too, with a playful balance which feels completely forgiving and predictable when pushed. Unlike the hot hatches at the top of this article, its big engine makes it thirsty but, for true enthusiasts, there are few cars that offer these kind of thrills.
Use our Nissan 370Z deals page to spec up your perfect car and check out the latest discounts.
10. Kia Sorento
While there are a number seven-seat MPVs that dip below the £30,000 threshold, the Kia Sorento is one of a select few that offers a more handsome SUV body style along with the more practical seating arrangement. It isn’t quite as cavernous as an equivalent MPV but, for those wanting a little extra style, there are few alternatives.
Equipment levels are strong across the board, with all models featuring all-wheel drive, air conditioning, rear parking sensors and bluetooth connectivity. A torquey 2.2-litre diesel engine means that, even when loaded with a full compliment of passengers, performance remains adequate. If you don’t need all seven seats, the rear row folds away easily to reveal a 605-litre boot.
Want to save money on your next car? Head over to the Kia Sorento deals page to find all of the latest offers.
Save money on your next new car
Keen on any of our top 10? Our new car deals page will find you the best deals on all the models featured here. If you can’t quite figure out what your next car will be, our car chooser is here to help.