“Sport” this, “premium” that – it’s a wonder you can get anything for £10,000 in the car market these days as cars get bigger and better-equipped, but cutting your new car budget to sensible levels thankfully doesn’t mean losing out on a great car.
carwow has compiled a list of the ten best cars available for under £10,000 brand new based on our aggregated buzzScore ratings – and not only are the cars great, but there’s real variety too.
So whether you’re after a top-class city car, a superb supermini or even a rough and tumble off-roader, there’s something for almost everyone.
10. SEAT Ibiza SC
Whether or not you think SEAT’s claims to “latin flair” are a little overplayed, the Ibiza SC is a fun and funky supermini with great looks. Technically only the 60-horsepower 1.2 E is available under ten grand, but we suspect you could negotiate discounts on a few other models too.
9. Dacia Duster
Is there a better value car on the market today than the Dacia Duster? We’re struggling to think of one – as little as £8,995 gets you into the Qashqai-sized off-roader in 1.6 petrol Access trim, though you’ll pay above £10k if you want Renault’s excellent 1.5 dCi diesel or four-wheel drive. But if all you want is space and something tough, the Duster is perfect.
8. Hyundai i10
The first of the traditional city cars here, the Hyundai i10 is a highly talented little vehicle. Critics love its easy-to-drive nature, low running costs and 5-year, unlimited mileage warranty. It isn’t quite as stylish as its Kia cousin, the Picanto, but every i10 model available sneaks under our budget here.
7. Peugeot 208
The Peugeot 208 is a lion’s leap forward from its predecessor and Peugeot has already sold more than 30,000 in the UK. It’s not hard to see why – it’s stylish, has a quality interior and low running costs – particularly with Peugeot’s outstanding “just add fuel” package. The 1.0 VTi is the only variant under £10,000, but we’re sure there are discounts available on other models too.
6. Kia Rio
Kia’s Rio is one of our favourite superminis here at carwow. We drove one in 1.1 EcoDynamics trim last year, and like the critics, we’re big fans of the styling, the space (it’s one of the largest superminis) and the quality cabin. It feels like a larger car on the road, but in a good way – it’ll still sneak into small parking spaces like its rivals. Ten grand only gets you the basic 1.25 petrol in ’1′ spec, but even that car will do over 56 mpg.
5. Fiat 500
Fancy a bit of style for your ten bags of sand? The Fiat 500 might suffice – its pseudo-50s looks still attract attention, particularly if you choose one of the plethora of special editions. It isn’t quite as fun to drive as it looks, but running costs are low. £10k bags you a basic 1.2 Pop with 58.9 mpg combined economy.
4. Fiat Panda
It’s somehow right that there are two Fiats in our top ten – after all, Fiat has always been a master of small, inexpensive cars. The Fiat Panda just edges out its more stylish brother thanks to a more spacious cabin and even better value for money. A few Pandas nip in under our budget, but haggle hard and you might also net the characterful TwinAir model in Easy trim, normally priced at £10,750.
3. Kia Picanto
The Kia Picanto offers slightly better looks and a higher-quality cabin than its Hyundai i10 cousin, and touts an excellent buzzScore of 8.2 as a result. It’s equally cheap to run, too. Oddly it doesn’t drive quite as well – the ultra-light steering can be off-putting out of town – but you do get Kia’s 7-year warranty. Almost all the 1.0 models cost less than £10k, including the 1.0 ‘Air’ we tested last year.
2. Volkswagen Up
We’re rolling in the Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii with the Volkswagen Up here, just to give some other cars a chance! The VAG trio has changed the city car landscape of late, with great looks, high quality and oodles of space. There’s only a few hundred quid separating each, but VW has bagged the best looks and trim materials for its own car. It also gets the best buzzScore at 8.7, to the others’ 8.3. You can pay as little as £7,720 for the cheapest of the trio.
1. Ford Fiesta
Ford’s Fiesta actually scores an identical 8.7 buzzScore to the VW Up, but something has to come top here and the Fiesta is it. Having driven examples of each we’re inclined to award it top spot anyway – it’s great fun to drive and a recent facelift has spruced up the looks. Only the 1.25 Studio dips under £10k, but play off a few dealers against each other and there are discounts there for the taking…