Noughties bangers: What are our favourite cars of the decade?

March 20, 2024 by

Believe it or not, we’re now a full 15 years on from the noughties – where has all the time gone?

The decade brought us some sensational (and some not-so-sensational) sets of wheels, and many of them are still being used on the road today. From handy hatchbacks to practical people carriers, countless classics were released during this era and we’re not the only ones who are starting to get a little nostalgic over them. After all, these vehicles carry many memories for a lot of drivers.

With that in mind, we thought we’d look into which everyday icons have stood the test of time. Which noughties cars are our favourites out of those that are still commonplace on UK roads? How much are they worth today, and how many of them do we still see steering through the streets? To find out, we’ve asked drivers for their opinions and looked at our internal valuation figures.

Our favourite cars of the noughties

Based on our survey results, the Volkswagen Golf is officially the nation’s favourite car from the noughties out of those still on the road today. One in 10 picked it as the car they love the most from the decade, placing it above every other model on the list. It was closely followed by the Mini hatchback (7.4%) and the Ford Focus (5.3%).[1]

The UK’s top 10 favourite noughties cars:

  1. Volkswagen Golf
  2. Mini hatchback
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Land Rover Freelander
  5. Ford Fiesta
  6. Toyota Yaris
  7. Vauxhall Corsa
  8. Vauxhall Astra
  9. Volkswagen Polo
  10. Honda Jazz

As well as the Golf, it seems we have a bit of an affinity for other cars made by VW, Ford and Vauxhall. The top 10 contained two models by each of these manufacturers, including the VW Polo (2.7%), the Ford Fiesta (4.8%) and the Vauxhall Astra (2.7%). When it comes to our favourite Vauxhall though, the Corsa marginally pipped the Astra as our preferred model, as it was selected by 3.2% of respondents.

While the Golf was the most picked model overall, not everyone agreed that it was the best car of the decade. Older motorists felt more affection for the Land Rover Freelander, with 7% of those over 54s picking it as their favourite from the noughties, more than any other model. Meanwhile, women preferred the Mini, with 10.1% naming it their first choice, and only 7.9% selecting the Golf.

How much are our favourite noughties cars worth now?

The Golf might be our favourite car from the decade, but how much is it worth today? According to our internal figures, noughties models of the Volkswagen Golf are worth an average of £1,651. Some versions can go for much more than this though, as the 2009 hatchback has a median Cap value of £6,100, making it one of the most valuable varieties of the Golf from this time. [2]

While the Golf is our favourite car from the decade, it hasn’t necessarily held its value the most. That accolade may well go to the Honda Jazz. Out of the country’s favourite cars from the 00s, the Jazz is one of the most valuable, being worth an average of £2,052.

How much are our favourite noughties cars worth today?*

Car Average value
Honda Jazz £2,052
Volkswagen Golf £1,651
Land Rover Freelander £1,373
Toyota Yaris £1,255
Volkswagen Polo £1,120
Ford Fiesta £959
Ford Focus £781
Vauxhall Astra £759
Vauxhall Corsa £691

*Mini Hatchback data unavailable

Based on these figures, it also looks like Vauxhall may be the champion of the decade for cheap and cheerful wheels. The Vauxhall Corsa is one of the cheapest cars out of the nation’s noughties favourites, carrying an average value of £691. This is closely followed by its bigger brother, the Vauxhall Astra, at an average of just £759.

These two have become staples of the roads over the years, but have maintained a modest price tag to match their popularity. In fact, some versions are available for even less, with the 2002 Corsa Hatchback having a median Cap value of just £340, and the 2005 Astra Diesel Hatchback being £390.

Some other particularly cheap versions of our noughties favourites include the 2004 Focus C-Max Estate, which has a median Cap value of just £330. Similarly, the 2003 Fiesta Diesel Hatchback has a median Cap value of only £480, while the 2005 Golf Diesel Hatchback sits at £490.

Cheap versions of our favourite noughties cars**

Car Median Cap value
Ford Focus C-Max Estate 2004 £330
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback 2002 £340
Vauxhall Astra Diesel Hatchback 2005 £390
Ford Focus C-Max Diesel Estate 2005 £405
Vauxhall Corsa Diesel Hatchback 2004 £410
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback Special Edition 2004 (Energy trim) £470
Ford Fiesta Diesel Hatchback 2003 £480
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback Special Edition 2004 (Active trim) £490
Ford Focus Diesel Estate 2007 £485
Volkswagen Golf Diesel Hatchback 2005 £490

**Models are petrol versions unless otherwise stated

At the other end of the scale, several versions of these nostalgia-packed motors are well above the average value. In particular, multiple versions of the Golf which cost a pretty penny to get a hold of. The 2007 Golf Hatchback Special Edition (with GTi Edition 30 trim) has a median Cap value of £5,888, and the 2008 special edition (also with GTi Edition 30 trim) isn’t far behind at £5,625.

Expensive versions of our favourite noughties cars***

Car Median Cap value
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 2009 £6,100
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Special Edition 2007 (GTi Edition 30 trim) £5,888
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Special Edition 2008 (GTi Edition 30 trim) £5,625
Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch Special Edition 2008 (VXR Nurburgring trim) £3,588
Land Rover Freelander 2 2008 £3,275
Honda Jazz 2006 £2,425
Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback Special Edition 2009 (VXR Arctic trim) £2,300
Land Rover Freelander 2 Diesel 2009 £2,050
Volkswagen Golf Hatchback 2008 £2,025
Land Rover Freelander 2 Sw 2008 £1,975

***Models are petrol versions unless otherwise stated. Values for Volkswagen Golf Hatchback Special Edition 2007 and Vauxhall Astra Sport Hatch Special Edition 2008 include both petrol and diesel versions

The Land Rover Freelander can also make sellers a decent return, with the 2008 Freelander 2 boasting a median Cap value of £3,275. The diesel version of the 2009 Freelander commands a slightly lower price at £2,050, although it remains one of the more valuable models available out of the nation’s favourites.

Meanwhile, one of the most valuable versions of the Honda Jazz is the 2006 model, which comes at a value of £2,425.

Which noughties cars are the most common today?

Out of our favourites from the noughties, which do we still see on the road most often today? It looks like Ford is the answer to that question, as there are currently around 328,519 Ford Fiestas on UK roads, more than any other noughties car, as well as 276,629 Ford Focuses. The country’s favourite, the VW Golf, is close behind with 245,111 vehicles still on the road.[3]

The Vauxhall Corsa and Astra each have just under 200,000 vehicles in use, with 199,161 Corsas and 199,644 Astras. Meanwhile, one of the most valuable noughties favourites, the Honda Jazz, has slightly less still in use, with 119,504 still being on the road.

Other noughties cars that remain common today include the Mini hatchback (169,810 vehicles still in use), the Toyota Yaris (150,773 still in use) and the Honda Civic (128,282 still in use). The Nissan Micra and the Renault Clio also have over 100,000 cars each still in use, with 112,477 and 105,365 on the road respectively.

About the data

[1] Data on the UK’s favourite noughties cars was gathered via a YouGov survey of approximately 1,000 UK residents of varying demographics. The survey was conducted in February 2024. The cars included in the survey are based on the most common noughties models still on the road today, sourced via How Rare is My Car.

[2] Valuation data is based on internal figures from Carwow. The median Cap value was taken for each version of each model released during the noughties for every car in the top 10 favourite cars of the decade, based on the above survey results. The average value of each car in the top 10 based on all models/versions was then calculated. MINI valuations are omitted from this due to a lack of available data.

Versions of cars with a sample size lower than 25 were also omitted when reviewing which versions had the highest and lowest valuations. All models are petrol versions unless otherwise stated.

[3] Data on the number of noughties cars still on the road today is taken from How Rare is My Car. All data was correct at the time of writing (6 March 2024).