What’s the best car you can buy on a used car forecourt today?
With so much choice – and plenty of dodgy motors out there – it can be a difficult decision picking the best one.
But a new piece of analysis from What Car? should help. It’s designed to solve the problem of finding a superb second-hand car based on a variety of parameters, including reliability and quality of models on the market today.
So which one is the best?
And the best used car is: The current Seat Leon built from 2013, according to What? Car magazine
According to What Car?, the best used car on the market today is the current Seat Leon family hatchback.
You can buy a four-year-old example of the title-winning Leon with average mileage (based on 10,000 miles a year) for around £7,000 on second-hand car site Auto Trader right now.
The motoring magazine said the latest iteration of the family hatch from the Spanish brand that is owned by VW was applauded for its great drive, high quality materials, safety credentials and kerb appeal.
But what secured the crown was the fact that owners had reported in a recent survey it was one of the most reliable cars you can get your hands on. And also because the market is brimming with examples that are in great nick and have been well maintained by owners with a full service history.
In the family car category, the Seat beat the Kia Cee’d and Ford Focus to the overall crown, with these voted the best four to six-year-old cars and seven to ten-year-old cars, respectively.
But what if you don’t want a family car?
What Car? ranked the best models across 15 different categories, from dinky city cars to wind-in-your-hair convertibles to name which cars buyers should be on the hunt for.
Its research highlighted a top buy in different age categories but also an overall winner, representing the top buy in that sector regardless of age.
What Car? said there’s a very good chance of finding a 2013- Seat Leon on the used market that’s in good condition, has been well maintained and hasn’t covered too many miles
Best used city car: Hyundai i10 (2014-present)
Best used small car: Ford Fiesta (2008-2017)
Best used family car: Seat Leon (2013-present)
Best used executive car: BMW 3 Series (2012-present)
Best used luxury car: BMW 5 Series (2010-2017)
Best used small SUV: Nissan Qashqai (2007-2013)
Best used large SUV: Mazda CX-5 (2012-2017)
Best used MPV: Citroen C3 Picasso (2009-2017)
Best used estate car: Ford Mondeo Estate (2007-2015)
Best used hot hatch: Ford Fiesta ST (2012-2017)
Best used coupe: Audi TT (2006-2014)
Best used convertible: BMW Z4 (2009-present)
Best used sports car: Audi R8 (2007-2016)
Best used green car: Renault Zoe (2012-present)
Source: What Car?
Among the carmakers that secured more wins than most, Audi came up trumps on more that one occasion with the Q7 luxury SUV, TT coupe and R8 sports car winning their respective sectors.
Other notable winners were Ford and BMW, each taking three category wins too.
The electric Renault Zoe took the award as the best used green car.
The 2014-present Hyundai i10 (left) took the award as the best used city car. Ford has just replaced the Fiesta (right), but What Car? says the previous generation model (2008-2017) is the best supermini on the second-hand market
Looking for an affordable family-friendly SUV? The old Nissan Qashqai (2007-2013) – pictured left – is the best option. For MPV buyers, the recently discontinued Citroen C3 Picasso (2009-2017) – pictured right – is the optimal pick
What Car? said anyone looking for a used coupe that’s been well maintained should be on the hunt for the 2006-2014 Audi TT. The ‘green car’ award went to the all-electric Renault Zoe (right)
Alex Robbins, used cars editor at What Car? said the breadth of talent among the category winners proved there was a ‘wealth of fantastic cars now available to used car buyers’.
He added: ‘Our overall winner, the 2013-on Seat Leon not only offers outstanding value for money, but also manages to cram in a dash of flair that makes it a delight to live with, with sharp handling and great looks.
‘Throw in a smart and well laid out interior, plenty of space for the whole family and a solid reliability record and the Leon makes a very compelling choice.
‘Given how much it offers, it isn’t hard to see why the Leon won its age group, and indeed, the Best Used Family Car category.’
You can read the full results for the used car award on What Car?’s website.
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