These five-star models are all proof that you don’t need to shell out a fortune to get a fantastic car, whether you’re shopping for a family hatchback, an SUV or even a sports car
*** Note : £1 = $1.30
If you buy a car that achieved our top five-star rating, then you can be certain that you’re getting one of the best cars on the market today.
You might think that you’ll be forced to pay through the nose for the privilege of owning one of these cars. However, there’s actually a variety of five-star cars available for less than £20,000, and one that you can pick up for less than half that. From city cars to SUVs, there’s something for everybody.
Here’s our round-up of five-star cars that you can buy right now for less than £20,000.
Price from: £14,245 (after the Government’s £4500 electric vehicle grant)
The Renault Zoe is one of the best electric cars around – in fact, we named it as our Electric Car of the Year at the 2017 What Car? Awards. It’s quiet and easy to drive, has plenty of range and its low running costs make it very easy to recommend. Our favourite Dynamique Nav model comes with everything you’re likely to want, including a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen, sat-nav, rear parking sensors and keyless entry.
Price from: £18,795
If driving fun is a high priority for your next car, then the Mazda MX-5 should be at the very top of your list. Not only is it great fun on the open road, it’s also got a quality interior and a refined and fairly economical range of petrol engines. It’s also the only new two-seat sports car you can buy at this price level – its closest competitor would be the Toyota GT86, and that’s more than £8000 more expensive.
Price from: £9540
The i10 is our favourite city car of 2017. It’s cheap to buy and run, and is ideal for use around town, where its tight turning circle, light steering and small dimensions make practical sense. Rivals such as the Volkswagen Up have classier interiors, and entry-level versions of the i10 don’t get important kit, such as air conditioning, but the i10’s charm is hard to ignore. Opt for our recommended Premium SE version and you’ll also get a heated steering wheel and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system.
Price from: £13,130
The new Seat Ibiza is the best small car on the market today, offering tidy handling, a comfortable ride, low running costs and a surprisingly spacious and practical interior. It really has no major weaknesses.
Price from: £17,195
It’s easy to see why the Skoda Octavia is such a recommendable family car. It offers a huge amount of space inside, a strong range of engines and comes with plenty of equipment as standard. Sure, it’s not as plush inside as some rivals, but the Octavia should definitely be on your shopping list if you’re looking for a comfortable cruiser that can handle your family and their luggage with ease.
Ford Fiesta ST
Price from: £18,215
The Ford Fiesta ST is about to be replaced, but it’s still one of our favourite hot hatches. Part of the ST’s appeal, of course, is that it’s based on the already good Fiesta, and doesn’t lose much of that car’s practicality or everyday usability in its transformation into a performance car. It also offers excellent handling, a sporty petrol engine and sensible running costs.
Price from: £18,340
The Seat Ateca is one of the best small SUVs around, and this year it knocked the excellent Nissan Qashqai off its perch to become our Small SUV of the Year for 2017. Keen pricing makes the Ateca one of the cheapest SUVs of this size on sale, but a spacious interior and excellent handling makes sure that it’s also one of the best. Our preferred SE trim gets you rear parking sensors, along with an 8.0in infotainment touchscreen, 17in alloy wheels and Bluetooth connectivity.
Price from: £18,420
Recently updated, the Golf continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a practical family hatchback. What’s more, it’s fully deserving of its success, blending a comfortable ride with class-leading refinement and a spacious and classy interior. It might be a little pricier than some rivals, and its boot isn’t the biggest around, but in every other respect it’s a superb car.