In alphabetical order, here are what we think to be the best eight used hatchbacks you can buy if you have €5,000 to spend. You’ll find plenty of examples of them all in the Carzone listings right now.
Reflecting the popularity of the Focus when it was new, there are loads of them in the Carzone database for sale. You could get a 2011 example for under €5,000, though most of those are higher-mileage 1.6-litre diesels. We suggest compromising on the year and choosing a lower-mileage car instead. Buy on condition, though.
The 2008-2009 Honda Civic is well worth checking out (if the divisive design doesn’t put you off). It’s one of the most practical cars in the sector and our budget will get you into a stylish version with the powerful 2.2-litre diesel engine under the bonnet, too. Honda has a great reputation for reliability, as well.
The Hyundai i30 might not automatically come to mind, but it’s a dependable car. Our €5,000 budget is enough for a 2010 model powered by the economical 1.6-litre diesel engine, though there are plenty of 1.4-litre petrol options as well. A sensible car that shouldn’t give much trouble.
Hyundai and Kia are part of the same Korean conglomerate, so their cars share a huge amount. Hence, everything we said about the i30 applies to the Kia as well – it’s a functional car that has proven to be trustworthy. We reckon it’s a little more attractive than the Hyundai.
Though the 2010 and older Leon isn’t as well-finished inside as the equivalent Golf, we think it looks far more interesting on the outside. Underneath, it’s the same car – and it uses the same engines. For this budget, look at 1.6- and 1.9-litre diesel options or the modest 1.4-litre petrol unit.
The Octavia is in remarkably high demand on the used market, for good reason. It uses the underpinnings of the Volkswagen Golf, including its engines, but in a more spacious and – usually – a better-equipped package. The newest examples under budget have either a 1.4-litre engine or 1.9-litre diesel.
With an eye on reliability, the Toyota Auris is well worth considering. And actually, though Toyotas tend to hold their value well, our €5,000 budget covers plenty of 2009 examples, powered by 1.4-litre diesel or 1.33-litre petrol. Just stay away from the barren Terra specification.
At this price level, most Golfs on sale are powered by petrol engines, as many are pre-2008. That means, for the most part, the Golf V, though if you’re not bothered by cars with high mileages, there are a few Golf VIs on the market for under €5,000. The Golf majors on refinement and comfort, though it’s not huge inside. Many people will be swayed by the VW badge of course.
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