We have been looking long and hard at the figures, the spec, the mpg the mph and all the other bits and bobs to bring you our top 10, please let us know if you feel we have missed something, we will start with the small cars and work our way up. Click on the picture of the car for a more in-depth review.
The Fiat 500 in special edition ‘Colour Therapy’ is the cheapest car on the scheme at £45.75 meaning you keep £9.50 per week of your Mobility award. The 500 still raises a smile and draws a crowd, the 1.2 litre petrol engine can return 58.9 miles per gallon and the boot has enough room for a light shopping trip and you even can squeeze your more bendy friends in the back for a short trip in comfort as the 500 has the luxury of air conditioning.
Winter Best Buy – Fiat 500 1.2 ‘Colour Therapy’ 3dr Manual Gearbox - £45.75 Per Week (you receive £9.50 per week as a DLA Payment)
The best value 5 door hatchback on the Scheme is the surprisingly roomy VW UP! at £46.70 per week. In ‘Take UP!’ trim you are not treated to any toys, no air conditioning or electric windows, the UP!’s sister car the Skoda Citigo in SE trim adds these at £48.64 per week. Both cars share a 60bhp 1.0 litre petrol engine that returns a claimed 62.8 miles per gallon. Competition comes in the form of the Hyundai i10 the Fiat Panda and the Citroen C1, (best value automatic option).
Winter Best Buy – Volkswagen Up! 5 speed manual 1.0 petrol ‘Take UP!’ 5 door - £46.70 Per Week (you receive £8.55 per week as a DLA Payment)
The Nissan Juke takes the five door funky car award over the Renault Captur, Mini Countryman, Citroen DS4, Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka. The Juke is a wonderful looking creation, if a tad aggressive for some tastes, which really breaks the mold of small car design in that its as fun to look at as it is to drive. The new 1.5 litre diesel packs a punch and can return 76.3 miles per gallon. In Acenta trim the Juke has as standard 17″ alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control, bluetooth phone integration, electric windows, leather steering wheel with audio controls, six airbags, height adjustable drivers seat and 4 speaker CD radio with mp3 and usb connections. The CVT automatic on the 1.6 petrol at £299 offers a competitive automatic choice.
Winter Best Buy – Nissan Juke 5 door 1.5 diesel Acenta (manual) £99 Advance Payment
The Volkswagen Polo is a three and five door small car that was World Car of the Year in 2010. Similar in size to the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Honda Jazz, Kia Rio and the Renault Clio the new Polo is the biggest and best yet, styling wise it is simply a smaller Golf, which is surely only a good thing. In Match trim you have alloy wheels, air conditioning and tinted rear windows, the 1.2 litre diesel will return 72.4 miles per gallon and if you need an automatic the 1.4 litre petrol with the excellent DSG transmission is available without an advance payment.
Winter Best Buy – Volkswagen Polo 3 or 5 door 1.2 TDI ‘Match diesel (manual gearbox) Nil Advance Payment
The Ford Focus is the perfect all rounder, good to drive, practical and cheap to run. It does not do one thing fantastically, it just does everything well. The 1.6 litre Diesel engine with 115 bhp is able to return 67 mpg while still propel the focus to 62 miles per hour in 10.8 seconds. In Zetec trim you get 16-inch alloys, heated front windscreen, sports front seats, heated door mirrors, leather-covered steering wheel and a bluetooth connection. Despite reductions in the price of the Volkswagen Golf the Focus just has the edge on value for a manual, if you need an automatic the 1.6 petrol focus with the excellent powershift automatic gearbox is available without an advance payment but is a tad thirsty at a claimed 44.8 miles per gallon. Also consider the Honda Civic, the Seat Leon or the Hyundai i30.
Winter Best Buy – Ford Focus hatchback Zetec 1.6 diesel 115hp manual Nil Advance Payment or £95 Advance Payment as an estate
The Astra Sports Wagon (estate) may not have the largest boot in the class at 500 litres, the Skoda Octavia Estate offers 610, or be the newest model with the best mpg, the Seat Leon ST can return 74.3 miles per gallon, but it offers the most powerful engine, a 165bhp 2.0 litre diesel that car hit 62mph in under 10 seconds and still return 60.1 miles per gallon. The Astra Sports Wagon in Elite trim offers luxury beyond its price tag – heated electrically powered front seats, leather upholstery, 17″ alloys, dual zone climate control, automatic wipers and lights and Vauxhall also throw in free front and rear parking sensors, (normally a £395 extra). If you want to give up some luxury for a 7″ integrated Sat Nav the Tech line is £199 AP. The six speed Automatic Elite is £399 but the mpg dips to 48.7 mpg.
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Astra Elite 2.0 diesel (165bhp) manual Sport Wagon (estate) – £99 Advance Payment
The Vauxhall Meriva is the best small MPV this quarter, edging out the Citroen C3 Picasso , the Kia Venga, the Nissan Note (best automatic choice), the Ford C-Max and the stylish Kia Soul. The Meriva has the eye-catching flexdoor system, the rear doors are hinged at the back, so its easier to get children or disabled adults into the rear seats, The Meriva is a good looking car with room in abundance, from the two trim levels, Exclusiv and SE, the SE trim that adds a lovely full length glass roof and rear privacy glass. The 1.7 Diesel engine is available as an automatic (110bhp) but Vauxhall have increased the price by £100 to £849 advance payment in Exclusiv trim.
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Meriva Exclusiv 1.6 Diesel (136PS) manual - Nil Advance Payment
The newly upgraded Insignia may look the same from the outside but a wonderful new diesel engine has been added together with some super driver comforts. The Design Nav trim includes an 8″ touch screen information centre that controls the audio, sat nav and bluetooth connected phone. The all new two litre diesel engine with start-stop has either 120 or 140 bhp and claimed economy of 76.3 miles per gallon and a CO2 output of only 99g, but the green credentials do not lead to a loss of power, the 120bhp unit is good for 121 miles per hour and 0-62 in 11.9 seconds, the 140bhp version can reach 127 miles per hour and 0-62 in 10.5 seconds.
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Insignia ‘Design Nav’ 2.0 diesel 120 bhp 6 speed manual - £499 Advance Payment or £599 with 140bhp
The new Nissan Qashqai, awarded Car of the year from What Car for 2014, is 49mm longer, 15mm lower and 20mm wider yet 40kg lighter. The boot capacity increases by 20 litres to 430 as does front headroom due to repositioned seats The level of equipment with the Acenta (with Smart pack) trim is excellent; as standard the car has Bluetooth connectivity, LED running lights, cruise control, 17-inch alloys, automatic lights and wipers, dual-zone air-conditioning and all-round parking sensors. The updated 110bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine with a six speed manual gearbox, emits just 99g/km of CO2 and returns a claimed 74.3mpg with a top speed of 112mph and a 0-62 mph time of 12.4 seconds, making it a perfect everyday car and slightly ahead of the competition in the Hyundai ix35, Skoda Yeti, Peugeot 3008 (best automatic choice) and the delightful but slightly overpriced Kia Sportage
Winter Best Buy – Qashqai 1.5 (110bhp) diesel Acenta with smart vision pack (Manual) - £299 Advance Payment
The super styled A Class has been reduced by up to £1000 this quarter and edges out the BMW 1 series and Audi A3 for value. SE and Sport versions are avaialbe, the latter offering twin exhaust pipes and 17′ two tone allow wheels, the 1.5 and 1.8 litre diesels badged as A180 and A200 are precise and engaging offering power and economy, the smaller offering 74.3 mpg and the larger offering 0-62 in 9.3 seconds while still returning 62.8 mpg.
Winter Best Buy – Mercedes A-Class A180 CDI Diesel SE Manual - £999 Advance Payment
The new 3 series is an improvement over the outgoing model, lighter, sharper styled, larger inside with a bigger boot and a better level of standard equipment. In SE trim as standard you receive BMW iDrive that controls the Bluetooth telephone, USB audio interface connected to the free-standing 6.5″ control display, cruise control, two zone automatic air conditioning, rear parking sensors, 17″ alloy wheels, a start stop button and all round electric windows. The two litre diesel is commonly perceived as the best around, badged as 316d with 116bhp, 318d with 143bhp and 320d with 184bhp, the 318d will return 62.8 miles per gallon and reach 62 miles per hour in 9 seconds and on to a top speed of 130 miles per hour and if you need an automatic, the new BMW 8 speed automatic has received rave reviews for its smoothness and fuel economy.
Winter Best Buy – BMW 3 Series 318d SE or Sport Manual - £1999 Advance Payment (£2899 SE Automatic)
Whilst it may not have the most catchy name, nor head turning looks this van based car is just amazing, more room than you could ever imagine, amazing access through the rear sliding doors and a massive boot as well as enough cubby holes to keep you guessing where you put things. A design classic. The Diesel engine is economical (55.3 miles per gallon) and surprisingly fun to drive, 0-62 in 12 seconds. The Tepee’s sister car, the Citroen Berlingo, is available with seven seats.
Winter Best Buy – Peugeot Partner Tepee Outdoor 1.6 diesel (115 bhp) - Nil Advance Payment
Citroen have drawn on its heritage and added a modern style for the new Grand Picasso, from the C shaped rear lights and high level front LED’s to the wrap around tailgate and natty car length roof rail, this is a car that has been designed with style in mind and it does not disappoint. The VTR+ model comes with cruise control, start stop engine button, LED running lights 16? alloy wheels, reversing sensors, DAB radio, electronic heated mirrors, front fog lights, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers and climate control. The 1.6 litre diesel is available with 90 or 115bhp, the larger can pull the Grand Picasso to 62 miles per hour in 12.1 seconds and on to a top speed of 117 miles per hour and return a claimed 70.6 miles per gallon, this engine is available as a six speed manual or 6 speed single clutch semi-automatic. Competition comes in the form of the Ford S-Max, the Vauxhall Zafira Tourer (best Automatic Choice), Peugeot 5008 and Volkswagen Touran.
Winter Best Buy – Citroen C4 Grand Picasso 1.6 Diesel 115bhp Manual VTR+ - £695 Advance Payment
If size is an issue, there are only two large 7 seat cars on the Scheme, the Volkswagen Sharan, that has the advantage of sliding rear doors, and the Ford Galaxy. The Galaxy just beats the Sharan for value this quarter. The Galaxy has seven seats that can fit adults all which slide and recline individually, the three in the middle row are full sized so 3 car seats can be fitted. Zetec cars have 16″ alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors, Bluetooth and all-round electric windows. The 115bhp 1.6 diesel is adequate if you are not in a rush and can return a claimed 54.3 miles per gallon the 2.0 diesel in either 140 or 163bhp is better if you are moving fully loaded but do attract a premium price and the Sharon then becomes the better buy.
Winter Best Buy – Ford Galaxy 1.6 diesel 115 bhp Zetec (Manual) – £1395 Advance Payment
The Nissan Leaf is the green choice as it produces zero emissions as all the power comes from the electric motor powered by batteries hidden under the rear seats, The Leaf is comfortable carrying a family and there is lots of power from the 107bhp motor, obviously the fact that the car needs recharging every time you need to do a trip is the major issue but if you can fit the Leaf into your life then you will be rewarded with economy equating to 333 miles per gallon. The Toyota Yaris Hybrid has both a petrol and electric motor working side by side that can return 80 miles per gallon without range or charging issues as the batteries are charged as you drive the car.
Winter Best Buy – Nissan Leaf Full Electric Car (Automatic) Acenta – £1299 Advance Payment