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 three door Skoda Citigo is the best value car on the Scheme, if you just need a small runaround it is perfect, boot capacity is an excellent 251 litres and you can even squeeze two ‘agile’ friends in the back. There is not much in the way of creature comforts with the entry level car, you will have to wind the manual windows down as there is no air con and lock the car using the key as remote central locking is an extra, but you do get a radio and cd player, moving to the SE trim adds such luxuries but will take £2.25 per week more of your allowance. The 60bhp 1.0 litre five speed manual petrol engine can return 62.8 miles per gallon.
Winter Best Buy – Skoda Citigo 3 door 1.0 petrol ‘S’ 60bhp manual – £45.75 Per Week (you receive £11.00 mobility payment per week)
The Renault Clio is a super stylish five door small car, the rear doors have concealed handles to improve the look of the car. Similar in size to the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Kia Rio and the Volkswagen Polo. All Clio’s are loaded with equipment including a built in 7″ touchscreen Sat nav and audio controller. The 1.5 litre diesel used across the Renault and Nissan cars has received rave reviews and reports are that the claimed 83 miles per gallon is almost achievable. The 1.5 diesel is available as an automatic for Nil Advance Payment.
Winter Best Buy – Renault Clio 1.5dci diesel Dynamique 5dr Manual - £55.75 per week Advance Payment (You receive £1 per week of mobility payment plus any increase over the lease) (£55.69 wpms)
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 premium trim the Juke has as standard NissanConnect sat nav and reversing camera 17″ alloy wheels, climate control and cruise control, for heated leather seats the Tekna is the choice. The CVT automatic on the 1.6 petrol start at Nil Advance Payment offers a competitive automatic choice.
Winter Best Buy – Nissan Juke 1.5 110 Diesel Tekna (6 speed Manual) – £199 Advance Payment (£58.68 wpms)
The Mazda 3 is a five door hatchback and a four door saloon. This is a car that knocks the spots off the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus when it comes to looks, the long bonnet and sweeping lines give it a sporty yet commanding feel. Mazda fits a seven-inch tablet-style touchscreen as standard across the range along with air conditioning, all electric windows and 16″ alloy wheels. The non turbo petrol engines can return up to 55.4 miles per gallon and are sprightly to drive.
Winter Best Buy –Mazda 3 Hatchback SE ‘Nav’ 2.0 (120 bhp) Petrol Manual Hatchback – £99 Advance Payment (£58.01 wpms) or £299 as Fastback (£59.35 wpms)
The super styled A Class edges out the BMW 1 series and Audi A3 for value. SE and Sport versions are available, the SE has 16? alloy wheels, a 12-button leather multi-function steering wheel, air conditioning, four electric windows and externally chrome strips complete the understated look the Sport offers 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 – £799 Advance Payment
The Ford Focus is the perfect all rounder, the new 1.5 litre Diesel engine with 120bhp is able to return 74.3 mpg while still propel the focus to 62 miles per hour in 10.5 seconds. In Titanium Nav trim you get start button, dual zone climate control, 8″ touchscreen audio and sat nav and cruise control. Despite reductions in the price of the Volkswagen Golf the Focus just has the edge on value for a manual and 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 Titanium Navigator 1.5 diesel 120hp manual – £95 Advance Payment (£57.98 wpms) or £195 Advance Payment as an estate (£58.65 wpms)
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). The six speed Automatic Elite is £499 but the mpg dips to 50.4 mpg.
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Astra Elite 2.0 diesel (165bhp) manual Sport Wagon (estate) - £49 Advance Payment (£57.67 wpms)
Citroen have done what they do best, throw away the car design rulebook, the Cactus is a little bonkers and we love it. 7″ touch screen controller, roof mounted airbags, bump bags on the side, no gear lever for the automatics. Citroen, with the Cactus, have come up with a car that is very ‘now’ in both looks and technology equipment. The Cactus is not a people carrier in the vein of the C4 Picasso but a fun, head turner in the ilk of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.
Winter Best Buy – Citroen C4 Cactus 1.6 Diesel 100bhp Manual ‘Flair’ – £299 Advance Payment (£59.35 wpms)
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 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 (£59.35 wpms)
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 it’s easier to get children or disabled adults into the rear seats, The Meriva is a good looking car with room in abundance. The Tech Line trim offers heated front seats and steering wheel, 17″ alloy wheels, front and rear parking distance sensors, front fog lights and Bluetooth connectivity for a smart phone. The super new 1.6 litre with 136bhp can return 64.2 miles per gallon while still have enough grunt to pull the Meriva to 120 miles per hour and 0-62 in 10.4 seconds.
Winter Best Buy – Vauxhall Meriva Tech Line 1.6 Diesel (136PS) manual – Nil Advance Payment (£57.34 wpms)
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 hatchback ‘Design Nav’ 2.0 diesel 140 bhp 6 speed manual – £199 Advance Payment (£58.68 wpms)
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 for £295 or in ‘Plus’ trim with a 90bhp diesel engine for Nil Advance Payment.
Winter Best Buy – Peugeot Partner Tepee Outdoor 1.6 diesel (115 bhp) Manual – £149 Advance Payment (£58.34 wpms))
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+ – £495 Advance Payment (£60.67 wpms)
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 Sharan then becomes the better buy.
Winter Best Buy – Ford Galaxy 1.6 diesel 115 bhp Zetec (Manual) – £1395 Advance Payment (£386 wpms)
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 – £599 Advance Payment (£61.37 wpms)
With its twin electric motors supported by a 2.0 litre petrol engine the Mitsubishi PHEV leads the way in Plugin Hybrid technology. The full size SUV has 436 litres of boot space and can comfortably seat five, has all wheel drive and the ability to travel purely on electric power. The official figures of 148 miles per gallon may be out of reach but if regularly charged the PHEV can be a very cost effective way to get through the British winter.
Winter Best Buy – Mitsibushi Outlander PHEV ’GX3h’ 4 Wheel Drive Automatic – £1499 Advance Payment (£490 wpms)