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 MG3 is a five door hatchback similar in size to the Ford Fiesta and Peugeot 208, it is also the cheapest car on the Motability Scheme at £46.75 per week. The MG3 is a bit of a surprise, it’s roomy, sporty to look at, fun to drive and does have the rare commodity of having a bit of a kerb appeal. The 1.5 litre petrol engine with 105bhp can take you to 62mph in 10.4 seconds and return 51.5 miles per gallon, so it is not the most economical and to get the best from the engine it does need to be revved hard. The level of equipment is excellent, 16 inch alloys wheels, LED daytime running lights, CD player with aux/USB input, bluetooth, DAB radio, all round electric windows, leather steering wheel with audio controls, very supportive sports seats, electronic air conditioning, electrically adjustable heated wing mirrors and remote central locking.
Winter Best Buy – MG3 1.5 petrol manual 3Form Sport 5dr – £46.75 per week (you receive a DLA/PIP payment of £10.70 per week)
The three door Skoda Citigo is perfect if you just need a small runaround, 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 – £50.50 Per Week (you receive £6.95 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 as Dynamique trim.
Winter Best Buy – Renault Clio 1.5dci diesel Dynamique ‘S’ 5dr Manual – Nil Advance payment (£58.05 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 N-Connecta trim the Juke has as standard Nissan Connect 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 £49 Advance Payment offers a competitive automatic choice.
Winter Best Buy – Nissan Juke 1.5 110 Diesel N-connecta (6 speed Manual) – £49 Advance Payment (£58.38 wpms) or £99 (£58.72 wpms) in Tekna trim
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 SE-L ‘Nav’ 2.0 (118 bhp) Petrol Manual Hatchback or Fastback – Nil Advance Payment (£58.05 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 inch 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 inch two tone alloy wheels. The 1.5 and 2.1 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 – £499 Advance Payment (£61.40 wpms) or £899 as Sport (£64.08 wpms) or £1699 (£681 wpms) as AMG Line
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 Nav 1.5 diesel 120hp manual – £95 Advance Payment (£58.69 wpms) or £195 Advance Payment as an estate (£59.36 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 1.2 Petrol 110bhp Manual ‘Flair Edition’ – £195 Advance Payment (£59.36 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 Tucson, Skoda Yeti, and the delightful Kia Sportage
Winter Best Buy – Qashqai 1.5 (110bhp) diesel Acenta with smart vision pack (Manual) – Nil Advance Payment (£58.05 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 (£58.05 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 new 1.2 litre petrol is perfect for low mileage drivers.
Winter Best Buy – Peugeot Partner Tepee ‘Active’ 1.2 petrol (110 bhp) Manual – Nil Advance Payment (£58.05 wpms) or £299 (£60.06 wpms) in Outdoor trim
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 Touch model comes with cruise control, start stop engine button, LED running lights 16 inch alloy wheels, reversing sensors, DAB radio, electronic heated mirrors, front fog lights, automatic headlights and windscreen wipers and climate control. The 1.6 diesel with 120bhp is the best match, which can can pull the Grand Picasso to 62 miles per hour in 11.3 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 torque convertor 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 120bhp Manual ‘Touch Edition’ – £445 Advance Payment (£61.04 wpms)
The Seat Alhambra is the sister car to the VW Sharan, it is a large seven seater, with three individual seats in the second row and two rear seats large enough for adults. The 150bhp 2.0 litre diesel offers all the power you need and claimed economy of 54.3 mpg as a six speed manual or DSG automatic. The SE -Lux trim has 17 inch alloy wheels, rear privacy glass a 6.5 inch media touch screen, cruise control, climate control and automatic headlights and wipers Sat nav with rear view camera, heated front seats, panoramic glass roof, leather upholstery, electric operated rear doors and tailgate and 12-way electrically adjustable front seats. Despite the £400 price increase this Quarter the SE-Lux Alhambra still offers excellent value.
Winter Best Buy – Seat Alhambra ‘SE Lux’ 2.0 148 bhp diesel Manual – £1599 Advance Payment (£581 wpms)