Once again, German cars dominate Auto Trader’s top 25 most searched for cars, as data released for 2016 proves that we’re creatures of habit.
Here, we run down the top 10. Spoiler alert: there’s not a crossover in sight.
- Vauxhall Astra
In common with the Corsa, the current Vauxhall Astra is a thoroughly good car. The previous generation models are harder to recommend, but thanks to their ubiquity, values tend to be low. Prices start from £150, which could be cheaper than a train fare.
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class
You won’t find a functioning Mercedes-Benz E-Class for £150, but you’ll be surprised at how cheap they can be. We found useable, high-mileage examples for around £500. You’ll have to put up with a patch or two of body rot and a bit of wear and tear, but it’s still an E-Class.
- Audi A3
The Audi A3 is Europe’s favourite premium five-door hatchback, and it’s not hard to see why. New, an A3 will cost around £2,000 more than the equivalent Volkswagen Golf, but in return you’ll get a nicer interior and a gilt-edged brand image. The A3 celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016.
- Ford Fiesta
Britain’s most popular new car has to make do with being the seventh most popular car on Auto Trader. The Ford Fiesta celebrated 40 years of production in 2016, while an all-new model arrives in 2017. Stay tuned for a new Active crossover and Vignale posh edition.
- BMW 1 Series
What it lacks in terms of style it more than makes up for in terms of dynamics. Quite simply, the BMW 1 Series is the best driver’s car in the segment, with even the standard ‘cooking’ models being a joy to drive. Prices start from around £2,000.
- BMW 5 Series
Into the top five, where we find yet another BMW. This time it’s the turn of the 5 Series, which just happens to be BMW’s most profitable model. It’s also the company’s longest-running model line, so finding the right 5 Series for you shouldn’t be a problem.
- Ford Focus
The Ford Focus RS was one of the most talked about cars of 2016, but we’d wager it didn’t play a huge part in this result. The Focus revolutionised the sector when it arrived in 1998 and – along with the Volkswagen Golf – it has become the default choice for many people in search of a five-door hatchback.
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
We’re left with a trio of German cars at the top of the tree. Forget cheap city cars and economical superminis, many of you fancy a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. You’ll be pleased to know that prices start from £500, but for that money don’t expect it to look quite as tidy as the one that whizzed past you on the M4 this morning.
- Volkswagen Golf
You’d have placed a deutschmark on the Volkswagen Golf appearing near the top. Forget dieselgate, because Volkswagen has spent so long – not to mention billions of pounds – fine-tuning the Golf’s image, that it remains the hatchback of choice for many motorists.
- BMW 3 Series
The current, sixth generation BMW 3 Series has been on sale since 2011, so a replacement is long overdue. Fortunately, we won’t have long to wait, because a new version is scheduled to arrive in 2018. For now, it remains the car folk are most likely to click on when they reach the Auto Trader website.