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Revealed: the cars you viewed online in 2019

Auto Trader views 2019

If you’re anything like us, you’ll spend too much time window shopping new and used cars online. But have you ever stopped to wonder if some cars are far more popular than others?

Wonder no more, because Auto Trader has revealed the most popular new and used cars of 2019, with the results based on the number of advert views. We’ve listed the results in reverse order, starting with the most popular new cars of 2019.

10th most viewed new car – Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

Commenting on the results, Auto Trader’s commercial director, Ian Plummer, said: “Volume brands continue to be more successful in terms of physical sales, particularly within the used market, however when it comes to the most popular on our marketplace, the premium German brands dominate.” The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the 10th most popular new car of 2019.

9th most viewed new car – Volkswagen Polo

Auto Trader views 2019

“As finance accounts for over 90 percent of all new car sales and circa 30 percent of used, these more expensive models are becoming increasingly more accessible to a broader range of car buyers. As such, it’ll be interesting to see how the volume brands will be able to maintain their lead.” The Volkswagen Polo is a popular supermini, so it’s no surprise to find it in ninth place.

8th most viewed new car – Range Rover Evoque

Auto Trader views 2019

We’re constantly being reminded about the popularity of SUVs, but they account for only 30 percent of the new car top 10. Amazingly, all three are from the Land Rover stable, including the Range Rover Evoque. A new and improved version arrived last year. Richard Aucock’s verdict: “Like the original. Only better. Just as the customer ordered. Let’s watch the orders flood in.”

7th most viewed new car – Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

The new Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a vast improvement over the old model, which probably explains why so many people searched for one in 2019. Richard Aucock is a fan. After his first drive in 2018, he praised its styling, class-leading interior and brilliant infotainment system.

6th most viewed new car – BMW 3 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

Like the A-Class, online views of the BMW 3 Series would have been boosted by the arrival of the new model. Prices start from £32,500 for the saloon and £34,000 for the estate (Touring). It’s that man Richard Aucock again, this time with his verdict on the new 3 Series Touring. “BMW has successfully transferred its 3 Series saloon market leadership into the estate car sector.”

5th most viewed new car – Range Rover Sport

Auto Trader views 2019

It’s a while since Richard has driven a Range Rover Sport – it was back in 2015, to be precise – so we won’t garnish this gallery with his words. But it’s clear that the public remains in love with the Sport. Either that or there’s a high concentration of Auto Trader viewers in Cheshire. What else does a Premier League footballer do on his day off?

4th most viewed new car – Range Rover

Auto Trader views 2019

Given the popularity of EVs, the Range Rover is starting to look like a square peg in a round hole. Indeed, Auto Trader witnessed a 78 percent surge in the number of views for electric car adverts in 2019. It’ll be a while before an electric car nudges the Range Rover off its perch, but give it time…

3rd most viewed new car – Ford Fiesta

Auto Trader views 2019

Spoiler alert: there are no surprises at the top of the table. The cars occupying the top three positions are predictable – it’s just a matter of placing them in order. The Ford Fiesta finishes third, but remains the UK’s most popular new car in terms of registrations.

2nd most viewed new car – Ford Focus

Auto Trader views 2019

The Ford Focus grabs second spot, which leaves us with one car…

The most viewed new car – Volkswagen Golf

Auto Trader views 2019

It’s the Volkswagen Golf. We’d expect to find it here again in 2020, not least because of the arrival of the new eighth-generation model (pictured). Richard Aucock hasn’t driven it, but Tim Pitt has. He likes it. In conclusion, he said: “Much has changed, but the Golf still feels like the benchmark in its class.”

10th most viewed used car – Vauxhall Corsa

Auto Trader views 2019

Next, we move on to the most popular used cars. Historically, we’ve associated Auto Trader with pre-owned cars – a link back to the days of the weekly magazine. The Vauxhall Corsa is propping up the top 10. Did you know that the classifieds section of the Auto Trader website saw two and a half billion views in 2019? We’re responsible for at least half a billion…

9th most viewed used car – BMW 5 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

The 5 Series is one of three BMWs in the top 10 used cars. In terms of the overall most popular brands, the premium German brands romped home to victory. Indeed, BMW finished first on the used car list, followed by Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

8th most viewed used car – Audi A3

Auto Trader views 2019

Speaking of Audi, here’s the A3. In Europe, the Audi A3 jostles for position with the Mercedes-Benz A-Class as the most popular premium hatchback. Interestingly, in a not very interesting kind of way, the A-Class doesn’t make the used car top 10…

7th most viewed used car – Mercedes-Benz E-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

But the E-Class does. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers something for all – assuming you have deep pockets. Whether you’re after a saloon, estate, cabriolet or coupe, the E-Class has you covered, while the All-Terrain and AMG models are on hand to cater for the niche sectors.

6th most viewed used car – Ford Fiesta

Auto Trader views 2019

The Ford Fiesta can only manage sixth place on the used car list.

5th most viewed used car – Ford Focus

Auto Trader views 2019

The Fiesta is followed by the Ford Focus, which leaves the rest of the top 10 to be occupied by the Germans.

4th most viewed used car – BMW 1 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

With the arrival of a new BMW 1 Series, it should be easier to bag a great deal on an old one. Look out for nearly-new examples in the used car network, as dealers will be keen to shift examples of the outgoing model.

3rd most viewed used car – Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Auto Trader views 2019

We appreciate that this isn’t as exciting as watching The Masked Singer on ITV, but we’re into the top three. In third place we find Justin Hawkins. No, wait, in third place we find the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

2nd most viewed used car – Volkswagen Golf

Auto Trader views 2019

It finished top of the new car table, but the Volkswagen Golf must accept second place when it comes to used cars. But which car finishes first?

The most viewed used car – BMW 3 Series

Auto Trader views 2019

It’s… the BMW 3 Series. Come back next year, by which time we’ll know if The Masked Singer gets a second series.

Auto Trader to give away new Fiat 500 for Christmas

Auto Trader car giveaway

Car classifieds website Auto Trader will be giving away a brand new Fiat 500 to a lucky social media user this Christmas. Here’s how you can win.

First of all, you’ll have to be in either London (17 Dec), Birmingham (18 Dec) or Manchester (19 Dec). The car will be touring these locations over the course of these dates.

To win, you need to post a picture of it. And to do that, well, you need to see it.

Auto Trader car giveaway

It’s not just a post they want, either. You need to upload the pic with the live price tracker shown. The post needs to tag @autotraderuk and there needs to be an #autotraderxmas hashtag, too.

It needs to be live on either Twitter or Instagram by Friday 20 December.

Wait, though, there’s more! The price tracker has to be displaying the correctly pre-haggled price of the car in the snap. If it does, you’ll be entered into a draw to win.

The Fiat 500 is a frequently searched vehicle on Auto Trader. It gets more than 24,000 advertisement views a day on the platform.

Auto Trader car giveaway

“At this time of year, a lot of people are starting to think of their next new car, particularly ahead of March’s number plate changes,” an Auto Trader spokesperson said.

“They’re doing their research on different makes and models, so we wanted to show what deals they can get with our pre-haggled prices on brand new cars.

“We’re absolutely delighted to be touring our festively-wrapped car around London, Birmingham and Manchester and really looking forward to gifting a member of the British public with an early Christmas present.”

Auto Trader introduces ‘fair’ and ‘high’ price flags on ads

Auto Trader user upgrade

Auto Trader is upgrading the way its listings look. The car sales website is adding new features to help buyers feel more confident as they search the classifieds for their next car.

The changes will roll out across all platforms from early December.

In Auto Trader’s 2019 Car Buyers Report, it was revealed that 86 percent of buyers are concerned they can’t trust car dealers. Likewise, 88 percent worry they aren’t getting a good deal, while 85 percent are question the accuracy of the information about a car.

These are three key changes Auto Trader will make.

Consumer reviews

Reviews from customers of car retailers are being brought forward, to reinforce buyers’ trust in vendors.

Auto Trader wants to put its consumer reviews to better use, to corroborate other rewards and recommendations car sellers may have.

Price flags

Auto Trader upgrades

Auto Trader will be adding to its ‘low’, ‘great’ and ‘good’ price indicators, with ‘fair’ and ‘high’. It’s believed that buyers’ hesitance around pricing is a key barrier to doing the deal. With more comprehensive ‘flags’, Auto Trader hopes to put buyers at ease, and help them be sure they’re paying what they should.

The company claims that its valuations are ‘the most accurate reflection of the live retail market’. They include analysis of more than 1.9 million vehicles each day. Valuations are afforded depending on age, mileage and specification.

Mileage and spec indicators

Auto Trader user upgrade

To help buyers find the specific cars, extra feature indicators are also being added. This means mileage and deal-critical optional extras can be highlighted in a listing.

Content relating to the car, including the description and spec, is being moved up the page, in order to help buyers find what is being offered more efficiently.

Why it should be easier to find your next car on Auto Trader

Why it should be easier to find your next car

New and used car buyers should now discover it’s easier to find their next car on Auto Trader.

That’s because the online marketplace has tweaked its search rankings to prioritise results based on consumer relevance as well as price.

One in three consumers would have bought their car sooner if the process was easier for them, says Auto Trader. So the upgraded search algorithm should be good news for the consumer and the seller.

Auto Trader faces new competition, with the Volkswagen- and Daimler-backed Heycar online marketplace now available to consumers in the UK.

But while Heycar is a 100 percent business to consumer marketplace, Auto Trader features private sellers, and at the time of writing it has around 480,000 new and used cars for sale.

Cars for sale in showroom

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, director of commercial products, said: “All of our research shows that retailers that price to market from day one enjoy a faster speed of sale, which means they’re selling more cars, more quickly, and for more profit.

“We’re committed to making the car buying experience easier for consumers, and in the process providing our customers with the very best marketplace to sell their cars.

“By showing relevant results and useful information upfront to car buyers, we’re delivering retailers with more meaningful connections earlier in the process, and fewer questions from less informed consumers.”

Advice for car dealers

Happy car dealer

Auto Trader says there “isn’t a simplistic check-list” for dealers to appear higher up the search rankings, but advises retailers to follow “best digital practice”.

Including plenty of images and a video to highlight the true condition of the vehicle helps, as does adding lots of detail on the condition and specification of the car.

Using customer reviews to instil confidence and trust in their business is another quick win for dealers.

Hybrid and EVs surge ahead for second-hand sales

alternative fuel vehicles lead steadily growing pre-owned market

In spite of the doom and gloom surrounding car sales, the second-hand market remains resilient, says Auto Trader.

Used car prices are continuing to grow in the UK, although the rate of growth has slowed. An average of 0.8 percent growth is the slowest since 2016. It’s comprised mainly of (slowest-growing) diesel at 0.4 percent and petrol at one percent growth.

Alternative-fuel cars come top with 4.8 percent growth, a sub-sector that includes hybrids and electric cars (the latter up 11.8 percent). 

Looking for alternatives

alternative fuel vehicles lead steadily growing pre-owned market

Alternative-fuel vehicles made up eight percent of all fuel-related searches on Auto Trader this month, in spite of being just one percent of pre-owned stock.

Petrol is down to 51 percent of searches, and diesel is down at 41 percent.

“There has been much rhetoric around the strength of the used car market in recent weeks, namely that prices have plummeted however, Auto Trader data tells a different story,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s director of commercial products.

“Prices are still growing, it’s just that the rate of growth is slower than we’re accustomed to and that we’ve seen in recent months.

alternative fuel vehicles lead steadily growing second-hand market

“There is a clear trend every year following September and March plate change, resulting in an increase in three-year-old, 60k vehicles. The pre-owned car market has an influx of stock, often as a result of consumers trading in their car for a new one.

“Following the March plate change, the volume of three-year-old cars reaches its peak between March and June. This saturates the market and prices become more competitive – which is what we observed happening in May. This is part of the annual cycle, and it’s a trend we see every year.”

Petrol reaches record popularity in Auto Trader searches

filling up with petrol auto trader

Petrol now accounts for 50 percent of all searches on Auto Trader’s marketplace, according to the latest analysis of figures by the car sales website. That’s up from just 33 percent two years ago. Diesel now accounts for just 42 percent of searches on Auto Trader, compared with this time two years ago when it accounted for 64 percent of searches.

London is where diesel has taken the biggest hit, in the run-up to the Ultra Low Emission Zone coming into effect in April 2019. As many as 63 percent of searches on Auto Trader from the London locale were diesel in February 2017. Last month, diesel came into just 26 percent of searches on Auto Trader. That’s an incredible drop of 37 percent over two years.

Overall, fuel-related searches have increased from 32 percent to 61 percent over the past couple of years. Alternative fuel vehicles (hybrids, electric cars and more) have gone up in popularity in searches on Auto Trader, from four percent to 12 percent in this period.

Diesels hold value, in spite of reduced demand

Auto Trader searches

Regardless of what seems to be reduced demand, diesel cars are holding their value sufficiently. The average price of a secondhand diesel actually increased 2.4 percent year-on-year, to £14,309. That might not be a function of the value of diesel, however, rather that second-hand cars are getting younger and more valuable…

Indeed, petrol-powered cars increased in value year-on-year by 2.8 percent, to £11,249.  Meanwhile, alternative-fuel vehicles have had a massive secondhand value increase year-on-year of 4.4 percent, to £21,809. Overall, secondhand cars on Auto Trader are 2.7 percent more valuable now than in February 2018.

Auto Trader searches

“The latest used market results along with our own price data highlights the stoicism of second-hand diesels,” said Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s commercial product director.

“However, whilst fuel only represents one in five of the 55 searches that take place on our marketplace every second, the ongoing decline in diesel searches clearly highlights the impact a combination of sustained ‘demonisation’ and new legislation is having on consumer perception.”

Fun for 1,500 notes

Fun-to-drive cars for less than £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

You could spend £1,500 on the deposit of a PCP deal on a new car, only to spend another couple of hundred quid a month for the next few years, before handing back the keys at the end of the contract.

Alternatively, you could spend the same amount on a used car and have fun enjoying life with your own car. Which is why we’ve been trawling the pages of Auto Trader in search of fun cars for less than £1,500.

Ford Puma: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

Draw up a list of the most fun-to-drive front-wheel-drive cars and the Ford Puma will be close to the top. The Millennium special edition is a rare thing – 1,000 were built – each one finished in yellow, with a numbered plaque, bespoke centre caps and black leather seats. This one isn’t the cheapest available, but the condition looks good and the Millennium factor should make it collectable in the future. You’ve just got to like yellow paint.

Mazda RX-8: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

We’re not going to pretend that buying a cheap Mazda RX-8 isn’t as risky as betting your house on the outcome of the 6.45 at Haydock, but a rotary-engined sports car with suicide rear doors has to be more exciting than a compact crossover, right? This 2005 example has 62,000 miles on the clock and will come with a fresh MOT.

Mazda MX-5: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

There are plenty of Mazda MX-5s for sale within budget, so you can afford to be selective. Corrosion is a potential MX-5 killer, and the seller of this 2004 example says the rear arches are starting to see some rust. On the plus side, it has just been serviced and won’t need an MOT until December – by which time the hot summer of 2018 will be a distant memory.

BMW 3 Series Convertible: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

All this class and sophistication for just £1,500 – sweet. Assuming it’s as good as it looks – the last MOT looks encouraging – this 1999 BMW 328i convertible could be a summer steal. Spend a few months enjoying it over the summer and you might even be able to sell for it for a small profit in the autumn.

MG TF: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

The MG TF didn’t have the best reputation for reliability when new – and the head gasket issue needs mentioning – but seek specialist help and this is a terrific, if slightly softer, alternative to the Mazda MX-5 and Toyota MR2. This 2003 example comes with a warranty, has got 52,000 miles on the clock, and is said to be in excellent condition. Sadly, the dealer says no discounts will be offered, but there’s no harm in trying.

Mini One: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

Launched after the Mini Cooper, the One arrived as the entry-level model, with a price tag of £10,300. More expensive than a top spec Ford Ka, perhaps, but the Mini had the build quality and the kudos of the badge. This early example has had just one lady owner from new, and you won’t need to MOT it until March 2019.

Mazda Eunos: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

The Mazda Eunos is the Japanese name for the MX-5, meaning this is an imported car. But don’t let that put you off, because Mk1 Eunos models tended to be better equipped, while Japan’s unsalted roads are kinder to the car’s body and structure. This 1994 example was imported in 2002 and has “minimal rust on the sills”.

Daihatsu Copen: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

With its electrically folding hardtop roof, you can view the Daihatsu Copen as a kind of tiny Mercedes-Benz SLK. And, we do mean tiny – 6ft drivers need not apply. This is an early Copen with 0.66-litre three-cylinder engine – the later cars were powered by a 1.3-litre unit – and it’s up for a bargain £1,500. That said, as a part-exchange vehicle, it’s offered with no warranty, so do your homework before parting with any cash.

Audi TT: £1,500

Fun for 1,500 notes

Twenty years on from its launch, the Audi TT still looks like a concept car for road and, in our opinion, remains better looking than the subsequent models. We’re a little surprised to find a selection of cars available for this budget, so take the opportunity before prices head north. The mileage on this 1.8-litre example is nothing to be afraid of, but you might want to arrange a fresh MOT before taking the plunge.

Honda CRX Del Sol: £1,495

Fun for 1,500 notes

The Mk3 Honda CRX Del Sol is heavier and less exciting to drive than its predecessors, but don’t let that put you off, because its talents lie elsewhere. The electric and automatic targa top is a neat piece of kit, while the styling is ageing beautifully. The MOT history on this 1997 example looks very encouraging, with no mention of rust.

Suzuki Jimny: £1,495

Fun for 1,500 notes

After 20 years, production of the current Suzuki Jimny has ended, as the world waits for the fourth-generation model to go on sale in 2019. You don’t have to wait until next year, not when you can buy an outgoing version for £1,500. This is an automatic, so it won’t be for everyone, but with 67,331 miles on the clock, it has got plenty of life left in it.

Ford SportKa: £1,295

Fun for 1,500 notes

Forget the Volkswagen Up GTI for a moment, because the Ford SportKa is junior hot hatch built in the same spirit as the Mk1 Golf GTI. There are enough for sale around the £1,000 mark for you to be choosy, but this one looks worthy of a test drive. The MOT history suggests rust might be an issue – corrosion is a Ka weak point – so approach with care and move on to another SportKa if you’re not sure.

Mercedes-Benz SLK: £1,000

Fun for 1,500 notes

At the time of writing there were 15 Mercedes-Benz SLKs available for less than £1,500, although admittedly some had a few known issues. We selected the best one – a SLK 230 for £1,150 – but it sold before we went live. Instead, you might want to consider this 2000 example with 90,000 miles on the clock. The seller has owned it for over four years and has used a Mercedes specialist for servicing. Nice.

MG ZS 180: £1,100

Fun for 1,500 notes

You have to say, this is a lot of car for the asking price. The 180 was the flagship of the MG ZS range, powered by a creamy 2.5-litre V6 engine without the dreaded K-Series head gasket issues. This 2004 example is “owned by [an] enthusiast”, who has written an honest description of the car. We like this, which is why we made it our cover star.

Jeep Cherokee: £1,000

Fun for 1,500 notes

If you’re feeling brave, this could be a tremendous amount of fun, not least when you decide to venture into the wilderness. There is a catch: the MOT ran out in March. The list of failures and advisories will keep you busy for a couple of weekends, but if you’re handy with a spanner – or know a mate who can help – a Jeep Cherokee 4.0-litre is a wondrous off-road toy.

Peugeot 406 Coupe: £1,000

Fun for 1,500 notes

Here’s a challenge for you: find a prettier car available for less than a ‘bag of sand’. The Peugeot 406 Coupe is one of Pininfarina’s best creations, with a timeless design that’s as good today as it was in the late 90s. Even in what the seller describes as “average condition”, this 1999 example looks a million dollars.

Mazda 323 Sport: £895

Fun for 1,500 notes

The Mazda 323 is far nicer to drive than you’d think, while the 2.0-litre petrol engine delivers brisk, if not scintillating, performance. According to the seller, this 2003 example is in excellent condition, but the MOT history would suggest that some welding has been done in the past. But, with a fresh MOT and a price tag of £895, it’s still better than a lengthy PCP deal.

Fiat Seicento Sporting: £795

Fun for 1,500 notes

This Fiat Seicento Sporting passed an MOT with no advisories in June, is still wearing its original number plates, and has just 27,000 miles on the clock. So, what’s stopping you? Buy it now and enjoy some Italian fun.

Hyundai Coupe: £700

Fun for 1,500 notes

Squint really hard and this could pass as a Ferrari. OK, a Ferrari with a V6 engine and a Hyundai badge, but we did say you’d need to squint really hard. This 2003 example isn’t perfect, but you shouldn’t expect perfection for £700. The one concern would be the MOT, which runs out in a matter of days.

Ford Focus: £650

Fun for 1,500 notes

The Mk1 Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec is one of the most underrated driver’s cars you can buy, with a superb chassis, delightful gearbox and just enough power to perform. The seller hasn’t done a great job with the photos, but this 2000 car has an MOT until February 2019 and looks like a bargain at £650.

Read more:

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 is revvier and more honest
All-new 2019 Suzuki Jimny: what you need to know
England World Cup success lands Auto Trader with a £150k bill

AutoTraderGoals World Cup competition

Auto Trader Goals World Cup new car giveaway EVERY TIME England score

AutoTraderGoals World Cup competitionAuto Trader has vowed to give away a new car every time England score a goal in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Up for grabs are an Abarth 595, Alfa Romeo Mito, Fiat 500X and a Jeep Renegade. 

The new and used car marketplace has signed up England legend (and one-time rapper) John Barnes as ambassador for the campaign. “It’s impossible to describe the feeling of scoring a goal in the World Cup,” he said, “but I imagine winning a brand-new car is up there.”

The competition launches TONIGHT, Monday 18 June, with England’s opening game against Tunisia. 

AutoTraderGoals World Cup competition

How do you enter the competition to win a new car when England score? Simply, use the hashtag #AutoTraderGoals. Do this as soon as the goal is scored, on the following social media channels: 

The competition window opens as soon as the goal is scored, and one winner will be picked at random. Fans have until the next goal is scored to enter, or until the end of the match if no more goals are scored. 

Entrants also have to be over 18, and hold a full UK driving licence. 

AutoTraderGoals World Cup competition

But what if you’re not on social media? Don’t worry, Auto Trader’s thought of that, too. You can enter online, by adding your email address to the online form. 

Barnes added the England squad is one of the youngest ever to play for the team in the World Cup. “I’m hopeful this tournament will show the fruits fo what this new generation is capable of, so I’m confident Auto Trader will be giving away plenty of new cars during what hopes to be a memorable World Cup.”

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018 winners revealed

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

Not ANOTHER car awards… Well, yes, but Auto Trader’s New Car Awards are a little different. The 12 winners here are voted for by 43,000 real car owners who have bought and lived with the vehicles in question – not simply a small team of journalists who borrowed one for a week. And the 12 categories cover all aspects of the car market, from driving enjoyment to the best car for dog owners. Read on to discover the people’s champions.

New Car of the Year: Skoda Octavia

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

And the overall Car of the Year 2018 winner is… the Skoda Octavia. It’s a Volkswagen Golf with more space for less cash – what’s not to like? Auto Trader said: “The Skoda Octavia hatchback is a fantastic all-rounder. It might not appeal to everyone’s heart, but it ticks every box that any head would want”.

The talented Octavia ticked plenty of boxes with the voting public, too. According to Auto Trader, “consumers decided the winners based on lifestyle factors like reliability, running costs, appearance and practicality. (They) were also asked about their overall satisfaction with their cars and how likely they would be to recommend it to others.”

Best Family Car: Skoda Superb

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

Another Skoda clinches the title in the Best Family Car category. Auto Trader said: “The Skoda Superb is a rational purchase, and its sensible drive and efficient engines reflect that. However, the smart styling, ingenious touches that enhance daily ownership, and impressive roster of new gadgets make it a serious contender in the family car class – especially at this price.” At the time of writing, the Superb starts from £22,120.

While noting journalists are persona non grata here, we’d venture to suggest the Superb Estate as an even better family holdall. It offers more interior space than many cars from the class above – including a huge 1,950-litre boot with the rear seats folded down.

Best Car for City Driving: Ford Kuga

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

You might assume a small car such as a Hyundai i10 or Volkswagen Up was ideally suited to city driving. Not according to Auto Trader’s audience. They prefer the high driving position and commanding road presence of Ford’s mid-size Kuga SUV.

Auto Trader says: “Despite its age, the Ford Kuga is still one of the better compact SUVs you can buy. Go for one of the ST-Line models and you’ll be amazed at how engaging the Kuga is to drive. Tick the box for one of the punchy diesel engines and you’ll be just as chuffed by the easy flexibility, strong performance and impressive economy.” Definitely no Chelsea tractor, then.

Best Value New Car: Kia Rio

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

For those of a certain age, the word ‘Rio’ will always conjure up visions of sharp-suited synthpop. However, the Kia Rio is almost as appealing – especially when you factor in its £13,615 start-price. Even the most expensive Rio costs less than £18,000.

Under ‘Pros’ for the Rio, Auto Trader lists “plenty of room inside the cabin, high levels of standard equipment, a long warranty, excellent 1.0-litre petrol engine”. The Cons are “disappointing refinement at higher speed, ride feels too firm too much of the time, not as cheap as you might expect.” Still, there is a distinction between cheapness and value for money.

Best Car for Long Distances: Hyundai Tucson

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

Having driven a Rolls-Royce Phantom from London to Vienna and back in 48 hours earlier this year, we’d suggest the Best Car for Long Distances is, in fact, a £400k Roller with an in-built champagne fridge. But Auto Trader readers beg to differ, giving this award to the slightly-more-attainable Hyundai Tucson – a family SUV that costs from £20,160.

Auto Trader said: “As a stylish and practical family car, with good-value prices and the added versatility of four-wheel drive on many models, the Tucson has a lot going for it. We do have a few reservations, especially about the efficiency and performance of the best-selling 1.7-litre diesel, so we’d recommend that buyers who are tempted by this sort of car also look at a Nissan Qashqai or Skoda Karoq.”

Most Fun Car to Drive: Mazda MX-5

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

These awards may major on practicality, reliability and running costs, but they haven’t entirely forgotten the fun-factor. Enter the Mazda MX-5: officially the Most Fun Car to Drive according to the 43,000 people sampled. The evergreen MX-5 is also the best-selling sports car of all time, it’s simple front-engine, rear-wheel-drive formula (not forgetting the open roof) winning it more than a million fans.

There’s effusive praise from Auto Trader, too: “The MX-5 offers something for everyone. It’s grown up, good-looking and luxurious enough to please buyers after a simple cruiser, but also fast, exciting and engaging enough for die-hard enthusiasts. A true star”.

Brand with the Best Car Features: Nissan

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

Nissan stands at the forefront of safety and convenience technology, say survey respondents. The Japanese company, which builds several cars in the UK – including the Qashqai and Leaf – wins the award for Brand with the Best Car Features.

Notable Nissan tech includes the Propilot semi-autonomous driving system, recently introduced on the Qashqai. Sensors maintain a set distance to the car in front, braking to a standstill if necessary. Propilot can also control steering to keep the car in-lane on the motorway, albeit only for limited periods.

Best Car Launched in the Last Year: Volvo XC60

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

While car magazines and websites fawn over the Volvo XC40, Auto Trader readers prefer the XC60 – a larger SUV that competes with the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace. Indeed, they reckon it’s the best car launched during the past 12 months.

Summing up, Auto Trader said: “The latest XC60 has some Swedish idiosyncrasies, especially in terms of the way it drives, but it’s right up there with the very best when it comes to design sophistication, refinement and interior quality. It’s a very easy vehicle to live with, thanks to its relaxed road manners, elegant, comfortable interior and strong, quiet diesel engines. It’s not cheap, but even the entry model cars come with plenty of kit, including four-wheel-drive, an eight-speed automatic gearbox, a powered boot lid and an extensive list of safety kit. Add to this spacious, airy accommodation, a useful sized boot and affordable running costs, and the XC is worthy of serious consideration.”

Best Value Brand: Dacia

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

When Romanian-born, Renault-owned Dacia launched in the UK, its headline offer was £5,995 for an entry-level Sandero. That same Sandero has since crept up to £6,995, but Dacia remains a value-led brand. Few marques come close in terms of metal for your money.

In Auto Trader’s word’s: “Dacia’s mission is to provide no-frills transport at a no-frills price, and that’s a promise upon which it delivers big time. The cars themselves may have a rather budget feel, but they offer new-car motoring for a used-car cost”.

Best Car for Dog Owners: Honda Civic

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

Woof, woof. If you have a furry friend, own a pooper scooper and regularly go on paw patrol, the Honda Civic is the car for you. Auto Trader readers award it 4.5 out of five overall, with one owner saying: “(I’ve) never had as many complementary comments from total strangers about any vehicle I have owned”.

Honda has yet to launch a Tourer estate version of the current Civic. However, even the hatchbook has plenty of boot space – despite lacking the brilliant, flip-up ‘Magic Seats’ of the old model. It’s no dog to drive either, particularly the ballistic Type R hot hatch.

Most Reliable Brand: Lexus

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

One day there will be a car survey where Lexus isn’t named the Most Reliable Brand. Until that day, this Japanese marque will remain the top choice for connoisseurs of hassle-free motoring.

On Lexus, Auto Trader said: “A Japanese luxury outfit that offers Toyota reliability, along with edgy styling that sets its cars apart from those of the German prestige brands. The company has also invested a lot of faith in alternative-fuel vehicles, with most of its cars being available in hybrid form.”

Best Car for New Drivers: Kia Rio

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

The Rio is the only car here to win two awards. Not only was it voted the Best Value New Car, it also takes the title of Best Car for New Drivers. Light controls, compact dimensions and a good level of safety equipment all help the Kia’s cause.

The verdict of Auto Trader was thus: “It’s all too easy to sound like we’re damning the Rio with faint praise, but this really is a very decent car that does its job extremely well. It’s not quite class-leading in any way, but as an overall package, it has an awful lot to recommend it, and no major weaknesses. If you’re in the market for a supermini, you should certainly give the Rio a look”.

Best Green Car: Volkswagen Passat GTE Estate

Auto Trader New Car Awards 2018

From electric SUVs to hybrid-powered supercars, defining what constitutes a ‘green car’ is increasingly tricky. The Passat GTE Estate is no lightweight, but it ticks the ‘green’ box due to its hybrid drivetrain. Its batteries offer up to 31 miles of pure electric range

Of the Passat Estate in general, Auto Trader notes Pros of “elegant looks and classy cabin, excellent comfort and refinement, spacious cabin and big boot”. The Cons are listed as “not as sharp to drive as some rivals, some versions look very pricey, rear seats don’t quite fold flat”.

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Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Used SUVs for less than £200 a monthAuto Trader has launched a new online tool, allowing car buyers to search for their next car based on their ideal monthly budget. Given the popularity of PCP (Personal Contract Purchase) plans, this should benefit the majority of people who visit the classifieds website. With this in mind, we’ve been on the hunt for SUVs and crossovers for less than £200 a month.

To focus the results, we narrowed the search to cars up to five years old with no more than 100,000 miles on the clock. We also used a range of deposit options, from zero to £2,500.

£0 deposit: Nissan Juke

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Once upon a time, an SUV meant tank-like styling and driving dynamics, four-wheel drive, and running costs to rival the national debt. Today, the lines between SUVs, crossovers and hatchbacks have become rather blurred, but to keep things simple we’ve used Auto Trader’s own filters to find a selection of SUVs for £200 a month. Like this Nissan Juke, which could be yours for £173.33 a month, with no deposit and an optional final payment of £3,474.58.

£0 deposit: Kia Sportage

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

This one-owner Kia Sportage has covered 49,100 miles and is on sale for £9,779. Alternatively, you can drive away with no deposit and £199.74 a month over three years. The optional final payment is £4,471.50, with a fixed rate of interest of 3.97%.

£500 deposit: Hyundai ix35

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Increasing the size of the deposit from zero to £500 should, in theory, either lower your monthly payments or allow you to purchase a newer vehicle. This 2014 Hyundai ix35 has covered just 13,061 and is up for £9,950. With a £500 deposit, that works out at £199.97 a month, with an optional final payment of £4,649. You’ll pay nearly £2,400 in interest, mind.

£500 deposit: Dacia Duster

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

The Dacia Duster is a refreshingly honest SUV, and this 2014 example even benefits from four-wheel drive. The 1.5-litre dCi engine delivers a reasonable amount of poke and low running costs, while the black lower bumpers and steel wheels mean you won’t cringe when you hit the odd rock or tree stump. Yours for £199.77 a month, with an optional final payment of £2,655.

£1,000 deposit: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Remember, these examples are for illustrative purposes only, and you can spend a few minutes fine-tuning your search criteria. If you fancy a shorter term and a larger deposit, simply adjust the settings. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a popular new car, so used examples are likely to be in-demand. Up the deposit to £1,000 and you can drive away in the plug-in hybrid SUV for £199.93 a month, with an optional final payment of £6,335.

£1,000 deposit: Volkswagen Tiguan

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Such is the popularity of the Volkswagen Tiguan, we doubt this 2013 example will be available for long. The S trim is hardly lavish, but this one-owner example does benefit from 4Motion four-wheel drive and that all-important VW badge. Pay £1,000 and it’s yours for £199.55 a month, with an optional final payment of £4,331.50.

£1,500 deposit: Jeep Renegade

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Increasing the deposit to £1,500 opens up a new world of opportunities, including some much newer vehicles. The Jeep badge gives the Renegade justification for the ‘SUV’ tag, even if this 2016 example is front-wheel drive. You’ll pay £199.98 a month, with an optional final payment of £6,075.

£1,500 deposit: BMW X1

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

Given the choice between spending £200 a month on a brand new supermini or a used BMW crossover, many will be lured by the premium badge of the X1. This front-wheel drive example dates from 2013 and has 47,688 miles on the clock. The monthly repayments are £184.05 after a £1,500 deposit. You’ll need to find £4,680 if you decide to keep it in 2021.

£2,000 deposit: Peugeot 2008

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

We’ve upped the deposit again, this time to £2,000, which is enough to secure this 2016 Peugeot 2008 with 9,100 miles on the clock. The spec includes cruise control, dual-zone climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels and rear parking sensors, while the monthly payments are £199.98. Optional final payment: £5,310.

£2,000 deposit: Vauxhall Mokka X

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

With just 7,702 miles on the clock, this 2017 Vauxhall Mokka X is practically new and benefits from a 7-inch touchscreen, front and rear parking sensors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, cruise control and dual-zone climate control. You’ll pay £199.95 a month, with an optional final payment of £6,231.39.

£2,500 deposit: Nissan Qashqai

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

With 4,092 miles on the clock, this Nissan Qashqai is practically brand new, even though it was registered in 2015. It begs the question: what has it been doing for the best part of three years? Predictably, it looks blemish-free, and it could be yours for bang on £200 a month. The optional final payment is £7,022.75.

£2,500 deposit: Audi Q3

Used SUVs for less than £200 a month

We conclude with this 2014 Audi Q3 SE Quattro with 19,000 miles on the clock. Spend £2,500 on a deposit and you’ll pay £199.63 a month, with an optional final payment of £8,142.73. Contact the local dealers to discover more about the cars mentioned here, and be sure to take a test drive before signing up for a PCP deal.

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