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Best used family cars

The Vauxhall Insignia is the best used family car in our Used Car Awards 2018

Best used family car: Vauxhall Insignia

Prices from: £990Our pick: Vauxhall Insignia 2015 (15) 2.0 CDTi SRi, 36,230 miles, £6,700

With lots of used examples to chose from and prices from £990, it’s no wonder the Vauxhall Insignia is yet again our best used family car. Most of these practical five-door hatches will have already shed the majority of their value, so you needn’t worry about depreciation too much. With a spacious cabin, strong kit list and economical engines, there’s lots to like.

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Best family cars to buy 2019

You can pick up a nearly new model for almost half the new list price, and while this generation has been replaced by the newer Insignia Grand Sport, the used model is worth exploring if you’re on a tighter budget.

The cabin quality is robust, while the relatively plush suspension delivers decent comfort most of the time. Chassis control breaks down over poorer surfaces, but makes long journeys much more bearable when paired with smooth-enough diesel engines. Our pick is the powerful, punchy 138bhp 2.0-litre CDTi diesel, which should return between 50-60mpg on a long run, yet offers a good spread of performance, too.

SRi trim adds sporty looks without sacrificing value. Even upgrading to the better-equipped Elite Nav trim, which offers plenty of useful kit including sat-nav, leather upholstery and xenon lights, the Insignia is still affordable. But pick wisely and it shouldn’t matter what combination you go for, because you’ll get plenty of value for money with this used Vauxhall.

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That extends to the versatility on offer, thanks to the Vauxhall’s 530-litre boot and wide-opening hatch. Despite the relatively sleek but inoffensive styling, the Insignia is a practical and dependable family car.

To complete the package, there’s lots of head and legroom in the rear of the cabin to keep passengers happy. Cheap and cheerful fits the bill here.

Key details

On the road: Comfort is good most of the time, with only poor tarmac upsetting the car. Diesel engines are praised by owners.

Interior: Large boot, good rear space and decent equipment levels make the Insignia a strong family choice.

Finance options

Affordability from new tends to mean affordability when used, and that’s true on finance, too, where monthly prices of around £128 on a PCP mean you get all the space and efficiency of an Insignia for city-car costs.

Part of the reason is that this car has already taken its biggest depreciation hit, so finance becomes even cheaper. It’s a great deal.

Commended

Skoda Superb Mk3

Skoda’s ultra-practical family hatchback lives up to its name. It genuinely is Superb. It’s pricier than the Insignia used, but you can’t moan about the space, quality and kit. Frugal diesel engines are a bonus, too.

Left-field choice

Mazda 6 Mk2

The Mk2 Mazda 6 hatch cemented Mazda's reputation in this segment as it balances cost and driver appeal beautifully. Prices are very affordable and while interior quality might have moved on, there’s a surprising level of fun, comfort and refinement.

Best used cars to buy - 2018 Used Car Awards winners

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