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Small cars for under £10,000

By raccars Published

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£10,000 can buy you some very good small cars and some rather less admirable ones. Here's where best to put your money in the small car market - and where not to!

It's not exactly ground-breaking to point out that affordable small cars tend to be less comfortable, luxurious and refined than large, expensive saloons and SUVs. However over the last decade the small car sector has taken huge strides forward in terms of quality and performance. A number of small cars now display a bit of Yorkshire Terrier attitude - they are a big car in a small car's body.

The best-selling Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa tend to be the default small car choices in the UK, but only the lower trim levels fall within the £10,000, and that money could arguably be better spent elsewhere. The only Fiesta, for example, available for less than £10,000 is the 1.25 60 Studio three door model, with a positively Spartan interior and a tedious 0-60mph time of 16.9 seconds. Open your mind to some stellar small cars offering far more for your £10,000.

The best small cars for £10,000

Hyundai i10 1.0 Premium

The list price just tops the budget at £10,470 but you should be able to haggle a bit to get one of these superb little city cars. Its clever design makes it one of the most practical small cars out there, with the largest boot in its class, five doors and a genuine five seats. The i10 in Premium trim is also generously equipped, coming with air con, heated mirrors, electric windows, remote control central locking and Bluetooth. The five year warranty is also pretty attractive. The i10 can't quite match some of its rivals' driving dynamics but it's an extremely owner friendly and good value buy for £10,000.

Volkswagen Up! 1.0 Move Up

The middle of the range Move Up trim level and three doors puts the VW Up! city car within the £10,000 budget. The engine is at its best zipping around town but is less comfortable on the motorway, so take the 'city car' tag seriously, but otherwise the Up! is has decent equipment levels and makes for an entertaining drive. At this specification you'll have to do without a smart infotainment system but it's still a very high quality car for the money.

Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 Greentech SE

The Citigo is essentially a badge engineered version of the VW Up!, along with the Seat Mii, but the Skoda badge means prices are lower, allowing you to get a five door version within the £10,000 budget. The SE spec also comes with plenty of kit including electric front windows, air con, front and side airbags, stability control and CD player. It's a great drive too, with excellent build quality.

The worst small cars for £10,000

Ford Ka

The original Ford Ka was a sparkling performer with quirky looks and brilliant driving dynamics. Unfortunately later generations have failed to meet the same standards and, with a starting price of £9,000, are really quite expensive given the lack of equipment and crushing depreciation. There are far more rewarding cars on which to spend £10,000.

Nissan Micra

The little Micra has been around in various guises for a very long time. The Nissan badge pretty much guarantees reliability, but that's really all the Micra has going for it. The starting price breaches the £10,000 budget but you could probably solve that with discounts. But why would you want to? The Micra lags behind rivals in all the important areas - handling, build quality, refinement and driving dynamics are all poor.

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