Kia and Honda top poll for best value used cars
A major survey has identified the best buys in used cars to help canny motorists get the best value for money in recessionary times.
The Kia Cee'd is ranked as the best medium-size car, while the Honda Jazz is the best small car in one of the most extensive car surveys in the industry, taking in owner experience as well as road tests.
The UK consumers' group Which? will today publish a sneak preview of the top-performing used cars in a survey of over 39,000 owners.
It combined the results of detailed road tests, crash tests and owner feedback on reliability and faults to sort out the winners and losers in seven categories of car, with price also being a factor.
Although the survey was carried out in Britain, the cars tested are widely available here, which means the results are directly relevant to Irish drivers.
The Kia Cee'd won the best medium-car accolade because of its five-star reliability and safety, with its seven-year warranty also a plus.
The Mazda 3 was also rated highly in this class, but the Alfa Romeo Guilietta (2010 on) was designated as one to avoid.
The "often overlooked" Mazda 6 was rated the best large car, with Which? praising its safety credentials, large boot and sporty handling, and noting it offered "a lot of car for the money".
The Toyota Prius was also deemed worthy of a look for its impressive fuel economy, but the Opel Insignia (2009 on) was ranked as one to avoid.
The Honda Jazz was the best supermini, thanks to high owner ratings, good resale values and good use of space, with the Ford Fiesta also found to have excellent reliability.
However, the Nissan Pixo and Suzuki Alto city cars were found to have poor reliability ratings and just three stars in Euro NCAP crash tests.
The Toyota Verso was rated the best MPV, while the Renault Scenic also garnered praise.
The Citroen Nemo was criticised for rolling over during tests, though Which? noted that stability control had been fitted as standard from September 2010 onwards.
The Skoda Superb was deemed the best estate car for its huge boot, spacious interior and solid build and value, with the Ford Mondeo also praised.
The Citroen C5 Tourer (2008) was deemed "one to avoid" however, rating just one star for reliability.
The BMW X1 was rated the best 4x4, while the Ford Kuga was found to be good value.
However, the Range Rover Sport was found to have more faults per vehicle than any other car surveyed, and these weren't cheap to fix, Which? noted.
While it was cheapest to buy from a private seller, consumers would have few rights if things went wrong, it said.
Full details of the survey will be published in next month's 'Which?' magazine.