Driver Verdicts Value for money rated
Owners reveal the best and worst new cars for value for money. The results? Skoda comes up trumps, but Land Rover languishes way behind.
Superb for value: Skoda Superb
Top 5 cars for value for money
Skoda Superb (2008-)
Driver rating 96.0%
You say: Simply the best car I have ever owned. It's worked out cheaper than my previous Honda and actually has a better build standard than my Mercedes.
We say: Skoda’s Superb has won a growing band of followers thanks to its competitive pricing and generous passenger space. You won't find a car with more rear legroom this side of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Skoda Octavia (2004-)
Driver rating 95.2%
You say: Fuel economy is very impressive (56 to 60mpg), and servicing costs are lower than average. It's been very reliable so far, too.
We say: The Skoda Octavia is essentially a stretched VW Golf, but it is far cheaper to buy, and as cheap as chips to run too.
Hyundai ix35 (2010-)
Driver rating 93.6%
You say: Our other car is an Audi TT, and the Hyundai is just as much fun to drive. We have no hesitation in recommending it: it's safe, reliable and good value for money.
We say: This compact 4x4 combines price, ability and space extremely well. The 2.0-litre diesel achieved an average of 44.1mpg in our tests - pretty good for a four-wheel drive of this size.
Skoda Superb Estate (2010-)
Driver rating 92.7%
You say: I feel I am driving a car that, from any other maker, would cost £10-15,000 more for the same quality.
We say: No other large estate offers so much space for the price. We measured the boot at 475 litres with the seats in place, making the Superb Estate firmly one of the most capacious load-luggers you can buy new.
Hyundai i10 (2008-)
Driver rating 92.6%
You say: This is easily the best car I've had for getting in and out of, and it has cost me nothing other than the yearly service.
We say: No doubt about it, the Hyundai i10 offers fantastic value for money. But the fact that so many were snapped up through the 2009 scrappage scheme hasn't helped second-hand values.
Money pit: Range Rover
Bottom 5 cars for value for money
Mini Countryman (2010-)
Driver rating 66.4%
You say: Fuel consumption is very poor compared to the manufacturer's claim of 60mpg. When new it was 48mpg, but now it's down to 44mpg.
We say: There's nothing particularly 'mini' about the five-door Mini Countryman. At 4.1m in length and 1.6m in height, it's almost the size of a Nissan Qashqai. and you should think carefully before selecting too many tempting but overpriced options.
BMW X5 (2007-)
Driver rating 65.3%
You say: I've had reliability issues: the electronics, fuel injection and suspension have all failed and were expensive to replace. It's also thirsty, and the tyres are horrific.
We say: The X5 is one of the best on-road 4x4s, but it's pretty expensive to insure and all versions except the 3.0-litre diesel are in the highest tax band.
BMW 3 Series convertible (2007-)
Driver rating 63.2%
You say: Rear tyre wear on the inside edges is a major issue - and at nearly £400 each they are very expensive to replace.
We say: The BMW 3 Series is a firm favourite with UK buyers, and regularly tops the convertible sales charts, but steep purchase prices coupled with high running costs make this one of the worst value for money cars on the road.
Land Rover Range Rover Sport (2005-)
Driver rating 63.0%
You say: Braking and steering problems have plagued it since new, and it has poor fuel consumption.
We say: Land Rover's rival to the BMW X5 and Porsche Cayenne is vastly expensive to buy and run. The main frustration is poor fuel economy - the 4.2-litre petrol model we tested averaged just 16.8mpg.
Land Rover Range Rover (2002-)
Driver rating 61.1%
You say: The cost of servicing and parts makes it seem that, just because you can afford to buy it, you have to pay through the nose to maintain it properly.
We say: There's no questioning the Range Rover's great drive on and off road. Unfortunately it's a very thirsty beast. Even if you buy the most economical version, the TDV8 diesel, you'll have to have deep pockets, as we averaged a mere 25.2mpg.