Top five most popular medium carsWe’ve rounded up your favourite medium cars

06 June 2014

Medium cars are a common sight on British roads with four of the UK’s top 10 best-selling cars being medium models. Find out which cars have proven the most popular with Which? readers this year.

With an appealing blend of price, practicality, comfort and equipment, medium cars are a sensible choice for many car buyers. As a result, four of the top 10 best-selling models in the UK are medium cars, with big names such as the Ford Focus and VW Golf claiming second and fourth place overall in the sales tables.

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VW Golf – popular upmarket medium car

Topping the search charts for medium cars is the Volkswagen Golf. The Golf may cost more to buy than a Ford Focus, but it does offer a much greater sense of quality with its easy to navigate dashboard, solid build quality and classic styling. 

The new Golf is a step up in size from its predecessor. This makes it a very roomy car with lots of space for passengers in both the front and rear seats. There is more than enough space for four passengers, and fitting three adults in the back isn’t out of the question – unusual for a standard medium car.

Find out how the VW Golf got on in our realistic fuel economy tests by signing up Which? for £1

New Ford Focus review

Ford Focus – the UK’s second best-selling car

The Focus may be pipped at the sales post by its supermini sibling, the Fiesta, but the Focus is still an incredibly popular car – and deservedly so. It is practical and competitively priced – especially if you search out one of the large discounts available online. We’ve found savings of up to £5,913 on brand new Focus models.

Focus buyers also get to choose from a range of economical but punchy engines. They go all the way from frugal 1.0-litre petrols and 1.6-litre diesels to powerful models like the fast and characterful ST hot hatchback. An electric model has also recently been released, so you should be able to find a model to suit your needs and budget.

Discover how the Ford Focus fared in the most recent Which? Car Survey by signing up to Which? for £1


Audi A3 – sleek but expensive hatchback

The Audi A3 is closely related to the VW Golf, but it comes with inflated prices and a more chic interior. The A3 may be expensive, but it still ranks as the UK’s eighth highest-selling car, and it comes in third place for searches on the Which? website.

A variety of potent but economical engines are available and several of the more powerful models can be specified with four-wheel drive for added all-weather grip. Helping justify its price tag the A3 is safe and enjoyable to drive, with strong brakes and high comfort levels.

The Audi A3 is expensive to buy but is it expensive to live with? Read our full review  for all the answers.

BMW 1 Series 2011 1a

BMW 1 Series – top engines and roadholding

While other cars focus on comfort over handling, the 1 Series is very engaging to drive, although the ride is firm. Unusually for a medium car, power goes to the rear wheels. This means that you get a little less space in the rear seats and the car is likely to be more difficult to drive in snow than a regular medium car.

If you have to be able to drive in snowy and icy conditions therefore, the 1 Series would be a good candidate for winter tyres.  The car has an appealing interior and a choice of strong engines.

Will the BMW 1 Series cost the earth in fuel bills? See realistic tested economy figures in our full review

Toyota Auris

Toyota Auris – good value but bland

Unlike the VW, Audi and BMW, the Auris does away with any upmarket pretensions – this is a sensible, good value option. Sadly, the Auris also does away with its German rivals’ nicely designed interiors and agile roadholding. Although the Auris is perfectly safe to drive, it is not a car for keen drivers.

What you do get in return, however, is a good level of comfort, a long warranty and the option of an economical hybrid version. The list of standard equipment is long too, making the Auris a good value proposition.

How does the Toyota Auris stack up against its rivals? Watch our video review to find out

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