Arguably the most important in a car purchase is the price. To help simplify this I have narrowed the search down to mid-level trim spec cars, less than 2 years old and with less than average mileage, just to give a better perspective.
Hyundai i30 – From just £10,000
By far the cheapest option of those assessed here, Hyundai as a brand is still struggling with its image. This is causing second-hand values of the i30 to plummet. This is great news for potential used car purchasers, not so good for those who bought new.
i30’s with either a petrol or diesel engine can be had from as little as £10,000 for a 2018 model. There is a selection of trims up to the SE Nav (which is the one you really want), though lesser trim specs can be had in some circumstances for under £10,000. 2018 cars will still have 3 years left on the manufacturer warranty, while the high-quality build of the cabin and low mileage of the example vehicles will ensure these cars still feel brand new.
Mazda 3 – From £15,000 (still very new)
The latest Mazda 3 is still too new at this point to compare against the Hyundai. Even the oldest of them are little over 12 months old, meaning they are yet to depreciate like the others. The signs are positive though, with huge chunks already taken off the new price, give it another year and we could be seeing Hyundai-like prices.
Currently both diesel and hybrid-petrol models can be found from around £15,000, while the latest SkyActiv-X engined models will set you back at least £18,000. These vehicles are essentially still new, the high-quality interior materials, top build quality and refinement will be every bit as good as a new vehicle. The oldest of cars will likely still hold at least a 2-year manufacturer warranty, though Mazda are renown for their reliability so you are highly unlikely to see issues for many years past this.
Lexus CT200h – From £17,000
The Lexus is definitely the badge that carries the most premium prestige of any car mentioned here, this shows in the pricing. Despite the old architecture and outdated technology these cars are still holding their value very well. Used prices though, should stay high, meaning you will get more for resale when it comes time to move on.
2018 cars can currently be found for around £17,000, though the prices escalate quickly for examples with the right options. Don’t be surprised to spend up to £20,000 for a well optioned model. A 2018 car will have just 1 year of its manufacturer warranty remaining though Lexus are not known for any issues with reliability.
Subaru Impreza – From £16,000
The Subaru actually carries an unexpected premium, particularly when you take into account the cheap feeling interior and sparse dealer network in the UK. These cars nevertheless are holding values well, meaning that, like the Lexus, you will likely get a good return on your money.
Currently 2018 models with either the 1.6 or 2.0 litre engine can be found from around £16,000, though some do come in at a substantial discount (perhaps a sign that dealerships are struggling to move them on). These cars will still boast at least 3 years of their original warranty, while Subaru are renown for fantastic reliability.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta – From £12,000
Finally, the Alfa Romeo. A car that has depreciated very quickly. Alfa Romeo’s has always struggled with depreciation from new, generally due to a more specific buyer profile and worries about long-term reliability.
Still, reliability worries aside, you can have a choice of petrol or diesel models, in mid-range trim, from around £12,000. This is a huge saving over new (less than half the price) and represents good value when you take into account some of the higher specifications of cars at this price point. Just one-year of manufacturer warranty remains, while Alfa Romeo’s have not been known for fantastic reliability. The Giulietta though, doesn’t have any major reports of issues, particularly now that Alfa Romeo has been working on this platform for almost a decade.
My pick – Hyundai i30
After weighing up all the factors and pricing in the current market, the pick of this bunch has to be Hyundai’s terrific i30. It isn’t the most exciting car but by far represents the best value of any car mentioned here and probably in the entire family hatchback market right now.
Not only does the Hyundai boast high build-quality and improved refinement, but they back it up with their 5-year warranty and reports of good dealership experiences across the UK.
The i30 in SE Nav is the sweet spot in the range, offering all the options you really need without costing much more than the basic model. The petrol and diesel engines are both refined, though I personally would advise you go for the petrol unit, the 3-cylinder is powerful enough for motorway duties and returns mpg in the mid 40’s. Diesel engines do bump this economy up to the high 50’s and drop the emissions, but this will only yield savings on shorter journeys.
Undoubtedly though this is my pick of the bunch. There are plenty for sale so you can easily find one that suits your tastes and has all the options you desire. Look at cars from 2017, to save even more (from as little as £8,000).
Find your Hyundai i30 on Carsnip here: https://www.carsnip.com/search/bodyStyle/Hatchback/manufacturer/Hyundai/range/I30/registrationYear/2017_
Premium pick/ one to watch – Mazda 3
For those of you looking for something a little more stylish and who don’t mind spending a little extra look no further than the new Mazda 3. In another year, following current depreciation curves, the Mazda 3 will likely see prices around that of the above Hyundai.
When compared with all it’s rivals, the Mazda stands head and shoulders above in terms of style and build quality, some suggesting that it even betters Mercedes and BMW hatchbacks that cost 50% more. The technology levels are impressively high, even on the most basic model. The interior will make you feel as though you’ve made a premium choice, though that said the Mazda 3 is not the most practical and perhaps would not be the ideal choice for people who are commonly carrying large loads or 4 passengers.
Keep your eye on Mazda 3 prices if they’re the pick for you, expect big drops in the next 12 months and pick yourself up the most stylish family hatchback currently on offer.
Find your Mazda 3 on Carsnip here: https://www.carsnip.com/search/bodyStyle/Hatchback/manufacturer/Mazda/range/3/registrationYear/2019_
That’s all for this article, check out our other articles here on the site for more valuable buying guides, market information and exciting reads.
Find your next family hatchback on Carsnip here: https://www.carsnip.com/used-cars/body-style/Hatchback
Carsnip is the UK’s largest used car search engine, with over 500,000 dealer sold used cars across the UK. We operate a natural language search engine, to help you find your perfect used car, and narrow down the choice by what’s most important to you.
About the Author
Jack Gill is a freelance car journalist and fully qualified mechanical engineer. Joining the team as Carsnip’s newest contributor and long-time writer on Drivetribe. Jack has a lifetime passion for all things automotive, from new supercars to rusty old hatchbacks, and if he’s not behind the wheel, he’ll likely be found under the bonnet or browsing the Carsnip search engine.