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Best used family cars
The Vauxhall Insignia Mk1 is the best used family car in our Used Car Awards 2017
Best used cars family car: Vauxhall Insignia Mk1
Our pick: Vauxhall Insignia 2013 (13) 2.0 CDTi SRi, 26,000 miles, £7,495
It’s two in a row for the Vauxhall Insignia , because this spacious five-door hatch has taken our Best Used Family Car award for the second year on the trot. And it’s easy to see why, because few cars in this class of the market offer such striking value for money .
The Insignia was affordable to begin with, and with an incredible array of cars to choose from – many of which have taken the biggest hit from their depreciation curve – it represents a great used buy thanks to its roomy interior and economical engines .
Residual values have never been that strong, so it’s definitely a buyers’ market. This means you can pick up a nearly-new model for almost half price. The fact the version you see here has now been replaced by the new Insignia Grand Sport means there are even more appealing bargains to be had by buying used.
The Vauxhall’s interior quality is acceptable, while the comfortable ride and hushed engines – praised by owners in our Driver Power satisfaction survey – make mincemeat of long motorway slogs. The powerful and punchy 138bhp 2.0-litre CDTi diesel claims more than 70mpg, as well as offering a decent turn of pace.
This is where our money would go, while opting for the SRi trim adds sportier looks to the package without sacrificing value. Even when upgrading to the flashier Elite Nav model, which gets sat-nav and leather seats, a used Insignia is temptingly priced.
A 530-litre boot and a good level of room in the rear, despite the sloping roofline, mean there’s plenty of practicality, too. However, with so many used cars to choose from, we’d avoid ultra-high-mileage examples. Given these models could have had a hard life, check any used Insignias have been maintained in accordance with the service schedule and verify the mileage at which any work was done.
Buy sensibly and you could get a practical and frugal family car that has years of motoring left to give.
Driving: comfortable and quiet, the Insignia is great for long trips on a motorway
Interior: cabin is spacious and there’s decent boot space. Quality of the materials is okay, too
Lawrence Whittaker, Warrantywise CEO: “The 2013 facelifted Insignia was light years ahead of the previous model in terms of vehicle repairs. Warrantywise figures show a big improvement in reliability, so make sure you buy from 2013 onwards. The Insignia is only one inch shorter than a Mercedes E-Class, so this is a truly large car!”
Commended: Volkswagen Passat Mk7
The VW Passat is spacious and well built, so has long been a favourite family car, and the introduction of the Mk8 model in 2015 means bargains can be found on the previous version.