It may sound like a substantial amount of money, but a budget of £15,000 is quite small in new car buying terms. However, there are still some pretty capable cars available within the price range, whether you’re after something that’s fun and frivolous and family friendly.
They’re all different shapes and sizes, but here are our 10 best cars for £15k:
10. Ssangyong Tivoli SE diesel
The Tivoli is one of the biggest brand-new cars you can get for less than £15k, and it has quite a lot going for it. Standard cruise control seven airbags, a huge cabin and a five-year unlimited mileage warranty make it a sensible choice for family motorists on a strict budget. The diesel model also offers combined fuel economy of a quoted 66mpg.
9. Dacia Duster Laureate 1.5 dCi
If you want a well-equipped and rugged family car on a £15,000 budget, then the Dacia Duster is an appealing choice. Your budget will get you a well-equipped ‘Laureate’ model, which gets front fog lamps, cruise control, air conditioning, electric windows all round and USB and Bluetooth compatible infotainment system.
8. Fiat Panda Twin Air 4x4
There’s a lot to like about the Panda Twin Air 4x4, from its characterful two-cylinder engine through to its plucky go-anywhere capability, matched by cheeky looks, a huge amount of character and surprising practicality. If you’re looking for a car that offers the most smiles per pound, it’s one of the best £15,000 cars you can buy.
7. Hyundai iX20 1.4 SE BlueDrive
The iX20 SE is well-equipped, spacious and an extremely versatile mini-MPV, which is an appealing choice for less than £15,000. It has a five-year warranty, good levels of standard equipment and smart styling, along with a comfortable cabin and lots of rear legroom. It’s one of the best cars in this price bracket for small families.
6. Kia Soul 1.6 GDI
There are two very different Kias that are among the best cars for £15,000, the first of which is the Soul. Available with the 1.6-litre GDI petrol engine producing 130bhp, it goes well and has plenty of passenger space in its upright, boxy body. Neither SUV nor mini-MPV, it’s in a class of its own – yet despite being quirky, it makes a lot of sense.
5. Kia Venga 1.4 Eco Dynamics
Kia’s Venga is the sister car to the Hyundai iX20, yet is a better £15,000 choice on the basis it comes with an unbeatable seven-year warranty. No other car manufacturer can match the Korean company’s cover, but that’s not the only reason for buying a Venga. It also happens to be a remarkably capable mini MPV.
4. Nissan Juke 1.6 Visia
It’s the entry-level model, but the 1.6 Visia is the most accessible Nissan Juke, and the only model available for less than £15,000. As well as the Juke’s trademark practicality and characterful looks, the Visia gets all the essentials – air conditioning, remote locking, alloy wheels and electric windows all-round, as well as excellent levels of safety kit.
3. Fiat Tipo Estate Easy 1.4
There’s only a handful of estate cars around £15,000, but the Tipo is by far the most generous, with class-leading rear legroom and over 550-litres of luggage space with the rear seats in situ. There are few cars that can match it for practicality and comfort, which at this price level makes it a hugely appealing choice for those who need something substantial for the price of a supermini.
2. Mazda 2 1.5 SE-L Nav
Most manufacturers have at least one supermini in the under-£15k category, but it’s the Mazda 2 that really stands out. Not only is the Japanese company’s 1.5 SE model one of the most impressive small cars to drive, but in SE-L Nav spec it’s also one of the best equipped, with standard satellite navigation, a seven-inch touchscreen, lane departure warning and Autonomous Emergency Braking.
1. MINI One
If you want a premium car that doesn’t come at a premium price, then the entry-level MINI One hatchback holds plenty of appeal. It’s reasonably well-equipped, but, more importantly, it’s also extremely well screwed together. And in terms of being fun to drive, it’s probably the best car for £15,000 when it comes to putting a smile on your face.