Best used cars under £15k – Kia XCeed

Best used cars under £15k

There are many great used cars available for £15,000 or less. Here are some of our favourites.

By Gavin Braithwaite-Smith

Published: 4 January 2023

Although it’s possible to buy a new car for less than £15,000, you have a choice of pretty much any type of car you want when buying used. We’ve selected our top 10, with a varied list that includes hatchbacks, SUVs, a seven-seat MPV and a pure-electric car.

If you’re on a slightly tighter budget check out our guide to the best used cars for £10,000 or less. Here, however, are our favourites for a maximum of £15,000.

1. Seat Ateca

You might be surprised to learn that £15,000 is enough for one of the best family SUVs on the market – the Seat Ateca. It’s a stylish choice that gives you everything you’d expect from an SUV–  space, practicality and a high driving position – along with lots of features included as standard. It’s more fun to drive than most SUVs, feeling nimble in the city and on country roads. This is especially true if you go for the FR trim, although the ride on these versions isn’t quite as cushy.

There’s room inside for five adults, with the boot offering 510 litres of luggage space. This drops to 485 litres in four-wheel-drive models, but it’s still more room than you get in many of the Ateca’s rivals.

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2. BMW 1 Series

You won’t be short of choice if you’re shopping for a BMW 1 Series because it’s one of the most popular hatchbacks in Britain. For up to £15,000, you’ll have the pick of the previous-generation 1 Series (pictured), which was sold new between 2011 and 2019. 

There are more-practical hatchbacks available, but few will put a smile on your face quite like a 1 Series. Even an entry-level SE version is great to drive, while the sporty M135i offers the performance and handling of a sports car. As you’d expect from a BMW, the quality is excellent and the interior has a true premium feel.

3. Audi A4

If you’re after a car that ticks as many boxes as possible, look no further than the Audi A4. Whether you opt for the stylish saloon or the spacious Avant estate version, you get a car with a high-quality interior and impressive tech. Some models come with Audi’s four-wheel-drive system, which it calls Quattro. If you want something a bit more rugged take a look at the Allroad version, which combines the practicality of the Avant with a higher ride height and some SUV-style design details.

The popular S line trim gives you the sporty appearance of a performance car, but with the option of some very fuel-efficient engines. The A4 is good to drive on any road and feels right at home on a motorway, where its quiet cabin and comfortable ride help to reduce the stress of long journeys.

4. Kia XCeed

There are many mid-size hatchbacks and SUVs to choose from, but few look as stylish as the Kia XCeed. It shares many parts with the Kia Ceed hatchback, but it’s both sleeker and more rugged, with raised suspension, a tough-looking exterior  and a sportier shape overall. You could say it combines the best bits of a hatchback, coupe and SUV.  

You get more boot space than you do with the Ceed, with a 426-litre capacity up to the load cover, making it very practical. The interior has a high-quality feel and every version is very well equipped, with support for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, a reversing camera and a responsive infotainment touchscreen as standard. There’s a plug-in hybrid version that can travel as far as 30 miles on pure-electric power with a fully charged battery (but with a 291-litre boot to make room for the battery) and every XCeed gives you the peace of mind of Kia’s market-leading seven-year warranty.

5. Dacia Sandero

If you want to get the newest car possible at this price, take a look at the Dacia Sandero. Prices for the latest model start from less than £15,000 new, so you could get yourself a high-spec, nearly new version and have it sat on your drive in a matter of days. And still have change left over for a family holiday. 

The latest Sandero (introduced in 2021) isn’t just a good car for the price, it’s a good car, full stop. It gives you so much practicality for your money, with interior and boot space of a compact hatchback for the price of a city car. It’s good to drive and gives you a smooth ride, while its fuel-efficient engines and low insurance group ratings mean that running costs are low. With this budget, you could consider upgrading to the Sandero Stepway, which features a higher driving position, some SUV-style cosmetic upgrades and more equipment included as standard.

6. Renault Captur

There are lots of compact SUVs to choose from and at this price the Renault Captur gets our vote. The previous-generation Captur (pictured), on sale new from 2013 until 2019, represents excellent value for money – and it’s one of the most practical and versatile cars of this type. 

The sliding back seat gives you a choice of maximum boot space or extra legroom for passengers in the back. The boot offers 455 litres of luggage space with the seat forward, which is what you get in some large SUVs. With the seat pushed back, the boot shrinks to 377 litres, which is still competitive for the size of car.

With lots of bold colour options when it was new, the Captur is one of the most distinctive small SUVs. If you can stretch your budget just above £15,000 you might even be able to get a second-generation Captur (introduced in 2019), which looks very similar to the first but is even more stylish and practical.

7. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso/SpaceTourer

If you want maximum space and versatility for family duties, it’s hard to beat an MPV. And if you want a great, relatively new MPV for less than £15,000, it’s hard to beat the Citroen Grand C4 Picasso/Space Tourer. Introduced in 2013, the C4 Grand Picasso was renamed C4 SpaceTourer in 2018 (all that changed was the name). Whichever name is on the boot lid, this seven-seat MPV offers lots of space for adults in the front and middle rows, while even teenagers will have little to complain about in the third row. If you’ve got a trip to the tip or a furniture shopping spree planned, you can fold away the second- and third-row seats to create a load area that gives some vans a run for their money.

The light, airy feel of the interior is enhanced by the panoramic windscreen, which stretches up into the roof of the car. High-spec models also feature a panoramic sunroof. Even entry-level versions have lots of equipment included as standard, such as climate control, cruise control, alloy wheels and rear parking sensors.

8. Honda Civic

You can choose from an array of excellent mid-size hatchbacks for less than £15,000 but the previous-generation Honda Civic (2017-2022) stands out from the pack. Not just because it’s one of the most sporty-looking options but because it’s also one of the most enjoyable to drive, has a much larger boot than most and is very well equipped. 

You get lots of legroom inside and although the sleek shape means back-seat headroom is a bit tight, the Civic is a great family car. The petrol and diesel engines give excellent fuel economy and the Civic feels beautifully built and likely to live up to Honda’s reputation for outstanding reliability.

9. Nissan Leaf

Finding a used electric car for less than £15,000 might be trickier than you think because they’re in such demand. The good news is that a first-generation Nissan Leaf (2011-2018) is well within that budget and, better still, is an excellent choice. 

While battery range isn’t a match for more modern electric cars –  officially between 109 and 155 miles when new depending on the model – a used Leaf should still have a real-world range that’s more than enough for many owners’ daily commutes, or a week’s worth of school runs. The Leaf is also smooth and comfortable to drive, practical and has a good record for reliability.

10. Skoda Octavia

If you’re after a mid-size hatchback or estate that’s more practical than most, the Skoda Octavia (2013-2020) should be at the top of your list. Even the hatchback offers 590 litres of boot space, which is about 200 litres (or roughly six carry-on suitcases) more than you have in cars such as the Ford Focus or the Volkswagen Golf. You get even more with the estate version yet the Octavia is still compact enough to slot easily into most parking spaces. 

There’s a wide range of models to choose from, with some very cost-effective versions at one end of the range and sporty, luxurious ones at the other. All are excellent value for money, feel solid and reassuring to drive and have an interior that gives you lots of space and is very user-friendly.

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