With excellent handling and a sporty look, the Mazda Axela is an attractive option from the small car offerings. However, the strong performance does come with a high fuel bill.
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The Mazda MPV offers seven seats, plus loads of family space. Unlike many people movers does not feel like a van to drive. Avoid turbocharged models, as they are thirsty and unreliable.
Interior space, high ride height and all-wheel drive traction make Subaru’s Outback appealing to active families seeking a little off-road ability. However, running costs can be steep.
The Honda Fit is a practical city runabout. It is small, but this is balanced by an interior which is cleverly designed and makes the most of the space.
The Toyota Crown Athlete provides luxury, prestige and high-end features on a budget. It is a great car to drive, but comes with a hefty fuel bill.
The second-generation Mazda Demio is a small hatchback with a boxy body shape that is great for interior space. It's reliable, but keep an eye out for corrosion when buying.
The Nissan X-Trail stands out in the crowded market for small family SUVs by retaining useful off-road ability. A lack of child seat mounts in some versions may be off-putting for families.
The Toyota Estima is a spacious family people-mover. An SUV may carry seven people, but the Estima will let them take their luggage as well.
The Subaru Legacy is a capable mid-size sedan with the bonus of all-wheel drive for extra traction in wet or slippery conditions. A large turning circle may be a turnoff for city drivers.
The Honda CRV offers acres of space, strong engines and more daring styling than its conservative predecessors. It offers good safety credentials and few reliability concerns.