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Small Cars

With household budgets in the UK coming under increasing pressure, downsizing to a more modest pair of wheels is a great way to free up some extra cash - and the best part is there's no need to compromise on speed or style.

Below is a selection of the best small cars we recommend taking for a test drive in 2018.

Mini Cooper Chili

Mini Coopers have been placing first on small car lists for the best part of 15 years - and with good reason. They're affordable, stylish, and at the very apex of the most innovative dashboard technology.

In terms of practicalities, the latest offering from Mini is ideal for two people. Even though there are a pair of seats in the back, it's going to be a tight squeeze for larger families with children - unless you're happy to go without much leg room.

Volkswagen Polo Match

Volkswagen hit the headlines for the wrong reasons last year, but the Gerrman car industry still bears the hallmark of high quality. The Polo is reliable and durable, with some generous leg room in the back.

Compared to others on this list, it's towards the pricier end of the spectrum at around £16,000 new - but VW vehicles tend to hold their value much better than most provided you keep it in tip-top condition.

Hyundai i20

The i20 is not a fancy car by any stretch of the imagination. Actually, it's as stripped back and basic as they come - but it does have two big things going for it.

First it's super cheap at no more than £10,000, with running costs on the low side too. And it's also spacious: you can easily accommodate a family of four without too many complaints about cramped legs and shoulders. Comes highly recommended for medium-sized families.

SEAT Ibiza

The fifth-generation of SEAT's iconic Ibiza hit the shelves this year to largely positive reviews. It's super stylish and, as a roomy hatchback, is perfect for medium-sized families (as well as being a popular rental choice with tourists in Spain).

At £14,000, it's slghtly more expensive, but you're paying for a bigger piece of machinery - one whose handling and performance matches many of the German giants.

Vauxhall Corsa

In terms of sex appeal, the dowdy British Vauxhall Corsa doesn't really hold up to its continental rivals - but it's always been a steady and often unsung car and the lates incarnation retains all of those same qualities.

It's practical, the fuel economy is favourable for stop-start urban driving (including the dreaded school run) and it doesn't do too much harm to the environment either. You can do much worse than a Corsa, even if it is a little on the predictable side.

Renault ZOE

No list of small runarounds is complete without an electric car - and our favourite this year is the Renault ZOE, which also happens to be one of the least expensive on the market.

Granted, compared to regular-fuel cars it's towards the pricier end at around £18,000, but there are no shortage of incentives for going green next year and this thing will guarantee you a smooth, reliable daily drive.

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