Top ten best value cars for 2012

It is easy to do a list of the best new cars in 2012 or, alternatively, the cheapest new cars of 2012. But what about those cars that give the best value-for-money given the price and running costs?

Manufacturers are constantly battling it out to see who can offer the most for less, and it can be pretty confusing when trying to pick a new car.

This guide will talk through some of the cheapest cars that are both well equipped and worth every penny you spend on them. Each model offers its own qualities whether it is style, sub 100g/km emissions (therefore road tax exception) or practicality.

Kia Picanto

The Picanto city car is the cheapest car in Kia’s range, and one of the most popular.

The Picanto uses a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with CO2 emissions as low as 99g/km. This means it is exempt from road tax, which when added to its sub £8,000 price tag means more savings for customers. It also returns up to 67.3mpg which is a great perk when you’re stuck in city traffic.

Although its equipment seems basic it offers all the essentials a ‘getting you from A to B’ city car should. These include air conditioning, CD player with MP3 compatibility and hands free mobile phone use.

Kia Picanto prices start from £7,795.

Browse new and used Kia Picanto prices

Book a Kia Picanto test drive

Fiat Panda

The Fiat Panda is a great model as it offers frugal city car emissions and hatchback-like practicality.

With sub 100g/km CO2 emissions, thanks to the new TwinAir technology featured on the Fiat 500, the Panda is road tax exempt.

Its practical qualities start with its massive storage space of up to 870-litre, followed by its generous leg and head room.

It also comes with useful city features like power steering and four airbags for added safety, which are standard.

Prices for the Fiat Panda start from £8,900.

Browse new and used Fiat Panda prices

Book a Fiat Panda test drive

Renault Twingo

The Renault Twingo is a great car for finding that balance between value, style and practicality.

As well as offering an extremely economical 1.5-litre diesel engine that emits just 85g/km, it also offers a wide range of customisable features.

These features include a fabric convertible roof and up to 14 exterior colours which are compatible with exterior trims.

If you’re a buyer looking for a cheap car but also want to keep up your street cred in terms of style, then the Twingo is the perfect model as it offers cheap running costs and the customisable style of a special edition.

Prices for the Renault Twingo start from £10,350.

Browse new and used Renault Twigo prices

Book a Renault Twingo test drive

Peugeot 207

With the new Peugeot 208 set to replace the 207, you can get a cheap Peugeot 207 as a superb new car bargain.

The 207 is a pretty simple model but it does its job nevertheless. For a supermini its size a sub-£10,000 price tag is great value for money.

Although it is a slightly older model than some other popular superminis it still offers sub 100g/km CO2 emissions. The 207 is also available with Peugeot’s Just Add Fuel campaign, which compiles all of your monthly bills into one package.

It also comes available in both three and five door options and offers features like USB with Bluetooth and one-touch direction indicator function for safe lane changes.

Peugeot 207 prices start from £9,495.

Click here to view a buyer’s guide to Peugeot.

Browse new and used Peugeot 207 prices

Book a Peugeot 207 test drive

Kia Ceed

As the new Kia Cee’d is on its way, the current Cee’d is going very cheap at £11,495.

The Cee’d hatchback has plenty of equipment and great handling on the road. Alongside its air conditioning and metallic paint it also offers Kia’s seven year/100,000 mile warranty as standard, as do all Kia models.

For a hatchback the Cee’d is surprisingly stylish as it brands with it aerodynamic sportier exterior – this also has an effect on running costs because of the reduction in fuel consumption.

When it comes to being a hatchback/family car the Cee’d delivers with plenty of interior space, smart upholstery and comfy seats.

Kia Cee’d prices start from £11,495.

Browse new and used Kia Cee’d prices

Book a Kia Cee’d test drive

Mazda MX-5

The MX-5 enters into the sporty segment of the market alongside manufacturers like Porsche.

The MX-5 is a soft top convertible sports car and although it isn’t as powerful as a Porsche, the fun-to-drive desirability is definitely there and for a price tag of £17,990, its great value.

But that’s not to say it isn’t powerful. The MX-5 delivers up to 158hp from a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a focus on a lightweight build means performance is impressive.

It also handles like a sports car on the road with great responsive handling, not to mention the fact that it looks great.

With competitors pricing reaching into the £40,000 to £60,000 price range, the MX-5 is one of the very few cheap cars for what it is.

Prices for the Mazda MX-5 start from £17,990.

Click here to view a buyer’s guide to Mazda.

Browse new and used Mazda MX-5 prices

Book a Mazda MX-5 test drive

Ford C-Max

The Ford C-max is a five-seat people carrier that delivers in terms of practicality and drive.

On the road the C-max is great and has distinctively responsive handling, especially for an MPV its size. Its emissions are also surprisingly low at start at just 119g/km.

When it comes to being a people carrier the C-max offers plenty of head and leg room as well as a massive storage capacity of 1,742-litres.

When you weigh up all the criteria for the C-max everything points at a price that is at least £20,000, that’s where the C-max is great value coming in at just £17,445, a lot cheaper than other competitors.

The technology-packed Ford C-Max is excellent value for money because of the sheer amount and quality of equipment it comes with, even in lower trims.

Ford C-Max prices start from £17,445.

Click here to view a buyer’s guide to Ford.

Browse new and used Ford C-Max prices

Book a Ford C-Max test drive

Citroen C4 Picasso

The C4 Picasso is a smart looking MPV with a lot of street credit and practicality.

As well as offering plenty of space for passengers and storage it also offers a wide range of standard equipment, including air conditioning, cruise control and a six speaker stereo system.

The C4 Picasso also returns mileage of up to 52.3mpg. With this mileage and its comfy interior design the C4 Picasso is great for long trips as well as the school run.

Prices for the Citroen C4 start from £17,055.

Browse new and used Citroen C4 Picasso prices

Book a Citroen C4 Picasso test drive

Range Rover Evoque

Although the Evoque isn’t the cheapest car it, is the cheapest in the Land Rover range and pretty much one of the cheapest luxury cars of its calibre on the market.

At a price of £27,995 the Evoque delivers in terms of being an off-road 4×4 and a soft-road SUV, but with customisable features that give it a personal feel.

With the undeniable style of its contrasting roof colours and premium interior design, the Evoque has everything to offer.

For ‘Top Gear’s 2011 Car of the Year’ the Evoque has an incredibly low price, especially compared to manufacturers like BMW.

Prices for the Range Rover Evoque start from £27,995.

Browse new and used Range Rover Evoque prices

Book a Range Rover Evoque test drive

Chevrolet Orlando

The Chevrolet is a large people carrier that is both tough and versatile.

It is the perfect vehicle for taking the family away for the weekend as it offers loads of interior space and can handle the bumpy off-road environment.

With up to 1,487-litres of storage space you can throw a couple of bikes in the back with plenty of room to spare.

It also comes well equipped with air conditioning, remote central locking, tinted windows and an adjustable steering wheel as standard.

The best thing with the Orlando is its universal functionality as its convenient space and equipment is great for the kids as well as for off-road driving. At a low price of £16,410 you can’t go wrong.

Prices for the Chevrolet Orlando start from £16,410.

Browse new and used Chevrolet Orlando prices

Book a Chevrolet Orlando test drive