Best nearly new car 2013
Winner: Vauxhall Astra 1.6i Exclusiv ('12/12)
Dealer price £9100
Private price £8700
Official fuel economy 44.8mpg
CO2 emissions 147g/km
Annual road tax £140
Insurance group 12
Service intervals 1 year/20,000 miles
Euro NCAP rating Five stars, with 95% for adults and 84% for children
What Car?'s pricing experts believe Vauxhall Astras are losing nearly half their value in the first year; that's worrying for new-car owners but great news for used buyers.
Thankfully, that dramatic drop has a lot to do with sales numbers. There are hundreds of nearly new Astras out there, which also means you can be fussy about engine and trim combinations.
The smooth 1.6-litre petrol is the pick of the range. It feels punchy even with a family of four inside, and fuel economy stays at a respectable 44.8mpg. Exclusiv trim gives you the equipment you'll want, too, such as air-con, alloy wheels, cruise control, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a CD player.
Whichever Astra you choose, though, comfort is a given. Head- and legroom are generous in both the front and rear seats, and the wide cabin ensures decent shoulder space. The boot is big, and split-folding seats add versatility. Considering the Astra also has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, it's hard to think of another car less than a year old that offers such value for money.
over 3 years