1. Ford Fiesta – best for younger drivers
No car in Britain is as accessible as the Ford Fiesta for younger drivers. It has the street credibility most young drivers want, and it’s a very safe car for adults, children and passengers, which is certain to win over the approval of watching parents. It’s also cheap to lease, with prices starting from just £120 per month + VAT from companies like Lease Cars Direct. Its main appeal however comes in the way it drives; it is extremely good at everything, with a fun chassis, good ride quality, and a low kerb weight so even the basic engines pull well.
We recommend the cheapest of the cheap which is the 1.25 Style. This car lacks some of the equipment of higher trim models but it’s cost-effective and perfect for building up your no claims bonus in.
2. Ford Mondeo – best for business use
If you’re in a job that sees you driving up and down the country it makes sense to have a car that’s comfortable and refined with performance on tap for when you need it. The Mondeo ticks all of these boxes. It might lack the badge appeal of some German rivals but it’s unanimously agreed among the motoring press that the Ford Mondeo is the best executive saloon in terms of value for money.
The main competitor to the Mondeo is the Vauxhall Insignia, but this can’t come to close to matching the all-round ability of the Mondeo, which is surprisingly good fun to drive; show it an open piece of road and the Mondeo blossoms with its balanced chassis and subtle suspension, which damps even the roughest of British roads. We say go for the best-selling 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec, or if you’re after something a little different, the 1.6-litre EcoBoost is surprisingly good.
3. Ford S-MAX – best for families
For families very little comes close to the practicability of the Ford S-Max. It has an extremely spacious interior, generous standard equipment, comfortable seats, and a whole 283-litres of luggage capacity. It also has a fantastic Euro NCAP safety rating at 5 stars for adult protection and 4 stars for child protection.
There’s a range of engines to choose from, including the entry-level 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine which makes the S-Max very sporty to drive. The average family is likely to appreciate the diesels more, however, and to that end you can choose from a 1.6, 2.0 or 2.2 engine. Each offers good torque and refinement.
We recommend the 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec on a Lease Cars Direct Ford Lease. Standard equipment includes dual climate control, electric front and rear windows, heated windscreen, heated washer jets, electric tailgate release, Bluetooth, iPod connectivity and alloy wheels. Titanium specification and above nets you LED running lights.