BMW teams up with Italian styling gurus at Pininfarina for slick new coupe
Best superminis to buy
Budget buy - Ford Fiesta (£9,795-£16,795)
Ford's current Fiesta is a UK best-seller. The all-new model is so good we can only see that position being reinforced.
We like: looks, ride and handling, grown-up feel
We don't like: diesel needs more go and gears, very little else
Affordable buy - Peugeot 208 (£9,995 - £18,495)
Peugeot re-discovers its small hatchback mojo with the lighter, more fun 208. About time too.
We like: stylish, fun to drive, comfortable, innovative interior design, clean engines, low weight
We dislike: slightly odd steering feel, some refinement issues
Read a Peugeot 208 review
Buy a Peugeot 207 on Auto Trader
Premium buy - Audi A1 (£13,420-£21,815)
Audi takes aim at Mini with the all-new A1. But is classy design and engine efficiency enough to make supermini buyers think twice?
We like: looks fabulous, top quality finish, intriguing options, highly efficient
We don't like: we wish it were better to drive, 1.2 slow, S line lumpy ride
Peugeot 208 - stylish, spacious, very green and fun to drive
Skoda Fabia - top value for money and as tough as a British Army drill sergeant
MINI hatch - Over a decade on and the new MINI continues to impress
Kia Rio - Good all-round abilities to please many and offend no-one
Suzuki Swift - Latest iteration has a much improved interior and drive
Volkswagen Polo - big car class in a small package
Alfa Romeo MiTo TwinAir - characterful engine gives the MiTo serious charm
0-£2k: Toyota Yaris
First Yaris is now a sub-£2k car and great value for money in this price range. Reliability is legendary and residuals are strong. Running costs are exemplary.
We like: plain but well-built cabin is bearable when stuck in traffic. Controls are light and the 1.0 engine will do 45 mpg all day. If you're going nowhere fast, at least your petrol won't be. Enough space for all kinds of jobs.
We don't like: Basic Toyotas can come over a bit beige, but remember those untouched savings. Bland but reliable saves cash for more exciting things!
£3k-5K: Nissan Note
It's no oil painting, but now available from just £3,000-ish privately, the Nissan Note deserves a longer look. Nicely finished and with an OK choice of engines, £3,500 buys a 2006 1.4 SE with 70k miles in shiny Black, while £5k could nab you an '09 1.4 Acenta S with less than 40k miles. If you want diesel, you'll need to add £700 or so for an '08 model, but petrols make a lot of money sense.
We like: 1.4-litre petrol engine does almost 50 mpg and has more verve than you think. Note comes in smart colours with seemingly durable trim. Servicing is cheap. Big headlights, bright cabin, decent space in the back.
We don't like: 1.5 DCi has some question marks on reliability: petrol will be fine for most. Don't buy a Note without air con. Apart from better residuals, this is a car two or more can tour in, so set your sights on a run to the sun.
£5k+: Ford Fiesta (2008-)
New Fiesta showed what Ford can do when it tries: Fiesta is the cream of the supermini crop. Ford ramped up production to deal with lengthy waiting lists at launch, and it's still a UK bestseller.
We like: bold styling made everything else look old overnight. Attention has been paid to driver environment: chassis feel and use of technology to link iPods etc. Owners report reliability.
We don't like: 1.25 Zetec not as frugal as Ford might claim: consider the 1.4-litre petrol for improved all-round flexibility. Diesels can be pricey: check the maths on the miles you normally cover as may not be worth the extra.
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Latest Cars videos
MSN Cars' Steve Walker takes the UK's cheapest new car for a test drive to see if it's worth parting only £5,995 for.
Date 23/05/13, Duration 4:17, Views 1423