Looking to purchase a new or used mid-size car, but need some inspiration? Or perhaps you’re just curious to find out what the leading vehicles are in this sector. Either way, you’ve come to the right place.


All of the mid-size cars on this list are not only great new, they can also be enjoyed pre-owned with a wealth of excellent deals available. If you are looking to purchase a vehicle from the used car market, then remember these helpful tips:

  • A little preparation goes a long way – set a budget and research the types of vehicles you like, including their average sale price and mileage
  • Check out the car’s rivals and compare prices, models, and deals
  • Settle on two or three mid-size vehicles that suit your needs
  • Try to take them on a test drive if you can
  • Be sure to check the car for any signs of damage, including scratches, dents, and rust
  • Test all the electrics and check the condition of the tyres
  • Check the car’s service history to see how well it’s been cared for
  • When it comes to closing the deal be prepared to haggle and have your price in mind
  • And remember, be prepared to walk away if the price or car doesn’t meet your expectations


To give you extra peace of mind and security when driving about town, all of the cars on this list have scored an impressive five out of five stars in rigorous Euro NCAP safety tests. The only exception to this point is the Kia Ceed, which scored a confident four stars, and when equipped with the optional safety pack it received a full five star rating. Please, read on to find out our top 10 best mid-size cars.


Introduced in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf is a best-selling car for VW and a chart topper for many a top 10 list, including our own. And that says something about this mid-size hatchback: the car is brilliant in multiple domains. And it really is. It’s a fantastic first car, a wonderful family car, and an all-round true great of motoring. It enjoys strong build quality, a premium cabin, and an excellent driving experience, along with those ever important low running costs. Plus, due to its lasting popularity there are thousands of used Golfs on the pre-owned market, offering buyers some excellent deals to choose from.

Best features:

  • Strong build quality
  • Excellent driving experience
  • Premium cabin



And where you see the Golf on a best of list, you’ll usually see the Ford Focus just behind or just in front of it. Again, this is because it’s another great all-rounder of a car. Introduced in 1998, the Focus is also another best-selling mid-size hatchback in the UK. It’s a true rival to the Golf and it offers one of the best driving experiences in the entire sector, which is quite the statement. It’s stylish, practical, roomy, and if you need more space, it’s also available as an estate. And like the VW Golf, there are lots of second-hand Focus cars on the used car market, with a deal to suit a wide range of budgets.

Best features:

  • One of the best to drive in sector
  • Practical and roomy
  • Stylish looks



Born out of a partnership with Volkswagen, the Seat Leon is a car that stands out from the competition thanks to its sporty styling. It’s a little cheaper than the VW Golf, yet it pretty much has the same specs on paper, and when it comes to driving it’s one of the few family hatchbacks that can give the Ford Focus a run for its money. Now in its fourth generation, the latest models also come with a load of new tech lifted straight from the Golf. Obviously that’s not a bad thing at all, as the Golf is consistently a brilliant car. The Seat Leon still manages to carve its own identity and personality, however, and it stands up against the competition too. It offers plenty of interior and boot space for families, it’s comfortable and good value for money, especially considering how invigorating it is to drive.

Best features:

  • Invigorating to drive
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Good value for money


4. MAZDA 3

Another mid-size car that excels in its styling is the Mazda 3. Known for its affordable starting price and fun driving experience, the Mazda 3 enjoys a premium, upmarket style, with a high-quality interior lined with soft materials. It’s a great car to drive, with precise handling and an excellent seating position, aided by a clever cockpit layout. Plus, it comes very well-equipped as standard too, with an 8.8-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rear parking sensors, and plenty of useful safety kit including driver assists, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, and a driver attention alert. Nonetheless, we’d still recommend upgrading to the trim above entry-level if it’s within your budget, as this will net you added luxuries like heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and a reversing camera. It’s available as a hatchback and as a saloon, both proving great fun, comfortable, and refined.

Best features:

  • Fun to drive
  • Premium, upmarket style
  • Well-equipped as standard



Great as a long distance motorway cruiser with a comfortable cabin and good levels of refinement, the Skoda Octavia is a mid-size car that fits into various lifestyles with ease. Available as a hatchback or as an estate, the Octavia is a supremely practical and spacious vehicle with a class-leading boot and class-leading headroom. It also offers a good selection of frugal petrol and diesel engines to suit a variety of motoring needs. In addition, it has lots of neat storage areas and cubbies with clever touches, like umbrellas in the front door, an ice scraper in the fuel filler flap, and a windscreen bottle top that’s shaped like a funnel for ease of use. It’s a smart car that’s great value for money.

Best features:

  • Class-leading space
  • Very practical
  • Comfortable and refined



In production since 2006 as the Cee’d, the latest Kia Ceed cars have dropped the apostrophe, yet maintained the high standards of the previous incarnations. It’s one of the South Korean manufacturer’s best-selling European models, and for good reason. It’s an excellent mid-size hatchback that is surprisingly fun to drive. Now in its third generation, the latest Ceeds provide a roomy and comfortable cabin, a refined ride experience, and agile handling. New models also come with Kia’s outstanding 7-year warranty, as well as a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a DAB radio, USB, and Bluetooth connectivity. On the used car market, meanwhile, you can find some truly fantastic deals on the Ceed with USED PRICES FROM as little as £500.

Best features:

  • Fun to drive
  • Roomy and comfortable
  • Good value for money



Now in its third generation, the BMW 1 Series is a medium-sized five-door hatchback first launched in 2004. The premium family car is everything you’d expect from the famous marque, offering an involved driving experience that is lots of fun around town, country lanes, or on long distance motorway journeys. It is a refined car that enjoys strong build quality, stylish looks, and a suitably plush cabin, which is lined with soft materials and a decent amount of high-quality tech. Altogether, the 1 Series has that inimitable BMW shine to it too, providing luxury to the family hatchback segment. Overall, it’s a fantastic car, and is also available in sportier variants thanks to the desirable M Sport versions.

Best features:

  • Lots of fun to drive
  • Strong build quality
  • Stylish looks and premium cabin



The Mercedes-Benz A-Class has been on sale in the UK for over 20 years now, although the current models are a far cry from what was first released, which more resembled a boxy MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) than the stylish, streamlined beauty that it is today. As you’d expect from Mercedes, it is an excellent premium family hatchback, with the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 as its direct rivals. It offers a good driving experience, with solid build quality and lots of standard equipment. Where the A-Class really excels is in the very high-quality cabin, which sets the standards of the mid-size car class. Unsurprisingly, it holds its value well too, with a strong pre-owned average price of £17.5k. Nevertheless, you can still find some brilliant used deals at

Best features:

  • Class-leading cabin quality
  • Good driving experience
  • Holds its value well


9. AUDI A3

Available as a hatchback, a saloon, and as a cabriolet, the Audi A3 is another premium mid-size car that has been on the market for over 20 years, dating back to 1997. It’s one of Audi’s best-selling cars in Britain for obvious reasons: regardless of the body type, it has a very stylish exterior and an upmarket cabin finished with high-quality materials. It’s comfortable, practical, and enjoyable to drive. And these traits have been consistent over the years, which is great news for second-hand car buyers. Like the A-Class, the Audi A3 has a class-leading interior too, helping to set the standards for the segment.

Best features:

  • Class-leading interior
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Comfortable and practical



One of the most popular family hatchbacks in Britain, the Vauxhall Astra has been on sale since 1979. It’s also available as an estate, but whichever body type you choose, you are getting a very well-rounded car that offers something in every department: from strong styling, to a spacious cabin, and good levels of practicality. It’s good to drive and offers low running costs as well. Furthermore, it comes well-equipped as standard and it enjoys affordable pricing from new, providing a great family car for everyday use. And when it comes to the used car market, there are thousands of models available with astonishingly low priced deals for as little as a few hundred pounds – perfect for those in need of a second run-around.

Best features:

  • Well-rounded
  • Good to drive
  • Well-equipped


Looking for a mid-sized car to get you from A to B? Check out our extensive range of used cars at

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Back to articles January 11, 2021

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