The Best Cheap Four-Seater Cars
Are you searching for a car that's nippy in town, easy to park and has room for the whole family? Look no further. We've put together our top ten best four-seater cars that are cheap to run and available second-hand for a great price. Read on to discover which one best suits your style.
1. Peugeot 108
Cute, cheap and reliable, the Peugeot 108 is a compact city car that’s incredibly popular all over the UK. And with good reason: its small size and low weight mean it’s easy to park and can slip into small gaps in heavy traffic. The 1.0-litre petrol engine is peppy in town, though it does struggle a little when overtaking on motorways. Even though they’re a little tight on legroom and headroom for adults, the backseats are roomy enough for kids, which gives the 108 extra appeal for young families. If you are planning on using the backseat regularly, it’s worth shopping around to find a five-door version as these are much easier to get in and out of.
2. Škoda Citigo
Thanks to its great handling and a choice of petrol and electric options, the Škoda Citigo is a highly versatile compact city car. There’s enough space in the back for all four seats to be comfortable for adults, and it offers great ride quality over bumpy roads at all speeds. Inside, the Citigo feels practical and well-built if a little dated. Both three and five-door options are available, and both have Isofix points for easy child seat installation. You even get a larger boot than on most city cars. Even with all this room inside, the Citigo is still small and manoeuvrable enough for easy parking and great fuel economy.
3. Fiat 500
Thanks to a huge array of customisation options, ranging from paint colour to steering wheel covering, no two Fiat 500s out there are quite the same. It’s a super stylish supermini with classic retro styling and an instantly recognisable look. These added fashion points do mean it’s more expensive to insure than most of the city cars on this list, but it’s still likely a good bargain compared to other style-focused cars of its class. Just bear in mind that all models have three doors only, which makes the interior a little less versatile than some listed here. Attractive to the practical family-minded buyer as well as the style conscious driver, the Fiat 500 has a good safety record and many models have impressive features such as automatic tyre pressure monitoring.
4. Suzuki Alto
If running costs are your top priority, the Suzuki Alto is a good bet – this lightweight little city car is rated at doing a whopping 64.2 mpg. All models have five doors, giving you easy access to a backseat that has a surprising amount of headroom given the car’s small stature. The interior does feel flimsy and somewhat unexciting, and boot space is tight, but the rear seats fold to give a decent amount of load space. To get a model that has a split-folding rear bench (rather than both seats being simply up or down), go for the higher-spec SZ4 version.
5. BMW 2 Series
Available as a coupe or a convertible, the BMW 2 Series is a stylish two-door car that’s available at great prices second-hand. It has suave, handsome looks and the three trims on offer (SE, Sport and M Sport) all come with a range of different gadgets such as LED headlights and fancy interior styling. Inside, the 2 Series is pleasant and well-built, but doesn’t quite have the premium feel you’d expect from BMW. The rear seats are tight for two adults, but absolutely fine for kids. You’ll find a choice of petrol and diesel engines in different sizes on the marketplace – in general, diesel options are more efficient, and the smaller 1.5-litre models are likely to be cheaper to buy and insure.
6. Volkswagen Up!
Almost identical to the Citigo, the VW Up! is a practical, compact city car. It’s only available with five doors, so you won’t need to worry about shopping around for one with easy backseat access. The backseat is one of the most spacious available on any city car and there’s a good-sized boot too, all in a small, efficient and simple-to-park package. Inside, the Up! is easy to clean, but feels plain and a little dated. There’s also an all-electric e-Up! version of this economical runaround, which offers decent range and cuts out trips to the petrol station entirely.
7. Citroën C3
This budget-friendly four-seater car is a great option if you’re looking for efficiency and reliability. Choose from manual or automatic C3 – both versions are easy to park and nippy in town, even if the small petrol engine does take its time on motorway overtakes and steep hills. Choose between three and five-door options, depending on your needs. Just expect the rear seat space to be tight, and keep in mind that there’s only boot space for a few bags of shopping. For more headroom, keep an eye out for the C3 Airscape version, which has a retractable fabric roof so you can feel the wind on your face.
8. MINI One Convertible
If you’re looking for style, a retro-classic MINI One Convertible might be the way to go. It offers playful handling, with good acceleration and a much smoother-sounding engine than many four-seater city cars. Passengers will find it gives a comfy ride even on bumpy British B-roads, and four adults can travel in comfort. There isn’t much room for luggage though. Even older models tend to come with a great range of standard features including air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. Plus, the One has fewer personalisation options on offer compared to other MINIs, so shopping around for a used model is fairly simple.
9. Vauxhall Adam
With its punchy looks, the Vauxhall Adam is a chic petrol-powered supermini. It’s available in three trims: Jam, Energised and Griffin. You can upgrade for extra features, or opt for the “hot hatch” Adam S for sportier handling and a more powerful engine. The Adam is only available as a three-door manual, and adults will feel fairly cramped in the back, but glossy plastics and optional leather accents give the interior a high-quality feel. You can also expect great ride quality – in town, the Adam is quiet, refined and peppy, but motorway trips will be a little louder.
10. Toyota Aygo
Despite being made on the same production line as the C1 and the 108, the Toyota Aygo was the first cheap city car to hit UK roads. Although simple, it’s great fun to drive and super easy to park, and there are still plenty about, thanks to its great fuel efficiency and cheery design. Older models kept the price down by limiting the number of features, while post-2014 versions are more likely to come with add-ons such as smartphone integration and active safety mechanisms. Toyota has also released a number of special editions of the Aygo. This doesn’t have much impact on the used price, but sometimes means you’ll get extra features or a particularly fun paint job.
Luxury, premium, sporty, innovative or just downright fun – whatever your bag and whatever your budget, there’s a car with a fantastic interior to match. If we’ve piqued your interest, check out our listings and find your own in-car happy place.