Volvo V40 hatchback

Volvo used the Ford Focus as a base to make the V40 a much better car to drive than the model it replaced – and it worked! The heavier steering in particular means the Volvo feels solid in the corners, and also extremely stable at motorway speeds. The interior is very quiet, too, while the seats are some of the most comfortable available on any car.

The engine line-up is strong, with buyers having the opportunity to choose between extremely economical diesels, or fast petrols. The eye-catching looks of the exterior continues into the well-built interior, which is arguably a match for the Volkswagen Golf, but its floating central console means it's more interesting to look at.

As you would expect, the Volvo V40 is extremely safe and was one of the first cars to be fitted with autonomous braking, which can stop the car if it senses an imminent accident.