Carbuyer Car of the Year 2015

The Citroen C4 Cactus has been named Carbuyer Car of the Year. The eye-catching hatchback fought off some tough competition to be rated the best car in Britain.

We loved its quirky styling, comfortable ride and excellent use of space, but most of all we were impressed by how cheap the Cactus is – both to buy and to run.

The C4 Cactus also took top honours in our Best Economical Car category.

Carbuyer's Best Cars aren't like other awards. While plenty will tell you which car is the best in a particular class, we focus on the things that really matter to buyers, which is why you'll also find categories for the best road-tax-exempt cars, the best fuel-efficient cars or the best cars for less than £150 a month.

Those are the questions you, the car buyer, tell us you want answered – which is exactly what we've done across 20 categories. Plus that all-important 2015 Car of the Year.

So read on for our full rundown of the best cars you can buy in the UK today.

Carbuyer Best Cars 2015

Car of the year: Citroen C4 Cactus

The Citroen C4 Cactus is the latest from a manufacturer that's rediscovering its mojo. The Cactus is a compact car that's part-SUV and part-hatchback, yet it's one of the cheapest cars to run in the UK.

It's the product of some clever thinking, which sees the sides adorned with rubber 'Airbump' panels to protect against car-park dings, a passenger airbag mounted in the roof to provide the passenger with extra storage room and more interior space than you'd think possible in such a small car.

Citroen's engineers have made it exceptionally light, too, meaning that not only are running costs reduced, softer suspension has been fitted to allow the Cactus to soothe away the miles.

Best small luxury car: Audi A3 Sportback

The A3 Sportback demonstrates everything that makes an Audi special and features a wide selection of engines that range from the very frugal to the very fast.

Best hot hatch: Ford Focus ST

"A stunning example of practical performance" was our verdict on the Focus ST – and with an excellent diesel model joining the petrol, it's become a true real-world champion.

Best seven-seater: Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

The Grand C4 Picasso has a true space-age design, plus a bright and airy interior. Couple that with excellent engines – including a free-to-tax diesel – and its clear why it's the best seven-seater available today.

Best used car: Kia Cee’d

The Kia Cee'd is more than a match for the most upmarket brands in terms of quality, but it's the reassuring seven-year warranty that really sets it apart. A worry-free used-car choice.

Best economical car: Citroen C4 Cactus

The C4 Cactus is much cheaper to run than its rivals, with up to 90mpg fuel economy possible. That's thanks in part to its lightweight construction, something that's helped Citroen make it extremely comfortable.

Most reliable car: Honda Jazz

The Honda Jazz really does live up to its reputation for being built to last, meaning unscheduled visits to the garage should be few and far between.

Best hybrid or electric vehicle: BMW i3

The BMW i3 has set the bar for the future of motoring, helping to make electric cars and hybrids cool. Plus it's built sustainably using renewable energy, meaning it really does have a green heart.

Best car that's cheap to insure: Hyundai i10

The Hyundai i10 is the best choice for budget-conscious buyers, providing comfortable, safe and above all affordable motoring. It also comes with one of the best warranties in the business.

Safest car: Volvo V40

The Volvo V40 is the safest car ever tested by the experts at Euro NCAP, despite being several years old now. But its appeal is wider than that, thanks to impressive comfort and some very handsome looks.

Best diesel car: BMW 3 Series

With a diesel engine, the 3 Series demands no compromises – you get excellent performance, the promise of 60mpg economy and the wonderful driving experience BMW is famed for.

Best Convertible: Audi A3 Cabriolet

No other drop-top blends so much comfort, performance and style. Plus, a clever fabric roof makes it as quiet as the hatchback when you're on the move.

MATT VOSPER

Best city car: Hyundai i10

The i10 is easy to drive and cheap to run, plus it's packed full of high-quality equipment as standard - making it the perfect choice for the city.

Best car for under £150 a month: Nissan Note

There are cheaper cars out there, but none offers as much space, comfort and equipment as the Nissan Note. And all for less than £150 a month.

Best winter car: Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 offers all you could want in a car for winter, but its excellent fuel economy, handsome design and fun-to-drive persona means it also has year-round appeal.

MATT VOSPER

Best estate car: Peugeot 308 SW

The 308 SW offers more space than you'd believe given its compact size, but it's a range of efficient engines and a low price that cement the SW's position at the top of this class.

Best first car: Skoda Citigo

The Skoda Citigo is fun, sophisticated and cheap to buy and run. But in the closely fought small-car market, it's Skoda's reputation for great customer service that sets it apart.

Best road tax exempt car: Skoda Octavia Estate

The Skoda Octavia Estate is a big car with a massive boost, which makes it all the more incredible that some versions emit so little CO2 that they're free to tax.

Best small car: Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo provides executive-car quality in a small and affordable package. Combined with class-leading interior quality and a range of superb engines, it's clear why the Polo is a class leader.

Best family car: SEAT Leon

Behind those handsome looks lies a car with a big boot and room for five. Despite featuring plenty of cutting-edge equipment, the Leon still represents exceptional value for money.

Best SUV and 4x4: Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai is a comfortable SUV, but it's not more expensive to run or harder to drive than a regular hatchback. It's no surprise that the Qashqai is one of Britain's most popular car models.

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