Hatchbacks have long been a popular choice for motorists in the UK thanks to their practical, yet compact dimensions, making them easy to maneuver and park. Small SUVs build on this ethos by combining the versatility of the classic hatchback with the elevated driving position and comfort of an SUV. Any of these used hatchbacks or small SUVs can appeal to those with mobility issues, and their pre-owned price makes them even more attractive.
A budget of £15,000 should be healthy enough to give you a choice between some real contenders, and they don’t have to be dull and boring. Some come with the convenience of compatibility with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, making it easier than ever to connect your smartphone, while others include new features to enhance functionality.
All three of our favorite easy-to-drive used cars tick a lot of boxes for those with mobility issues, although some are more appealing than others depending on your priorities. Read on for the details of each of our recommendations.
The comfortable choice: Citroen C3 Aircross
In front of: Comfortable and refined, latest model of this trioAgainst: Some so-so cab plastics, imprecise manual transmission
The Citroën C3 Aircross doesn’t just look good, this funky little SUV is proficient in almost all areas. It’s comfortable on poor road surfaces thanks to its soft suspension, but it also relaxes well during a cruise and offers impressive refinement with nicely suppressed road and wind noise.
Light steering makes it easy to manoeuvre, and while the manual transmission is fine, it’s a bit imprecise, so the automatic might appeal to some more. Just under £14,700 buys a 12,900-mile, 19-plate C3 Aircross 1.2-litre PureTech Flair car (109 hp, 49.6 mpg, 0-60 mph in 10.4 seconds).
The Aircross interior looks and feels quite classy and well-made, but there are still quite a few scratchy plastics to contend with.
The infotainment system works well, while the standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make life even easier. There’s also plenty of room in the rear for passengers, but it’s worth noting that the C3 Aircross’s optional panoramic sunroof has an impact on headroom.
The boot normally offers a decent 410 liters of space; if you need more space, just slide the rear seats forward and the volume increases to 510 litres, significantly more than in the Honda Jazz or Renault Captur.
The practical choice: Honda Jazz
In front of: Compact size with strong usability, good qualityAgainst: Old-hat infotainment, CVT automatic gearbox makes noise
With an excellent reputation for reliability, usability, light control and good visibility, the previous generation Honda Jazz is an excellent example of an easy-to-manage hatch.
The standard 1.3-litre engine isn’t fast, but it’s perfectly suited for getting from A to B. The manual transmission is slick, while the CVT automatic is smooth and requires less effort – the CVT can, however, raise the revs noisily under pressure.
For £14,680 you have a 20-disc Jazz 1.3 i-VTEC CVT SE (101 hp, 60.1 mpg, 0-60 mph in 11.8 seconds) that has only traveled 3,000 miles.
The Jazz has a sleek and innocent dashboard design, which emphasizes ease of use. Build quality is good, but while most plastics are decent, some bearings feel cheap.
Honda’s infotainment system was never a strong suit, and that’s all the more true today. A highlight of the Jazz’s interior, however, are the ‘Magic Seats’, which are impressively versatile. This cinema-style rear seat folds down so you can place bulky items such as potted plants on the floor, while folding them flat increases the luggage space of the Japanese hatchback from 354 to 1,314 litres.
The do-it-all choice: Renault Captur
In front of: Plenty of space for rear passengers, light controlsAgainst: Not inspiring to drive and could be more comfortable
As with its rivals here, the previous-generation Captur has light steering and is easy to get around town. It’s also perfectly adept on public roads, even if it doesn’t feel as refined as the C3, which is a more recent car.
The Captur is comfortable, but doesn’t handle potholes as well as the Citroen. The 1.5-litre diesel is economical, but the petrols are more refined. While the optional automatic transmission is a little slow to respond, it’s better than the Jazz’s CVT unit. A 19-plate, 14,600-mile Captur 1.5 dCi 90 car (89bhp, 53.3mpg, 0-62mph in 13.8 seconds) Iconic was on sale for £14,000.
The Renault Captur’s cabin is certainly smart enough and logically laid out, but the design is starting to show its age a bit.
This model makes good use of its relatively small size; there’s a decent amount of head and legroom in the back for passengers traveling in the back. As with the C3 Aircross, the rear seats slide forward and back, although the luggage space is not quite as competitive at 377 to 435 liters.
A handy feature is that the seat covers can be unzipped and removed, making it much easier to wash or even replace with new ones. As with the Jazz, the infotainment system in the Captur is a bit behind these days.
Carbuyer’s choice as chosen by content editor Charlie Harvey
While the Citroën C3 Aircross may have a better infotainment setup than its rivals and the Renault Captur may be the most attractive of the three to look at given its reputation for reliability and practicality, the Honda Jazz is our pick. These aspects mean that the Jazz should not only be easy to drive, but also easy to live with in the long run. Some versions of the Jazz were also offered with a more fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain, so it can check the box if it’s also on your priority list.
Looking for something smaller for the city? View our top three used city cars for under £6,000†