Living with it highlights

  • Some of the best bits of our long-term cars
  • Not all good though, we highlight some issues
  • To see our full list of long-termers, click here

The main aim of the long-term Parkers fleet is to find out the things that really matter when owning a car.

We test the cars over several thousand miles, to find out what they’re really like to live with. We look at factors such as performance and practicality, as well as things like the real-life running costs,

In the past year or so we’ve tested some of the most popular cars in the UK, such as the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus, as well as some all-new models like the Skoda Yeti and Audi A1. It’s not always gone well and there have been as many problems as there have been plus points.

We’ve pulled together some of the highlights of our long-termers, both past and present, here:

Audi A1

Rather than picking the sensible 1.6-litre diesel, we went for the rather thuggish 1.4-litre TFSI with 182bhp. This turned out to be a good thing, and we were impressed by the excellent engine.

 Ford Focus

The Focus is an impressive car, and this latest model seems to have pushed things further for quality and equipment. If that wasn’t enough, we also found the self-park button. Let lazy parallel parking commence.

Hyundai ix35

When the Yeti had to go back it was quickly replaced with the Hyundai ix35. It turned out to be a capable replacement too, and more than proved its worth with a quick camping trip in the Peak District.


Not all long-termers handled the cold weather well. The 3 seemed to cause us a few problems, although we caused it some too. However, after the particularly bad winter last year it seemed to give up.

Skoda Superb Estate

It may seem an odd choice, but when deciding which Superb Estate to go for we opted for the 1.8-litre petrol version. This may seem a bit mad but the petrol version has plenty of redeeming features.

Skoda Yeti

With its dodgy looks and laughable name, who’d have thought this would become one of the office’s favourite cars. Befitting its name, we even had chance to test it in some snowy weather.

Toyota Auris HSD

We’d previously had an Auris long-termer, so this time we went for the new hybrid. Things didn’t always go well though, and the battery pack dented the practicality by taking up space.

Vauxhall Astra

Our time in the Astra has been excellent and we’re impressed with the updated hatch. However, it had to take a bit of a backseat when we tested the three-door GTC, which turned out to be even better.

Volkswagen Golf

While many of the cars we test are top spec and loaded with kit, the Golf was a more subdued affair. In its time here we put it up against two of its biggest rivals, the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra.

Volkswagen Passat Estate

After the Golf came the Passat Estate. Now, there’s plenty of kit and equipment on new cars these days but, while we’ve tried most of them, the Passat Estate was the first to tell us to take a break.

Parkers Top Tip:

To see the full fleet of Parkers long-term cars, past and present, go here.