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Beautiful Budget busters for 2010

  • The best car to pick to beat the Budget
  • Low tax models that are efficient too
  • Toyota IQ and eco BMW 3-Series included

With the cost of fuel set to rise in the coming months following the 2010 Budget and the introduction of the new 'showroom tax', picking a desirable car that won't break your budget isn't easy.

It's not just a case of picking out the fuel-efficient 'eco' cars because the purchase price of these cars often outweighs the savings in running costs.

We've picked a selection of cars we think you should be looking at if you want low running costs, quality, performance as well as good looks and desirability. These are our top Budget busters.

Toyota IQ 2 VVT-i 3d

 

Price new: £10,996

Fuel economy: 65 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 99g/km

Car tax: £0

Showroom tax: £0

While it might only seat three people comfortably, the IQ is a low-cost and high-quality city car. The low emissions mean you won't have to pay road tax or showroom tax, and you should also achieve 65mpg regularly. Sure, the Smart Fortwo delivers an impressive 85mpg but it is eclipsed by the IQ when it comes to performance and the fact it's only a two-seater.

 

Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI SE 5d

 

Price new: £20,080

Fuel economy: 58 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 126g/km

Car tax: £90

Showroom tax: £0

There are few cars that do a better job of blending performance and economy than the Volkswagen Golf. It might be a little more to buy than competitors such as the Honda Civic or the Mazda3, but it edges them on refinement and quality. This model, thanks to the low emissions, also means you will avoid paying any first year showroom tax while the annual car tax is also lower than alternatives.

 

Mazda6 2.2d TS

 

Price new: £19,125

Fuel economy: 54 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 138g/km

Car tax: £110

Showroom tax: £110

The more obvious choice here might be the Ford Mondeo, but it's quite pricey, while the Vauxhall Insignia just hasn't quite got the performance to match the looks. Instead we've gone for the underrated Mazda6. It's spacious with a large boot. It also handles very well. We've also taken into account that this 2.2-litre diesel unit is one of the best around.

 

Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDI SE

 

Price new: £21,245

Fuel economy: 51 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 145g/km

Car tax: £125

Showroom tax: £125

As estate cars go, they don't get much better than the Skoda Superb Estate. In terms of space and size it topples others such as the Ford Focus Estate and Mazda6 Estate. At the same time, the purchase price is low for a car of this size. For your money you get a refined and comfortable ride along with an impressive diesel engine with good performance and impressive economy.

BMW 3-Series 318d SE

 

Price new: £26,085

Fuel economy: 62 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 119g/km

Car tax: £30

Showroom tax: £0

The BMW 3-Series is perhaps the best compact executive car around when it comes to saving you cash. One of the main plus points is that you won't have to pay any tax for the first year with the 318d exempt from showroom tax. At the same time it is still one of the best cars when it comes to performance. This 318d might be kind the environment but it will still do the 0-62mph sprint in 9 seconds. It's great to drive too.

Audi TT 2.0 TDI Quattro

 

Price new: £27,375

Fuel economy: 53 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 139g/km

Car tax: £110

Showroom tax: £110

A sports car might not be the most obvious choice when it comes to beating fuel price rises and rising taxes, but the TT does make lots of sense. The fact that it is available with a diesel engine reduces emissions and improves fuel economy. The relatively low purchase price also means it fares better than the competition. Don't forget, this is still a sports car, which means you get the performance and handling of a stylish coupe.

 

Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi Sport 

 

Price new: £20,045

Fuel economy: 53 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 140g/km

Car tax: £110

Showroom tax: £110

Compact people carriers have become more popular and the 5008 stands out as one of the best examples. With a versatile seven-seat arrangement it is practical and family-friendly. This doesn't compromise performance though and the handling is similar to that of a conventional hatchback. The automatic version does improve MPG as well as emissions but it isn't a very smooth so it's best to stick to the manual.

 

Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi Style 

 

Price new: £18,995

Fuel economy: 49 MPG

CO2 Emissions: 149g/km

Car tax: £125

Showroom tax: £125

The ix35 is a big step forward for Hyundai in terms of refinement and interior quality, while the outside has also been given a sharper look. Low CO2 emissions and economical engines mean low costs for a 4x4 with a 2.0-litre diesel engine. Add to this the usual Hyundai five-year warranty and you're looking at a lot of car for your cash.