Some cars were created more equal than others. Although we only offer vehicles we’re personally convinced of as a matter of principle, there can be no doubt that a handful of select models continue to outperform most of the competition. These, then, are the cars we try to always have ‘on stock’ and which we recommend to anyone looking for the ideal blend between driving pleasure and build quality.

In this article, we’ve selected three of these super-models for various wallet sizes: The Renault Clio (Super Mini), Seat León (family car) and the BMW 3 series (compact executive). Whatever your personal preferences, you can hardly go wrong with either one of these.

Renault Clio

Even three decades after the iconic ‘Nicole & Papa’ ad campaign that helped launch it, the Renault Clio remains one of the most beloved superminis in the UK. Frequently referred to as ‘arguably the most stylish supermini on sale today’ and widely credited with the revival of Renault as one of Europe’s leading car manufacturers, it combines spectacular design with an efficient engine that will provide you with typically elegant French driving feeling, regardless of whether you’re doing groceries in town or taking a trip to the countryside. This applies equally to the new Clio IV as well as older iterations of the model, which are still excellent value for money.

Seat León

Once introduced as a cheaper companion to the Volkswagen Golf, the León has by now become a firm competitor to the former’s throne. Combining a distinct design with the same robust build of the German manufacturer’s MQB platform, the new and improved Seat combines fun with reliability and powerful driving qualities with family values. Today, it is rated by experts as ‘the best family car you can buy’ or, to put it in the words of website Topgear, ‘the car to lure budget-conscious hatch buyers from the German end of the new car market’. It certainly makes for a perfect all purpose vehicle.

BMW 3 series

Who would have believed, upon the release of the first generation of the BMW 3 series, that this car would not only still be sold in the 21st century, but also contribute up to a third of the Bavarian manufacturer’s entire worldwide sales? Certainly, the 3 series has, with the help of five significant re-designs, gone from strength to strength and continues to sell at astounding numbers,  considered the still pretty hefty price tag for a new model. In the end, however, the sheer quality under its hood explains away the mystery and has made the 3 series a constantly recurring visitor to the top-10s of almost all major car magazines. As Auto Express has pointed out, it does suffer from depreciation. But that’s great news, of course, if you’re planning on buying it second-hand.

Did we raise your curiosity? Then do pay us a visit at our Manchester showroom to test these models in person.