Vauxhall Vectra 1.8i GLS pounds 14,780 Engine: four cylinder, twin overhead camshaft 16v, 1796cc, 113bhp at 6,400rpm, 1251b ft of torque at 2,400rpm. 5-speed man. gearbox. Performance: 0-62mph in 12.5 seconds, top speed 125mph. Fuel cons. 32mpg
Citroen Xantia 1.8i SX pounds 13,980 New 16-valve engine fixes the sluggish acceleration and noise of older models.
Ford Mondeo 1.8i GIX pounds 14,465 Beats Vauxhall on performance and but less comfortable.
Renault Laguna RT 2.0 pounds l3,035 Roomy, very comfortable, easy drive, strong roadhandling.
Rover 416 Si pounds l3,895 Worth considering, but not quite the all-rounder that the others are.