It’s safe to say that Christmas 2020 won’t be like any other, but there’s still plenty of ways you can get in the festive spirit.
And one of the easiest ways to do this is by putting up a Christmas tree. If you prefer to get a real one, getting it home in one piece is important, as is having the right car for your job.
While you’re probably not going to go out and buy a new car especially for the job, it’s useful to know what the best cars are for bringing that first slice of Christmas into your home. Here’s what we recommend.
You might think you need a big car to get your Christmas tree home safely, but the Ford Puma proves otherwise. That’s because the firm’s newest crossover has a trick up its sleeve when it comes to spaciousness – a ‘Megabox’. It’s essentially a space beneath the boot floor that opens up to create a seriously deep boot – ideal for carrying a tree upright in.
Granted, it’ll have to be quite a compact tree to get into your car, but at 115cm tall, it’s a pretty useful device. The box’s hard plastic lining will also make it easy to vacuum out the inevitable dropped needles from the tree. And for the rest of the year you’re left with an efficient and fun-to-drive crossover, which has already scooped a number of high-profile awards, despite only reaching showrooms at the start of 2020.
Skoda Superb Estate
When it comes to carrying ability, it’s hard to beat a traditional big estate car. Skoda remains one of the leading firms when it comes to this class, with its Octavia and Superb Estates seriously impressing with their value and spaciousness.
But our vote goes to the larger Superb Estate – Skoda’s flagship model. There have been 3 generations of the Superb, though the first was only available in saloon form. Both the second- and third-generation Estate models are both brilliant choices, with large 633- and 660-litre boots respectively, offering loads of room for a Christmas tree. The Superb also offers sleek styling and great value for money.
Volkswagen Transporter Kombi
Yes, we know we said ‘cars’, but here we’re stretching to a van, and the Volkswagen Transporter is undoubtedly one of the best available. It offers a higher-quality interior than rivals, classier styling and has a more car-like feel to it than other commercial vehicles. A van is also probably the most useful tool for carrying a christmas tree, and if it’s ply-lined or plastic in the back, you don’t have to worry about making a mess.
While you could choose the Transporter as a ‘Caravelle’ – the MPV-like version of this van – we reckon one of the standard Kombi models could be just as useful, and they’re also much more affordable to buy. Just be aware that you may have to pay VAT on some of the vans you see for sale, which can add quite a big chunk to the price.
When it comes to maximum spaciousness, MPVs certainly hold their own. They’re usually more practical than SUVs, largely because they’re designed with versatility in mind above all else.
And one of our favourite large MPVs is the Seat Alhambra – the more affordable sister car to the Volkswagen Sharan – which comes with 7 roomy seats. But when transporting a Christmas tree, you’ll want that third row of seats to be folded, which unlocks a large 1,167 litres. By folding all but the front two seats, you’ll be left with a van-rivalling 2,292 litres, perfect for those with big houses who are after a grand tree. While you can’t buy a new Alhambra today as Seat has stopped production, it remains a great used buy – especially the second-generation model, which arrived in 2010.
Again proving that bigger isn’t always best, we have the Honda Jazz – one of the roomiest small cars around. Blurring the boundaries between a supermini and a small MPV, this Honda has a number of practical touches that make it ideal for Christmas tree carrying. For starters, it comes with what’s known as ‘Magic Seats’ – flip up cinema seat-like chairs which could mean you could fit a tree upright. They also fold completely flat, unlike most cars in its class, while the 399-litre boot on the second-generation Jazz (sold between 2008 and 2015) is the largest of any supermini to date.
While this Honda might not be much fun to drive and lacks street cred, it has a brilliant reliability reputation, will be affordable to run and offers the versatility expected of a much larger car.