The best family cars are versatile and reliable without losing their sense of fun, comfort or innovative design. Whether you’re looking for an SUV to fit a larger family or something with lower running costs, there’s a family car for you.
When you’re looking at family cars make sure you check that you can fit your child car seats and pushchairs comfortably and safely inside. If you need Isofix fittings you should also check this with the seller.
Consistently one of the UK’s best-selling cars, the Ford Focus is an extremely popular choice with drivers of all ages and lifestyles. Having built up a fantastic reputation over the years due to its excellent handling, high reliability and low running costs, it’s not hard to see why so many choose the family hatchback. With a spacious boot that will easily fit a Bugaboo or iCandy pushchair and comfortable cabin, the variety of trim options, engine sizes and price points make it an ideal choice for a young family.
Well-built, spacious and easy to drive, the VW Golf is a family classic. The boot is big and square-spaced with enough room for pushchairs, sports equipment or those trips to IKEA. A strong all-rounder, the Golf has plenty of head and leg room in the front, with heaps of storage including cup holders and a central bin between the centre armrest. Large, rear door openings make getting kids in and out of car seats easier without banging your head.
The SEAT Leon is an attractive option for the whole family. The striking style and enjoyable, reliable drive will please parents, while the 5-door offers plenty of room for children – and ease getting them in and out of the car. With lower running costs than a larger SUV or crossover, it’s still large enough to get the usual kids’ equipment in. The saloon model maximises boot space so if you have a large pushchair or 2 this could be the better option. Towards the higher end of the range, the 1.8 litre Leon FR can do 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, so you don’t have to feel that you’re compromising if you’re moving on from a sportier model.
The Peugeot 3008 is a crossover with a great interior, top-class in-car tech and a nice drive. It’s economical and practical while looking stylish. The 3008 provides greater comfort and practicality for a family than its rivals the Skoda Karoq and the SEAT Ateca. With a bigger boot than the Nissan Qashqai, at 591 litres, it’s also slightly longer, giving you more leg room. The 1.2 PureTech is a good engine for its size while a flat floor and wide middle seat in the rear makes it comfortable for 3 growing teenagers.
One of the cheapest to run and environmentally-friendly hybrids on the market, the Toyota Prius is also one of the most reliable options available, having just a 12% breakdown rate per year. A great choice for everything from the school run to the weekly shop, the Prius marries practicality with economy in a way that few other family cars can challenge. There are plenty of second-hand models now available.
A more expensive option, the Audi A3 offers all the style and performance car lovers expect. Highly stylish, roomy and practical, it’s great for working parents who need to use their car for work as well as weekends with the family. An extensive entertainment package will keep children of all ages occupied while the engine options mean you’re driving anything but a dull family car.
The Kia Sportage is a spacious crossover SUV with a 7 year warranty on brand new cars. This makes it likely that if you’re buying a used car that’s less than 7 years old, it’ll still have manufacturer’s warranty included. The raised height of the car makes getting children in and out much easier on your back. There are pockets on the back of the front seats so you can keep children’s activities in there for longer journeys. The boot is square-shaped, making it easy to pack – whether you’re loading the weekly shop or packing for a family trip.
Another of the UK’s top-selling cars, the Vauxhall Astra is packed full of safety features, such as its ‘Matrix’ headlights, and has a 5 star Euro NCAP rating. Economical, its 1.6 litre diesel model boasts 85mpg, while the 1.6 litre petrol version can do 0-62 mph in 6.6 seconds. It drives as well on winding country roads as it does on the motorway. There are different levels of trim, performance and price available across the used car market but look out for air conditioning, sat-nav, touchscreen and DAB radio. This is a perfect entry-level first family car providing a blend of performance, practicality and reliability that affords you peace of mind for your little ones.
It may not be the most modest name, but the Skoda Superb does a really good job to live up to its title. It’s a practical option for a young family, thanks to a sizable boot and wide-opening tailgate. There are 7 trims available – from the basic S to the Laurin + Klement – but the SE has pretty much all you’ll need, including dual-zone climate control and front and rear parking sensors. While it’s a brand that once had a poor reputation, Skoda have turned that around completely, and are now known for making some of the most quietly reliable and affordable family cars out there.
A classic saloon, the Ford Mondeo is a family favourite for good reason. It’s got plenty of room including handy storage between the front seats, it’s agile and responsive, and looks sophisticated – the quintessential family car. The 1.6 litre diesel is the most economical option averaging 78.5mpg and it gets a 5 star Euro NCAP safety rating. Even the entry model comes with decent tech including a DAB digital radio and dual-zone climate control.
If you’re looking to buy your next family car AA Car Finance could help. Find out more about our easy-to-use online tools that can assess your eligibility and calculate the level of finance you may be in line to receive.
Image courtesy of iStock.