What are the best family cars?
Buying a family car is the second biggest purchase for households. That’s why choosing the perfect vehicle is a big deal. The best family car should be roomy and versatile to accommodate your family travel needs. If you make many family road trips, you need a car that can handle off-road travel. Hatchbacks are popular body types for family vehicles. They have a decent amount of space, low running costs and easy manoeuvrability. SUVs are also favourite family cars due to their practicality, but they can be expensive with low mpg values.
Read on to discover the best family cars to consider.
The Skoda Octavia hatchback is a large family car that offers practicality with a digital interior and a refined driving experience. It has a similar platform as the Volkswagen Golf eighth-generation, with an enlarged boot. While the Skoda Octavia is similar to the MK1 Octavia, the bodywork is stretched to provide more legroom for passengers and enlarge the boot space. The impressive 600-litre boot is appealing to families. Unlike its predecessors, the Octavia hatchback has a digital interior. Most of the gauges and buttons have been replaced with touch-sensitive controls and improved voice recognition. Entry-level versions include an infotainment screen with wireless connectivity options like Apple CarPlay and Android. Some Octavia hatchbacks have adaptive cruise controls, keyless entry and heated front seats.
You can choose from turbocharged engines with 109 to 148 bhp. The petrol engines are also available in 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre capacities. The petrol engines can manage 50 mpg. However, high-mileage drivers can opt for 1.2-litre TDI diesel engines with a 68.9 mpg. You can also find hybrid Octavia iV hatchbacks with up to 43 miles of range.
Kia Ceed is among the best family cars with an appealing appearance and upmarket interior. The latest Kia Ceed model has a sporty look with a widened grille that resembles Kia Stinger’s tiger-nose structure. The revamped version is more engaging to drive and has an attractive appearance with plush colours, new wheel designs and extra gloss black trim. Kia Ceed provides a firm suspension and faster steering, reducing instability in corners.
Despite the small capacity of the 118 bhp 1.0-litre engine, it is powerful enough and offers a 54.3 mpg economy. You can also go for the 1.5-litre version with 158 bhp, which accelerates to 62mph in 8.5 seconds. For long-distance drives, choose the 1.6-litre CRDi that delivers 62.8 mpg. The interior features are also perfect for families with a 395-litre boot and enough space for adults in the back.
If you have extra pounds to spend, consider the Volkswagen Golf hatchback. It gives you a plush interior, a better driving experience and the luxury of driving a VW car. The Golf resembles other VW cars with subtle updates to the existing design. For instance, the Golf looks sleek, and the LED headlights are slim, making the car look lower than other models. It is also packed with tech features, from an infotainment screen to voice commands for various functions. You won’t find any buttons or a touch-sensitive slider for volume or temperature controls. The parking sensors and automatic air conditioning are standard in all Golf variations. You also get standard safety techs, including lane assist, road sign display and adaptive cruise control.
The Volkswagen Golf engine line-up is efficient, and you can also choose from a range of powertrains. The most affordable options are the 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre TSI with 148 bhp. You can use the 2.0-litre TDI diesel engine with 148 bhp if you want a long-range car. The new diesel engine has low emissions and can cut back Nitrous oxide emissions by 20%. If you want a powerful engine, choose the Golf GTE, which has 242 bhp and can go up to 37 miles.
Unlike its predecessor, which had cramped rear seats, the Ford Focus provides a spacious passenger compartment where three adults can sit comfortably. The boot space is also more practical and can measure up to other spacious hatchbacks. With many family car buyers going for upmarket models, the Ford Focus has a luxurious interior with upgrades of in-car technology. The exterior design improves its visual appeal with different front grilles and colours.
Ford Focus is renowned for fun handling, and the latest models maintain a remarkable driving experience. The suspension is sophisticated, and you can easily control the car in corners and enjoy smooth rides on bumpy roads. The car has impressive fuel economy with the three-cylinder EcoBoost and an EcoBlue diesel engine with four cylinders. The safety features like autonomous emergency braking make it a reliable family car for country roads.
The Hyundai i30 is a safe family car with exceptional safety features for low drives. While it isn’t popular like other hatchbacks, the i30 provides exciting features and has a large boot space compared to Focus and Golf. The recent facelift of the model introduced a wide grille with LED headlights and updated technology. The driving experience is impressive, especially in motorways, but the steering wheel is a little twitchy. The Hyundai i30 excels in safety features, from standard autonomous emergency braking to lane-keeping assistance.
If you want an economical car, the i30 fits the bill despite the petrol-only engine line-up for its models. You can choose from the 1.0-litre unit with 118 bhp and the 1.5-litre engine with 157 bhp. The petrol engines are turbocharged, improving the fuel economy. The i30 134 bhp diesel engine with a 1.6-litre capacity was dropped. You can go for the i30N model with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and 276 bhp for high performance.
Skoda Kodiaq is the largest SUV in the Skoda collection available, with up to seven seats and adequate boot space. The recent improvements made to the Kodiaq resemble Skoda Karoq and Skoda Enyaq iV in the brand’s SUV collection. The facelift saw the replacement of headlights and the addition of a new grille. The tail-lights are new, and the SUV has a revised bumper and rear. The Kodiaq is an involving vehicle to drive with a decent gearbox and accurate steering. The suspension is well judged, making for a smooth ride. For family cars, avoid the Sportline version.
The family SUV car is well-engineered with impressive build quality. The front row seats are ideal for adults, but the rear seats are good for children. The boot is vast, and you can enlarge it by dropping the rear seats. Entry-level Kodiaq has a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 187 bhp, while other versions have a 2.0-litre diesel engine that offers a fuel economy of up to 52.3 mpg.
The Peugeot 3008 is a medium SUV with bold styling and interesting designs. The good fuel economy and overall practicality make it one of the best family cars. The Peugeot 3008 was initially an MPV before the transformation into an SUV. During the facelift, the build quality was improved significantly. The interior space is fancy with a stylish and modern dashboard. Apart from the touch screen, the car has a digital instrument display.
The new Peugeot 3008 range offers diesel and petrol engine options. While the 129 bhp 1.2-litre petrol engine is unconventional, families with low-to-medium mileage can find it economical. The diesel versions have an entry-level 1.5-litre BlueHi with 128 bhp and a 175 bhp 2.0-litre engine capacity. The 1.5-litre is the best, with a fuel economy of 60.8 mpg.
How to choose the best family car
Safety is a priority in family cars since you carry the most precious cargo. Most modern SUVs and hatchbacks come with decent safety specs, and it shouldn’t be hard to find the best options for your needs. You can check the safety features using EURO NCAP ratings, which rate cars based on onboard safety features and performance in crash tests.
Unlike city cars, family cars are expensive since they are spacious and have additional features. Hence, you need to determine how much you can afford before searching for the ideal car. You can get an affordable family car with all the features you want, but it will take time to find.
While most families focus on the number of seats and boot space, functionality is also important. For instance, you can have an infotainment system on the dashboard and for rear passengers to ensure everyone is entertained during a long drive. The restricted driving mode settings can also ensure a good driving experience.
A family car is prone to stains, scratches, pet hairs and tears. Hence, the vehicle you choose should be hard-wearing to withstand everyday wear and tear. Finding a car with a decent build saves your money in the long run since it requires minimal maintenance.
While SUVs make the best family cars, you can find a decent collection of hatchbacks with sufficient seats and space for luggage. When searching for a car, ensure it is fun to drive and reliable for long-range driving. It should be perfect for running errands and family road trips.