What kind of cars do you think of when you hear the phrase ‘family cars’? Crossovers? Estates? The people carrier your parents used to drive? Naturally when you’re thinking of having more people in the car, your mind conjures images of larger vehicles.
But, just like families, family cars come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why we’ve put together this list. While some families might need a large car, we wanted to shout about some of the smaller cars that punch above their weight when it comes to being family friendly.
Whether you want a car that you can easily park in tight town centre parking spaces and narrow car park bays, or you’re looking to upscale from a two-seater for something a little larger, these cars are perfect for all the family.
First up is the Volkswagen Golf, VW’s award-winning hatchback. It’s got a lovely spacious interior with plenty of legroom and a boot big enough to fit even the most unwieldy buggy, making it a popular choice for parents with babies and young children. What’s more, the Golf is equipped with a great safety equipment list as standard and boasts a five-star rating from Euro NCAP.
The Honda Civic first came to life in 1973 and is still one of the best family cars on the market. Its inimitable style means that the Civic is eye-catching on the road, while delivering great performance with low running costs. But it’s the space and practicality which makes the Civic a truly great family car, offering a big boot and flexible rear seats that can fold down easily for buggies and beyond.
Thanks to its efficient engine range, comfortable interior and great technology integrations, the Vauxhall Astra hatchback is one of the best small family cars in its class. With space for up to five adults and wide opening doors that make fitting a child seat easy, the Astra is a firm favourite for growing families. Add a 370-litre capacity boot into the mix and you’re onto a winner.
If the Astra doesn’t catch your eye, check out the Skoda Octavia. It’s great to drive, reliable and fairly cheap to run - essential with a growing family. But where the Skoda Octavia will truly win you over is with its sleek, spacious interior with plenty of room for all your bits and pieces thanks to the deep door storage pockets, lidded cubby between the front seats, and a fantastic 590-litre boot.
The A3 Sportback combines safety and style, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating that includes an impressive 95% score in the adult occupant category. Inside, the Audi A3 Sportback boasts a premium cabin with enough space to make fitting a child seat in the back quick and easy. What’s more, the A3 Sportback also has a 380-litre boot, so there’s plenty of loading space for your buggy and weekly shop.
The Seat Leon is a popular choice for growing families and young professionals alike, with a good blend of style, comfort and drivability. Despite its sporty look, the Seat Leon is extremely practical, with a spacious and comfortable cabin offering easy access to the rear seats and a 380-litre boot for extra space when you need it. The new Leon also comes the latest infotainment technology to keep your family entertained no matter how long the journey.
Spacious, fun to drive and cheap to run, it’s no wonder the Ford Focus is one of the best-selling cars in the UK – and well worth considering for your family car. Like many cars in this list, it has a five-star NCAP safety rating to give you peace of mind from the moment you sit behind the wheel. Once you’re inside, the Focus’ comfy cabin comes equipped with high-quality furnishings and a great range of equipment as standard.
Giving the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus a run for their money is the classy Volvo V40. Whether you opt for diesel or petrol, the V40 offers a good blend of pace and efficiency. But what really makes it a great family car are the high safety standards, with a host of safety features ensuring a 98% rating for adult occupant protection in the latest Euro NCAP tests.
Thanks to its head-turning design and fantastic range of features as standard, the Kia Cee’d is up there with the best family hatchbacks. Inside, you’ll find a comfortable cabin, with top class furnishings and plenty of space for the whole family, including for those bulky child seats. Plus, it’s got a 395-litre capacity boot to make family life and long road trips a lot easier.
And last but not least, the Renault Megane Hatchback. With safety at the forefront of the design, the Megane has been completed with a wide range of advanced technology systems – from blind spot warnings to hands free parking and much much more. Plus, thanks to the voice-controlled R-LINK 2 multimedia system you can always keep your eyes on the road. And with a total boot volume of 434-litres and comfortable, spacious interior every family journey will be an enjoyable one.