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Nobody can deny that starting a family is a huge lifestyle change. If you are about to become a parent, you may be considering changing your two-seater sports car for a child-proof, practical family car. But which small car is best for you? To help you to make an informed decision, Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has put together a list of 10 of the best small cars for families based on safety, practicality, child seat and space.

1. Volkswagen Golf


volkswagen golf

First on the list is the Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen’s award-winning hatchback. Thanks to its spacious interior with generous legroom and a boot bit enough to fit in your child’s buggy, the Volkswagen Golf is a popular choice for parents with babies and young children. What is more, the Golf is equipped with generous safety equipment list as standard and boasts a 5 star rating from Euro NCAP.

2. Honda Civic

The Honda Civic first came to life in 1973 and 44 years later it is still one of the best small cars that you can find on the market. Thanks to its quirky style, the Honda Civic promises to catch your eye on the road, while delivering great performance with low running costs. But it is 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.

3. Vauxhall Astra Hatchback

Thanks to its efficient engine range, comfortable drive and great technology, the Vauxhall Astra Hatchback is one of the best small family cars in its class. With space and practicality for up to five adults and wide opening doors that make fitting a child seat easy, the Vauxhall Astra remains a popular choice for growing families. Add a great sized boot with a 370-litre capacity into the mix and you’re onto a winner.

4. Mazda 3 Hatchback

If the Astra doesn’t catch your eye, check out the Mazda 3 Hatchback. Great to drive and cheap to run, the Mazda 3 Hatchback helps to keep running costs low, which is essential when you’re raising a young family. However, where the Mazda 3 truly wins you over is with its spacious, classy interior with deep door storage bins, a lidded cubby between the front seats and an impressive 364-litre boot.

5. Audi A3 Sportback

If safety is top of your list, check out the Audi A3 Sportback with its five-star Euro NCAP rating with an impressive 95% score in the adult occupant category. Inside, the Audi A3 Sportback boasts a superb, premium cabin with plenty of space to make fitting a child seat in the back an easy job. What’s more, the A3 Sportback also comes with a 380-litre boot which offers plenty of loading space for your buggy and family shopping.

6. Seat Leon

Seat Leon

Thanks to its decent blend of style, comfort and drivability, the Seat Leon is a popular leasing choice for growing families and young professionals alike. Despite its sporty looks, the Seat Leon is surprisingly practical, with its 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 safe and entertained no matter how long the journey.

7. Ford Focus

Spacious, fun to drive and cheap to run, the Ford Focus is also worth considering for your next small family car. Inside, the Focus’ comfortable and practical interior cabin comes equipped with high quality materials and plenty of equipment as standard. Under the bonnet, the Focus also offers a strong range of petrol and diesel engines which deliver great performance and economy.

8. Volvo V40

Giving the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus a run for their money is the classy Volvo V40. The Volvo V40 comes with a great range of diesel and petrol engines that offer a good blend of pace and efficiency. But what really makes the V40 a great family car is its high safety standards, with scores such as 98% for adult occupant protection and 88% for pedestrian safety in the latest Euro NCAP tests.

9. Renault Megane

Thanks to its solid good looks and well-built quality, the new Renault Megane is a great family hatchback. Inside, passengers will find a spacious comfortable cabin with enough space for bulky child seats. However, where the Renault Megane truly excels is with its boot size which offers an impressive 434-litre capacity to make family life and long road trips a lot easier.

10. Hyundai i30

Finally, with its sharp good looks, classy interior and five star Euro NCAP rating, no best family car list would be complete without the Hyundai i30. The latest generation model comes with a wide choice of diesel and petrol engines to deliver all the power and performance you need while inside, the Hyundai i30 offers plenty of space with plenty of cabin storage, as well as deep door bins and a lidded cubby between the front seats.
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