Having a family car is beneficial when it comes to running the kids to various activities, doing the weekly food shop and heading on road trips in the school holidays. However, it can be difficult knowing which one to choose – there is so much choice, and each family has different needs. Here is everything you need to know about shopping for a family car.
Consider Your Needs
Before you even step into a showroom, you should consider your needs. Make a checklist and run yourself through it:
- Seats – Is four or five seats enough, or would you be better with seven? Some cars even have eight or nine seats.
- Boot space vs extra seats – If you’re not going to be using seven seats very often and you choose to buy a seven seat model, you could be compromising on the space of your boot.
- How often will you use the car? – If you only need it at weekends, you can compromise on running costs for extra space. If you are using the car during the week for the school run, you’ll want something with lower running costs, and maybe extras to help you such as parking sensors.
- Boot space – How much will you need? Estate hatchbacks tend to have more space, as do SUVs, but the awkward shape of SUVs may make the boot harder to pack.
- Extras – Do you need to carry items on your roof like camping equipment or a bike? If so, you’ll need a car with roof rails. If you regularly go on road trips, you might want to invest in a car with a built-in sat nav.
Best Family Cars 2017
As there is so much choice with family cars, it’s impossible to say which one is the best. However, here are some of the standout vehicles.
The Skoda Superb shares much of its features with the more popular Octavia model, but the Superb is better for families. It has plenty of space inside, with the boots and the back seat not compromised. The car itself is a sporty hatchback, with a luxurious interior. The boot has a 625 litre capacity, perfect for lots of luggage on a road trip.
The Volkswagen Passat is an economical choice for a family car, with the 2017 model in particular being 20% more economical than the previous ones. The Passat is well-built and spacious, and you can choose between the saloon or estate style to suit your personal choice. There’s also a hybrid engine option, as well as petrol and diesel choices.
Citroen C4 Picasso
The new Picasso has futuristic looks that set it apart from the rest of the vehicles in its class. It is smooth and quiet to drive, with a boot space of 537 litres, which increases to 630 litres when you slide the seats forward. The car has an electric parking brake, which frees up space in the middle to allow storage.
Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is one of the standout luxury SUVs. The 2017 model has been brought up to date aesthetically, with curved lines. There are five full sized seats in the back, and you can even fold down the back row using your phone. If you fold down all the back seats, you’ll be left with a boot space that matches up with a van in terms of capacity. The car has plenty of off-road capability, but remains comfortable to drive on the road. The only downfall to the Discovery as a family car is that it can be quite expensive, starting at £44,000.
The XC90 is an alternative to Land Rover in terms of a family SUV. It offers great safety features, such as seatbelt tightening when the car detects rough road territory and automatic braking technology if the driver pulls out in front of someone. Climate control, leather seats, a sat nav and LED headlamps come as standard with this model. The five seats in the back can also comfortably accommodate adults up to 5ft 7in, making it a great option for a car that will grow with your family.
Leasing a Family Car
If you are wondering how to afford a family car, why not try leasing? Leasing allows you to pay a deposit, followed by a monthly fee in exchange for driving the car with a set mileage. If you go over that mileage, you have to pay per mile. The only disadvantage of leasing is that you will never own the car, but if you like to change your car regularly, or have it grow with your family, this could be seen as an advantage.
What car have you chosen as your family car?
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