Family cars have to tick a whole lot of boxes. They need to be practical, safe, comfortable and cheap to run. To help you pick the perfect new car, we’ve out together a list of the 10 best options currently on sale.
Head over to our new car deals page to view the latest carwow offers. If you’re still not sure what to buy, read our list of the best family hatchbacks with the biggest boots, our list of the 10 best small cars on sale and our countdown of the best SUVs you can buy.
1. Skoda Octavia Estate
The Skoda Octavia Estate punches well above its weight when it comes to space and comfort. Not only does it boast a vast 610-litre boot – that grows to 1,740 litres with the back seats folded – but there’s more than enough room for a family of four in its roomy cabin, too.
Inside, it feels plush and comes well equipped in all trim levels. The Octavia Estate also comes with two Isofix child seat points as standard and boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating too. Its comfortable suspension soaks up bumps around town well and helps it cruise quietly at motorway speeds. Its good range of frugal engines can deliver as much as 74mpg, too, helping to make it a great family car for the cost-conscious motorist.
2. Nissan Qashqai
The Nissan Qashqai is a brilliant all rounder and one of the most popular cars in the UK. Its high driving position offers a great view of the road while its chunkier SUV body boasts a large amount of space inside. You can fit 430 litres of luggage in the back with the rear seats in place and 1,585 litres with them folded down.
This high-riding crossover received a five-star safety rating, scoring particularly highly in child protection categories. The cabin feels well built, looks smart and there’s a whole host of equipment fitted as standard – including two Isofix child seat points. A range of punchy but efficient engines that can return as much as 70mpg help make the Qashqai one of the cheapest cars to run in its class, too.
3. VW Golf
The VW Golf is a smart and dependable small family car with stylish looks, a well-built and comfortable interior and a generous amount of space inside. There’s plenty of standard equipment – even on entry-level models – and it comes with Isofix child seat points as standard. The Golf also boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, too.
Its 380-litre boot isn’t class-leading but it’ll easily be big enough for the weekly shop. The Golf comes with one of the most intuitive infotainment systems around and is available with a range of efficient engines to help keep running costs down. There’s even a fully electric e-Golf version for those worried about their carbon footprint.
4. Ford B-Max
The Ford B-Max is a spacious mini MPV built on the FIesta’s compact platform. Its large sliding rear doors and pillarless construction offer unrivalled access to the rear seats and their Isofix child seat mounting points. Not only is there ample head and legroom but the cabin has a well-built, plush feel to it and comes with lots of standard equipment.
The B-Max’s 318-litre boot isn’t huge but you can fold the back seats away to open up a spacious 1,386-litre load bay. It boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating for great peace of mind. It should prove fairly cheap to run, too, thanks to 1.5-litre diesel engine that can return 70.6mpg.
5. Audi A3 Sportback
The Audi A3 Sportback blends hatchback practicality, striking looks and a stylish and well-built interior. The five-door A3 Sportback has a good amount of cabin space, three Isofix points and a larger 380-litre boot than its three-door sibling.
Entry-level models will set you back just less than £20,000 but they do come with an impressive amount of standard equipment and a five-star safety rating. Alongside impressive cabin quality and refinement, the A3 Sportback is also pleasant to drive and economical to run thanks to its range of efficient diesel engines.
6. Vauxhall Astra
The Vauxhall Astra is one of the best all rounders in the competitive hatchback class. Not only does it boast a five-star safety rating but its smart cabin comes loaded with a generous amount of equipment as standard, too.
Even tall adults will find decent levels of head and legroom in the back while its spacious 370-litre boot easily outclasses Ford Focus hatchback. The Astra’s enjoyable handling and range of punchy engines make it great fun to drive, too. If saving money at the pumps is your priority, its 1.6-litre diesel unit can return as much as 76.3mpg.
7. SEAT Leon
The SEAT Leon offers Golf-rivalling levels of space and practicality in a more eye-catching package. It can’t quite match the Golf for interior quality, but its cabin has a solid, well-built feel and comes with loads of kit as standard. It even offers a spacious 380-litre boot.
The Leon is also one of the safest cars in its class, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating and two Isofix child seat mounts in the rear. It feels sportier to drive than some rival hatchbacks but does suffer from reduced visibility as a result of its angular rear roof pillars. Pick a 1.6-litre diesel model and this family friendly hatchback can return a hugely impressive 85.6mpg.
8. Peugeot 308 SW
The Peugeot 308 SW takes the standard 308 hatchback’s smart looks and adds a healthy dose of estate car practicality. Its 660-litre boot grows to a huge 1,775 litres with the rear seats folded while its cabin – featuring two Isofix points – is easily big enough for a growing family. Decent build quality and hard-wearing materials should take everything the kids can throw at it, too.
Good levels of standard equipment and a five-star Euro NCAP rating should prove tempting for many families while a selection of frugal engines should help make the 308 SW cheap to run, too. Its 1.6-litre diesel unit can return an excellent 88.3mpg.
9. Ford Focus Estate
The Ford Focus Estate features smart looks, a roomy interior and a good range of standard equipment across the range. Its spacious estate body can carry 480 litres of luggage with the rear seats up and 1,500 litres with them folded away.
Alongside being a practical family car, the Focus Estate is reasonably refined and is surprisingly fun to drive. There’s a decent range of fuel-efficient engines on offer, from a perky 1.0-litre petrol to a fuel-sipping 1.5-litre diesel unit that can return 70mpg. It’s a great all rounder in the competitive mid-size estate class and comes with a reassuring five-star safety rating.
10. Kia Ceed Sportswagon
The Kia Ceed Sportswagon offers an impressive combination of space, build quality and equipment. It’s a roomy estate that can comfortably seat four adults and carry 528 litres of luggage. If you don’t need to carry any passengers, fold the rear seats down and you can fill it with an impressive 1,642 litres of family paraphernalia.
It comes with easily accessible Isofix child seat mounts and is one of the safest cars in its class, with a five-star Euro NCAP rating. The engines may feel slightly underpowered but they’re economical and frugal – the 1.4-litre diesel unit can return 67.3mpg. It also comes with Kia’s industry-leading seven-year warranty as standard.
Save money on your new car
Head over to our new car deals page to see how much you can save on any of these excellent family cars. If you’re not sure what to buy, check out our car chooser tool or use our PCP Calculator to get a better idea of how much a new car could cost you per month.