You have a family. That, some might say, is the difficult bit over and done with.
Until you have to choose a car for everyone, of course. Virtually every carmaker wants to grab your money touting lifestyle this and flexible that, but how can you separate mere posturing from the cars that’ll genuinely make family life easier?
That’s where carwow comes in. Using our handy Car Chooser tool, we’ve selected five vehicles that do the “family” thing with minimal fuss and good old common sense.
You won’t find any lifestyle trappings here, no style over substance – just five cars (in alphabetical order) that’ll set you back under £15,000 brand new, make every holiday as easy as a trip to the shops and every trip to the shops as relaxing as a holiday.
1. Citroen Berlingo Multispace
The Citroen Berlingo Multispace, as you might have gathered from the photo, is a van with windows. This is far from being a bad thing, as even the toughest of tots can’t dole out the sort of abuse to a vehicle your average builder or plumber can – you’ll not find a tougher car in Citroen’s range.
Interior space is vast, adults and kids alike get a great view out through the expanses of glass, and with no fashionable pretences, pricing is low – lower than most superminis, if you opt for the basic 1.6 petrol.
2. Dacia Duster
You’ll struggle to find a better value car on sale right now than Dacia’s Duster. It might cost a few bob more to run on fuel or tax than the shiniest new crossovers, but who cares when it’ll cost you thousands less to buy in the first place?
If all you need is a boot and five doors, a Duster can be had for as little as £8,995. Even if you go mental with the spec sheet you’ll struggle to break our £15,000 budget, and that fills the Duster’s chunky body with electric gadgets, aircon and even alloy wheels. Four-wheel drive and a diesel engine are standard at this level, too.
3. Ford B-Max
It’s useful too, with no central B-pillar to hinder access to the cabin. We’re not sure you could dive through it like the adverts, but for belting in kids or allowing access to elderly relatives it’s just about perfect. Unfortunately, it’s a tad on the expensive side, meaning a 1.4-litre petrol is the only engine under our budget. But still, what’s more no-nonsense than a basic, uncomplicated petrol engine?
4. Peugeot Bipper Tepee
Citroen, Fiat and Peugeot all offer the Bipper Tepee under one moniker or another (see Nemo, Qubo), but we reckon the Peugeot offers the most for the least. You can’t spend any more than £13,645 on one, for which you get a willing and highly frugal 1.3-litre engine of Fiat’s design – official combined economy tops 62 mpg.
You also get far more space than the diminutive body suggests, a pair of practical sliding rear doors and a massive boot. If you’ve bought a glitzy, claustrophobic Nissan Juke as a family car over one of these, hang your head in shame.
5. Skoda Roomster
The Roomster‘s quirky styling is just unique enough to shrug off any “van with windows” stereotypes, but as far as utility is concerned it’s taken all the good bits. The back cabin is massive, with rear seats that fold and tumble and a host of practical boot accessories.
Yet in the front, it’s all very sensible and familiar. You’d barely know you weren’t driving a Fabia, such is the normality. Our budget will net you a 1.2 TSI with over 100 horses, but stretch for another £500 (or haggle hard) and the thoroughly sensible 1.6-litre diesel can also be yours.