The perfect family vehicleWhat makes a great family car? There are lots of factors that need to be considered when deciding on a suitable family car – safety features are high on the list of must-haves, as well as ample room for kids, dog and grandma, and then of course there’s the economy issue to consider; however, with increased safety features, economy-focused performance and stylish design, there’s never been a better time to shop for a family car.
Often a family car has to straddle the lines of comfort and practicality, space and compactness. It has to be suitable for nipping into town and negotiating a tight parking space, as well as comfortably accommodating the kids and all their gear on those long trips to visit the in-laws. Not to mention the peace of mind it should afford by way of safety features, such as airbags, child seat anchors, and comfortable steering. There are many cars that have been reliably transporting families safely from A to B for a good number of years - so which are the best and most affordable ones today?
Since it first went on sale in 1979, the Vauxhall Astra has been a byword for family motoring. Always a popular choice for those after a sensible family hatchback and it’s clear why: large boot, light controls, stylish design and efficient engine – and the ecoFLEX model provides amazing economy. All models have stability control and six airbags, while active head restraints help minimise whiplash. There's also the option to disable the front passenger airbag so you can fit a Group 0+ child seat here. A smart drive with good security measures.
Another popular choice is the Volkswagen Golf hatchback. It has mastered the spacious yet compact paradox and maintains a strong reputation for great build quality.
Whether you are out on the open road, motorway or in town, the 2.0-litre engine is smooth and its power delivery linear making it suitable for all three environments. With seven airbags as standard (including a knee airbag for the driver) the Golf is one of the safest cars in its class and all models come with ESP stability control as standard. A spacious, well-balanced run-around, it’s definitely high up on the list of ideal family transport and is perfect for mums who want a solid, well-priced car guaranteed to stand the test of time.
With its hard-wearing reputation for handling excellence, good-sized cabin and cargo area, and sensible running costs, the Ford Mondeo has always demonstrated that if you are after a family car you don’t need to compromise on handling and driver enjoyment. Alongside the expected array of airbags and basic electronic stability systems, Ford makes available a considerable number of intelligent systems such as active braking and intelligent cruise control.
Another Ford also fits the bill very nicely for a family car – the ever popular Ford Focus. Ever since the first model was launched in 1999, it has been a familiar sight on the British road. This is largely due to its well-deserved reputation for being a great drive with sharp, accurate steering whilst also offering plenty of interior space and low running costs. The ECOnetic diesel model can return up to 83mpg, almost rivalling the Vauxhall Astra’s ecoFLEX on economy.
An important thing to consider when buying your car is the history of the vehicle. Exeter Diesel vehicles are HPI-checked – this means that all our vehicles are vetted for any information held against the vehicle by finance and insurance companies, the DVLA, the Police and other industry bodies.
The Peugeot 308 is an award-winning top-notch family hatchback crossover that should certainly be on your shortlist. It’s good-looking, comfortable and good to drive with tidy handling. It is also efficient, with low running costs, a large boot, and plenty of space for adult passengers, making this a capable and reliable car for a growing family.
The Seat Leon is a highly-desirable family hatchback also, because not only is it great to drive with good handling, but is also great value for money. It’s definitely a contender for one of the best family hatchbacks on the market with strong build quality, even rivalling the Golf on this score. Sporty looks but practical too, with a simple unfussy interior.
A star of the Nissan family is the Nissan Qashqai - one of the most popular family vehicles in the UK and it’s easy to see why; with 4x4 styling, intelligent safety features and a spacious interior, the Qashqai is a smooth ‘soft-roader’ that ticks a lot of boxes for today’s modern family.
An important thing to consider when buying your car is the history of the vehicle. Exeter Diesel vehicles are HPI-checked – this means that all our vehicles have been vetted for any information held against the vehicle by finance and insurance companies, the DVLA, the Police and other industry bodies.
Exeter Diesels also offers Black Horse finance to accommodate varying budgets.