Your priorities change when you become a parent and that’s certainly true for your choice of car.
When shopping for a new car with kids in tow, you’re less likely to worry about horsepower and performance, and more likely to fret over boot size and fuel economy.
To help out, here is a starting list of cars that come highly recommended for ferrying around little ones.
1. Peugeot 3008
While it may not be your number one priority as a car-shopping parent, you don’t have to entirely give up on style. A Peugeot 3008 is ‘the funky family car’ according to Auto Trader, which also happens to rank the SUV among the best family cars on the market.
If you’ve got a large family, CarBuyer notes the Peugeot 3008 is among few cars available with three ISOFIX points, meaning you can safely attach three car seats. What’s more, it scored a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating – the highest available – with an 85% score for child occupant protection.
To make loading and unloading that little bit easier, to open or close the tailgate all you need to do is wiggle your foot underneath the bumper.
2. Skoda Kodiaq SUV
“Huge space for a modest outlay” is how Auto Trader sums up this family SUV. It adds: “The Kodiaq is as roomy and versatile as any of its large seven-seat SUV rivals, but version-for-version, it costs thousands less than most of them. Despite that, it’s well equipped and feels effortlessly classy inside”.
The benefit for your bank balance lasts beyond just initial purchase. As car review site Parkers notes of the Kodiaq: “Whether you choose petrol, diesel, two- or all-wheel drive, running costs are admirably low”.
Each of the five or seven seat models has three ISOFIX seats and it scores a 5-Star Euro NCAP safety rating and 77% for child occupant protection.
3. Skoda Superb
Another Skoda, but this time the Superb, which comes as a hatchback or estate.
“If you’re after as much space as possible for as little money as possible, the Skoda Superb Estate should be top of your shopping list,” says Auto Trader.
Auto Express named it one of the best family cars to buy in 2019, praising “the gigantic boot” which on the hatchback version fits 625 litres of luggage.
It has a five-star NCAP rating and 86% child occupant protection score.
4. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
This hatchback was named Auto Express Family Car of the Year 2018. They concluded: “All of the kit you’ll ever need for family life can be swallowed by a generous 490-litre boot, while the Vauxhall’s enormous hatchback opening gives great access and lots of practicality.”
You’re not purely putting substance over style either. Auto Express describes it as a “sporty, stylish family car”.
It has a five-star NCAP rating and 85% child occupant protection score.
5. Volkswagen Golf
Don’t overlook the benefits of smaller cars like a VW Golf. What Car counts it among the best family cars: “It's quiet, comfortable and enjoyable to drive, while the interior is well built and practical.”
Auto Express adds: “For those needing to slot into supermarket parking spaces and navigate out of school car parks the compact dimensions will help no end, yet inside you will find plenty of space and a boot with 360 litres of luggage capacity.”
It has a five-star NCAP rating and 89% child occupant protection score.
6. Ford Focus
Another long-time favourite among families up and down the UK is the Ford Focus.
Car Buyer, which ranks it among the best family cars, says: “As a means of transporting families, the Ford Focus hasn't always had the measure of its rivals. The latest version, though, replaces the cramped rear seats of previous models with a truly spacious passenger compartment in which three adults can sit in comfort. The boot's bigger and more practical than before, too.”
Auto Express also puts the Ford Focus among its best family cars to buy in 2019.The Focus has a five-star NCAP rating and 87% child occupant protection score.