A lot of us spend at least a little time each day travelling in our cars, so they’re an important part of our lives which means choosing the right car is a big decision. This is especially true when you’re deciding on your next family car as it’s not just your needs as the driver that you need to consider but also your passengers.

Things to Look for in Your Next Family Car

For those with younger children you’ll want to look at car seat fittings, and how many will comfortably fit in the back row of seats if you have more than two children of car seat age.

Many parents also find storage an important thing to consider. With younger children there’s the pushchairs, changing bags and other accessories you need to take with you on any trip and for older children there’s often sports kits, dance costumes and everything else.

If you are looking to invest in a car that will last your family for several years you’ll want to think about how your family’s needs are likely to change over that time, for example if your children will be transitioning out of car seats or if they are likely to join the hockey team where they’ll need a bulky equipment bag.

If you have a family pet then you might also want to think about them when looking for a new car, and how easy it would be for them to get in and out of the vehicle as well as the space available for them. For our top pick of vehicles for pet owners take a look at this article.

Other considerations you might want to think about, depending on your family’s needs, are:

  • Child locks on the rear doors and windows
  • Ease of getting children in and out of the rear seats, especially in three-door models
  • Small storage space, like cubbies and drink holders
  • Airbag placement
  • The vehicle's NCAP safety rating
  • Roof box and bike rack options

The Top Five Family Cars

We’ve rounded up our top five picks of family cars that are currently available for you to purchase or lease today, just scroll down to see which models made the cut.

If you’re looking for a larger model then you might also want to take a look at our top five seven-seater picks.

1. Volkswagen Golf

vw golf family car top pick

In the top spot we’ve chosen the Volkswagen Golf.

It’s an excellent hatchback that has been loved by families since it first appeared in 1974 throughout eight generations since then to ensure it remains stylish and has all the latest driving and connectivity technology.

VW is a brand known for their reliable and affordable vehicles that are a great choice for drivers who want a car that is practical but maintains its sense of fun and enjoyment of driving.

The current Golf offers a sleek modern interior, with smartphone connectivity, a touchscreen digital control centre and depending on the model you opt for voice controls and heads up display which projects key information onto the windscreen so you can keep your eyes on the road ahead.

The exterior is just as modern and stylish with its thin front grille and narrow headlights, and there’s a choice of bold colours for you to select from.

The new Golf is available in a range of economical petrol and diesel engines as well as the fully electric e-Golf model for those looking

If you want to find out more about the VW Golf and the great leasing deals we can offer you on it then click here

2. Skoda Karoq

skoda karoq family car top pick

Our second pick is the Skoda Karoq.

There’s a number of Skoda models that we could have chosen but it was the Karoq that made it to the top of the list for us because it’s a great all-rounder being practical, comfortable, reliable and fun to drive. It also won What Car?’s Best Family SUV for £20,000 - £30,000 in 2020 and the Best Family SUV for practicality in their 2021 awards.

The Karoq is the mid-sized SUV in Skoda’s range, and if you’re looking for something a little larger then you might want to look at the Kodiaq  which has made it onto our top five seven-seaters.

An SUV is a great choice if you’ve still got children who require car seats, as the higher seat makes it easier to strap them into the seats.

Though it’s the mid-range SUV from Skoda it still has plenty of room with 588 litres of space in the boot which is ample room for a pram and all the accessories. There’s also plenty of storage nooks and cubbies throughout the cabin to store smaller items.

If you want to find out more about the Karoq or the models available then just click here.

3. Ford Focus

ford focus family car top pick

Like the VW Golf the Ford Focus has been a family favourite for decades since it was first launched in 1998. It offers drivers a spacious and comfortable interior, great handling and suspension and a range of economic engines to choose from.

The latest model is packed with lots of technology, from Ford’s Co-Pilot360 system, and the range of driver assist technologies like active part assist and lane centring, to smartphone connectivity, wireless charging and voice command controls.

Head over to our Ford Focus leasing page  to see all our current deals if you think it could be the right choice for your next family car.

4. Mercedes-Benz A Class

Mercedes a class family car

The Mercedes A Class is a great choice if you’re looking for a family car that’s a little more luxurious.

It’s got a modern, minimalist design with a centre touchscreen and digital driver’s display as well as a driver centric cockpit with all the necessary controls in arms reach.

The A Class is also available in either a hatchback or saloon body depending on your family’s needs, and in both there are a number of different specs to choose from so you can really find the right A Class for you.

5. BMW 1 Series

BMW 1 series family car top pick

The last model to make it into our top five picks is the BMW 1 Series.

It’s one of the best premium family cars on the market along with the A Class and is a great choice if you’re looking for a car that is packed with the latest tech, is fun to drive and still practical and reliable enough to be your family vehicle.

There’s a range of capable engines and combined with the dynamic driving modes and the supportive suspension it really is an enjoyable drive but controlled enough to still be comfortable for all your passengers.

There’s also a range of driver assistance systems that help you with a whole host of tasks including blind spot detection, lane keeping, cruise control and much more.

If you want to find out more about the 1 Series and see some excellent leasing deals then just head to our BMW 1 Series page here.

For more of our top picks head back to our top car picks or if you’d like to find out more about leasing then head to our guides’ homepage.  We’ve also got a dedicated family section, with useful guides on car seats and keeping your children safe in the car.

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