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Family cars reviewed: which are Best Buys?

Whether you like crossover SUVs, estates, MPVs, plug-in hybrids or all-electric cars, we’ve got you covered

We’ve reviewed a whole range of family cars in our latest Which? car tests. Whatever you’re after, we’ve got it – including two new Best Buy cars.

Our latest reviews include the Audi Q7 e-Tron plug-in hybrid, combining a 3.0-litre diesel engine with electric power. This diesel-electric hybrid combination is rare and may be the best of both worlds: electric only for short journeys, diesel for longer.

If you’re looking for a straightforward car with low running costs, the stylish Renault Scenic MPV could be just the ticket.

Prefer a crossover SUV? We’ve also tested the facelifted Mercedes-Benz GLC and VW Tiguan. And for those looking to ‘go green’, we see whether the facelifted all-electric VW e-Golf really is a practical and cost-efficient choice.

Keep reading to find out more.

Just want to know which cars top our tough tests? Go straight to our round-up of the very best cars.

Audi Q7 e-Tron

For those looking for a high performance luxury SUV that’s economical to drive, Audi aims to serve you with the second-generation Audi Q7 e-Tron.

Unlike other Audi Q7s, you can’t get it as a seven-seater, as the battery pack eats up space. But what you do get is a diesel plug-in hybrid – you can even achieve zero-tailpipe emissions for short journeys.

The e-Tron has plenty of space inside. There’s actually enough legroom for anyone up to 6ft 6in (two metres), both in the back and front. Plus there’s headroom if you’re even taller. Boot space is generous as well.

But do you sacrifice performance with the diesel-electric hybrid engine? Find out in our full Audi Q7 e-Tron review.

Renault Scenic

Renault was one of the pioneers of multipurpose vehicles (MPVs), with the Scenic name still strong after more than 20 years.

The fourth-generation Renault Scenic has an airy cabin with plenty of headroom and legroom for taller people in the front, and boot space is fairly generous as well.

Inside, it’s well equipped and has a modern design with few buttons. Most controls are handled through Renault’s R-Link2 touchscreen. It also has lots of space for passengers and luggage.

The choice of engines focuses on low-cost ownership. There is a range of diesel and petrol options. Plus the Scenic comes as a ‘mild hybrid’ diesel-electric model, which uses regenerative braking to charge a battery. The battery helps out the diesel engine, aiming for a more economical drive.

Available as a five-seater and as a seven-seater Grand Scenic, the Scenic competes against the Vauxhall Zafira and VW Touran.

So does the Scenic match Renault’s claims about economy, and should you consider it over its rivals? Find out in our expert Renault Scenic review.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

The Mercedes-Benz GLC compact SUV was originally launched in 2015 with the aim of bringing the premium luxury of larger Mercs into a smaller, more convenient package for families.

Competing against the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, the five-seater Mercedes-Benz GLC is rare in the premium compact SUV space  – it focuses squarely on comfort over performance.

Mercedes provides you with a nine-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive as standard. The GLC’s engine range includes a brace of 2.1-litre diesels, a larger 258hp 3.0-litre diesel and a 211hp 2.0 petrol engine.

More powerful petrol engines are available in the high-performance AMG models.

Weighing in at almost two tonnes, does this car drive more like a luxury tank? Find out in our Mercedes-Benz GLC review.

VW e-Golf

Launched in 2014 and updated in 2017, the Volkswagen e-Golf comes with all the same qualities as the regular VW Golf hatchback – except it being powered entirely by electricity.

You get the same Volkswagen build quality and safety as the standard Golf, but the all-electric version only comes in one five-door high specification.

The three-year/60,000-mile warranty is extended to five years for the electric motor and an impressive eight for the battery pack.

The e-Golf competes against leading electric car rivals such as the Nissan Leaf and BMW i3, which, unlike the Golf, were designed from the ground up to be electric cars.

So can the VW e-Golf really compete, and is all-electric a practical and economical option for you?

See whether it’s time for you to switch to electric in our definitive Volkswagen e-Golf review.

Seat Leon ST

Crossover sales may be soaring over estates these days, but the best estates remain a top option for great space and driving fun.

The Seat Leon Sport Tourer (ST) is the first-ever estate variant of the Seat Leon, and it uses the same platform as the seventh-generation Golf, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia. It also shares their wide range of petrol and diesel engines.

The Leon ST comes in significantly cheaper than the VW Golf Estate. If you avoid the basic entry-level model, it’s well-equipped as standard, too, with very little difference in terms of quality.

There’s huge room, even for four adults, and an impressive 1,325 litres of boot space. So this seems to be the ideal companion for a long family holiday.

See how the Seat Leon ST performs and find out what our tests revealed about that gigantic boot – see our definitive Seat Leon ST  review.

VW Tiguan

The original Tiguan was Volkswagen’s first-ever compact SUV model. It’s enjoyed more than than eight years of popularity thanks to its discreet class and practicality. But with a rapidly crowding compact SUV market, does the facelifted Tiguan raise its game?

First launched in 2016, the latest generation Tiguan is longer and wider than the previous model, giving you more interior space for even more practicality.

All the Tiguan’s diesel engines are 2.0-litre in size, with power outputs of 115hp, 150hp, 190hp and 240hp. The latter two are only available with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive, and the entry-level version is manual and front-wheel drive only.

A range of petrol options are available as well, including the latest 1.4-litre model we recently put through its paces.

We would have put money on the diesel models being the most popular in the UK, but overall sales of diesel cars are plummeting at the moment. It will be interesting to see if this trend filters through to the SUV market.

See whether the latest refined Tiguan makes a mark in our comprehensive VW Tiguan review.

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