Compact SUV crossovers are very popular with families these days - and we've taken two of the latest for a spin. But there are plenty of other car classes to choose from as well. We've reviewed two family estates with plenty of space, plus two hatchbacks ideal for zipping around town and even the latest all-electric Smart car for city driving.
Named after a town on the island of Tenerife, the Seat Arona is a compact SUV with sporty styling. It competes in a rapidly growing market against popular rivals such as the Nissan Juke.
If you're looking for something with a more muscular look, check out the Jeep Compass. This characterful compact SUV sees Jeep moving into the family market. Although dedicated off-roaders shouldn't be disappointed, as Jeep's released a trim level specifically aimed at you.
Meanwhile, the Mazda 6 Tourer is Mazda's largest estate. It's aimed at those looking for a great-looking and practical car, but also the sporty driving dynamics Mazda is known for.
Looking for the most room possible on a budget? The Fiat Tipo SW estate makes for a tempting proposition. With an entry price even below a Ford Fiesta, it offers headroom, legroom and boot volume you might not get in cars more than twice the price.
If you're after something a bit smaller for city driving, we've reviewed the luxury hybrid Lexus CT200h hatchback, the Suzuki Swift Sport hot hatch, and the Smart EQ ForTwo electric car.
The Arona aims to provide plenty of space on the inside for your family, without being too unwieldy to park and navigate around town.
Three petrol and two diesel engines are offered. Depending on the model, you get to choose from a five or six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG semi-automatic transmission.
There are three main trim levels to choose from:
Extra-tech versions are available for each of these trim levels, too.
If you like off-road looks but plan to spend most of your time on the road, the Jeep Compass could be the ideal car for you.
There's even a hardcore off-road Trailhawk trim, with a raised suspension, front and rear skid plates, hill-descent control and a specific low-range mode for off-roading.
The other trim levels offer more sophisticated tech extras. The Longitude trim, for example, adds a reversing camera, 8.4-inch touchscreen with sat nav, and more.
The Mazda 6 Tourer has gone all out to provide not only a practical estate, but one that's looks good and is great to drive too.
All petrol engines are 2.0 litres in size (except the range-topping 194hp 2.5-litre) and all diesels are 2.2 litres.
All 6 Tourers are front-wheel-drive, with six-speed manual transmission as standard. Six-speed automatic transmission is available on almost all models.
Standard equipment is generous, including LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic lights and wipers, DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and a comprehensive suite of active safety technology.
If you're looking for the most space possible in an affordable family car, the Fiat Tipo SW looks like a great choice.
If you're willing to pay a bit more, there's two higher trim levels, Easy Plus and Lounge, offering additional tech such as rear-parking sensors, a rear-view camera and even electric lumbar back support for the driver.
An update in 2018 introduced a 10.3-inch touchscreen media display on all but entry-level models, and the addition of the important Toyota's Safety System+ for the latest safety improvements for your family. This includes autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist.
The latest five-door Suzuki Swift hot hatch focuses on fun, rather than outright performance, aiming to make driving your family around cracking fun at a reasonable price.
It's not aiming to compete in the power leagues with the likes of the. Instead, the Swift Sport aims to give a more powerful, dynamic drive than the standard . The idea is to give you a bit more fun for normal driving out on the road, without the higher running costs of a full-on hot hatch.
It also has larger brakes and firmer sports suspension, which improves body control and agility.
Only manual transmission is available. It has a 140hp turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine, enough to get the dinky Swift Sport from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, and a top speed of 130mph.
The diminutive Smart EQ ForTwo car has had an all-electric makeover, aiming to be the perfect getaway for short city hops.
The EQ ForTwo's ultra-compact size, manoeuvrability and quick acceleration give it the edge in stop-start city traffic, where parking space is at a premium.
An app allows you to control certain functions remotely from your phone. This includes pre-entry climate control, which sets the temperature of your car before you set off, using mains power rather than the car's batteries.