Best family cars for 2019
By Martin Pratt
Article 16 of 16
Looking to buy the best family car? Our experts have done the hard work for you. Our pick of the best family cars has a car for every budget.
You might think that buying a family car means your only choice is getting a people carrier (MPV) - but that's not true at all.
Our Best Buy family cars come from a range of classes - from SUVs and small cars, as well as the best MPVs to come through our tests. All are safe, economical and spacious enough to fit in everyone and their luggage.
Whether you'd prefer an SUV or an estate, there are plenty of suitable cars on our best family cars list.
Of course, what you don't want to be left with is a car your family will quickly outgrow, or end up with a vehicle that conks out part way through your driving holiday. Worse of all - there are family cars available that have a low safety rating.
What makes a great family car?
The best family cars need to excel in a number of different areas to be brilliant:
- Should be easy to get in and out of
- Offer a decent amount of rear seat and boot space
- Not too noisy
- Be both safe and reliable
- Be easy to drive
All the cars in the below meet all these requirements. Separately, we have also listed the electric cars that make excellent family vehicles - but you'll need to be comfortable with the range they will cover.
Want more advice on what to look for in a family car? Either scroll down or go to:How to choose the best family car for you
Best new Family cars
Imposingly large, yet with an agility that belies its enormity, it pulls off a seemingly impossible feat. This car's not just super-fast in a straight line, it also corners with precision and confidence. And it can also seat up to seven passengers in one of most comfortable, high-quality cabins we've come across.
This large SUV is a good value option for families, offering masses of space inside for both luggage and passengers - well, five people at least; the seven-seat model's extra two seats are tiny. It's also comfortable and well made. Overall, this is practical, spacious and better value than the last model.
Best used family cars
This car has an impressive array of talents that makes it a Best Buy. It drives in a very agile manner, thanks to suspension that's well balanced: both cushioning and sporty. The refined, powerful engines and smooth gearboxes work seamlessly, too. Inside, everything is well laid out and its surprisingly practical.
This hybrid may not be sporty to drive but it gets the basics right and is well suited to drivers looking for simplicity. Practicality remains a great plus point: although the hybrid version loses around 100 litres of boot space due to its batteries (they're under the boot floor), it's still highly capacious and usable as a family car.
Best new electric family cars
Aside from the usual electric car compromises of a high purchase price and limited range, this car is a thoroughly practical and likeable electric compact crossover. Low day-to-day running costs (and government grants) should help ease the financial burden, however. So if your lifestyle and budget can accomodate this car, then it should certainly be considered.
How to choose the best family car for you
Arguing over music, asking if we’re there yet and using sweets as bribes – and that was life before you had kids. When you’re blessed with the pitter-patter of little feet, you’re going to have to make sure you have a car that will fit your family and suit your lifestyle.
And ‘your lifestyle’ is the operative term. No family is identical, so it’s important to consider your specific needs. For instance:
- Double or triple buggy? You need to make sure your boot can accommodate.
- Looking after the last generation as well as the next one? Take extra care when assessing the amount of space the car offers, and how easy it is to get in and out.
For our full guide on what to look for when picking out the best family car, head for our guide on buying the best family car. Otherwise keep reading for a roundup of key advice.
Your first child?
Welcome to the dizzying world of age-rated car seats, changing regulations and something called Isofix.
Before you head to a car dealership, you’ll want to do a bit of background reading. We have separate, simple guides that explain everything you need to know:
Remember, there’s nothing to stop you taking your seat and/or child to the dealership with you, just to make sure both fit.
Cars for three children or more?
Had even more children? If you’re looking for a car that can get three or more car seats in, you’ll find choice is limited – but here’s our guide to cars with multiple child car seats.
But changing your car is expensive. And should the size of your brood increase unexpectedly, the finance needed to buy a new car could be more fleeting than ever.
But there is an alternative: the Multimac.
The Multimac is a bench of multiple car seats that is designed to fit into most medium-sized cars. You can get a Multimac with either three or four seats, and the manufacturer claims it can carry any combination of children - from birth up to twelve years old.
It's expensive, at £1,500 to £2,000, but an awful lot cheaper than buying a new car.
To find out if it's worth buying, head to our Multimac review.
We test cars more thoroughly than anyone else
Every car we test goes through a combination of hundreds of lab tests and assessments, plus real road driving to make sure every Which? car review is informed and accurate.
Because our tests are performed in a controlled lab we can compare the results against different cars and scientifically determine which is better and why. This wealth of reliable information is used in conjunction with our extensive survey data.
Every year we send our car survey to over 100,000 car owners who tell us how reliable their car is and how satisfied they are with it. Only Which? uses this reliability data to inform reviews so you can buy with the confidence that comes with knowing which your car won't let you down.
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