Best Family Cars 2024

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Best family cars 2024

  • What are the best family cars?
  • We test and rate the contenders
  • Find a family car for sale

The best family cars aren't just roomy cars with big boots, they need to be able to tick many boxes and offer something for every need. Our list of 2024's best family cars on sale is full of great all-rounders.

Whereas a sports car just needs to be fast and fun, and an off-roader needs to be great off the beaten track, family cars have to be many things all in one vehicle. 

As well as taking the kids to school it needs to be able to deal well with long journeys for family holidays, be comfortable and well-equipped as a commuter car and easy enough to drive that, if needs be, you children can learn to drive in it. 

You might put design, practicality, driver appeal, reliability or value as your top priority when looking for a new or used family car. All the family cars in this list deliver on some or all of those aspects, offering plenty of room, high levels of tech, strong performance or a long warranty. 

Many of the best family cars we've picked out also have an average fuel economy that will exceed 50mpg, being available with hybrid or diesel options. There's even fully electric cars that don't demand much compromise. Some come with a choice of manual or automatic gearbox, while you’ll also get a large boot and a spacious, versatile interior.

Our guide to the best family cars shines a spotlight on a variety of different types of car, but you might also want to take a look at our dedicated guides to the best family SUVs, best electric family cars and best 7-seater cars. Otherwise, read on to discover the top 10 family cars in the UK.

If you're looking to save money on a family car check out the best new and used car deals we've found online.

Best family cars 2024

  1. Skoda Enyaq iV
  2. BMW 3 Series Touring
  3. Volvo XC40
  4. Skoda Karoq
  5. MG 5 EV
  6. Volkswagen Touran
  7. Dacia Jogger
  8. Kia Sportage
  9. Honda Civic
  10. Mazda CX-5

1. Skoda Enyaq iV

Year launched: 2021

Skoda Enyaq iV Review 2024: front dynamic
9/10

The Skoda Enyaq iV is not only one of the best electric cars, it’s also one of the best family cars with oodles of space, excellent comfort and a surprisingly easy drive for such a large vehicle. It’s a no-nonsense, versatile family car that undercuts premium rivals (such as the VW ID.4, Tesla Model Y and Audi Q4 e-tron) in price yet beats them when it comes to standard equipment and practicality.

It’s a similar size to the Skoda Kodiaq, without a seven seat option - but that just means you get a huge 585 litre boot and plenty of space in the back seats to comfortably accommodate adults.

Range is good too, with the entry-level iV 60 offering up to 256 miles while the iV 80 trim brings a few additional features as well as up to 333 miles from a single charge. All models get the impressive 13-inch navigation system with DAB radio as standard, which also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

And the Enyaq iV performs well in the safety department too with a five star Euro NCAP rating, ISOFIX in the back and on the front passenger seat, and plenty of driving assist functions to help keep you out of trouble on the road. Safe, sizeable and a serious contender for your driveway.

2. BMW 3 Series Touring

Year launched: 2019

BMW 3 Series Touring Review 2023: exterior front three quarter photo of the BMW 3 Series Touring on the road
9/10

The BMW 3 Series is a superb upmarket family car, with a refined ride, plush cabin and low running costs. That’s why it remains one of the most popular cars on the road despite impressive rivals from Audi and Mercedes-Benz

Although there are better cars in this list if outright space is what matters most, the 3 Series Touring estate model offers extra boot flexibility. Its 500-litre capacity might only be 20 litres more than the saloon, but with a usefully larger opening it's much more accessible, while the rear seats can be dropped in a flexible 40/20/40 split to increase luggage capacity. 

The BMW 3 Series Touring is noticeably roomier than it used to be, with similar rear headroom to the Audi A4 Avant and more all-round space Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate. Although if rear space is a priority - the Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Superb pip all three with cavernous amounts of room.

But the BMW 3-Series' trump card is the way it drives. A firm yet well controlled ride is combined with sharp, engaging handling on every model - while that might not matter when all your kids are on board, it makes the 3-Series fun when you're heading home from the school run. The engines, too, are fantastic, with the middling 320d diesel providing strong performance and over 50mpg. There's also the superb plug-in hybrid BMW 330e.

There's a good amount of kit as standard, too, with the entry-level model featuring an easy-to-use 8.8-inch central touchscreen infotainment system, increasing to a 10.3-inch system on the M Sport model. Overall, the plush and high quality interior feels like a step above less premium family estates. 

In 2022 the BMW 3 Series gained tweaks such as uprated infotainment in every model, additional tech features and a revised design. None of it dramatically changes the car, though, so a used model will offer better value. 

3. Volvo XC40

Year launched: 2018

Volvo XC40 Review 2024: Moving
9/10

If you want a Volvo XC40, it’ll come at a higher price than other family cars in this list, but it’s also one of the best family cars you can buy - especially if you're looking for something ultra-safe, premium and stylish. The XC40 feels just classy as a BMW X2, but it stands out more. It’s also decent value for money if you stay away from the options list.

Inside, it feels less claustrophobic than some of its rivals, with a very contemporary and sophisticated design that’s dominated by a slick portrait-angled central touchscreen. It gets the most comprehensive standard safety kit in the class - you can add Volvo’s semi-autonomous ‘Intellisafe Pro’ pack, which means the car will steer, brake and accelerate for you. The XC40 is a great family car, even if the bulky transmission tunnel means it won’t be quite so welcoming for the middle-seat passenger.

There’s an ample 460-litre capacity with the seats up, but space extends to 1336 litres with the seats down. You can get bigger SUVs, but you’ll struggle to find anything more practical than the Volvo. Refinement is generally very good, too. The XC40 cruises quietly, with wind noise kept well at bay and road noise dampened down, while the hybrid powertrains are excellent.

If you fancy going electric but love the sound of the XC40, you're in luck. Check out the electric Volvo XC40 Recharge with a 259 mile range. 

4. Skoda Karoq

Year launched: 2018

Skoda Karoq Review 2023: front driving
9/10

The Skoda Karoq small SUV is, like many Skodas, an impressively complete all-rounder. It's a comfortable family car that's good to drive with an excellent range of engines, a nicely finished cabin and a high level of standard equipment. It’s conservatively styled, sure, but tremendously practical and nearly impossible to fault. 

Inside, the Skoda Karoq is spacious and versatile, with a very accessible rear cabin making fitting child seats a breeze. If you have older children, three could sit comfortably in the back thanks to excellent leg-and headroom. 

If you go for the SE-L trim, you’ll get three individual ‘Varioflex’ rear seats that can slide back and forth as well as recline, so you can pick between comfort or space. You can also remove the rear seats entirely. Even with the rear seats in place and slid all the way to the rear there is a decent amount of space - with 521 litres beneath the load cover which is plenty for family life.

Even if you opt for the base SE model you'll get alloy wheels, dual-zone climate control and auto emergency brakes as standard - but SE-L is really the model to go for. It features keyless entry, heated front seats, Alcantara upholstery and a reversing camera. To drive, the Karoq is comfortable, refined yet handles tidily, while there isn't a weak choice in the engine line-up. 

5. MG5 EV

Year launched: 2021

2023 MG5 EV Review: rear static
8/10

The MG5 EV is hardly glamorous, or exciting, or luxurious inside. But it is almost unique, being one of only two electric estate cars on sale in 2023. And the other one is a Porsche with a six-figure pricetag...

Thing is, the MG5 is actually quite a good car, particularly when you consider prices start at a little over £30k. For that you get a well-equipped, spacious electric car with a range of nearly 250 miles.

Granted, the cabin isn't up to Audi standards but it's nicer than you might expect, despite a fiddly infotainment system. Going for the Trophy model gets you niceties like a 360-degree camera, climate control and heated front seats for only £33,500. It'll even give you vehicle-to-load charging to use the battery to power other electrical items. 

The MG5's 156PS electric motor gives it sprightly performance, while it's smooth ride and tidy handling means it's actually pretty enjoyable to drive. You'll even get a seven year warranty as standard. What's not to like? 

6. Volkswagen Touran

Year launched: 2015

Volkswagen Touran Review 2023: rear dynamic
8/10

The Volkswagen Touran is not a stylish or exciting car by any measure, but sometimes all you need from a family car is spacious, comfortable and dependable transport. The Touran often flies under-the-radar, but it's a really impressive people carrier that's fallen out of fashion among a sea of SUVs. 

The main appeal of the VW Touran is the sheer amount of space it offers. Despite a modest exterior footprint it's available as a five or seven-seater, and even with seven seats there's a good amount of space in every row. The seating layout is very flexible, too, meaning you can easily juggle space for children, adults and luggage depending on your needs. Run it as a five-seater and you get an enormous 917-litre boot. 

What's more, the Touran has a high quality, well-equipped interior that, because it's based on the previous-generation Golf, is fantastically easy to get along with. It's also good to drive, feeling much like the taller, heavier Golf that it is, with a range of smooth and (if you avoid the base 1.2-litre petrol) powerful engines. There's no hybrid option, but the diesels will manage well over 50mpg on a run. 

The VW Touran makes an excellent used buy. It's been around since 2015, so there's plenty of bargains to be had: a 2015 2.0 TDI SE model with 65,000 miles on the clock is around £13,000. 

7. Dacia Jogger

Year launched: 2022

Dacia Jogger Review 2023: front dynamic
8/10

Times are tough for many, and shelling out over £30k for a family runabout just isn't an option. Fear not, Dacia is on hand to sell you a brand new seven-seater for exactly half that. 

For under £15k there really isn't anything else that offers the practicality of the humble Jogger unless you ferret around on the used market. That entry-level Essential trim isn't too basic, with cruise control, air-con and even rear parking sensors, but stepping up to Comfort trim gets you the all-important touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It's decent to drive, too, with enough agility and ride comfort to keep your six passengers from complaining. A 110PS 1.0-litre engine might sound a bit weak, but it barely weighs over 1200kg so it gets down the road swiftly enough. Of course when loaded up with passengers it's hardly a fireball, though.

Even more amazingly given it's about the same size as a VW Golf Estate, this is a genuine seven-seater. Adults can just about squeeze in that third row for short journeys, which can't be said of some seven-seat SUVs. So what's the catch? Well the Jogger doesn't get some of the very latest safety equipment, and its interior is hardly luxurious. But that's no deal breaker at this price. 

8. Kia Sportage

Year launched: 2021

Kia Sportage Review 2024: front dynamic
8/10

Want a family SUV but still want to stand out in the supermarket car park? The latest Kia Sportage is a distinctive and capable family SUV that also benefits from the brand's unbeatable (and transferrable between owners) seven-year warranty.

The striking exterior design certainly turns heads in a way that no previous Kia Sportage was able to, but it still does the sensible stuff well. The interior is upmarket, solid and well-equipped, with clever new twin-screen infotainment on most models, but it's also functional with plenty of useful storage solutions and little touches to make family life that bit easier. 

Space in the back is very good, too, although it's not quite as good for three passengers as the Honda CR-V because there's a lump in the floor. Still, the 591-litre boot is huge, with a false floor and handy levers for folding the rear seats. 

Kia has beefed up the Sportage's driving experience to make it feel more agile and sporty. While this does mean the ride is a little firm, it's a refined offering that's great for long distance drives. Clever tech includes a 360-degree camera and, on top models, a system that allows you to 'drive' the car in and out of tight parking spaces using just the keyfob. 

There's a wide variety of engine offerings in the Sportage, including petrol, diesel, mild hybrid, full hybrid and soon-to-arrive plug-in hybrid power. There should be something to fit every needs, although the highest spec models are quite expensive. 

This Kia Sportage has only recently gone on sale, so if your budget is lower why not check out deals on the previous-generation Kia Sportage? It's not as distinctive to look at, but still very competent. 

9. Honda Civic

Year launched: 2022

Honda Civic Review 2023: front driving
8/10

Families don’t need a SUV, and if your budget doesn’t stretch to the BMW 3 Series Touring, the Honda Civic hatchback is an excellent option at a more affordable price point. Recent updates have improved the interior style and infotainment too, making it a supremely practical choice.

There’s just one engine choice mind, a 2.0 litre self-charging hybrid, but that does equal economy with 56.5mpg putting it in line with diesel rivals. It’s also more fun to drive than you may think - we’re not talking Ford Focus levels of engagement, but it delivers a premium experience from behind the wheel.

There’s class-leading safety too, with eleven airbags, a bunch of standard safety features including emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, road departure mitigation, improved lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition and intelligent speed assist. And it’s achieved a five star Euro NCAP award. Honda also improved its infotainment offering with this latest refresh, making it far more enjoyable for both driver and passengers.

All in all, the Honda Civic is a great family car which is nicely equipped, well built, good to drive and has enough space for everyone and their luggage.

10. Mazda CX-5

Year launched: 2017

Mazda Approved Used
8/10

The Mazda CX-5 is the family SUV you buy if the driving experience still matters to you. But it has plenty of other qualities besides being good to drive. 

The interior in the Mazda CX-5 is superb, with plenty of space and generous equipment levels on even the most affordable models. Despite a few gripes, it really is an excellent family car - albeit a dark horse. It has an interior which is far better than mainstream alternatives like the Ford Kuga and Skoda Kodiaq, with plush materials, lots of neat touches and generous amounts of kit.

There’s plenty of space for rear-seat passengers, but the boot’s not quite as big as the Skoda Kodiaq’s. Thankfully, unlike a lot of SUVs of this size, the CX-5 doesn’t feel like driving a big, lumbering box. It feels just as agile as smaller SUV crossovers like the SEAT Ateca, with superb steering and a sophisticated chassis.

The 2.0-litre petrol is smart if you don’t do a lot of long journeys or cover a lot of miles per year - but it does feel a little underpowered. For that reason, we’d recommend the 150PS Skyactiv-D diesel. The 2.2-litre turbodiesel feels surprisingly quick off the line thanks to all that torque available from low down in the rev range. Overall, rivals like the Ford Kuga might be cheaper on the used market, but you get what you pay more. And the Mazda CX-5 is up there with more premium alternatives.

Best Family Car FAQs

Phil Hall

Written by

Phil Hall

If your kids are still small, or you’re just preparing to start a family - you can get away with a smaller car like a Ford Puma or Skoda Kamiq - both of which are excellent. These also offer a little more room than hatchbacks like the Ford Focus - meaning you won’t have to change the car as soon as your kids start growing.

The best electric family car is probably the Skoda Enyaq iV. It offers a near-unbeatable blend of practicality, spaciousness, affordability and technology, plus a good overall driving experience. We'd also recommend checking out the Kia EV6 and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The cheapest family car to run would be an electric car, but they cost more to buy in the first place. Balancing list price and running costs for a family doing average mileage a car like the SEAT Leon is a good bet - it's affordable, cheap to tax and insure and most versions will do over 50mpg. The Toyota Corolla hybrid is also a good bet, particularly as it holds its value really well. 

Larger family cars like the Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage are ideal for those that need more space. The Kia Sportage, like all Kia models, also gets a seven-year warranty, meaning it offers excellent peace of mind. If you really need seven proper seats, then MPVs such as the Volkswagen Touran are worth a look. 

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Skoda Karoq
1/1

Skoda Karoq

2.0 TDI SE L 5dr DSG

20236,543 milesdieselautomatic
£26,995
Deposit con. £250
£407mo PCP
BD21AZ

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £406.85, Customer Deposit: £4,049.00, Total Deposit: £4,299.25, Lender Deposit Contribution: £250.00, Optional Final Payment: £14,545.00, Total Charge For Credit: £6,089.00, Total Amount Payable: £33,084.00, Representative APR: 11.4%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 11.35%, Excess Mileage Charge: 6.98ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000