KIA Carens (DDCoral/Bigstock.com)
Planning a festive family road trip to see relatives over the holidays? Perhaps you’ve already completed such a journey. If so, it may have become clear just how family-friendly your car is. Could you squeeze in your loved ones, pets and all those presents with ease? If your Christmas or New Year getaway had you pining for something with a little more space, there have been some excellent family-friendly cars for sale over 2015.
Here are startrescue.co.uk's 10 favourite family-friendly cars for the year.
10. Volkswagen Golf & Estate
Volkswagen Golf GTI (VanderWolf Images/Bigstock.com)
One of the best family-pleasing small cars of all time, the latest Volkswagen Golf should give you plenty of space for a seasonal road trip – or indeed any family break. If you need a little more room, you might opt for the Golf Estate – boasting the same build and ride quality of the smaller option, but with a bigger body. However, if environmental-friendliness is a big buy-factor car, bear in mind the diesel-rigging scandal currently embroiling the VW Group.
9. Citroen C4 Picasso MPV
Citroen C4 Picasso (EvrenKalinbacak/Bigstock.com)
The Citroen C4 Picasso MPV along with its sister model the Grand C4 Picasso are among the best-looking people carriers around. But as well as looking great both inside and out, the C4's rear seats can be folded down to increase interior space from 537 litres to a vast 1,709 litres. Thanks to great fuel economy (up to 74.3mpg) and super-low emissions (98g/km or less), some 2015 models dodge Vehicle Excise Duty altogether.
8. Audi A3
Audi A3 (Rqs/Bigstock.com)
Based on the same architecture of the Golf, the Audi A3 shares many of its great qualities – but with better build quality and value retention. As a VW group product, caution should be exercised over emissions figures for diesel models.
7. Ford Focus hatchback
Ford Focus (Artzzz/Bigstock.com)
With great handling and superb styling outside and in, the Ford Focus hatchback is a great pro-family option with plenty of space. It occupies a sweet spot between performance and efficiency, with the 1.5-litre TDCi model delivering 74 mpg (and zero VED). Since it’s a Ford, repairs should be cheap – although beware the brand’s poor performance in some driver satisfaction surveys.
6. Skoda Octavia & Estate
Skoda Octavia RS (eans/Bigstock.com)
Since the Octavia is from the same stable as the Audi A3 and Golf, it boasts the same underlying architecture – although it delivers more space than either. Go for the Octavia Estate if you need even more room. Once again, if emissions are a deal breaker, beware the ongoing VW emissions scandal.
5. Volvo XC60
Volvo XC60 (VanderWolf Images/Bigstock.com)
You'll be hard-pushed to find a roomier five-seat 4x4 than the XC60. A superb interior, a selection of economical engines and incredible safety features make this a very family-friendly car.
4. Hyundai i30 hatchback
Hyundai i30 (EvrenKalinbacak/Bigstock.com)
The i30 hatchback's super-comfy ride makes it a real family-pleaser – and while it veers towards 'safe, rather than 'fun', it is still very pleasant to drive. It's also cheaper than most Golfs and similarly spacious. It also returns up to 76mpg. And don’t forget Hyundai's five year unlimited mileage warranty.
3. Vauxhall Zafira Tourer
Vauxhall Zafira (shadow69/Bigstock.com)
The Zafira doesn’t deliver the same amount of space as the Citroën C4 Picasso, but it is a lot more fun to drive – and its seven seats should be ample for most families. The Tourer version is unaffected by the recent spate of fires in some Zafira B models.
2. Kia Carens
KIA Carens (DDCoral/Bigstock.com)
This is one of the most affordable seven-seat MPVs on the market, backed up by Kia's extremely generous seven year warranty. It's easy to drive and you get a great deal of kit for your investment.
1. SEAT Leon hatchback
SEAT Leon (EvrenKalinbacak/Bigstock.com)
Like its sister VW Group products, the SEAT Leon hatchback is well-built and fun to drive – but costs about £1,000 less than a Golf. Fuel economy can be as good as 74.3mpg – meaning some engines will save you from paying any road tax. Once again, beware diesel emissions figures in light of the parent company's ongoing troubles.