In the market for a new car that’s big, safe and comfy enough for your family? Whatever’s on your new-car shopping list, we’re here to help with our guide to the best cars for families that money can buy.
And because we know that no two families are the same, we’ve picked 12 cars that are great for families big, small or with pooches in tow. Use the links below to browse cars by requirement, or read on for the full guide.
- Best Cars for Families with Babies
- Best Cars for Small Families (4-5 Seats)
- Best Cars for Large Families (6-8 Seats)
- Best Cars for Families with Dogs
Baby on board? You’ll need something safe, sturdy and spacious, with plenty of room for everyone including, baby and buggy. Here is our pick of the best baby-friendly cars, in no particular order.
Volkswagen T Roc
Cars don’t come much stronger than the Volkswagen T Roc. Built to the German manufacturer’s exacting standards, the T Roc crossover SUV has all the bells and whistles that make it a safe choice for you and baby, including six airbags, ISOFIX anchor points, emergency city braking and a front assist system that alerts you of possible collisions.
- Excellent safety kit
- Huge boot, perfect for buggies
- VW price tag
- A little bland inside
Practical, sensible and almost too safe (if that’s possible), the Skoda Superb is a great choice if you are taking your new parental responsibilities seriously. The Superb achieved the highest Euro NCAP safety rating (five stars) and claimed the Auto Express Family Friendly Car Award, with features like stability control, post-collision braking and a seven airbag system making it one of the safest, most sensible family cars on the road.
- Huge 625-litre boot, ideal for those daily essentials
- Innovative safety features
- Big 60-litre fuel tank, meaning fewer trips to the pumps with baby on board
- A little bland inside and out
- Quite expensive for a Skoda
New mums and dads are one of the biggest markets for crossover SUVs. Not too big, yet with the added practicality of ride height, space and safety, compact crossovers like the Seat Arona are a great choice for parents and babies. We chose the Arona for its great infotainment system, autonomous emergency braking and large boot, though any mid-range crossover, like the Renault Captur, would be just as good.
- High ride height makes car seat struggles a thing of the past
- Considered safety features
- Reasonably priced
- A little thirsty at the fuel pumps
- Not very dynamic through the corners
If you’re a family of three or four, there are loads of cars out there that can get you and your little ones from A to B in comfort and safety. Here’s a look at some of the best cars for small families.
If you’re used to the hatchback format, look no further than the new Ford Focus. The Focus has had a rocky few years, especially compared to its smaller sibling, the Fiesta. But the new model promises a safe journey for your family and an exciting drive for you, so if you’re a serious driver, take note. What’s more, the Focus comes loaded with high-tech kit as standard, making it a strong contender for your next car.
- Brilliant to drive
- Innovative safety features
- Decent boot (in the others we’ve put capacity or substantiated it a little)
- Not many of those!
The VW Golf has long been a family go-to, and the newest version may be the best of the bunch. For a boxy hatchback, the Golf is surprisingly spacious, with five seats and good-sized boot. The materials are also of a great standard, perfect for refined motorway driving and durable enough for whatever your kids throw its way. Plus, the new Golf comes with a great range of economical engines, so you can drive a little greener.
- Superb VW build quality
- Economical engines
- Surprisingly spacious
- The Focus is more exciting to drive
- Some might say it’s a little bland inside
If you’re looking for a family car that doesn’t compromise on compact size or exciting performance, the Mercedes A-Class is worth a look. It’s the smallest car in the Mercedes range, and is a sporty hatchback, like the Golf. It’s surprisingly spacious inside, with ample boot space and plenty of comfort for rear-seat passengers. Where the A-Class really delivers as a family car is in its performance and handling; it really is one of the most exciting family hatchbacks on the market.
- Handling that will take you back to life before kids
- Reliable and excellent build quality
- Will hold its value well
- Pricey, even for a Mercedes
More than two kids in tow? Finding a car to fit a large family can be tricky. Here, we share a handful of 7-seat family cars that are great for big families.
7-seat SUVs are a great shout for large families, but they can come with a premium price tag. Not so with the Kia Sorento, however. If you’re not bothered by badges, this massive Korean-made SUV provides plenty of room for everyone, with three rows of seats and a big boot in the back. What’s great about the Sorento, and all Kia cars for that matter, is the equipment that comes as standard, including four-wheel drive and a touch screen infotainment system.
- Great range of added extras for the price
- Roomy enough for big families
- Long extended warranty as standard
- Diesel engines can be a little thirsty
- High rate of depreciation due to diesel engines and Kia badge
Volvo XC90, one of the best-loved 4x4s around. With three rows of seats easily allowing up to eight to travel in comfort, as well as Volvo’s legendary safety standards and build quality, this is a serious family motor that’s as durable and hardwearing as it is luxurious. Plus, even with every seat in use, the XC90 still has a massive boot, so it can handle any situation with ease.
- Reliable and predictable Volvo build quality
- Cars don’t get much comfier on long journeys
- Incredible infotainment system that works like a dream
- You guessed it – the price
Vauxhall Vivaro Combi
A van may sound a little OTT for your next family car, but hear us out. Invest in the Vauxhall Vivaro Combi and not only will you have space for all your children (family) and their mates, you’ll also get a huge boot and the added practicality of sliding side doors. What’s great about the Vivaro Combi is the range of seating arrangements and setups available, making it easy to adapt the rear space whether you’re carrying people or cargo. If your children do lots of sports and you taxi groups around to games or events for example, it could be a really practical choice.
- Space for everyone and everything
- Surprisingly responsive and powerful
- Excellent value for money for the space, comfort and features
- It’s a van, so may not always be practical
- You might feel like a taxi driver
No guide to the best family cars would be complete without mention of our extended family – our pets. If your family is used to having the dog around, make sure your car has the space and facilities which let them ride in comfort. Here’s our pick of the best cars for families with dogs.
Not only is the Nissan X-Trail big and safe enough for large families, it’s probably one of the most dog-friendly cars on the market. That’s because Nissan offers a range of ‘Paw Pack’ add-on options for pet owners, including a dog-proof boot liner, spill-resistant bowl and entry ramp. In fairness, we could have listed the X-Trail in any of the categories above as it’s got such good family-friendly credentials.
- ‘Paw Pack’ is the ideal add-on for pet owners
- Rugged and reliable enough for daily driving
- Decent range of engines (this is a bit dull, does it have any extra benefits, if it could be in the categories above)
- Quite expensive for a Nissan
- Automatic gearbox is disappointing; stick with the manual
Land Rover Discovery Sport
As with the X-Trail, the Land Rover Discovery Sport could have landed in any of the above categories, with it being a premium SUV with a deck of seven seats and a good-sized boot. However, this being a Land Rover, the Discovery Sport excels in outdoorsy scenarios – like a blustery family walk with the dog, for example. Land Rover have a range of ‘Pet Packs’ that allow you to customise your Discovery, including a doggy shower system and access ramp.
- Genuinely enjoyable to drive
- Can cope with the most rugged dog-walking terrain
Comfy for all the family, including your four-legged friend with its ‘Pet Pack’
- It’s price again we’re afraid
- Boot space a little lacking when all seven seats are in use
Mercedes E-Class Estate
The Mercedes E-Class Estate is essentially a more premium version of the Skoda Superb, with a powerful engine that makes it a peach for long-distance motorway driving. As you’d expect, boot space is huge, with over 670 litres to hand and ample space for your dog and your luggage to travel safely. Suggest we remove so we are not pushing diesels J
- responsive, powerful and economical
- Class-leading technology and kit that makes driving in all conditions a breeze
- Lots of space for family, two-legged or otherwise
- Way beyond the price point for some motorists
- Cars like the Skoda Superb are cheaper and not too dissimilar
So, there you have it, our pick of the best cars for families, no matter what yours looks like! Whichever car you choose, be sure to show it some love with Simoniz’s range of car care and maintenance products. To find out more, visit the homepage today.