Looking for the perfect family car? What makes a good family car and which models should you be considering? One that will keep you and your loved ones safe, comfortable and entertained?

There is a huge variety of options available, each offering their own take on what makes the ideal family car. Whatever budget you may have in mind, you can get a well-equipped vehicle that should prove to be reliable and a good runner.

Think about practicality and boot space. Remember, before you rush out a buy a new car to accommodate your pushchair, you can check which buggies will fit in your car boot using our online tool here.

What to look for in a family car

1. Safety.

One easy way to check the safety of a family car is to use the Euro NCAP five-star rating system. This is the standardised crash safety scoring system across all new cars on sale in Europe. A car’s safety rating is determined by a series of tests.

Also check whether you can deactivate the front airbag – something you have to do if you need to fit a rear-facing child seat in the front.

2. Doors.

In most circumstances, five-door cars are the best choice for families given they provide to rear seats.

Check if the car has wide-opening doors. These make it easier to install child safety seats, and make it easier for adult family members to get in and out of the car, especially if they have difficulty doing so.

3. Seats.

It’s critical you check the flexibility of those rear seats. Can they fold for more boot space? If the seats are all the same size, you could avoid arguments about who sits in the middle. Accessibility to these seats is another factor that needs considering, especially in seven-seaters where the rearmost cars can be hard to access. 

If you’re going to be using child safety seats, check the number of Isofix points in the car.

4. Storage.

Most cars come with plenty of storage but be sure to check whether they’re a good size for all storing all the children’s items such as baby wipes, books, drinks and toys.

5. Specification.

Does the car have family-friendly features like tinted rear windows or in-built sun blinds, to limit sun exposure on long journeys. Does the car have internal power sockets for charging their electronics on long journeys?

Consider other options such as a reversing camera or sensors, hill-hold assist to prevent the car from rolling back on any awkward hill start, or a sunroof.

Remember to check the size of the boot to see if your pushchair or travel system will fit or use our handy online tool.

Here are 5 popular family cars that you may wish to consider:

  1. Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen, Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf has been a popular choice with families for decades now and the latest offering still impresses. It’s a spacious and well-built family car that is easy to live with.

Behind the wheel, the handling is agile with accurate steering and good feedback and the interior has been well-designed and made with quality materials. The car is robust and has a decent sized boot to help lug any weighty family stuff around.

2. Peugeot 3008

PEUGEOT 3008 SUV

As a family car it’s a practical and sound choice. The 3008 has an impressive cabin made with quality materials and there’s plenty of space on board for a family with teenagers. It’s also a good runner with a lot going for it. Its range of innovative technologies deployed on board have been designed to enhance your well-being and safety.

It’s better in many ways than its predecessor especially with the build quality. It’s a great alternative against the more popular Nissan Qashqai, the VW Tiguan and also the Renault Kadjur.

3. Dacia Duster

Dacia, Duster

If it is space and practicality you want from a family vehicle, and whose budget is tight, then the Dacia Duster will meet all your needs.

As you’d expect from the Romanian firm, you get a huge amount of car for the money, with plenty of passenger space and a large boot. 

Compared to its rivals, you will be saving money but may miss out on some of the technology. The Dacia Duster is an adventure-seeking SUV that’s ready for anything!

4. Mercedes A-Class

Mercedes, A-Class

For anybody looking for a great family car that also carries a prestigious badge, then the Mercedes A-Class offers smart styling and an impressive interior.

There’s also lots of great technology on board, it’s nice to drive and there are a wide a choice of engine options. This is a sophisticated family car that just about every driver could fall in love with/

5. Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Toyota, Corolla Hatchback

The Toyota Corolla is an incredible modern looking hatchback. The Corolla name has been around for more than 50 years and comes with the weight of heritage and familiarity attached. It’s the world’s best selling car and down the years has built up a strong reputation as a solid, reliable family vehicle.

The Corolla is offered with a choice of different hybrid setups offering super-low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions that make it an excellent choice for families.