Best cars for a family

Rumours of the demise of the traditional family hatchback have been greatly exaggerated. Even with the explosion in popularity of SUVs and crossovers, the list of the 10 most popular new cars in the UK so far this year includes four such cars (all of which appear on this list) and just the one crossover – the Nissan Qashqai.

So what’s the enduring appeal of hatchbacks? Well, on the crowded streets of this little island, they make a great deal of sense. They don’t take up a huge amount of room on the outside, but offer decent practicality and enough boot space to haul around your kids’ paraphernalia as well as the weekly shop.

They’re also spacious enough to endure the occasional trip to Ikea (other budget self-assembly furniture stores are available) while even larger children will have enough space in the back to withstand long journeys without going into full tantrum mode.

You’ll also find that hatchbacks cost significantly less to run than larger, heavier and bulkier SUVs and MPVs – a key consideration when keeping monthly outgoings as low as possible is at the forefront of everybody’s minds. A normal diesel family hatch should offer at least 60mpg, while official figures of 50mpg should be the norm for petrol versions too.

Naturally, safety is a key consideration when it comes to family cars and no car on this list was awarded less than the maximum five stars for safety from Euro NCAP, which makes them just as safe as a larger MPV or SUV. Family hatchbacks’ smaller dimensions and lighter weight also mean they’re often much better to drive than the equivalent tall, heavy and high-riding SUV, without any compromises in ride comfort, either.

A modern family hatchback will usually come festooned with hi-tech kit as well, to keep everyone amused on longer journeys, with most coming with DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity and some even offering internet connectivity and wireless mobile-phone charging.