The purchase of a new car is a major outlay for most families, and like the choice of a new house, it’s critical to get it right. The three criteria most frequently mentioned by purchasers as influencing their choice of make and model are safety, reliability and economy. Beyond those three key considerations, size of family and the age of children influence the choice of car.
As with all major purchases, planning ahead will ensure that you make the choice that’s right for your family. Budget, the use that you will make of the car – mileage, equipment that you need to carry, and environmental considerations – will all be factors to take into account. Of course subjective elements come into play, like design and style, but being sure of all the important demands that you will have of a family vehicle is the first step in making an informed choice. Use comparison sites on the internet to identify the best models within your budget, and read up on the relevant Which? Magazine reviews.
To get you started, Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) provides you with the top five family cars currently on the market:
- Family hatchbacks : the Hyundai i30 won the Car Buyer Best Family Car award for 2012, commended for the amount of space in the stylish family hatchback, and the equipment that comes as standard with all models – Bluetooth hands-free phone connection, air-conditioning and i-Pod socket. The car gets top marks for economy, the 1.6 CRDi diesel engine returning up to 70 mpg. And for peace of mind, the car comes with a Triple Care guarantee which is backed by an unlimited mileage warranty cover, free mechanical health checks and roadside assistance over a period of five years.
- Another popular family hatchback is the Volkswagen Golf, which has been completely redesigned to give it a modern and attractive interior, more boot and interior space than its predecessor. It provides the most demanding driver with the fun that they might miss in some of the more staid family cars on the market, whilst offering very high levels of safety and reliability. It gains a whopping score of 4.6 from Car Buyer for running costs, the 1.6 diesel version returning an average 88.3 mpg.
- For the larger family, MPVs have for a long time been the logical choice, and they have graduated from the rather sluggish and bland to the latest stylish and fun family vehicles. The Peugeot 5008 is the favourite choice of many, having won the What Car? Car of the year award for the combination that it offers of high-level equipment, economy (the diesel version offers an average of 62 mpg), and practicality. The interior seating is easy to adjust and reconfigure, and there is all the space that any family could need for luggage and shopping. The Peugeot is also very reasonably priced compared to some of its competitors.
- The Ford Grand C max is another favourite, with generous seating and great access to the rear of the vehicle provided by the sliding doors. It boasts an impressive level of equipment, including rear view camera for accident-free reversing, Bluetooth with voice control, and a power start button.
- The Volkswagen Touran is one of the most eco-friendly family cars on the market, being equipped with the VW blue motion technology for improved fuel efficiency. It has been judged the car in its class likely to make motorists cash go the furthest, and the level of equipment in all models is high, with air-conditioning, speed control, and an 8-speaker sound system that the kids will love!