On the lookout for a new family car?
Here’s our round-up of this year’s best-rated cars according to WhatCar data, so you can drive into 2021 in comfort and style.
A sleek-looking hatchback, the Honda Civic offers a competitive list of safety features including six air bags, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and intelligent speed assist. Honda also scored an impressive five stars in its last set of Euro NCAP safety tests, confirming the Civic as one of the safest cars on the road.
Got a little extra cash to splash? The EX trim comes with added luxuries such as keyless entry, leather seats and auto-dimming mirrors and sunroof.
Now in its eighth generation, the latest Golf brings a range of clever new technologies to enhance your driving experience. The entry-level model comes with just about everything you could want, from single-zone climate control and parking assistants, to adaptive cruise control and a full infotainment system.
Once again, the Golf achieved the full five stars in its Euro NCAP safety tests, putting it high on our list of favourites.
Mercedes’ second smallest model is not to be overlooked – particularly when it comes to practicality. Nimble and easy to park, the A class also rates highly for comfort with a number of options in terms of add-ons and enhancements – including wireless phone charging and smartphone mirroring.
If you’re watching your carbon footprint, the A250e plug-in hybrid offers the perfect green alternative, using a 1.3 litre petrol engine with an electric motor to bump the power.
A reliable little motor, the Kia Ceed ticks all the boxes for a run-around family car. Finishing sixth out of the 31 featured manufacturers in the latest WhatCar Reliability Survey, the Ceed also comes with a seven-year 100,000-mile warranty – the longest of any new car currently on the market.
Essential features include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and driver attention monitoring, which all come as standard.
If you’re after a family car that looks stylish while being functional, the Mazda 3 is a good option. While slightly pricier than some of its competitors, the Mazda does come with a generous range of standard features, including a comprehensive infotainment system, parking monitors and LED headlights.
This model also received the full five stars in its Euro NCAP safety tests, with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and a clever system that alerts you to close-passing traffic when you reverse.
In the market for a hybrid? The Toyota Corolla makes for a low maintenance option, with no need to charge up overnight. The Corolla recovers energy from the brakes as you slow down, meaning you can treat it just like a normal petrol car even while lowering your emissions.
Entry-level features include power-folding door mirrors, adaptive headlights, dual-zone climate control and adaptive cruise control.
This neat family hatch-back offers a nice smooth ride with minimum jarring – good news for parents with travel sickness prone kids.
Standard models come with the minimum in terms of features (automatic lights/wipers and cruise control being pretty much your lot), though the Sport add-ons definitely raise the bar, with luxuries such as comfortable sport seats, dual-zone climate control and leather trim.
The latest edition of the Ford Focus has made some decent headway in improving its comfort rating, with more rear leg room, extra boot space and some exciting on-board tech including an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android smartphone mirroring.
The in-car safety feature are also all there, with lane-keeping assistance and automatic emergency braking as standard.
Want more car for your money? The Skoda Scala is an attractively-priced family option with all the essential features catered for. It’s also great on fuel economy, achieving more than 40mpg.
All Skoda Scala models come with twin front and side airbags and curtain airbags, lane-keeping assistance, a speed limiter and automatic emergency braking. Blind spot monitoring is also available as an add-on.
Similar in size to the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, the Leon has a lot to offer, topping the WhatCar list as their favourite family drive. A remarkably comfortable ride, the Leon has plenty of interior space for both passengers and luggage, with smooth handling to minimise risk of travel-sickness.
Automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, tyre-pressure monitoring and a driver fatigue monitor all come as standard.
What do you look for in a new car? According to Citroën UK, most of us think comfort is key.