Taking your brood on a long journey? Maybe you’re looking for a bit of space in your car to alleviate the tension (and noise) of squabbling kids? Whatever your reason for looking for a large family car, we have it covered with our top 10 guide…
Fuel economy: 39 to 72 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 79.75%*
Succinctly put, the Superb is, well, superb.
Auto Express’s Estate Car of the Year 2016 wins on practicality, comfort and affordability, and it’s certainly a contender as one of the best family cars on the market.
Inside the Superb there’s plenty of space, pretty much unrivalled in its class. There’s more than enough room to pack in the family, pets, luggage and some in-car treats for when kids need “motivating” to behave.
Fuel economy: 67.3 mpg
Euro NCAP Safety rating:79%*
While family cars aren’t famous for their aesthetic qualties, after its 2015 facelift, the Mazda 6 has become an attractive and stylish specimen, offering great space for adults, kids, passengers and pets.
It’s also a smooth and reasonably rapid drive. Mazda actually markets the 6 as “fun to drive”, and coupled with its competitive price, it seems like a winning combination.
Fuel economy: 43 to 72 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 77.75%*
According to industry analysis site, Carsalesbase.com, the Octavia is Skoda’s best-selling car; a fantastic USP for any car salesperson.
It’s not the sexiest car on the road and the steering lacks precision so it can be a bit clunky on bends. But the Octavia over-delivers across the more practical elements and families looking for consistent comfort, space and safety will be hard-pressed to find a stronger alternative in this class.
Fuel economy: 47 to 56 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 82.75%*
As a 2017 winner in the WhatCar? Awards, the Mazda CX-5 is well-recognised in the industry as being a great family option. And if you’re a family that prefers the luxury of an SUV but without the hefty price tag, then the CX-5 could be the vehicle for you.
Its straightforward infotainment system includes sat-nav as standard, and its spacious rear seats offer the kids a slice of comfort that is often solely reserved for the adults in the front.
On the Mazda’s win as the Best Large SUV Under £25,000, WhatCar? said: “Not only is the CX-5 one of the sportiest large SUVs to drive, but it’s also bristling with equipment and relatively cheap to buy.”
Fuel economy: 33 to 71 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 81.25%*
For three-child families, no car journey is complete without the age-old argument over who gets the middle seat. But the evolved model of Vauxhall’s Insignia is roomy with lots of leg space, even in the back, lending itself to added comfort and fewer arguments.
The car offers great value for money, and even near base level you get sat-nav, air-conditioning, cruise control, an eight-inch touchscreen, DAB digital radio, keyless go, full smartphone connectivity and a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Fuel economy: 37 to 79 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 75%*
The 2017 update is a much more refined Mondeo than earlier editions. There are more high-tech additions, with both driver alert and lane keeping alert as options on basic models, and standard on more premium variants.
Other safety options include not one, but two emergency braking systems, as well as blind spot monitoring and pedestrian detection. But the jewel in the Mondeo’s safety kit crown is its seatbelt airbags in the rear, which inflate on impact to protect the kids and only cost £175 extra.
Fuel economy: 39 to 76 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 78.5%*
The new Passat is its eighth generation, and since 1973 it has gotten closer to being its class leader with every revision.
The rear is now roomier, and it weighs in at around 85 kilograms less than its previous incarnation, making it a much nippier drive.
Ergonomically, the gears, switches and infotainment are all well-positioned making journeys both calmer and safer. There is also great leg and headspace in the front, which help create comfortable long journeys.
Fuel economy: 45 to 67 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 84.25%*
The Avensis is a classic and holds its own in the large family car sector. It’s not breaking any boundaries or drawing much attention from fans of in-car tech. But its traditional interiors are met with soft suspension and a smooth gearbox, resulting in relaxed journeys.
There’s quite a bit of room in both the front and back of Toyota’s fleet favourite, and the flat floor makes it comfortable for centre-seat passengers, so squabbles among the kids are a little less likely (don’t hold us to that).
Fuel economy: 61 to 67 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 78.25%*
The Optima has always been stylish, but the latest version has really taken that one step further; aesthetically-pleasing and sleek.
The plug-in hybrid variant gives a better range than most electric cars (33 miles), so the Optima is also a winner in the green stakes.
You also get a 7-year or 100,000 mile warranty as standard, for added peace of mind.
Fuel economy: 61 to 74 mpg combined
Euro NCAP Safety rating: 78.75%*
The 508 has some nice internal finishes and is highly efficient on fuel.
All variants have a massive boot that can accommodate upwards of 10 bags for life-full of shopping. The back comfortably seats three adults, making it a contender for families with siblings that would benefit from sitting at least one seat-space apart.
Side, curtain and front airbags have earned the 508 a decent score with Euro NCAP, and its response to slippery conditions makes it a robust all-weather option.
Planning a long-distance car journey with the family? Here are our simple tips to survive that road trip.
* Euro NCAP safety ratings are calculated using a median average of the four safety scores (Adult / Child / Pedestrian / Safety Assist)