Basic hatchbacks. Let’s face it, they’re not always the coolest cars around, and are so common you’ll probably lose them amongst the sea of other hatchbacks every time you park up in a car park. But when it comes to practicality and family living they fit the bill pretty perfectly. They’re not too expensive up front and don’t cost too much to insure or in fuel costs. While compact, there’s plenty of space in the boot for groceries and enough room in the back for a couple of car seats. Newer models have great safety features, and all around they’re a good choice if you’re starting a family.
Here are a few models that are particularly suitable for small families, even if buying one does mean having to give up your beloved sports car or two seat convertible!
Possibly the best handling family hatchback and one of the UK’s best selling cars, the Ford Focus is an incredibly popular choice. Newer models like the EcoBoost ST-Line benefits from a DAB sat nav and Ford SYNC as standard, not to mention the engine produces 140PS of power, giving the characteristics of being much bigger than it’s 1.0 litre size. Even the lower-end and less sporty versions of the car outdo their rivals in terms of handling dynamism. If you want to spend a little more on a higher end or newer model, check out finance offers. Car dealers like Newtons of Ashley have their own deals so no need to mess around searching for loans or third-party finance brokers.
One of the best selling cars in Europe, the Volkswagen Golf is a little more expensive to buy but has strong resale values. The range of fuel-efficient turbocharged engines means it could be cheaper to run over the years that you have it too. The Golf top diesel performer can be found in the form of the GTD, delivering excellent performance and handling.
The Honda Civic was hailed by Carwow as ‘impressively comfortable and one of the most practical family cars around.’ It’s easy to drive and has a very practical boot, the seats are soft, supportive and come with plenty of adjustment to help you get comfy on those long family road trips. You can get the Honda Civic with two petrol engines and with either a manual or CVT automatic gearbox; the 1.0 litre petrol engine is best suited to pottering around town, while the 1.5-litre model better if you take in a mix of town and motorway driving.
The Peugeot 208 is a small city car, with the latest 2016 model boasting an updated 1.6-litre diesel engine which is incredibly frugal. Perfect for keeping down fuel costs and keeping the family’s finances under control. With air-conditioning and Bluetooth phone connectivity as standard it feels modern and comfortable and offers impressive levels of space and decent handling. If you’re after a car that’s inexpensive to buy upfront, go with the PureTech petrol which is the cheapest model, but is still nippy to run.