Keeping the family happy
Family cars often have to be suitable for a wide variety of purposes. From the school run to long adventures on the road, the best family cars can do it all.
While the likes of SUVs and estates are becoming a popular choice for many, the humble hatchback is host to some of the best family cars out there. They're arguably more fun to drive than larger alternatives whilst still maintaining a good level of practicality and comfort. Running costs are often cheaper too, giving you more spare cash to treat the family to a day out.
Whether you're a new family or one with older 'little ones', we take a look at the best used family hatchbacks available to help you find a car that's matches your family's lifestyle.
Ford have long been a popular choice for families around the UK thanks to the value for money their cars often offer. The latest edition of the Ford Focus enhances this status further thanks to a wide range of useful features.
Coming with five doors as standard, the Focus makes life easier when fitting a child seat or ensuring your children are fully strapped in. 375 litres of boot space will also be enough for the day-to-day lives of many.
Not only is it practical, but the interior is a pleasant place to spend time too. A contemporary dashboard is complemented by Ford's popular SYNC infotainment system, allowing you to easily adjust various settings and controls via touch and voice.
The Focus has also received rave reviews in the area of driving dynamics thanks to agile handling and responsive steering. For the sportier parents out there, the ST variant is the most fun to drive home after dropping the kids off at school.
As one of the best all rounders there is, the Volkswagen Golf has been a key figure within the Volkswagen range for decades. With a wide range of features and the ability to appeal to a variety of people, there's no wonder the Golf is such a common sight on British roads.
Whilst there are 3-door variants available, most families will want to go for a 5-door model due to its enhanced practicality. Boot space is good offering 380 litres in its standard setup, unless opting for the plug-in hybrid GTE variant, which sacrifices some space to make room for the batteries.
There's a wide range of technology available across the Golf range, especially on top-of-the-range variants which possess the likes of satellite navigation and smartphone mirroring. Bundles of safety equipment helped the Volkswagen Golf earn an excellent safety rating too, giving mothers and fathers peace of mind whilst out and about.
The Honda Civic is a car that has spanned over multiple decades, becoming one of the UK's best selling cars. Now in its tenth generation, the Civic has undergone major changes since its introduction in the 1970s, but the foundations of which it is built upon remain the same; these being compact yet practical dimensions and efficient powertrains.
A modern day Civic is larger than its ancestors to cope with the expanding needs of a modern day family. 478 litres of boot space allows the Honda to outclass most rivals and there'll be very few complaints coming from the kids in the back thanks to generous amounts of head and legroom.
Whilst the engines are highly economical, they do leave a bit to be desired when it comes to performance, unless you opt for the Type-R that is. The Civic is comfortable and refined to drive however, making it a great companion for both long journeys and getting around town.
With plenty of used Kia cars still benefitting from the lengthy 7-year warranty, there's no wonder the Kia Ceed is one of the best family cars currently available. It's not just industry-leading levels of reliability though, as the Ceed comes with a variety of other benefits that keep families smiling.
Thanks to stiffened suspension, the Kia offers a sharper driving experience than most rivals, but this does come at the cost of comfort. The powertrains support this setup, providing a nice mix of both economy and performance, whilst mild hybrid technology is available within the range too.
The Ceed is well-equipped for family duties with five doors and ISOFIX anchor points as standard as well as generous amounts of head and legroom around the cabin. 395 litres of boot space and braked towing capabilities of up to 1,500kg enhance practicality and versatility even further.
Another option that's great value for money, the Vauxhall Astra has become a household name for good reason. With a range of efficient powertrains and plenty of examples available for under £10,000, choosing an Astra as a used car buy will leave you with plenty of spare cash for activities such as family staycations.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the Astra is more of a jack of all trades than a master of one. It doesn't excel in any one area, but it is competent across the board and offers a decent level of refinement. As always with Vauxhall cars, entry-level examples offer a no-frills approach while top-of-the-range specifications are borderline luxurious.
There's acres of room inside too, with more than enough space for a family of four to enjoy their journey. An excellent safety rating cements the Astra's place within this list, with features such as emergency brake assist coming as standard across the range.
Introduced in 2017, the third-generation Hyundai i30 is as sharp and handsome as ever. With a relaxing overall drive and a number of efficient powertrains on offer, it offers a great all-round package that's hard to ignore.
Five doors come as standard, and with plenty of room in the back to play with, fitting a child seat should be a doddle. The i30 also surpasses popular rivals such as the previously mentioned Volkswagen Golf when it comes to boot space, offering 395 litres compared to the Golf's 380 litres.
You can expect a five-star safety rating and features such as Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a reversing camera and cruise control when buying a used third-generation i30. If you're working with a smaller budget, the second-generation i30 may be worth considering.
Competing at the pricier end of the market against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series is no easy feat, but the Audi A3 does so successfully thanks to a multitude of features and a strong kerb appeal.
Whilst it costs more than most rivals on this list, you'll certainly be getting your money's worth when buying a used A3. A class-leading interior that provides generous amounts of head and legroom can be enjoyed by all of the family in comfort. Whether you choose a petrol, diesel or plug-in hybrid variant of the A3, you can bank on optimal fuel economy levels and an engaging driving experience.
Boot space is competitive, offering 380 litres, meaning transporting the average-sized pushchair should be no problem. Technology is another area where the A3 shines, with a virtual cockpit, 10.1-inch touchscreen and LED headlights coming as standard across the range.
Toyota have been scrapping it out with rivals for the attention of families for many years now, with popular choices such as the Prius being a common sight. But it's the well-known Corolla, which was re-introduced to market in 2019, that we're focusing on.
Child seat fitment is a breeze thanks to five doors as standard and a spacious interior that offers plenty of head and legroom. Boot space is similar to rivals, offering 361 litres (313 litres if opting for a plug-in hybrid), but there are Saloon and Touring Sport estate versions that offer more room if required.
With plenty of soft-touch plastics and premium materials placed around the cabin, the Corolla's interior is rather plush and comfortable. You can also enjoy a wide range of equipment across the range, with heated seats, a reversing camera and satellite navigation coming as standard on Icon Tech models.
An excellent safety rating and strong reliability scores are further reasons as to why the Toyota Corolla is a top used family car option.
If it's maximum space and versatility you're after, then look no further than the Skoda Octavia. The Czech-manufactured car offers class-leading boot space with a whopping 590 litres, allowing it to compete with cars in the class above when it comes to overall carrying capabilities.
But the Octavia is far more than the biggest in its class, as it comes with a range of other features that make it an attractive package. With a varied powertrain choice that includes efficient mild and plug-in hybrid variants, as well as powerful vRS versions, there's sure to be an Octavia that fulfils your family's requirements.
The interior is built to a high standard and can come with advanced technology such as a virtual cockpit and heated seats dependent upon specification. An excellent safety rating strengthens the Octavia's argument, providing top ratings for both adult and child crash protection.
The best part about the Octavia is that it competes with more expensive rivals whilst coming at a lower cost.
Rounding off this list is the SEAT Leon, a car that's fantastic value for money, great to drive and highly practical. Now in its fourth generation, the Leon is as sleek as ever and comes with a contemporary interior that will leave occupants with very few complaints.
LED headlights, cruise control and Full Link smartphone connectivity are just a few of the standard features you can expect when buying a Leon. On top of this you'll benefit from an excellent safety rating thanks to available technology such as auto high-beam assist, park assist and blind-spot detection, allowing you to keep your family as safe as possible.
A range of powertrains are also available, including mild and plug-in hybrids, but if you're after maximum performance then you may want to look at the CUPRA Leon, which is based on the same platform as SEAT's version. 380 litres (270 litres with plug-in variants) of boot space and plenty of room for all occupants ensure the Leon is a brilliant all-round package.
Find your family's next used car with Evans Halshaw
Family cars must meet a wide range of needs and be able to cope with various challenges on a day-to-day basis. Hatchbacks are often a popular choice thanks to their versatility, driving dynamics and overall all-round capabilities.
Our used car section is home to a wide array of great used family hatchbacks. If you've already got your heart set on which car you want, contact your nearest Evans Halshaw dealership where our friendly associates can answer any questions and arrange a test drive.