Whether you’re a young family on a budget or have a home-made football team to taxi around, you’ll find the best buys here.
Have a look at the following families – and see which one matches your automotive requirements the best…
Young family of three
Small urban car required
Space for clutter is vital
Taxi for two teenagers
Large six- or seven-seater
Three young children
...but no MPVs please
Activity centralThe SturgeonsNames
William (16) Annual mileage
‘We need a family taxi for two teenagers with hectic social lives’
Budget available: £13kCitroën Berlingo Multispace 1.6 HDi 90 VTRList price
£13,215 Target price
Child 4 stars Adult 4 stars
It might look like a van, but the Berlingo is actually based on Citroën’s popular C4
Picasso MPV. That means it isn’t agricultural to drive and it has a practical and spacious cabin. Okay, it isn’t as chic or as clever as the Picasso, but it’s £5500 cheaper. The sliding rear doors are useful and this mid-spec diesel version manages 50mpg.
Budget available: £13k-£16.6kSeat Altea XL 1.4 TSI SEList price
£17,400 Target price
The Altea XL is a stylish alternative to a conventional MPV. The back seats don’t tumble and they can’t be removed, but they do slide back and forth, and can be folded flat. The boot is also vast and has a split-level floor. What’s more, the XL is cheaper to buy and better to drive than many MPV rivals.
Budget available: £16.5k-£20kMazda 6 Estate 2.2D 163 TSList price
£19,490 Target price
Child 81% Adult 77%
Our 2010 Estate of the Year is all the car that most families of four will ever need. The 6’s boot isn’t just huge, it’s also a good shape, and the cabin is big enough to accommodate even the lankiest family with ease. Better still, this 6 costs £2505 less to buy than an equivalent Ford Mondeo
and it will hold its value better.
Budget available: £20k-£25kHyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Style 7stList price
£22,245 Target price
MPV practicality in a 4x4 body. There is a five-seat version of the Santa Fe, but we reckon the added practicality of seven seats is easily worth the £700 premium that Hyundai charges – even if the extra two seats will be rarely used. The big Hyundai is good value for money and comes with a five-year warranty.
Budget available: £25k-£35kMercedes-Benz E250 CDI Estate Blue Eff’ SEList price
£32,230 Target price
£30,735 Saftety Rating
Child 77% Adult 86%
Merc’s classy new estate isn’t cheap, but it’s practical, comfortable and refined. The cavernous boot is easy to access because the tailgate and luggage cover are both electrically operated. Need an even bigger loadbay? Simply tug a handle to fold the rear seats flat. This SE model has a cushy ride and lots of safety kit.
Used bargainsFrom £11,049Nissan Qashqai
1.5 dCi Visia, ’07/57, 20,800 miles
Nissan’s crossover redefined family transport with its 4x4 styling and spacious cabin. It’s also comfortable and reliable, making it a hassle-free used buy. This diesel model should hold its value well.From £12,495
Citroën Grand C4 Picasso
1.6 HDi VTR, ’08/08,
With a practical, seven-seat cabin, this Citroën is a family car master. It’s also got a supple ride and excellent refinement.