Britain's best family cars - Big brood

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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

Growing family
Space for clutter is vital

Activity central
Taxi for two teenagers

Big brood
Large six- or seven-seater

Three young children
...but no MPVs please

Big brood
The Wings
Mark (47)
Sue (47)
Jordan (15)
Jessica (13)
Barnaby (11)
Isaac (11)
Annual mileage 16,000

‘Having four children narrows our choice to six-or seven-seat cars’

Budget available: £15k

Fiat Multipla 1.9 Multijet Dynamic Family
List price £16,535 Target price £14,510
Saftety Rating Not tested
The unusual 3+3 seating layout works well and means the Multipla can carry six with ease. Even with six people on board, there’s a healthy 430-litre boot. If you need more space, just whip out the back seats for a van-like loadbay. Fiat’s MPV is getting on a bit, but it’s still a fine people-carrier and excellent value for money.

Budget available: £15k-£19K

Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi 110 Active
List price £18,845 Target price £18,079
Saftety Rating Child 79% Adult 89%
Our MPV of the Year is fundamentally the same car as the Citroën Grand C4 Picasso. So it has the same ingenious seven-seat layout, and all five rear seats can be folded flat by simply tugging on cords. We prefer the Peugeot, though, because it’s sharper to drive and has a more settled ride than the Citroën.

Budget available: £19K-£23k

Ford S-Max 2.0 TDCi 140 Zetec
List price £22,195 Target price £20,438
Saftety Rating Child 4 stars Adult 5 stars
MPVs don’t have to be dull to drive – or to look at. The S-Max is the people-carrier for parents who enjoy driving. Its seating isn’t as clever as the Peugeot 5008’s, but the Ford is still a practical car for up to seven, and it knocks spots off the competition for driving dynamics. Prices are high, so haggle hard for a good deal.

Budget available: £23k-£30K

Volvo XC90 2.4 D5 Active
List price £30,995 Target price £28,009
Saftety Rating Child: not tested/Adult
This seven-seat 4x4 is long in the tooth now, but big discounts mean that it’s still a sensible buy. Haggle hard – or shop online – and you can pick one up for less than the price of the smaller XC60. The XC90 is desirable, practical and classy family transport for bigger families who don’t want an MPV.

Budget available: £30k-£45K

Land Rover Discovery 3.0 TDV6 XS
List price £41,395 Target price £39,457
Saftety Rating Child 4 stars Adult 4 stars
Is there a better car for large families? We don’t think so. The Discovery has just about everything. It mixes MPV practicality and a spacious interior with executive-car refinement, fine driving dynamics and a top-notch image. You’ll need deep pockets to afford one, but the best things in life don’t often come cheap.

Used bargains

From £13,000
Chrysler Grand Voyager 2.8 CRD Executive, ’08/57, 17,500 miles
Seven seats, masses of space and a bulging kit list make the Grand Voyager a fine MPV. Even with all the seats up, the boot is huge.

From £15,990
Ford Galaxy
2.0 TDCi Zetec, ’08/08, 15,000 miles
The Galaxy is
a great-value
seven-seater. It’s just as good to drive as the smaller S-Max, and is refined and comfortable. Zetec models get climate control and electric windows all round.

Britain's best family cars - Three young children


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