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
Young family of threeThe RoswellsNames
Joe (1)Annual mileage
‘We don't do many miles, but we need room from our toddler’
Budget available: £8kFiat Panda 1.2 Dynamic Eco List price
£8565 Target price
Child 2 stars Adult 3 stars
Ideal for young families on a shoestring. It’s dirt cheap to run and surprisingly practical, with five doors as standard. This Dynamic model has air-con and is just £30 a year to tax. To improve safety, we’d recommend adding side and window airbags (£260 and £210), and stability control (£430).
Budget available: £8k-£10kHyundai i20 1.2 Classic 5drList price
£9800 Target price
Child 83% Adult 88%
It undercuts leading supermini rivals by more than £2000. This 1.2-litre version is all a low-mileage family needs, and entry-level Classic trim comes with decent kit, including air-con and stability control. A five-year warranty is standard. Not the most exciting supermini, but superb value.
Budget available: £10-£12kSkoda Octavia 1.2 TSI SList price
£12,935 Target price
£11,189 Saftety Rating
Child 4 stars Adult 4 stars
A VW Golf with a bigger boot for less money? Strip away the Skoda’s frumpy styling and that’s essentially what you’ll find. Okay, it isn’t as refined or desirable as the VW, but it’s £3500 less. The 1.2 turbo petrol engine is gutsier than you’d think and will suit a small, low-mileage family’s needs.
Budget available: £12-15kMazda 6 1.8 S 5drList price
£16,115 Target price
£14,439 Saftety Rating
Child 81% Adult 77%
Our 2010 Family Car of the Year is cracking value – this entry-level model is £1200 cheaper than an equivalent Ford Mondeo
. The 1.8 petrol engine makes more sense than a diesel for low-mileage families, and S trim has air-con, alloy wheels, decent safety kit and an MP3 player connection.
Budget available: £15-£18kVolkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI 122 SE 5drList price
£17,965 Target price
£16,842 Saftety Rating
Child 84% Adult 97%
The Golf has been getting dearer recently but it’s still by far the best small family car. Classy, refined, practical and brilliant to drive, it’s everything a small family needs. Huge demand for this version means you might have to wait a few months for delivery. It’s worth it: the 1.4 TSI engine is a cracker.
Used bargainsFrom £4995 Vauxhall Corsa
1.2 Club 5dr, ’08/57, 16,000 miles
The popular Corsa is one of the biggest superminis, so there’s plenty of room in the back for a child seat
, and the big boot is easy to load.From £9481
Citroën C3 Picasso
1.4 VTi VTR+, ’10/10, 250 miles
This baby MPV is spacious and practical, so will be future-proof for a young family, while light controls make it easy to drive. Dealers are the best place to find nearly new models.