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Best and worst family cars 2017

What is a family car and which ones should you be considering? We count down the best models on sale – and reveal the ones to avoid

Words BySteve Huntingford

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Family cars

Many people who once would have chosen a traditional 'family car' are now buying SUVs and MPVs instead.

However, that doesn’t mean the family car market is dead; it still accounts for a huge number of sales and is very competitive, so there are some great buys out there – and some great deals to be had.

But what makes a good family car? Well, it has to be practical, cheap to run, good to drive, well equipped and good value for money; in other words, it needs to be good at everything. Here we count down the top 10 and reveal the models that are best to steer clear of.

The best family cars

10. BMW i3

The BMW i3 is an electric family car that uses super-light carbonfibre and aluminium to offset the weight of the battery pack that’s mounted beneath its floor, while a smart interior and great handling add further to its appeal. In addition to the fully electric model, BMW offers a range-extender version with a two-cylinder petrol engine that acts as a generator to prevent the car's batteries from running flat.

Read our full BMW i3 review

Find a great BMW i3 deal


9. BMW 1 Series

A more conventional option from BMW is the 1 Series, which offers a strong combination of performance, fuel economy and CO2 emissions. It’s still a little unusual in that it sends its power to the rear wheels rather than the fronts, but this makes it entertaining to drive, and ride comfort is also good.

Pick of the range: 118i SE

Read our full BMW 1 Series review

Find a great BMW 1 Series deal


8. Honda Civic

The latest Honda Civic is good to drive and has plenty of space inside for your family and their luggage. Add to that an impressive array of standard safety equipment and it's easy to recommend as an all-rounder. Team the frugal 1.0-litre petrol engine with mid-range SR trim for the best results.

Pick of the range: 1.0 VTEC SR

Read our full Honda Civic review

Find a great Honda Civic deal

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