Noco banner - desktop

Sponsored by NOCO

Car of the Year Awards 2023: Best family car for practicality

There are several types of family car, but here we’re looking at traditional hatchbacks: large enough to be practical, yet compact enough to be easy and enjoyable to drive...

Best family car for practicality

Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE Technology

Car of the Year 2023 NOCO logo

As a car that dwarfs most of its competitors for interior and boot space, the Skoda Octavia remains the model to beat for practicality.

It offers four six-footers loads of room for lounging in comfort, but it’s in the middle rear seat that you really notice the difference: a fifth occupant gets more breathing space than in nearly all rivals.

Skoda Octavia 2021 dashboard

There’s plenty of storage for everyone’s drinks bottles and phones inside, while the boot will swallow all their luggage with ease. We managed to fit in 10 carry-on suitcases – which is four more than most family cars can take. When you need even more load space, it’s easy to fold down the back seats (which split 60/40) by pulling levers in the boot.

Although the Octavia loses out to the Honda Civic for fuel economy, there are plenty of strong engine options, including gutsy diesel and high-performance vRS versions. Our chosen 1.5-litre petrol is the best balance of pace and efficiency.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here