Best used family cars 2017 (and the ones to avoid)

Whether it's something sensible, something smart, something practical, or just a great all-rounder, our guide will help you work out which used family car is best for you

Words ByAlex Robbins

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Collage of some of the best used family cars

Once upon a time, buying a used family car meant ending up with a humdrum hatchback with less kerb appeal than a wet sock.

Happily, those times are long gone. There’s so much choice on the used family car market these days that you’re bound to find something that’ll give you the practicality, reliability and space that you need, combined with the style, comfort and quality feel you want.

What’s more, many of today’s modern family cars feature hi-tech entertainment systems which allow you to stream music from your phone, and some are even almost as much fun to drive as a sports car, proving that you really can have it all. But which one is best for you? To help you decide, we’ve brought together and ranked our top 10.

Best used family cars

10. Honda Civic

If reliability is your primary concern, you probably won’t do much better than the Honda Civic. It has a fantastic record, with owners reporting an extremely low number of faults. What’s more, there’s a huge boot, plus clever rear seats that flip up, cinema-style, so you can fit tall items in. True, when they’re folded down they don’t offer much head room, and the ride and steering aren’t as polished as some rivals, but you just can’t argue with the Civic’s dependability.

We found: 2014 1.6 i-DTEC SE, 26,000 miles, Β£9504

Read the used Honda Civic review

Find a used Honda Civic in the What Car? Classifieds

9. Vauxhall Astra

Want lots of car for your cash? Well, the Vauxhall Astra offers just that because it’s cheap as chips. So you have to live with a lethargic engine if you want a petrol, or a noisy diesel, but it’s reasonably comfortable, reasonably spacious, reasonably efficient, and reasonably good to drive. A very reasonable car, in other words, and while it’s one which won’t exactly earn you the envy of your friends, at this price, it’s a bit of a bargain.

We found: 2013 1.6i 16v SRi 5dr, 29,000 miles, Β£6822

Read the used Vauxhall Astra review

Find a used Vauxhall Astra in the What Car? Classifieds

8. Nissan Pulsar

The Nissan Pulsar is another rather dull car, but you can’t sniff at what it offers. That's to say colossal amounts of space in the back seats and boot, loads of equipment and a quiet, tranquil driving experience. The dashboard feels a bit cheap, mind you, and the seats aren’t the most supportive, so it’s worth trying one out for as long as you can before you buy. But, if you’re happy with it, a Pulsar promises years of dependable, practical family motoring. It’ll be great value for money, too.

We found: 2014 1.5 dCi Acenta, 21,000 miles, Β£8817

Read the full Nissan Pulsar review

Find a used Nissan Pulsar in the What Car? Classifieds

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