What Car? Personal Shopper: family car for £20,000

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Nissan Qashqai vs Seat Ateca vs Vauxhall Mokka X

Buying new

  • Our recommended choice: Seat Ateca 1.5 TSI Evo SE
  • List price: £23,650
  • Target Price: £21,389
Seat Ateca driving

The Ateca was Seat's first attempt at making an SUV, but boy did it hit the mark. In fact, the Ateca is the car that stole the family SUV crown from the Nissan Qashqai after so many years at the top, and it remains one of our favourites in this market.

Go for this 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine and you'll enjoy gutsy performance, whether cruising around town or on longer trips, yet still reasonable real-world fuel economy. SE models are our favourites, too, because they come with rear parking sensors, an 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring and climate control.

The Ateca is a practical choice, with front seats that are large enough to stretch out in and enough space in the rear for even taller adults. The boot is a good size, too, so you shouldn't have any trouble fitting in all of your luggage on those European road trips.

Find a great Seat Ateca deal or read our full review

  • Also consider: Skoda Octavia Estate 1.5 TSI SE DSG
  • List price: £23,385
  • Target Price: £21,468
Skoda Octavia Estate

Family cars don't come much more practical than the Skoda Octavia. In hatchback form, it's by far the most spacious family car around, and this estate version is cavernous enough to swallow anything you're likely to take with you, with plenty of room left over for passengers. This 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine is nicely peppy and paired with a smooth dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Find a great Skoda Octavia Estate deal or read our full review

  • Also consider: Nissan Qashqai 1.3 DiG-T Acenta Premium 
  • List price: £22,895
  • Target Price: £21,478
Nissan Qashqai

Even though it's since been dethroned by the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq and faces a plethora of rivals ranging from the Vauxhall Grandland X to the Peugeot 3008, the Nissan Qashqai remains a great family SUV, with decent space, surefooted handling and a quiet and smooth 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine. Acenta versions come with all the equipment you're likely to need, too.

Also consider