What Car? Personal Shopper: spacious automatic family car for less than £20,000
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Your need for space suggests that you're either looking for a supremely spacious family hatchback, or possibly further afield to an estate or even an MPV. The fact that you're not bothered about having a posh badge means there are more choices to consider, too.
Our recommended choice: Skoda Octavia
How's this for credentials: the Skoda Octavia is the most spacious car we've ever tested.
Let me explain. As part of our group tests and reviews, we see how many carry-on suitcases we can fit into a car's boot. The higher the number, the more spacious it is. The Audi A3 Sportback, for example, can hold six suitcases. The Volvo V60 can take eight. And the Octavia? Eleven. Eleven suitcases. That's even more than our reigning Large SUV of the Year, the Peugeot 5008.
And the accolades don't stop there, either, because the Octavia has been crowned as our Family Car of the Year for three out of the last four years.
There are multiple petrol and diesel engine options to choose from in the Octavia, but our recommended choice is the 1.5-litre petrol, which is punchy but also returns decent fuel economy. Go for our recommended SE trim level, too, and you'll get rear parking sensors, cruise control, dual-zone climate control and lumbar adjustment. And it's good news on the automatic gearbox, too, because the dual-clutch automatic available in the Octavia provides quick shifts.
So, assuming you've gone for an Octavia in our recommended specification (1.5 TSI SE DSG) you'll be looking at a bill for £21,585, which places the car just outside of your budget. As always, though, What Car? New Car Buying is here to help, and we can bring that price down to £18,819. That's even lower than our suggested Target Price of £19,663, so you're getting a great deal. If you want to buy on a PCP finance deal, it's even better news, because this Octavia will cost you just £194 per month (based on a 15% deposit and 6.5% APR with a £3000 finance contribution.)
Also consider: Citroën C4 Spacetourer (1.6 BlueHDi 120 Feel EAT6)
Citroën's family mover is spacious inside, and most versions of it come with lots of equipment. This one has our recommended engine – a 1.6-litre diesel.
Also consider: Ford Tourneo Connect (1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec Powershift)
It may be based on a van, but Ford's MPV is absolutely massive inside and cheap to buy. For sheer space for your passengers and their luggage, few cars can beat it.