What Car? Personal Shopper: spacious family car for £30,000

Want a new car but don't know where to start? Just send us your criteria and we'll give our new and used car choices, and tell you how much we can save you...

New Nissan X-Trail & Peugeot 5008 vs Skoda Kodiaq

Buying used

  • Our recommended choice: 2018 Peugeot 5008 130 Puretech Allure EAT6
  • Price: £25,250
  • Mileage: 9000
Peugeot 5008 front cornering

Despite looking enormous, the seven-seat Peugeot 5008 is only 5.5cm longer than your Golf Estate. And if you go for one in Allure trim, it will come with rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera to help you slot it into tight spaces. Inside, you'll find that traditional instrument dials have been replaced by a configurable 12.3in digital display, and there's an upright 8.0in touchscreen infotainment system (with a smart set of shortcut buttons) that controls the sat-nav, climate control, DAB radio and smartphone functions.

We'd suggest going for the 128bhp turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine, because of its blend of performance and efficiency, even when loaded up with seven people. We'd also recommend the six-speed automatic gearbox, because the shift action of the standard six-speed manual isn't brilliant and the clutch feels a bit springy. The 5008 is a very comfortable SUV, though, and a lot of work has gone into eliminating unwanted wind and road noise, helping to make it a relaxing car for covering lots of miles.

Read our used Peugeot 5008 review

  • Also consider: 2017 Mazda CX-5 2.0 Sport Nav 
  • Price: £21,790
  • Mileage: 9473
Used Mazda CX-5 17-present

If you can forgo seven seats, consider taking a look at the Mazda CX-5. The present CX-5 is very nice to drive and its 2.0-litre petrol engine is pretty perky once you've wound it up. As large SUVs go, the CX-5 is already good value when new, but you can still save thousands by choosing to go second-hand. You'll find plenty of examples in our favoured SE-L Nav form, but for similar money, you could have a fully loaded Sport Nav example with an upgraded sound system, electric seat adjustment for the driver and front passenger, keyless entry, an electric tailgate and a head-up display. 

What's more, the sills are very shallow on the CX-5, so your elderly parents will have little trouble stepping aboard, plus there's plenty of space for four adults and a child seat. To top it all off, it's actually shorter than your Golf Estate. 

Read our used Mazda CX-5 review

  • Also consider: 2017 Volkswagen Tiguan 1.4 150 TSI SE Nav
  • Price: £20,992
  • Mileage: 8596
Used Volkswagen Tiguan 16-present

If you're a fan of your Golf Estate, you'll feel right at home in the Tiguan, because much of the switchgear used on the pair's dashboards is shared. This means you get the same easy-to-use layout and a logical infotainment system with all the latest smartphone capabilities. The 148bhp turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine is very smooth and torquey for something its size, and it's equipped with cylinder deactivation to make it rather frugal, too.