If you’re considering upgrading your current family car, now would be the perfect time to do it. With many breaks in the school routines coming up, what could be better than to hit the road in a car that offers plenty of space, ingenious design and all the comforts for the whole family. From bank holiday weekends in May to the long summer months, now is the perfect time to get planning your next road trip!
With road trips a plenty on the horizon, we’ve compiled our favourite family motors from popular SUVs to sporty yet spacious hatchbacks, that provide large boot space, high safety ratings and are efficient to run.
So no matter whether you’re off to visit family, go on a long road trip exploring some of the gorgeous places in the UK or perhaps entertaining the kids with some fun-filled day trips, you’ll be able to do it in comfort and style that will keep you, the kids (and perhaps even the dogs!) equally as happy during the journey ahead.
The Audi Q5 is an impressive SUV, offering both the quality and performance you’d expect from Audi. With it’s raised driving position and plenty of luxury upfront, mum and dad won’t get bored or lost with an impressive MMI navigation. In the rear, there is more than enough room to comfortably seat 3 adults, so the children should have plenty of space back there with a wide range of storage holders for drinks, nibbles and toys to keep them entertained.
If you are bringing the dog, the boot offers enough room to ensure a comfortable journey. In fact the design of the Q5 means that you get an impressive 550 to 610 litres of boot space with no inconvenient wheel arches and only a small lip. This flat open space can easily accommodate a fold-up pram or a couple of large suitcases and if needed, can open up to 1,550 litres of space should you fold down the rear seats. All but entry level models include sat nav, bluetooth connectivity and a range of other onboard gadgets and gizmos to help you reach your destination in comfort and with plenty of enjoyment along the way. One of the biggest pulling factors for us is the option to include luxury features such as the Bang & Olufsen sound system that will make those singalongs all the more fun!
The BMW X5 is a tried, tested and much loved family SUV for urbanites and country folk alike. Offering all the prestige and build quality you would expect from the German manufacturer, this behemoth has an optional 3rd row of seats to ensure you can comfortably fit all the kids in at once. The X5 also offers all the tech you would expect including sat nav as standard and bluetooth phone connectivity. The iDrive system is intuitive and easy to use, which we’re sure is a great comfort to those who don’t like a lot of change. It really won’t take you long to fall in love with everything this car model has to offer!
That said, the third row does compromise the all important boot space, although even with them the BMW X5 still offers a pretty respectable 650 litres of space, and without them this increases to a whopping 1,870 litres. The tailgate is split horizontally which makes loading heavy or awkward objects a doddle, even in confined spaces.
The Audi SQ7 is a veritable beast, and is as impressive as it is large. Desirable and well built, the SQ7 is renowned for its turbocharging and electrically powered compressor, giving you the power and quick response to make you feel like you really do own the roads! With inbuilt sat-nav and multimedia systems, acres of space inside and a truly luxurious feel, the SQ7 is designed to be a super sports SUV, a luxury car and a family run-around all rolled into one.
The SQ7 has been designed with family in mind and offers a huge amount of cabin space, plenty of extra storage and an impressive 770 litres boot capacity (reduced to 295 litres with all 7 seats in use). It should provide everything a family needs and more, for both holidays and the school run!
Love the thrill of the old Mini Coopers, but want something bigger and better? Then the Countryman is for you. Now owned by BMW, the MINI brand is more popular than ever before. The Mini Countryman offers a five door solution for those still wanting the badge, but needing more space.
With a boot that is big enough to fit a decent amount of luggage in, a rear seat with good headroom and enough room for 3 adults, this Countryman really is a mini on steroids. The boot space is a pretty decent 350 litres, but it is still the smallest on our list by a long way. If the dog is coming along for the ride too, you’ve got the option of getting a roof rack to store your additional luggage for those longer trips away.
Entry level models only come with Bluetooth as standard, but go through the trim levels and you can grab yourself a full colour screen audio system complete with sat nav. The Countryman is a great mini crossover. Whilst it cannot compete in size with a real SUV, it is economical to run, fun to drive and comes with all the quality you would expect from the MINI brand.
The Jaguar F-Pace is the prestige SUV for those who love the luxury feel of the Jaguar brand. The interior feels very well made, and there is ample space for five adults. Should you be after the boot space, you’ll be delighted to hear the F-Pace offers a large boot space of 650 litres, which is on par with other models in the family SUV sector.
You certainly get the quality you pay for with the Jaguar F-Pace as all equipment levels are good, and even entry-level cars come with sat-nav and parking sensors as standard.
With plenty of space to fit the family, a boot big enough for a couple of Huskies (and their sled!), and the all round sheer opulence of driving a Jaguar, the F-Pace is a beautiful family vehicle both inside and out.
Winning awards all over the place in 2017, the SEAT Ateca is an outstanding family SUV. Based on the success of the Leon hatchback, the Ateca offers sharp looks, a great ride and some clever, yet user-friendly equipment.
With its first class, onboard infotainment system, the Ateca is designed with young families in mind. The cabin itself is well laid out and incredibly spacious. Plenty of room upfront, whilst the rear seats comfortably fit 3 adults with decent head and legroom too. The boot is a spacious 510 litre storage space with plenty of room for luggage, buggies and anything else you need for your family break. The Ateca may not be as exciting to look at as some of its rivals, but it is a solid drive from a well regarded and reliable manufacturer.
As good on the school run as it is on the motorway, the BMW 3 series continues to be one of the most popular cars on the roads today. As a family car, it offers all the quality and performance you would expect from BMW, with sharp looks, a great ride and a range of equipment thrown in.
Obviously the 3 series is not an SUV and will not provide the same amount of space. That said if you are looking for a saloon car with some poke, the 3 series will comfortably carry you and the kids away on your trip away.
With a reasonable size boot, you can fit a few cases in, but unless you opt for the touring version, you will need to leave the dog at home. The BMW iDrive onboard system is savvy and easy to use and includes a fairly comprehensive sat nav system operated via a jog wheel. It may not be the biggest or most practical car for a long family road trip, but if you are happy to squeeze up a bit, it is a car worth taking note of and practical for the everyday school run.
Restyled with a sleeker design and impressive technology, the Audi A4 Saloon is a different type of family car altogether. This newer A4 model weighs 120 kg less than the previous models, and due to this it now offers a smoother, more responsive, comfortable and powerful drive. What more could you ask for?
With the remodelling on the exterior, you’ll be impressed by this saloon’s quieter journey overall with reduced noise in the cabin, perfect for the kids to nap in the back. Not only that but the car feels more spacious due to the seats being mounted lower, giving increased headroom and slightly thinner in size. Those into aesthetics of their car will love the premium look and feel overall. You might even be happier to do the school run in this car, with plush interiors throughout the cabin.
If you rely on the sat nav to get you from A to B, then this is where this Audi A4 Saloon will really pull apart from its rivals. With an additional extra of a virtual cockpit and touchscreen display, this infotainment and sat nav is one of the most intuitive we’ve seen, being also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Should you be going on longer road trips, you’ll be wanting to know about that all-important boot space! The boot is built with a wide opening making it practical for your prams or heavier luggage items. With 505 litres, the boot is slightly smaller than some of the others within our list, but once the rear seats are folded, you’ll find a fantastic 1,510 litres of space to fill up your car as per your needs.
Whatever your tastes and requirements, make sure you tick off all the qualities in your next family car you’re looking for, including the style, quality, safety and not to mention the practicalities that a day-to-day family life can bring with it.