Published on Tuesday 09 February 2016 in Car news
Are you planning on taking a family trip to see some friends, relatives or heading out on holiday? At Vanarama we know that wherever you're heading the right car can make all the difference, that's why we've put five of the best in one place.
Family cars need to be good all-rounders – spacious, comfortable, practical, economical, safe and enjoyable to drive – so we put our heads together to present five great choices. Whether you're after something reliable, sporty or with the biggest boot imaginable, we've got you covered!
For added peace of mind, these featured cars have all been awarded the highest rating of five stars for Euro NCAP safety – this confirms them as having a good performance in accident protection and well-equipped with robust crash avoidance technology.
Take a look at the top five below and give us a call on 01442 835 769 if you would like to know more.
1. Nissan Qashqai – "The perfect car"
Combining all required attributes in one attractive package is the Nissan Qashqai, winner of the prestigious WhatCar? Car of the Year in 2014 and its Best Small SUV in 2015. Jim Holder, Editor of WhatCar?, said it won because of its stunning all-round ability. He applauded it as being great to drive, classy inside and good value – high praise indeed!
The Qashqai is also the car of choice for Vanarama employee Andrew Causer, he said: "It's the perfect car – I love it. As a family, we needed something roomy and durable – it's an added bonus that it looks great. Most impressive are the 360-degree cameras – they're a brilliant feature and one of the main reasons you feel so safe."
Fuel consumption is also exceptional – whether you choose diesel or petrol – and there's bags of space in the boot for suitcases galore. Perfect!
2. Mercedes A Class - Sporty and class-leading fuel consumption
The Mercedes A-Class is positioned at the premium end of the family hatchback market. It sits 160mm lower than the previous model giving it a sporty appearance and feel. There's sufficient leg and headroom in the back and, at 341 litres, the boot is surprisingly large.
All models come with a reversing camera as standard, and the upgraded infotainment system has a larger 8-inch screen. Compatibility with Apple Carplay and Mirrorlink, the Android pairing system, allow integration with a wide range of the latest smartphones meaning a series of apps can be displayed on the screen.
The A-Class' fuel consumption is class-leading and capable of 80mpg with the 180bhp diesel engine.
3. Renault Kadjar – Spacious and economical
The Renault Kadjar owes a lot to the Nissan Qashqai – 60% of the parts used feature in both vehicles.
Boot-size is 472 litres, there's plenty of room in the back and the seats are comfortable. The panoramic roof on the top-spec models is definitely something to consider having. Selecting the Dynamique Nav means you'll have parking sensors, climate control, alloy wheels, a smarter interior finish, automatic lights and wipers, and sat-nav.
There's four different engine sizes available, including the 1.5 dCi diesel, which returns an impressive 74mpg, and the 1.2 litre petrol engine that achieves around 50mpg.
4. Ford Kuga – Talking the talk
The Ford Kuga covers the crossover and SUV market, and comes with plenty of features. The entry-level Zetec has 17-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, daytime running lights, parking sensors, keyless entry, air conditioning, USB ports, Bluetooth connection and cruise control.
Now for the really clever bit – the Ford SYNC system. This is a voice-controlled, device integration and in-car connectivity system. Emergency Assistance detects airbag deployment or activation of the emergency fuel shut-off system, and uses the on-board GPS locator and Bluetooth-paired device to place a call in the local language to the emergency services – an incredibly useful feature when you're travelling abroad.
Boot space has been increased from previous models to 442 litres, and only struggles in comparison to the Qashqai in terms of fuel efficiency – expect to get around 55mpg on extended trips.
5. Land Rover Discovery Sport - Luxury, comfort and style
The Land Rover Discovery Sport is a luxurious SUV, bigger than its predecessor, with a seven-seat layout. If all seven places are occupied, luggage space is compromised, but with the rear two seats stowed the boot has a massive 981 litre capacity – the biggest on this list.
The second row of seats benefit from USB power sockets, and the option to slide and recline for extra legroom – a really nice touch. A high level of equipment comes as standard including heated seats, part-leather upholstery, climate control, alloy wheels, Bluetooth connection and a DAB radio.
Land Rover's infotainment system boasts an eight-inch high-resolution screen and a user-friendly interface. There's clear labelling and a responsive touchscreen, while 3D mapping and simple address entry mean the standard sat-nav is straightforward to use. Dual-view technology allows the front seat passenger to watch a movie at the same time the driver is using the navigation system.
In terms of fuel consumption, the 188bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine should achieve around 45mpg.
Some final things to consider…
Diesel or petrol – If you're doing lots of long trips, diesel should be your preferred choice. However, small petrol engines that give a large power output can help improve your fuel efficiency on shorter journeys.
In-car movies – You might want to look at getting portable DVD screens fitted to the back of the headrests to keep your kids entertained. This could be a life saver for those longer journeys.
The clean choice – Choosing a dark coloured interior over a light one is a wise decision as it won't show the stains from dropped food or spilt drinks as easily. One less thing to worry about, eh?
If you would like more information on family cars or any other vehicles, give us a call on 01442 835 769.