When shopping for a family car, safety is one of the top priorities, regardless of whether your child’s still in car seats or has hit their teenage years.
A family car has to be reliable too. It needs to be ready for everything from frosty morning school runs to dashes between after-school clubs, your daily commute and the occasional family road trip. We’ve got plenty of handy guides such as which is the overall best family car, what is the best family hybrid and what are the best cars for the school run - and reliability is almost always the most important factor.
We ask a lot of the humble family car but thankfully, manufacturers have mastered the art of creating safe and reliable vehicles. Here is our pick of the safest and most reliable family cars:
What Are The Top 10 Most Reliable Family Cars?
- Mazda CX-60
- BMW X1
- Renault Megane E-Tech
- Volkswagen Golf
- Honda Civic
- Range Rover
- Kia Sportage
- Hyundai i30
- Peugeot 308
- Vauxhall Astra
1. Mazda CX-60
The Mazda CX-60 received a five-star rating in Euro NCAP tests and achieved a 91% score for the child occupant category, making it a particularly good choice for families with young children.
There’s plenty of safety tech available as standard too, such as Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, and Driver Attention Alert, which monitors fatigue while driving. With even more safety features available as add-ons, the CX-60 does a lot to help you feel comfortable behind the wheel.
Despite being a new model, the CX-60 comes with Mazda’s long-standing reputation for creating well-built and reliable cars, so it shouldn’t cause you any trouble.
View our Mazda CX-60 lease deals.
2. BMW X1
Very well, of course. In Euro NCAP tests, the X1 scored a 5-star rating, managing an 86% score for adult occupant safety and 89% for child occupant safety.
Not only that but the car scored 92% in the Safety Assist category, thanks to the abundance and quality of onboard safety tech. Highlights include the Front Collision Warning System which predicts and alerts if a crash could be imminent and Speed Limit information to keep your speed in check, even on unfamiliar roads.
Adding to the safety of the X1 is its overall build. Sturdy and robust, this is a family car that you can feel totally comfortable driving.
Shop our BMW X1 lease deals.
3. Renault Megane E-Tech
Renault’s Megane E-Tech may be the new kid on the EV block but it’s certainly made its mark, not least with the car’s impressive performance in the latest Euro NCAP tests.
Adult occupant safety came in at 85% while child occupant safety came in slightly higher at 88%. With 65% and 79% across the vulnerable road users and safety assist testing categories, the Megane E-Tech was awarded an impressive 5-stars overall, making it one of the safest choices for a family car.
This result is perhaps unsurprising when you consider the whopping 26 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) available with this model. Along with all the safety features you’d expect, drivers also benefit from a smart speed limiter, which uses a front camera and navigation system to determine the speed limit of the road you’re on to automatically adjust your speed.
Another handy feature is a QR code fixed to the windscreen, which can be used by emergency services to locate the car’s battery and airbags in the event of a crash.
Discover our Renault Megan E-Tech lease deals.
4. Volkswagen Golf
If you’re looking for one of the most reliable family cars, the Volkswagen Golf has got to be a contender. Since its release in 1974, the VW Golf has garnered a reputation for reliability and today springs to mind whenever you think of a family car.
With such a reputation to uphold, it’s unsurprising then that the Golf achieved a 5-star rating in 2022 Euro NCAP tests. Scoring highly across all criteria, the car did especially well when it comes to adult and child occupant safety, hitting 88% and 87% respectively.
The car packs a lot of enhanced safety features as standard, both to help prevent an accident from happening and to keep you safe should something go wrong. Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Assist and Fatigue Detection are all available to keep you alert on even long drives, while the clever E-call function calls emergency services if your airbags are activated.
Take a look at our Volkswagen Golf lease deals.
5. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is a great small hatchback. Don’t let its sporty exterior fool you though - the car packs a punch when it comes to safety and reliability as well as delivering on performance.
In the 2022 Euro NCAP tests, the Civic scored over 80% in each of the four categories, performing best in adult occupant and child occupant safety (89% and 87% respectively). Overall, the car achieved a 5-star rating.
There is plenty of tech to keep you safe on board too, ranging from Electronic Brakeforce Distribution to prevent skidding in different conditions, to Advanced Compatability Engineering - a system designed to absorb and distribute collision energy in the event of a crash to keep you and your passengers safe.
As a long-standing model, the Civic is well-known for its reliability and is one of the most dependable family hatchbacks on the market.
Browse our Honda Civic lease deals.
6. Range Rover
Of course, being a large, luxurious car, you’d expect the Range Rover’s safety standards to match. And as the results from the latest 2022 Euro NCAP tests show, the car doesn’t disappoint. Securing a 5-star overall rating, the car scored 84% for adult occupant safety and 87% for child occupants.
On-board safety features are similarly impressive, with the range of available tech increasing with upper models. However, the entry-level edition offers everything from 10 airbags to parking sensors, a rear-view camera, lane-keep assist and more.
Check out our Range Rover lease deals.
7. Kia Sportage
As one of Kia’s most popular models, it’s no surprise that the family crossover performs well in safety tests. The latest Euro NCAP results give the car a 5-star overall rating, and 87% and 86% scores in adult and child occupant safety.
Over the years, Kia has developed an enviable suite of on-board safety tech. Depending on the model you choose, you can benefit from Vehicle Stability Management, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Tyre Pressure Monitoring and Lane Departure Warning systems.
The Emergency Stop Signal is a particularly good feature. Should you brake suddenly, the brake light will blink rapidly to warn drivers behind. All of the above help you feel more at ease within the vehicle, reducing the risk of an accident occurring.
Discover our Kia Sportage lease deals.
8. Hyundai i30
The Hyundai i30 is a popular family car thanks to its affordability without compromising on comfort or performance. It’s pleasing to see, then, that this all-rounder performed well in the most recent round of Euro NCAP safety tests.
The car scored 88% for adult and 84% for child occupant safety. Scores were lower in the pedestrian and safety assist categories, although the car still managed a respectable 64% and 68% respectively.
Despite the car’s lower price point, you still get a great level of safety features as standard, making it a real contender as one of the safest cars for families. We’re talking cruise control with a speed limiter, lane keeping assistance with lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, and driver attention alerts. While undoubtedly useful for day-to-day journeys, these features really come into their own on longer drives.
View our Hyundai i30 lease deals.
9. Peugeot 308
Scooping a four-star rating in the Euro NCAP 2022 tests, the Peugeot 308 may have missed out on a 5-star score, but it’s still a solid choice if you’re looking for a family hatchback. Across the four categories tested, the 308 performed best for child occupant safety, scoring 84%.
You’ll get a raft of safety tech as standard with the 308, including lane keep assist to help you avoid straying across lanes, speed limit recognition to keep your speed in check and driver attention warning, which alerts you should your attention drift from the road.
More advanced safety features are available with more premium models, such as adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alerts.
Browse our Peugeot 308 lease deals.
10. Vauxhall Astra
The Vauxhall Astra has been transporting families since the 1980s, and advancements in technology and manufacturing make today’s model one of the most reliable on the market.
In Euro NCAP tests, the Astra has picked up a four-star rating, scoring 80% for adult occupant safety and 82% for child occupants. Although not the highest score on our list, it’s still a respectable result.
Perhaps the most impressive safety tech on offer is Vauxhall’s Intelli-Drive 1.0 system. This features Lane Positioning Assist to keep you on track, Lane Change Assist to alert you to vehicles quickly approaching from behind and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which can warn you of oncoming vehicles up to 40 metres away.
With lease prices under £300 per month, the Astra is well worth considering.
Discover our Vauxhall Astra lease deals.
As we feel the purse strings tighten, leasing a family car is a sensible choice. You can take advantage of low monthly payments on a range of the safest cars for families from leading manufacturers. Plus, because all of our cars are brand new, you shouldn’t have to worry about running into any mechanical issues like you would with an older car.
Browse our range of SUV car lease deals today. Still deciding? Have a read of our guide to the 10 best small family cars.