Check out the list below to see what the best cars are if you're investing in a new car for your family adventures for the next few years. Make sure you pop into Ronan Kelly motors as soon as you can if your in need of a service or any repairs on your car.
1. Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf has been a popular choice with families for decades now, and the latest offering still impresses. It’s a spacious and well-built family car that is easy to enjoy.
Behind the wheel, the handling is agile with accurate steering, and good feedback and the interior has been well-designed and made with quality materials. The car is robust and has a decent-sized boot to help lug any weighty family stuff around.
Despite its popularity, the Golf has a reasonably bland design, and there are cheaper rivals available. However, they don’t always offer as much on board with economical engines delivering decent levels of performance. The VW Golf has a strong fan base, and the latest version plays to its strengths.
Price: €21,680 – €33,567
- Excellent build quality
- Economical engines
- Lots of space
- Basic entry-level models
- Bland styling
2. Volkswagen Tiguan
As a sensible, well-designed car, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a comfortable and spacious family SUV. The raised driving position offers an excellent view of the road ahead, and there are lots of useful storage areas onboard, including a big boot.
While the Tiguan is an exceptional offering and has received excellent reviews, it’s also more expensive than most of its rivals. Still, the fact it comes with five seats does help to justify that additional cost. If you want a seven-seat family vehicle, then you need to look at the VW Tiguan Allspace.
The Volkswagen Tiguan’s interior is a comfortable place to spend time with an impressive infotainment system – it’s one of the best currently available, and the sat-nav system also impresses but it’s not available on the cheaper versions.
Handling is sensible and reassured, and at speed the Tiguan offers stability, and it’s also agile around town and on country roads. We would recommend the 1.4-litre petrol engine producing 150 hp as this offers performance along with the decent economy.
Price: €27,780– €45748
- High comfort levels
- Practical and spacious
- Great engines
- Entry-level kit
3. Mercedes A-Class
For anybody looking for a great family car that also carries a prestigious badge, then the Mercedes A-Class offers smart styling and an impressive interior. There’s also lots of high technology on board, it’s nice to drive, and there is a wide choice of engine options.
In many ways, the A-Class is very different from its rivals – from its agility to the infotainment system. The A-Class is a sophisticated family car that just about every driver could adore.
Though its handling tends to be sensible with a firm stance when being put through its paces, some rivals offer more fun when behind the wheel. However, the A-Class does deliver a sound driving experience.
Indeed, everything about the A-Class offering is polished, and with just three trim choices it helps that the entry-level SE has, unusually for Mercedes, lots of equipment fitted as standard.
Mercedes has created a family car in the A-Class that is designed to attract families away from the competitors like the Ford Focus and have them enjoy a stylish offering that performs well around town and also on long journeys.
Price: €26,894 – €41,966
- Impressive interior
- Sound handling
- Reliable offering
- The price
- Rear seat space
- Rivals offer more fun
4. Dacia Duster
If it is space and practicality (with outstanding affordability) you want from a family vehicle, then the Dacia Duster will meet all your needs. Dacia, along with other carmakers such as Skoda, is still making headway in the UK offering hard-to-beat prices for decent family cars.
If you’re looking for a brand-new vehicle and willing to forego some polish and refinement, then a Dacia Duster might be for you.
Okay, it’s a cheap car, and while you are saving thousands of pounds buying the Duster compared to its rivals, you will be missing out on some technology, particularly safety kit. Still, the new model is better than the previous incarnation, and the sacrifices are probably worth it (though you may feel not having a radio in the Access model might be a sacrifice too far!)
With prices starting at less than €12,000 this is an affordable SUV, although the entry-level models are sparse for equipment. Opt for the Comfort model, and there’s a 7-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system that has satnav, and the front seats offer more support.
The Motorway team would recommend the Essential model, which has DAB radio, air-con and Bluetooth connectivity and will still cost less than €14,000. The top-end Prestige model offers an all-round camera, blind-spot warning and alloy wheels.
Perhaps the only downside to the Duster’s offering is the poor showing for safety under the Euro NCAP crash testing – an unimpressive three stars – which for many parents could be a deal-breaker. Safety first is a motto for the vast majority of families, so this will put off many.
Of the engines, the 1.5-litre diesel unit offers plenty of power and economy, whereas the 1.6-litre petrol unit is a lacklustre offering on long motorway journeys.
Price: €11,816 – €18,750
- The price
- Frugal diesel engine
- Lots of cabin space
- The entry-level model is (very) basic
- Interior feels cheap
- No automatic transmission choice
5. Skoda Kodiaq
For those needing an excellent crossover family car, then the new Skoda Kodiaq is certainly worth researching. It has a solid build and is a refined vehicle that delivers lots of practicality.
For the money, it’s a great choice as a new or used option, plus there are models available with seven seats. Being a Skoda means there are some brilliant design ideas too such as hidden umbrellas in the front doors, plus a magnetic torch in the boot.
It’s a stylish creation and a cheaper 7-seater choice over the Volkswagen Tiguan. We would opt for the 2.0 litre TDI Style – an excellent offering for families everywhere with a free kit list and sound handling. The higher-riding driving position makes this a nice car to drive with accurate steering and an active suspension system.
When buying this for family use, avoid the Sportline models which have 20-inch alloy wheels that tend to undermine the ride. There’s a right choice of engines, including a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 123 hp, though if your family car is packed to the gills regularly with people and kit, then you may find the smaller engines a bit of a struggle.
A four-wheel drive is also an option for the Kodiak, and there’s a right choice of trim levels featuring a long equipment list. As follows an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, parking sensors and cruise control are all options if you want the Skoda Kodiak with seven seats. However, it will cost you €1100 more.
Mostly, along with excellent handling, it’s a safe car with five stars under the Euro NCAP crash testing with high scores for protecting the child occupants. There’s also a standard automatic emergency braking system fitted. This Skoda is a quality family-friendly crossover vehicle with a lot to recommend it.
Price: €26,894 – €47,167
- Practical and spacious
- Lovely car to drive
- Very stylish design
- The 7-seat option is pricey
- The better trims are expensive
- Not all safety systems are fitted as standard