Best family cars due in 2020

Whether 'family car' means stylish but affordable hatchbacks, speedy estates or a leather-lined Rolls-Royce to you, 2020 has a car to suit

James Wilson
Jan 27, 2020

It's a sign of the times that while we are expecting to see a huge number of new SUVs in 2020, the list of all-new family hatchbacks, saloons and estates is somewhat shorter. This may perfectly reflect current sales trends, which show SUVs becoming increasingly popular over the last decade, however, SUVs are often more expensive, less economical and less usable as family cars than lower-riding estate cars or hatchbacks.

So, if you want practicality without having to pay extra for a raised up driving position, or if you'd rather a car that is cheaper to run once you've bought it, then the new cars we've put on this list could fit the bill. Family cars aren't always the most exciting, but with ever more luxury kit, powerful engines and striking styling, this batch is one of the most desirable we've seen for many years.

 

From rather angry looking performance estates from Alpina - a tuning company that works alongside BMW - and Audi, to a reinvention of the super-safe Volvo V40, there's plenty to entice you to pick one of these cars before 2020 is over.

But we're not expecting you to stump up the cash for a brand-new one. You can be sure we'll be offering some great pre-registered deals on BuyaCar - for practically new cars with just a handful of miles on them for thousands less than the list price - so don't dive in too early if you fancy making a saving.

And if you want the most for your money, there are thousands of used car deals to choose from, with cars from barely £4,000 or £80 per month. Click on the link below to check out the best deals available today.

Best new family cars for 2020

1. Alpina B3 Touring

Expected starting price £60,000
UK due date Early 2020

For those who are unfamiliar with Alpina, it is best described as a slightly bonkers outfit which takes relatively high-performance BMW models and turns them into practically insane high-performance BMW models. So you're a family of adrenaline-obsessed thrill seekers then this might be an acceptable choice for you.

The latest vehicle to emerge from Alpina’s factory is the Alpina B3 Touring, which promises more than 450hp and a massive 700Nm of torque - meaning tonnes of low engine-speed muscle. As a result, Alpina is claiming a top speed of 186mph - fast enough, we think.

Power is fed through an eight-speed automatic gearbox before being distributed to all four wheels. £60,000 might seem a lot, but as BMW doesn’t offer a super-speedy estate version of the high-performance M3 - which we also have some great used deals for - the B3 Touring is the next best thing.

2. Audi A3

Expected starting price £21,000
UK due date Late 2020

Audi’s next-generation A3 is looking set to land in 2020. It will borrow much of its underpinnings from the latest VW Golf (including plug-in hybrid and mild-hybrid technology). Like the outgoing model, excpect the popular sportback model to be accompanied by a saloon version and probably a convertible later as well but, thanks to slow sales, a three-door variant is unlikely.

Updates to the A3’s styling will be modest, with Audi fine-tuning the design to make it look more modern rather than overhauling its entire look. Audi interiors have a strong reputation for build quality, so you can expect the next-generation A3 to continue this trend.

However, Audi has also started to remove physical controls for its media and air-conditioning systems, forcing drivers to prod touchscreens to change settings, which can be a big distraction. We hope the A3 doesn't follow this trend.

2019 Audi A3 deals from £15,557
Monthly finance from £219

3. Audi RS6 Avant

Expected starting price £85,000
UK due date Early 2020

Just because the average family car doesn’t come with an oversized 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine producing around 600hp - as this one does - doesn’t mean the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant won’t cut it as a family car. If buyers tick the right option boxes they will get a top speed of 190mph and a 0 to 62mph time of 3.6 seconds - more than enough to help get the kids to school on time...

What some might be surprised to hear is that the RS6 Avant also uses a mild hybrid system to help boost performance, although in comparison to the muscle from the petrol engine, the additional performance from the hybrid kit is marginal.

Air suspension is offered as standard, helping to alter the rapid estate’s driving feel for different scenarios – steel springs with adjustable dampers are an option, too. Inside the RS6 Avant there is one Audi’s latest media systems, which creates a slick upmarket cabin. We just hope Audi has made it easy to use while driving, as in a move to make its cars' cabins stylish, Audi seems to be rapidly removing physical controls forcing you to prod a touchscreen for more and more functions - which can take your attention away from driving.

4. Jaguar XF

Expected starting price £35,000
UK due date Expected 2020

Jaguar is keeping cards relating to its updated XF close to its chest. A test mule or two have been spotted testing but that is about it. At the same time, Jaguar has updated a number of models in its range recently, which gives a pretty good indication of what changes the British brand is going to make to its BMW 5 Series rival.

For starters, the exterior will likely feature revised front and rear ends – including sleeker headlights, but it will be the inside which will likely undergo the largest changes. Buyers can expect an updated media system along with a supporting secondary display which will provide controls for ventilation.

In addition to this, equipment such as a digital drivers’ display (replacing traditional dials) and 'Clearsight' rearview mirror - no, it doesn't tell you whether you're pregnant or not - are expected to be included. This can either function as a normal mirror, or show video footage of the road behind for the best view.

2019 Jaguar XF deals from £22,750
Monthly finance from £328

5. Mercedes S-Class

Expected starting price £80,000
UK due date Summer 2020

When it comes to luxury executive cars, the Mercedes S-Class has been top dog for a while - those with high standards and a penchant for quality will be well catered for. Largely thanks to a brilliant interior, massively comfortable ride and enough technology and equipment to sink an autonomous battleship, you're unlikely to find anything much more luxurious on this list.

This is due to continue with the new model, which, amongst other things, is set to come with a thoroughly revamped interior (potentially including a large Tesla-style media screen in the centre of the dashboard).

It is expected that Mercedes will offer petrol, diesel and hybrid power options – including a high-performance AMG model. There will be an all-electric luxury saloon as well, but that will be launched under Mercedes’ EQ sub-brand as the EQS.

2019 Mercedes S-Class deals from £45,980
Monthly finance from £633

6. Rolls-Royce Ghost

Expected starting price £200,000
UK due date Late 2020

Any families for which money is no object - perhaps the Royal Family - even the Mercedes S-Class might not meet expectations. You might want something that pushes luxury through the roof of your palace, in which case Rolls-Royce is probably your only option.

The Rolls-Royce Ghost is the little brother of the super-sized Phantom. The previous model offered levels of lavish luxury only a Roller could and this isn’t about to change with the new model. Styling is expected to be subtly revised with the frankly ridiculous levels of performance set to be carried over.

This means Rolls-Royce will likely use a 6.6-litre V12 engine which cranks out around 560hp paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Inside it is expected that the newer information and media system and digital dashboard as seen in the Rolls-Royce Cullinan off-roader will feature. The latter being a 12.3-inch display.

7. Seat Leon

Expected starting price £19,000
UK due date Early 2020

The Leon is to Seat what the Golf is to VW or the Focus is to Ford, so it is quite a big deal. In true VW Group fashion (Seat is part of Volkswagen), the next-generation Leon isn’t expected to completely rewrite the book on family hatchbacks. Instead, it will mature in a way that matches drivers' demands.

This means technology and equipment will get a boost and electrification will feature – Seat has confirmed a plug-in version will be offered. Much like Audi is expected to do with the 2020 A3, Seat is removing three-door models from its range, due to comparatively poor sales over five-door models. Furthermore, it is expected that aside from a plug-in hybrid, familiar 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines will be on offer, along with a 1.6-litre diesel.

2019 Seat Leon deals from £11,970
Monthly finance from £170

8. Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

Expected starting price £34,000
UK due date Summer 2020

A shooting brake is merely an estate with an upmarket name. And that reflects what VW hopes to achieve with the Shooting Brake - an estate that is upmarket by name and upmarket by nature. VW has also hinted that a new six-cylinder engine could be introduced for the Arteon Shooting Brake, which is big news considering that none of the cars that sit on the platform the Arteon shares, currently have a six-cylinder engine.

Other details are thin on the ground, but using the regular Arteon as a guide (which has been on sale for some time now) buyers can expect an appealing blend of technology, refined driving experience and low running costs – plus the added practicality of a rather large boot.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon deals from £21,000
Monthly finance from £284

9. Volvo V40

Expected starting price £25,000
UK due date Autumn 2020

Volvo is riding high at the moment, it has reinvented itself as a maker of sexy automobiles that offer an attractive blend of performance, comfort, safety and in hybrid or all-electric spec, the prospect of low exhaust pipe emissions. That said, there is one model in its range which is getting a little long in the tooth – the V40.

As such, it is expected that the Swedish brand will launch a new, SUV-esque version of the V40 in 2020. The reason the V40 will be a sort of SUV is to allow electrification, or at least that’s what Volvo is saying. In terms of rivals the V40 will likely go up against cars such as the BMW X1.

2019 Volvo V40 deals from £14,500
Monthly finance from £225

 

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