Best family cars launched in 2020

Whether 'family car' means affordable hatchbacks or speedy estates, there were plenty of new options in 2020

BuyaCar team
Feb 11, 2022

It's a sign of the times that while there were a huge number of new SUVs in 2020, the list of new family hatchbacks, saloons and estates was somewhat shorter. This may perfectly reflect sales trends, which show SUVs becoming increasingly popular over the past decade and into the 2020s, however SUVs are often more expensive and less economical 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 cars on this list could fit the bill. Practical family cars aren't always the most exciting to drive, but with ever more luxury kit, powerful engines and striking styling, the class of 2020 is one of the most desirable we've seen for many years.

From rather aggressive-looking performance estates from Alpina (a tuning company that works alongside BMW) and Audi, to a fresh version of the Seat Leon hatchback, there's plenty variety among the family car launched in 2020.

But we're not expecting you to stump up the cash for a brand-new one. These cars have been on sale for a while now, so used models are now readily available on BuyaCar, and prices are reducing already.

If you want to save even more money, you don't have to get a car this new at all. There are thousands of used car deals to choose from here on BuyaCar, with prices starting from barely £4,695 or £0. Head to the BuyaCar search page to get started with your used car journey.

Best new family cars from 2020

1. Alpina B3 Touring

Alpina B3 Touring list price from £67,950

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.

This 2020 model that rolled out of 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. A list price of £67,950 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

Used deals Limited stock

The 2020 Audi A3 borrowed much of its underpinnings from the latest VW Golf (including plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid technology). Like the model it replaced, there's also a saloon version of the new A3, but thanks to slow sales a three-door variant is unlikely.

In terms of updates to the A3’s styling, this is an evolution rather than a revolution, 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, and this trend continues with this latest model.

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.

3. Audi RS6 Avant

Used deals Limited stock

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.

4. Jaguar XF

Used deals Limited stock

This is more of an update to the Jaguar XF than a brand new model, as the British company seeks to freshen up much of its current range, including the F-Pace and F-Type.

Very little has changed on the outside, most drivers probably won't even be able to tell the difference, but there are new LED headlights. It's on the inside where all the work has been done. A host of new tech has been added including a new 11.4-inch touchscreen media display, helping to put this latest model back into contention with the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class.

It's also maintained its exciting drive. With a low centre of gravity, plenty of grip and great feel through the new steering wheel, the Jaguar XF remains a great car to drive despite its pleasant and luxurious interior.

5. Seat Leon

Used deals Limited stock

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 new Seat Leon hasn't completely rewritten the book on family hatchbacks. It has instead matured in a way that matches drivers' demands.

This means technology and equipment get an upgrade, there's a plug-in hybrid version on sale too which will compete with Audi's hybrid A3. Another similarity between those two is the lack of a three-door model due to comparatively poor sales compared five-door variants. Aside from the plug-in hybrid, familiar 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines are on offer, along with a 1.6-litre diesel.

6. Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake

Used deals Limited stock

A shooting brake is merely another name for an estate car, but it's generally used by more upmarket brands such as Mercedes. And that reflects what VW is hoping to achieve with the Arteon Shooting Brake - an estate that is upmarket by name and upmarket by nature. Early evidence suggests it might well be a strong competitor within its class.

Much like the VW Arteon hatchback, this estate version pairs sharp styling and a high-tech interior to try and steal the spotlight from its glitzy competitors. There's plenty of tech on-board, with numerous touch sensitive controls on the steering wheel and on the dashboard for various features such as the climate control. Other useful tech includes adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.


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