Best cars for babies

From flexible small cars to large seven-seat SUVs, here are eight cars that are perfect for you and your baby

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jul 30, 2020

Welcome to the world of baby transport. Unfortunately, sticking a ‘Baby on Board’ sticker on your stylish coupe or desirable convertible isn’t going to cut it. Babies come with lots of big and bulky accessories like car seats and pushchairs, and they'll need four or five changes of clothes just for a trip to the corner shop. It’s time to face up to your new responsibilities, which means embracing the world of practical cars.

There’s a lot to consider. Scouring the Euro NCAP crash test ratings takes on a new level of importance, while a spacious boot and storage pockets for your baby paraphernalia will rank higher on your list of priorities than supersized alloy wheels or having a 37-speaker sound system... perhaps.

While we can’t help with late night nappy changes or dealing with teething troubles, we can find you a great deal on a baby-friendly car. We’ve got everything from small cars designed with families in mind to large seven-seat people carriers.

Check out some of our suggestions below to get a feel for exactly which type of car best suits your needs and budget before using our comprehensive search function to find a used car that’s right for you and your baby. Click on the link below to find the best finance deal for you.

Best cars for babies

1. Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Our pick Mercedes-Benz A 200 Sport
Euro NCAP child safety rating 91%
Used deals from £14,980
Monthly finance from £203

The current Mercedes-Benz A-Class received the joint highest score for child safety when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2018. That should provide some peace of mind when you’re searching for a car for you and your baby.

As a family hatchback, it’s not as practical as an SUV or MPV, but there’s a good size luggage area for your pushchair. The boot is a good shape with a wide opening, which makes it easier to load and unload, too.

Fitting a car seat is easy thanks to rear doors that open wide and Isofix points exposed by plastic openings. Up front, the A-Class boasts some of the best touchscreens in the business, with a voice control system that operates like Amazon Alexa or Siri.

MERCEDES A-CLASS BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Citroen C4 SpaceTourer

Our pick Citroen C4 SpaceTourer Feel Puretech 130
Euro NCAP child safety rating 88%
Used deals from £12,690
Monthly finance from £182

The Citroen C4 SpaceTourer – formerly known as the C4 Picasso – is such a brilliant family car, it makes you wonder why it’s no longer on sale. But fear not, because there are 50 to choose from on the BuyaCar website, plus another 50 or so C4 Picassos.

It’s barely any longer than a Ford Focus hatchback, but the C4 Picasso has three individual Isofix-equipped back seats, rear doors that open wide and a huge 537-litre boot. On all but the cheapest models, the rear seats slide backwards and forwards so you can choose between maximum legroom or the largest boot.

The rear seats fold down to provide a perfectly flat floor, while the boot light doubles up as a torch, which could come in handy if you’re forced into a late night nappy change on the way back from the in-laws.

CITROEN C4 SPACETOURER BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Hyundai Santa Fe

Our pick Hyundai Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi Premium SE
Euro NCAP child safety rating 88%
Used deals from £28,990
Monthly finance from £411

The Hyundai Santa Fe received the third highest child safety rating when it was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2018. Combine this with Hyundai’s excellent five-year/unlimited mileage warranty and you’ll see why it’s so popular with young families.

There are Isofix points in the front passenger seat and the outer middle row seats, and although the space in the third row is a little cramped, there’s loads of room in the front two rows.

When the rearmost seats aren’t in use, the boot is large enough to swallow a pushchair, while the low lip makes loading a doddle. There’s a full suite of safety systems, while the 2.2-litre diesel engine is punchy and efficient.

HYUNDAI SANTA FE BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Volvo XC90

Our pick Volvo XC90 D5 Momentum AWD
Euro NCAP child safety rating 87%
Used deals from £24,000
Monthly finance from £349

The Volvo XC90 is one of the best seven-seat SUVs on the planet. Launched in 2015, the current XC90 took all that was good about the old version and added more space, style and technology.

As it’s a Volvo, you can be sure that safety comes as standard, as highlighted by one of the most impressive Euro NCAP crash test performances of 2015. A Family pack adds an integrated child seat for the centre seat in the second row, along with sunblinds for the rear doors and power child locks.

There are Isofix points on the outer rear seats, along with a large boot, a hands-free tailgate and a low loading lip. In short, the XC90 will make driving with the family a pleasure, with the added reassurance of knowing you’re carrying your baby in one of the world’s safest cars.

VOLVO XC90 BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Skoda Scala

Our pick Skoda Scala 1.0 TSI SE
Euro NCAP child safety rating 87%
Used deals from £13,695
Monthly finance from £208

The Skoda Scala is practically brilliant and brilliantly practical. Although the styling is far from inspiring and the driving experience is hardly enthralling, the Scala boasts one of the most spacious interiors in its class.

The boot can swallow 467 litres of baby gear, which is far more than you can cram into a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. There are two Isofix points on the outer rear seats, while the doors open wide to make it easy to fit child seats.

A family pack adds a double-sided boot floor, leatherette on the back of the front seats and door edge protection. An interior pack adds a waste bin, phone holder and folding tables for the back of the rear seats. It just feels like a car that’s been designed with families in mind.

SKODA SCALA BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Ford B-Max

Our pick Ford B-Max 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Titanium
Euro NCAP child safety rating 84%
Used deals from £5,600
Monthly finance from £113

The Ford B-Max won’t turn many heads in the soft play area car park, but while your friends struggle to load a baby seat into their fashionable SUV, you’ll have the last laugh in your practical MPV.

Although it’s based on the Ford Fiesta, it’s almost as practical as the larger C-Max, and it packs a feature that will make you the envy of your friends. Ford ditched the central pillar between the front and rear doors, creating an opening that measures 1.5 metres wide. Entering the cabin with a baby seat is as easy as walking through the front door of your house.

There are two Isofix points on the outer rear seats, while the B-Max scored an impressive 84% for child occupant protection when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2012. Prices start from less than £6,000, or £110 a month on a four-year PCP deal.

FORD B-MAX BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Seat Alhambra

Our pick Seat Alhambra 2.0 TDI 150 Xcellence
Euro NCAP child safety rating 78%
Used deals from £13,500
Monthly finance from £220

Once you’ve owned a car with sliding doors, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them. They’re electric on all except the entry-level Seat Alhambra and can be opened via a button the dashboard, via the key fob or by using the traditional handles. You also get an electric tailgate and a low boot lip, which makes loading and unloading a pushchair a doddle.

There are three individual seats along the middle row, each one with Isofix points, while some versions come with integrated sun blinds in the rear doors. Perfect for protecting your baby’s eyes – or encouraging them to drift off.

Thanks to a triple-zone climate control system, the three rows can set their own individual temperatures. Unlike the majority of seven-seat SUVs, the third row in the Alhambra is genuinely spacious. You even get the ride height of an SUV, so your friends won’t look down on you.

SEAT ALHAMBRA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Vauxhall Meriva

Our pick Vauxhall Meriva 1.6 CDTi Tech Line
Euro NCAP child safety rating 77%
Used deals from £5,595
Monthly finance from £109

If you’re after something small but practical, the Vauxhall Meriva is a great option. While it's nothing particularly exciting, it’s smaller than a Vauxhall Astra but offers way more flexibility, including a pair of trick rear doors.

They’re hinged at the opposite end from the front doors, which makes it easier to mount a child seat and then strap the baby in place. Both the front and rear doors also open to a 90-degree angle, which makes it easier to climb in and out.

There’s a pair of Isofix points on the outer rear seats, while the Meriva also features a clever modular storage system running through the centre of the cabin. You’ll also like the flexibility of the rear seats, which can split, fold and slide, depending on your needs.

VAUXHALL MERIVA BUYERS' GUIDE

 

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