Best cars for large families

If your children are growing up fast, you’re going to need a bigger set of wheels. These family cars should be just the ticket

Gavin Braithwaite-Smith
Jul 29, 2020

It’s not just your children that grow bigger as they get older. The clothes they wear, the household budget and the temper tantrums are just three things that seem to grow in parallel with the kids. You’re also going to need a bigger car.

Although you no longer need a boot large enough to hold a pushchair or buggy, the child must use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old. They’ll also demand more headroom and legroom, plus somewhere to charge their smartphone.

Fortunately, upgrading to a large family car needn’t leave a dent in your wallet. At BuyaCar, we can offer spacious SUVs for as little as £100 per month and practical people carriers from just £95 per month. What’s more, your new car could be delivered to you within a week or two.

Or, if you haven't quite reached the teenager stage and you're looking for something smaller, we've got you covered here with our list of the best cars for small families.

Best cars for large families

1. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Used Citroen Grand C4 Picasso deals from £7,667
Monthly finance from £141

The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso - now called the Grand C4 SpaceTourer - offers seating for seven and looks like one of the superfast trains you might see travelling across the French countryside.

Even if you don’t require the full quota of seven seats, they’ll be handy if you need to offer lifts to your children’s mates. What’s more, with the third row of seats folded down, the boot offers up to 793 litres of space, which is large enough for whatever weekend activity your children are involved in.

The diesel engines are very economical, while the driving experience is as relaxing as letting the train take the strain. We’d recommend a post-2016 Grand C4 Picasso, as the technology moved up a gear and the engines are more efficient.


2. Skoda Superb Estate

Used Skoda Superb Estate deals from £9,691
Monthly finance from £180

The Skoda Superb Estate is so big, anyone travelling in the back could be in a different time zone to those in the front. There’s an almost comically large amount of rear legroom, so even the tallest of teenagers will find little cause for complaint.

Introduced in 2015, the current Skoda Superb Estate is like buying an Audi A6 Avant or Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate but paying a significantly reduced price for the privilege. Dare we say it’s the Aldi A6 Avant?

The top-spec versions feel positively luxurious, but all models are well equipped, while the suspension is tuned to deliver limo-like comfort. If you’re after space and practicality, but you don’t fancy an SUV, the Superb Estate is one of the best family cars you can buy.


3. Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport

Used Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport deals from £10,350
Monthly finance from £169

Some people are quite sniffy about the Insignia Grand Sport, simply because it wears a Vauxhall badge. They’re wrong to be sniffy. Remember when you discovered that Lidl and Aldi were actually really good supermarkets? You’d get the same pleasure from discovering Vauxhall’s excellent family car.

Behind the sharp styling you’ll find a car that’s positively cavernous, with lots of rear legroom and a good size boot. Amazingly, an entry-level Insignia Grand Sport could have cost just £20,000 when it was new, which is the price of some superminis. This makes it an even better buy on the used car market.

The basic Design trim features a seven-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels and automatic headlights. Your children will thank you for buying the Elite Nav model as it features the likes of two USB ports, wireless phone charging and dark tinted windows, while you’ll appreciate the clever LED matrix headlights, heated front seats and eight-inch touchscreen.


4. Ford Grand Tourneo Connect

Used Ford Grand Tourneo Connect deals from £14,000
Monthly finance from £204

Life is stressful enough, so your car shouldn’t add to your problems. The Ford Grand Tourneo Connect isn’t the sexiest or most desirable car on this list. It’s not the fastest or the most efficient. But it might be the most practical and flexible.

As the styling suggests, it’s based on a Ford van, but don’t let that put you off. Instead, revel in the massive cabin, which is accessed by a pair of sliding doors. These create a tall and wide opening that makes it easy to load a child seat. Once you’ve owned a car with sliding doors, you’ll wonder how you coped without them.

The Grand Tourneo Connect is 40cm longer than the standard Tourneo Connect and comes with a choice of five or seven seats. Unless you need a seven-seater, we’d recommend the five-seat version, as you get 1,529 litres of boot space with the seats up - trust us, that's huge - you can thank its van-based roots for this.

5. Seat Tarraco

Used Seat Tarraco deals from £19,290
Monthly finance from £274

The Seat Tarraco is one of the best looking seven-seat SUVs you can buy. In fact, we think it offers a brilliant blend of style, practicality and value for money. In common with many other SUVs with seven seats, it works best as a five-seater, with the rearmost seats best reserved for occasional use and small children.

On the plus side, seven seats are standard across the range, and when the third row isn’t in use, the Tarraco boasts one of the largest boots in its class. A football coach will be able to carry everything they need for a coaching session - we know, because we tried it.

Even the entry-level SE trim boasts 17-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch colour media display, three-zone climate control, rear parking sensors and a configurable dashboard display that used to be the preserve of expensive Audis. More expensive trim levels offer the choice of a sporty or posh flavour, but all versions are good to drive. Best of all: four-year PCP finance deals start from less than £275 per month.


6. Skoda Kodiaq

Used Skoda Kodiaq deals from £16,995
Monthly finance from £257

If you asked us to name our favourite family SUV, the Skoda Kodiaq would be close to the top of the list. Judged on what it sets out to do, the Kodiaq is almost without fault. It’s practical, flexible, well-equipped and offers exceptional value for money. You can buy a 17-plate Kodiaq for less than £15,000, too. If you wondered why it looks very similar to the Seat above, that's because Skoda and Seat are part of the VW Group, and the cars are closely related under the skin, with shared engines and other tech.

Such is the choice on offer, the Kodiaq range can seem bewildering, but allow us to cut to the chase. The seven-seat option adds £1,000 to the list price, while the entry-level SE offers just about all the toys you need. The Kodiaq gets more luxurious as you progress through the range, topped by the lavish L&K.

If you intend to do some off-roading, the rugged Kodiaq Scout comes with four-wheel-drive as standard and is a bit tougher than other models with added body cladding, while the sporty vRS offers some serious speed instead. The Kodiaq puts us in mind of an affordable alternative to the expensive and upmarket Audi Q7, which is high praise. Bear in mind that you’ll pay at least £120 extra per month for the Audi.


7. Hyundai i800

Used Hyundai i800 deals from £13,495
Monthly finance from £214

There are large families and there are really large families. Your choices are limited if you require an eight-seater, but the Hyundai i800 is the next best thing to taking a cheap domestic flight with the family if you need to cross the country. Drive one of these and you can pretend to be the pilot of your own budget airliner.

There’s nothing fancy about the i800. It’s designed to offer fuss-free transport for eight people across three rows of seats (two in the front, three in the middle and three in the back). The second and third rows split 60/40, so there’s plenty of room for luggage when you don’t require the full quota of seven seats - simply fold down the seats you don't need.

A 2.5-litre diesel engine does an adequate job of powering the big Hyundai, while it’s worth upgrading from the entry-level SE to the SE Nav for the benefit of a touchscreen media display with sat-nav. Prices start from less than £200 per month - or £25 per seat. Still want that budget airline ticket?

8. Peugeot Traveller

Used Peugeot Traveller deals from £18,990
Monthly finance from £280

You’ll pay more for a Peugeot Traveller than the Hyundai above, but this eight-seater is a more accomplished all-rounder than the Hyundai - it is a newer car after all. There’s no disguising its van-based roots, but the Traveller looks more upmarket and comes with a longer list of standard equipment.

This is especially true of the Allure trim, which boasts a seven-inch colour display, 17-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, electric sliding doors, a panoramic glass roof with blackout blinds, an upgraded audio system, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control and Grip Control for enhanced all-weather traction.

If the Hyundai is like flying economy, the Peugeot is like being upgraded to premium class. Alternatively, the Traveller Business is available in multiple configurations from five to nine seats, including four or five face-to-face seats if you want to prepare your children for life in a boardroom environment.

The Peugeot Traveller is almost identical to the Citroen SpaceTourer and Toyota Proace Verso. So if you like the Peugeot but find a Citroen that works out cheaper on the BuyaCar website, then go for it. However, you're likely to need to pay more for an equivalent Toyota.


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