Best used family cars: sturdy, spacious and great value

From hatchbacks to crossovers - for every budget - these are the best used family cars starting at under £10,000

BuyaCar team
Sep 29, 2021

If you have a family, chances are that you'd value a car that can alleviate the stress of childcare. Now there are hundreds of cars out there that offer enough space for children - sometimes up to seven, eight or even nine seats - and all the stuff they bring with them, but you might still be hoping the enjoy your time behind the wheel as well.

There's no such thing as 'one size fits all' when it comes to family cars. You might need more boot space, in which case an estate car might be the best choice. Or, if you have babies or smaller children, a comfortable and practical SUV could suit you down to the ground. Then there's the question of seats - do you need five, seven or more?

Fortunately, the huge variety of cars on offer means there are virtually no gaps left in the market. There are cars to meet practically any mix of lifestyle you could think of and manufacturers are constantly introducing new models to fill any niches that might appear.

We're confident that we can find a car that will perfectly match the needs of your family. And we've started the process by picking out some of the very best family cars that meet a wide range of requirements. They're all pretty cheap, too, with deals starting from around £150 per month with PCP finance here on BuyaCar.

Best used family cars

1. Mazda 6 Tourer

Best used family car for boot space

Our pick Mazda 6 Tourer 2.2d SE-L Nav
Used deals Limited stock

With an enormous boot, generous equipment levels and excellent fuel economy, the estate-version of the Mazda 6 is a bargain, starting at £224 per month with finance. It's also good to drive, feeling nimble in corners and remaining smooth and composed over bumps and potholes. If you were considering a VW Passat, Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia, then it's worth adding the Mazda 6 to your list.

The majority of used models are badged Nav, which means that sat-nav comes as standard. Most are diesel models and should all meet the latest Euro 6 emission standard, so they are less likely to be affected by future diesel charges. You can double-check this in the 'technical specifications' section for each used car. If you don't need the extra space of an estate car, then there's also the option of the Mazda 6 saloon, which carries all of the same benefits with a little less bulk.


2. Vauxhall Astra

Our pick Vauxhall Astra 1.0T Tech Line
Used deals from £7,990
Monthly finance from £155*

Vauxhall's family hatchback is an excellent car that's well-built, spacious and economical. It's comfortable, nippy in corners and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, there are so many sloshing around that the car loses value fast, bringing large numbers of low-priced used models to the market.

The latest Astra was launched in 2015 but only really hit the roads in large numbers in 2016. If you buy an earlier car, it's likely to be the previous generation, which only has one chrome strip on the grille (the current model has two). For less than £10,000 - or around £150 per month, you can have a 2016 Astra in Tech Line trim, which includes sat-nav, a leather steering wheel and cruise control, as well as the efficient and powerful 1-litre engine.


3. Nissan Qashqai

Best used family car for uncomplicated journeys

Our pick Nissan Qashqai 1.2 DiG-T Acenta
Used deals from £9,800
Monthly finance from £202*

Nissan’s Qashqai isn’t Britain’s best-selling crossover by accident. It perfectly combines the comfort and low running costs of a standard hatchback, with the extra height of an off-roader.

With an uncomplicated (but lacklustre) interior layout, comfortable ride and light steering, it’s a big hit with families who want an straightforward car that can handle urban and long-distance driving with as little stress as possible.

The current version of the car, pictured above, has been on sale since 2014 and the earliest of these examples are now available for well under £10,000. Even the basic Visia cars all come with air conditioning and cruise control; for a few hundred pounds more, the Acenta model adds alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel and climate control as standard.


4. Volkswagen Tiguan

Our pick Volkswagen Tiguan Match 2.0 TDI BlueMotion
Used deals from £12,001
Monthly finance from £257*

A taller version of the Volkswagen Golf, the Tiguan feels just as solid, with a well-finished interior, comfortable ride and quiet performance.

The car was replaced by an all-new version in 2016 and prices for the older model have now dropped to well below £15,000, with finance costing from under £200 per month.

Cars in this price range include equipment-laden Match models, which have sat-nav, digital radio and Bluetooth as standard, along with 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control and parking sensors. Few pre-2016 diesel cars meet the latest emission standards though, so they are likely to face charges in some future clean air zones.


5. Citroen C4 Grand Picasso

Our pick Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 E-HDI Exclusive+
Used deals Limited stock

High-specification cars are often good value as used models, because expensive optional extras don't make much of a difference on the used market. This is certainly the case with the seven-seat Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, where £1,000 is the difference between a mid-range VTR+ model and a top-of-the range Exclusive+ car with a reversing camera, panoramic sunroof, sat-nav, keyless entry; front seats that will massage you and part-leather seats. There's even a scented air freshener, as well as a high-tech dual-screen screen dashboard for around £12,000.

Alternatively, a 2017 car can be yours for less than £15,000. These are updated versions with improved dashboard software and minor styling changes. They also have diesel engines that meet the latest Euro 6 emissions regulations, which means that they shouldn't face clean air zone charges to drive in some city centres.


6. Mini Clubman

Our pick Mini Clubman Cooper
Used deals from £12,990
Monthly finance from £219*

Combining the charm of the standard Mini with the extra space of a larger hatchback, the Mini Clubman offers families character with reasonable practicality.

Most buyers will be best opting for the current model, which went on sale in 2015, because the previous-generation car had a quirky set-up with only door to get into the back, which opens out into the road (if you’re facing in the direction of traffic).

Even basic cars come with sat-nav as standard and an interior that has more charisma than any other family car on the market. There’s reasonable boot space and room in the back, although bumps in the road do make themselves felt - a result of the Mini’s nimbleness in corners.


7. Skoda Superb

Our pick Skoda Superb SE 1.6 TDI
Used deals from £16,000
Monthly finance from £275*

For less than £200 per month, you could have a 2017 Skoda Superb on your driveway, in SE specification, which includes adaptive cruise control that will adjust the car's speed to maintain a safe distance from the one in front; climate control; parking sensors; 17-inch alloy wheels and enough room for your little ones to grow into great hulking teenagers. For a little bit more, you could have the even larger estate car.

Alternatively, you could choose a previous-generation Superb - replaced in 2015 - which has curved front lights rather than the straight-edged ones on the current car, shown above. It's still enormous and comfortable, and more affordable. .


8. Hyundai Ioniq

Our pick Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Premium SE
Used deals from £15,295
Monthly finance from £262*

Forget the Toyota Prius: the best-known hybrid car is in-demand, keeping used car prices high. Look instead at this Hyundai Ioniq. It's a close match for the Prius, offering excellent fuel economy in town and plenty of space in the front, back and boot. Its hybrid system recovers energy that's usually wasted while braking and uses it to power the car when accelerating, which improves fuel economy. Prices are affordable, so even nearly-new cars start at .

Slightly more expensive is the plug-in hybrid version of the Ioniq. With bigger batteries that can be charged up from a socket, this Ioniq can travel much further on electric power alone, making short journeys extremely cheap. And if you want even more glint on your green credentials, then opt for the fully electric Ioniq, which has no petrol motor and relies entirely on its battery pack - although it will be substantially more expensive to buy.


*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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