There’s no doubt that your car is one of the most important tools in your family life.

But there’s a hell of a lot of them out there to decide from, making choosing a car challenging. If you’re stuck, don’t worry. Here’s my take on how to find the best family car.

So, what actually makes a decent family car? Well, you’re generally looking for anything that will make your life as a parent easier – basically, car practicality. The most important things are:

  • Storage and luggage space
  • Safety
  • In-car entertainment

Okay, without further ado, these are my top picks of family cars that get all of these things right.

Sleeker, luxurious and more sophisticated than ever before, the Nissan Qashqai is perfect for folks who want a family car that doesn’t really feel like a family car.  With this model, you’ve got a choice of two diesel and two petrol engines, depending on your needs, as well as manual or automatic gear systems and front or all wheel drive.

In terms of those all important family-focused features, you’ve got a decent amount of storage space – up to 860 litres with the seats down and a pretty fine 430 litres with the seats up.

347 viewed this car Qashqai Hatchback View Gallery

Nissan Qashqai Hatchback

76 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 99 - 208g/km

From £160.97 Per Month

Initial Rental: £965.82 inc VAT

A midsize SUV, the BMW X3 is bigger, more powerful and much more efficient than its predecessors and it’s becoming a great choice with families.

There’s loads of room, so you can easily fill the five seats without it feeling cramped and claustrophobic. You’ve also got a state-of-the-art infotainment system, with a six speaker hifi system, as well as a TV function which can transmit digital stations – perfect for streaming Paw Patrol on long journeys.

In terms of efficiency and practicality, you’ll get between 55 to 60 MPG out of the X3, depending on which type you choose, making it one of the most efficient cars in its class. Luggage space is obscene in the X3 too– in a good way. With the seats down, you’ve got 1,600 litres of storage space which is something definitely not to be sniffed at.

143 viewed this car X3 Estate View Gallery

BMW X3 Estate

12 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 3.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: 4x4
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 135 - 229g/km

From £284.21 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,705.26 inc VAT

Past models of the Skoda Octavia have always had a reputation for providing great space, in turn making them the perfect family car.

This model manages to exceed all of our expectations when it comes to storage and family-friendliness. The luggage capacity with the rear seats down is an impressive 1,740 litres, giving you loads of room to store everything from pushchairs and nappies to holiday suitcases and clothes and

The Octavia Estate is still up there with the best when it comes to the current crop of family cars that are available.

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Skoda Octavia Estate

52 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Estate
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 99 - 176g/km

From £135.53 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,219.77 inc VAT

Described as a ‘five-door coupe’, the Hyundai i30 mounts a good challenge to other standard family hatchbacks in the field and is a good option to consider if you want a family car that doesn’t look or feel like a family car.

You’ll get around 395-litres of luggage space with the seats up, which should give you enough space for baby-paraphernalia, pushchairs and the like. The safety features you get in the i30 hatchback are almost second to none when it comes to other cars available in the class too, with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and Blind Spot Detection. It’s not surprising that the Hyundai i30’s got a five star Euro NCAP safety rating.

If safety and streamlined looks are your biggest deal-breakers, this car should be perfect.

137 viewed this car I30 Hatchback View Gallery

Hyundai I30 Hatchback

25 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 99 - 163g/km

From £135.53 Per Month

Initial Rental: £813.18 inc VAT

Another hatchback that’s made the list, the Ford Focus is probably the quintessential family car. It’s been the de-facto ruler of the class since it first launched in 1998. Twenty years later, it’s still leading the way in terms of affordable, family-sized cars.

Ford have gone for an ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach, opting to play it safe with the basic design of the Ford Focus and changing only a few things very gradually with the design in recent years. That approach seems to have worked.

You’ve got Isofix child seat fittings on the rear seats, good all-round headroom and legroom, as well as excellent safety features too, like autonomous braking systems.

If your back is tired out from all that parenting, don’t worry – you’ve even got adjustable lumbar support in the front seats too.

383 viewed this car Focus Hatchback

Ford Focus Hatchback

77 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.5
  • Fuel: D, P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £164.98 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,484.82 inc VAT