Choosing the right large family car used to be a simple matter of finding a hatchback or saloon that you liked, but family buyers now have more choice than ever. Mondeo man still exists – and with good reason judging by the Ford’s current offering – but the age-old party of saloon and five-door models has been gate-crashed by modern alternatives that mix off-road looks with two-wheel drive running costs.
Crossovers are a recent phenomenon but the best examples make excellent family cars thanks to their tall bodies (perfect for a good view out) and spacious interiors. Add seven-seater MPVs and proper 4x4s to the mix and you can see why picking the right family car can be a daunting task.
If outright space is the prime concern, it’s still hard to trump an SUV or estate but if you want some driving thrills chucked in, a traditional low slung saloon or hatchback will probably still be at the top of the list.
Whatever you decide, pay close attention to the specification tables so you know exactly what you’re getting. This sounds boring but the devil is in the detail and there’s nothing worse than getting your new car home and discovering that it doesn’t come fitted with all of the gadgets that you saw (and lusted over) on the top-of-the-range showroom model.
If you’re planning to keep your car for years and years, splashing out on the odd optional extra isn’t necessarily a bad idea, after all, it’s hard to put a price on happiness. Best of all, though, try to find a model which comes with everything you want fitted as standard.
Fashionable full-length panoramic glass sunroofs are a case in point – you could end up paying a small fortune to have one fitted on some models, so check out its rival as you might find a car that comes with one as standard.