Best family cars for Motability 2022

With five seats and decent boot space, a family car is still an attractive proposition for Motability users

Although superminis have grown to offer more space, there are times when a proper five-seat family car is still what you need. The rise of the SUV and crossover has drawn some buyers away from the class, but you can still get a spacious and practical family car in a compact five-door body and Motability customers will find plenty of choice available under the scheme.

A lower ride height and less weight usually mean running costs are better than you'll get in a similar crossover or SUV, while comfort and handling will be better than the family hatchback's high-riding counterparts, too. These cars are great for longer distance driving - some even feature adaptive cruise control to ease some of the strain, and there is plenty of useful tech on board to help with urban driving, too, such as parking sensors and advanced tech including autonomous city braking.

Our picks for the best hatchbacks on Motability offer good space and low running costs, while the initial advance payments start from less than £400, and you won't need to pay much more for a well-specced model, either.

We pick the best family hatchbacks available on Motability below... 

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra - front

The brand-new Vauxhall Astra is now available to lease through Motability. With Vauxhall now part of the broad Stellantis empire of brands, the new Astra sits on the same EMP2 underpinnings as the Peugeot 308. That has allowed the introduction of an Astra plug-in hybrid for the first time, although this is an expensive choice for Motability customers.

We’d recommend sticking with the 1.2-litre petrol. The initial rental isn’t huge if you choose a manual gearbox, and the petrol engine is well-suited for short trips across town. It’s comfortable on the motorway too, and long journeys are rewarded by 50mpg fuel economy. That’s what you’d expect from a fairly recent decent diesel engine. Incidentally, there is a diesel engine also available if you plan to make the most of Motability’s 20,000-mile annual cap.

Many UK buyers like sporty trappings in their family hatchback and, if that’s you, the mid-spec GS Line will appeal. It’s barely any costlier than the Design version on Motability, and adds a black roof, adaptive cruise control and heated sports seats to the already comprehensive list of equipment plumbed into Design cars.

In the boot space race, the Astra is usefully more capacious than a Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus. The Sports Tourer estate is a strong choice if you need extra practicality, with a near-600 litre loadbay.

Citroen C4

Citroen C4

The old Citroen C4 was incredibly dull and little more than a mode of transportation for getting from A to B, but the new one is altogether more appealing. It boasts incredibly eye-catching styling, for one thing, and has been designed to look a little more like a crossover than a family hatchback like a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf. That makes it look trendy, but the slightly raised ride height might be a boon if you have limited mobility.

Inside, it’s not quite as style-led, but we’re pleased to see physical dials for the air conditioning functions. These are much easier to use than searching through the touchscreen for them, like you have to do on the outgoing Citroen C4 Cactus.

The Sense Plus trim level is the one we’d pick, both for its low advance payment (at the time of writing, if you choose the 130 petrol engine) and its generous equipment list. Bright LED headlights, multi-zone air conditioning, parking sensors, a rear-view camera and a head-up display are all included, along with a tablet stand that sits hidden away in the dashboard until your front passenger wants to use it.

Diesel versions are available for a tad more upfront, and there’s even an electric e-C4 variant with a 200-mile range (although this one does require over £1,000 upfront).

It’s a little bigger than its traditional hatchback rivals, but that doesn’t equate to a lot of extra practicality as the roofline swoops down quite dramatically. The boot space and rear seat room is on a par with a Focus or Golf, however.

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is a return to form for Toyota in the family car segment, holding up well against its nearest rivals in every area that’s important. The British-built hatch offers great refinement, a pliant ride, fantastic build quality and handling that’s precise and controlled if not the last word in entertainment.

There’s very little to dislike – its hybrid powertrains offer a good combination of performance and economy, even if its CVT gearbox can feel a little ponderous.

Toyota has given the Corolla a distinctive, sharp look that takes cues from the larger Toyota Camry saloon and C-HR SUV. Inside, the Corolla boasts a similarly modern design that’s clearly laid out and generally very well made. Every version has five-seats and varying levels of boot space, but the hatchback, saloon and estate models all remain practical cars.

Traditionally, one of the best reasons to buy a Toyota has been reliability, and the latest Corolla is no exception. Excellent finishes for both car and manufacturer in our latest Driver Power satisfaction survey highlights the tremendous build quality, levels of safety and overall refinement of this first-class family hatchback.

Have you ever owned one of our best family cars for Motability? Give us your review in the comments section below...

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