Best family cars for Motability
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 £200, 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...
The Skoda Scala is one of our favourite family hatchbacks. It’s one of the most practical cars in its class, with a huge boot and lots of passenger space. Standard equipment is good across the range, with impressive infotainment and the option of digital dials on higher-spec models.
The Scala has a fairly limited engine lineup, but there's both petrol and diesel power on offer. The light weight of the five-door hatch helps to make it one of the most efficient cars in its class – with the oil-burning unit capable of over 60mpg, and the 1.0-litre TSI petrol delivering in excess of 50mpg.
There are five seats, with those in the rear big enough for adults, while interior space is impressive and visibility is great thanks to a large glasshouse. Aside from the sizeable boot, practical touches include large door bins, a cooled glovebox, under-seat storage in the front and a sunglasses cubby in the roof.
It’s encouraging to see a good amount of standard safety kit, while reliability is traditionally a strong point for Skoda. In fact, the brand finished fifth out of 30 manufacturers in our 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.
Several models are available with nil advance payment, and the new Skoda Octavia is also available for low initial payments if you need even more space than the Scala offers.
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 nil 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 if you want to make the most of your 20,000-mile annual limit, 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 should be on a par with a Focus or Golf, however.
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...
- 1IntroductionThe Motability scheme is designed to get less able people moving, and we've picked the best cars in six categories by way of a guide
- 2Best small cars for MotabilitySmall cars offer Motability users transport to get from A to B, but there's much more to our three picks
- 3Best superminis for MotabilityUse your Motability allowance wisely, and you can get a supermini that's practical as well as fun to drive
- 4Best family cars for Motability - currently readingWith five seats and decent boot space, a family car is still an attractive proposition for Motability users
- 5Best MPVs for MotabilityWhile there are loads of superminis and city cars on offer to Motability scheme members, you'll pay more if you want an MPV.
- 6Best 4x4s and SUVs for MotabilitySUVs and 4x4s continue to gain in popularity, with seemingly every manufacturer producing SUV models to fill niche gaps in the market.
- 7Best hybrid and electric cars for MotabilityYou don't have to choose between just petrol and diesel cars - the Motability scheme now includes a lot of electric and hybrid models too.