Group 4: Compact family
To get through to the quarter finals from this keenly contested sector, our class winner needs to be an all-round star.
EntrantsWINNER: VW Golf (£14,850-£31,980) BEST HANDLING: Ford Focus (£17,870-£23,846) BEST SPACE: Skoda Octavia (£13,450-£22,555) Renault Mégane (£14,285-£23,116)SEAT Leon (£13,970-£20,740)Nissan Qashqai (£15,395-£25,745)Vauxhall Astra (£16,015-£24,210)Honda Civic (£15,426-£22,614)Mazda 3 (£13,930-£19,995)
Every World Cup has a group of death, full of leading contenders – and this is ours. Only one compact family car can go through to the next round, so some big names are about to take an early bath. But the model that tops this class has a good chance of reaching the latter stages. Which is it?
Practicality and space are top priorities for family buyers, and that sees the latest Mazda 3 drop out of contention. Its small boot simply isn’t big enough in this company.
And Renault’s poor showing in our Driver Power satisfaction surveys counts against the Mégane.
So, which car will progress to the quarter finals? It’s not the Honda Civic. Even though it’s a fine choice, it’s let down by its limited line-up and chassis that’s tuned for driving fun. Although the SEAT Leon has a broad model range, its racy handling also comes at the expense of comfort.
The Octavia is big, comfortable and offers the same great engine range as its VW Group sister model. However, it doesn’t have the Golf’s image, dynamic polish or rock-solid residual values.
The VW is the most refined and desirable car, and gets through thanks to its array of overall talents. None of the group winners will want to draw this talented hatch in the next round.
In this review
- 1IntroductionWe name best family car on sale in 2010’s biggest road test.
- 2Final: Skoda Superb vs Renault ScenicMPV champ meets our top hatch in epic battle. Will it go to penalties?
- 3Semi final 2VW Group duo have put in polished performances so far in our showdown. Now, they come together for a chance to take overall glory
- 4Semi final 1We’re only one round away from the final, and the nerves are jangling as French people carriers come face-to-face. So, which one gets the nod?
- 5Quarter final 4Skoda Superb vs Skoda Yeti
- 6Quarter final 3Kia Cee'd vs Volkswagen Golf
- 7Quarter final 2Renault Scenic vs Volkswagen Golf Estate
- 8Quarter final 1Citroen C3 Picasso vs Renault Clio Sport Tourer
- 9Group 8: Family hatchbacksPracticality, affordability, styling and driving fun... Buyers demand a lot from modern family cars. So which large five-door scores across the board?
- 10Group 7: Compact MPVsEuropean models dominate this sector of the market. Now, we reveal which flexible five-seater takes the glory on the global stage
- 11Group 6: Compact SUVsPractical, stylish and fun to drive, the latest small, road-biased 4x4s are ideal if you don’t plan to venture far off the tarmac. But which will qualify?
- 12Group 5: Compact family estatesGet a load of five of the most practical carriers on the market. One of these luggage-swallowing big hitters could go all the way!
- 13Group 4: Compact family - currently readingTo get through to the quarter finals from this keenly contested sector, our class winner needs to be an all-round star.
- 14Group 3: Budget family carsWhich models make the most financial sense? We bring together four of the best value buys in UK showrooms to name our winner
- 15Group 2: Supermini-MPVsThese cars combine the driving dynamics of a supermini with the versatility of a people carrier – and competition to reach the quarter finals is fierce.