Choosing the right car for your clan, especially if it's a big one, is an important decision. As well as being a fairly hefty investment, there are many other factors you'll need to consider before rolling away from the showroom. Along with comfortably accommodating the whole family, it has to also suit everyone's lifestyle and demands, while things such as fuel economy and affordability should also be weighed up.
Luckily there's a huge range of vehicles that are suited to big families. Whether it's a family hatchback, five or seven-seater SUVs and MPVs, and even electric cars for those households looking to improve their green credentials, all needs and demands are catered to. And of course, you'll need plenty of on-board technology such as the latest infotainment systems and Bluetooth connectivity, to ensure everyone stays entertained during those long, family drives.
With so much to factor in, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start. Yes, hatchbacks are still as popular as ever, but larger vehicles and SUVs, with their increased ride height and space, have also made inroads into the family car market lately. Spoilt for choice? We've rounded up some of the best cars that are tailor-made for bigger families to help make that all-important decision a little easier for you.
Built for large families with packed schedules, the Mazda 6 Saloon has become well known for its reliable performance. Great for keeping everyone happy, the good news is that even its entry-level trim comes equipped with loads of equipment and safety kit, such as a 7.0-inch touchscreen system, a DAB radio with USB connectivity, Bluetooth, emergency brake assist, traction control, hill hold assist and cruise control.
Spacious and comfortable on the inside, with enough suspension to smoothly drift over potholes and poor road surfaces, this classic-looking saloon is an absolute dream to drive.
A muscular, powerful vehicle that's built for adventurous families, the Grandland X Hybrid 4 is Vauxhall's first-ever all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid, with plenty of space to spare! With four driving modes to choose from - electric, hybrid, 4WD and Sport - the Hybrid 4 racks up the miles in an efficient, affordable way without sacrificing power.
Fully charged in under four hours, regenerative braking helps boost the range by 10% by capturing and converting kinetic energy into electrical energy, too. Meanwhile, its safety and infotainment technology offerings don't disappoint. IntelliLink guides you to the nearest charging point, which is great for longer family road trips, while its infotainment screen is fully compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, allowing for plenty of onboard entertainment when you're on the move.
Robust and powerful, the Hyundai Santa Fe feels tailor-made for hitting the open road with the family. With its impressively wide stance, there's a pleasing amount of space to the interior even with all seven seats raised; the flat floor, wide seating and panoramic sunroof that lets in lots of light all combine, providing plenty of room for large families.
And while space is clearly the Santa Fe's strong point, the comfort, road handling and safety this 4x4 SUV offers is certainly impressive too. Hyundai SmartSense helps to assist the driver, monitoring the environment at all times, avoiding collisions through braking and detecting vehicles in your blind spot. An undoubted advantage that keeps families of a certain size safe and protected wherever they're going.
Another powerful hybrid option, the Kia Sorento has space and practicality in abundance. Bigger than the model it replaced, head and leg room are plentiful, with a boot space that's probably best described as cavernous. Hidden recesses, square dimensions and underfloor space in seven-seat mode mean that you and your family's belongings are more than accommodated.
An impressively-wide touchscreen, compatible with CarPlay and Android Auto, keeps you in control of the Sorento's infotainment with ease, optimised with a 12-speaker Bose Surround Sound system that provides a superb-sounding soundtrack to all of your journeys.
Built for weekends away and family road trips, the Volvo XC90 has space - and lots of it. With three rows of seating providing ample room for inhabitants, the XC90 still has enough left over for a boot too! Inside, the pale leather seats and open-grain wood finish give this a luxury feel that's full of Volvo's renowned Scandi-style, while the large iPad-esque touchscreens, used to navigate the car's in-car entertainment, function like a breeze, glitch-free.
For safety, the V90 is perhaps top of this list. One of the safest cars on the market, the list of safety kit and driver assists is certainly impressive. Stocked up with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, a lane-keeping aid - the list goes on and on. Optional extras stand out too, especially its integrated child seats. What's more, it's nice and spacious too, with a roomy back that also boasts a 560-litre boot, perfect for luggage, toys and prams.
It's not too shabby in the driving stakes either, offering a ride that's comfortable and relaxing, which is just what you want from a large family car.
For those with an eye on the environment, the Nissan Leaf is a great electric family car. With its large, tall body and spacious interior, the 435-litre boot offers a decently roomy area for you and your family's things, while the model's latest version, the e+ 3.Zero, claims up to 239 miles between charges, so range anxiety is no longer the problem as it was with previous models.
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