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What Type Of Family Car Should I Buy?

Compact Cars, Bridgend

December 10, 2018 at 12:04 PM


Choosing the best car to suit your family can be a difficult task because there are so many options on the market. Families come in all shapes and sizes, which is why family cars do too.

If you've got a small family and need a city car to complete the school run, you'll be looking for something different compared to someone else who regularly transports three children on weekend adventures.

One thing is for sure, you'll want a car that's safe, practical, comfortable, able to transport bulky items (e.g. pushchair), cheap to run and durable (i.e able to stand up to the treatment of children).

There are six main types of family car for you to choose from including hatchback, estate, sedan, MPV, SUV and 7-Seater. The needs of your family and the lifestyle you lead will determine which shape is best.


A hatchback is the most common type of car on the road, largely because they're available in a range of different sizes. They all have a boot lid that is the entire width of the car and hinged at the roof. The boot lid is technically considered to be a door because you can access the cargo area and the rear seating area when it's opened which is why there are three- and five-door versions.

The boot area is visible from the outside, but is often covered by a parcel shelf. Although it isn't the largest storage space, there is still plenty of room to carry the weekly big shop, suitcases or the family dog. If you need additional space, the rear seats will almost always fold down so you can transport long or bulky items such as flatpack furniture or bikes.

The best-selling car in the UK, the Ford Fiesta, is a small hatchback. The slightly larger Ford Focus is a medium-sized hatchback, and the Ford Mondeo is a large hatchback.



If you need the amount of space that a hatchback gives you with the rear seats folded down, but also need to use the rear seats, an estate car could be the answer.

Essentially, it's the same as a hatchback, but with a longer body to provide more boot space and possibly even more space for passengers.

Typically, estate cars are medium or large hatchback models that have been stretched. For example, Ford Mondeo Estate, Peugeot 308 SW (Station Wagon) or BMW 3 Series Touring.



Unlike a hatchback, the cargo area on a sedan is separated from the passenger cabin so the boot lid cannot be considered as a door. The boot space is located behind the rear pillars providing better protection for the luggage because it doesn't have a glass window that looks into the cargo area.

Any sedan worth considering should provide four doors, room for five passengers, a big boot, decent power and good fuel economy. They have a low ground clearance so wouldn't be ideal for off-road adventures, but offer low fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

Examples of popular sedans on sale in the UK include the Mazda 6, BMW 5 Series and Audi A6.



A Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) is bigger still than an estate car with an amazing amount of interior space that allows them to carry up to seven people.

The biggest advantage of an MPV is its modular and flexible interior that you can configure to suit your needs whether you need to transport bulky and heavy loads or your two children and their friends.

To make loading easier, some models have sliding rear doors and seats that can be folded down to create a flat load space. The second row can also sometimes slide backwards and forwards to prioritise passenger or boot space.

Popular MPVs in the UK market include the Vauxhall Meriva, Renault Scenic and Ford C-Max.



In the past decade, the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) has dramatically increased in popularity with sales going through the roof and new models coming to market from almost all manufacturers.

The unprecedented popularity of compact SUVs and crossovers has meant that the SUV / 4x4 sector has become more versatile than ever before.

With increased ground clearance and a high riding position, SUVs are the natural choice for families that lead active lifestyles. They are very capable off-road, especially the four-wheel drive versions; however, they are also less fuel efficient compared to the other body types in this list.

Similar to MPVs, some large SUVs - like the Volvo XC90 and Nissan X-Trail - are available with seven seats. Although they might not be as spacious as MPVs, SUVs tend to offer a more stylish alternative.

Peugeot has a range of SUVs in their lineup starting with the Peugeot 2008 small SUV. The slightly larger Peugeot 3008 is a standard-sized SUV, and the Peugeot 5008 is a large SUV which offers seven seats as standard.



There are a range of seven-seaters in the UK market including seven-seat variants of regular models (like the Nissan X-Trail and Peugeot 5008), van-derived MPVs and purpose-built 7-seaters.

If you frequently transport more than five passengers, opting for a car with seven seats as standard would provide more space in the third row of seats.

7-seater cars are designed for larger families to easily travel together. Examples of these include the Citroën Grand C4 Picasso, Volkswagen Touran and Ford Galaxy.


The type of car that is best for your family is largely based on the size of your family, your lifestlye and budget. In order to make financing a car more affordable, there are finance companies that help you upgrade to your preferred family car while remaining within your budget. 

At Compact Cars, we have a Pay As You Drive package that can make it easier for you to acquire a family car. The company accepts all applications and low deposits, regardless of whether you have good or bad credit.

Search our used car stock today to find your perfect family car.

Category: Blog