Question

What car is good on petrol and suitable for family use?


Answers (1)

by Lucy 10 years ago

Family use could refer to one or several children, of course. If you have a large family then naturally you’ll be looking at larger models; but let’s assume for the moment you have a typical UK family size of two adults and two children, and look at larger ones later.
It also depends on your budget; but mostly for families money is a consideration, so we’ll start with the smaller family cars at the lower end of the price range. For a new car under £16,000, What Car? found that the best value was the Seat Leon in 2013. This is a hatchback suitable for an average sized family. It’s similar to the VW Golf or Audi A3 – which are both also reliable and highly recommended family cars – but is cheaper than either of these. At almost 57 miles to the gallon it is also economical on fuel, and as it is also low on emissions the tax is low. The insurance costs for this model haven’t been confirmed as of now (21 November 2013) but there is no reason to expect they would be unusually high for the car size.
If you have a larger budget, though, What Car? Gave its Small Family Car of the Year to the Audi A3 Sportback. This will be on sale at under £20,000. It is considered the best designed and most luxurious car in its category, and is very powerful with a top speed of 126 mph. Its fuel economy is actually slightly less good than that of the Seat Leon, but still very good on petrol at a little over 53 miles to the gallon. It’s in insurance category 16.
Another family car that has received a lot of attention, especially from Car Buyer, is the new Skoda Octavia – Car Buyer have put it in first place for value for money family cars this year, ahead of usual favourites like the VW Golf. The old days when Skodas were the target of jokes seem very far away now – Skoda owners tend to report very high levels of satisfaction, and this is especially true of the Octavia. One of the standout features of this car is the fuel economy – it can get up to 83 miles per gallon, and has several features to make it more economical including the new traffic feature that makes the engine automatically switch off when the car stops and turn on again as soon as you put your foot on the accelerator. This feature may seem odd at first but is very reliable and it’s estimated that cars which use it (you can find it in many models now including the new Fiat 500) save up to 10% on fuel in heavy traffic. The Octavia also has plenty of space inside for a small car, and is considered good for families as it is very firm when driving round corners (albeit slightly less comfortable than some comparable cars such as the Ford Focus). The price goes from about £16,000 to £23,000 for different models, so it’s not the cheapest, though again very comparable in price to the VW Golf.
For a larger family, What Car has also picked a Skoda for its lowest priced family car of the year – the Skoda Superb. It’s under £18,000 and exceptionally large for this price, including very good boot space. The fuel consumption is also good for a car of this size, though at over 41 mpg it’s obviously not as economical as the smaller ones. Another important point for a family car is that it got the highest safety ranking in a crash test.


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