If you have £10,000 to spend on your next family car, you’ll be pleased to hear that you’ve got plenty of options.
From practical MPVs to stylish saloons, there are lots of different models to choose from.
But as most modern cars now come with a raft of safety equipment and new technologies, it can be hard to pick the right car for you.
So we’ve selected 10 cars that we think are the perfect blend of affordability, practicality, style and efficiency; perfect for the modern family.
The Ford Fiesta is the UK’s best-selling car ever, and it’s easy to see why. It’s attractive, cheap to drive, and incredibly fun. While it might not be the most obvious choice for a family car, it’s a great choice for new and small families. Boot size is decent and there’s plenty of room for the kids in the back.
A facelift in 2013 brought a bunch of changes, such as revised styling and a new engine range. So, if you’ve got a bit of extra cash to spare, it’s worth opting for one of the later models.
Trim-wise, the mid-range Zetec has long been a favourite. With this model, you can expect alloy wheels, CD/radio system, remote locking, electric windows and air conditioning.
We found: 67 plate Ford Fiesta 1.25 Zetec 5 dr – £9998
This funky SUV proves that practical doesn’t have to be boring. The unusual design with bright paint options and signature air bumps are sure to appeal to families with a quirky side.
But this isn’t simply a car that’s turning heads for the sake of it; the C4 Cactus is spacious, economical and family friendly, too.
The engine range includes some strong HDi diesels and a 1.2-litre PureTech petrol option.
We found: 67 plate Citroën C4 Cactus 1.2 PureTech Feel 5 dr – £9998
Another unusual model, the ŠKODA Yeti combines the affordability of a family hatch with the four-wheel-drive of an SUV. It’s a winning formula, and makes the Yeti a truly capable family car.
It drives incredibly well, has a frugal choice of engines and a spacious boot at 416 litres.
Entry-level models get air-con, electric front windows and a CD player, but opt for the S or SE models and you can enjoy extras such as alloy wheels, parking sensors, touchscreen sat nav and Bluetooth.
We found: 15 plate ŠKODA Yeti 1.2 TSI SE 5 dr – £9498
The Vauxhall Insignia is a large family car that’s also popular with fleet drivers, as a result of its excellent value for money.
There’s a huge range of engines to choose from. The diesels will be your best bet for frugality and punch, although the petrol options are satisfyingly quiet and smooth, especially at motorway speeds.
The interior is spacious and comfortable and the 530-litre boot should be more than enough for the family.
Look out for models built after the 2013 facelift, which enjoyed a neater central console, improved standard equipment and lower running costs.
We found: 65 plate Vauxhall Insignia 1.6 CDTi ecoFLEX SRi 5 dr – £9998
The Volkswagen Passat is an excellent saloon with classy looks, a comfortable cabin and a good-sized boot.
There are five engines to choose from, all of which are well balanced in power and economy.
Family car buyers will be pleased to hear that the Passat has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, a range of airbags and ISOFIX for anchoring child safety seats.
Equipment levels are great across the range, including entry-level models, which come with 16-inch alloys, 60:40 folding rear seats, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, DAB digital radio and an MP3-compatible CD player.
We found: 2014 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TDI Bluemotion Tech R Line 5 dr – £8498
The Volkswagen Golf is small family car that’s extremely comfortable, efficient and enjoyable to drive.
You’ll easily fit a pram in the boot and ISOFIX settings in the rear create safe accommodation for two rear car seats.
Engineered to a much higher standard than its rivals, this is a reliable car that’s built to last.
In the MK7 model (2013 onwards), you’ll find cutting-edge safety tech and a five-star Euro NCAP rating that’s sure to put any parent’s mind at ease.
We found: 15 plate Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI 105 S 5 dr – £8998
The Kia Sportage is one of the best in this list in terms of space and practicality. There’s plenty of room for four or five adults, with good seat and steering wheel adjustments for the driver.
And it’s pretty stylish, too. There’s a good quality feel to the interior and its sharp, modern look is sure to impress on the school run.
For cheapest running costs, you should opt for the 1.7 CRDi, which achieves 54.3 mpg and 135g/km of CO2.
All models are comprehensively equipped and it’s great value for money.
We found: 13 plate Kia Sportage 1.7 CRDi ISG 2 5 dr – £9998
The Ford B-Max is a small MPV that combines plenty of space with hatchback-like economy. But the real selling point is the easy-access sliding rear doors, which make fitting your child safety seats an absolute breeze.
The B-Max holds a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating and there are lots of handy extras that you probably didn’t even know you needed – we’re talking bottle holders, 12v power sockets, big door pockets and a wide-angle mirror for checking on your rear-seat passengers.
The broad range of versatile engines is the finishing touch on this well-rounded family MPV.
We found: 65 plate Ford B-Max 1.6 Zetec Powershift 5 dr – £9298
This is a seriously good-looking family saloon, which is solidly built with decent fuel economy and equipment levels.
You’ll find Mazda’s SkyActiv programme on models from 2013 onwards, which lowers emissions and fuel economy by making small savings wherever possible.
The system means that even with the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol engine, you’ll manage 51.4 mpg and 67.3 mpg with the diesel variant.
But what really makes the Mazda 6 stand out is how it drives. Its excellent handling and refinement have garnered consistently positive reviews over the years.
We found: 64 plate Mazda 6 2.2d SE-L Nav 4 dr – £8998
The Octavia is ŠKODA’s best-selling model in the UK, and is renowned for offering more space than the class norm. Despite its saloon shape, this is actually an incredibly practical hatchback, and the MK3 model, built after 2013, is the largest yet.
The 590-litre boot is cavernous, and can be expanded to 1,580 litres with the rear seats folded. The low load lip makes it easy to manoeuvre items in and out, too.
You’ll have four engines to choose from, all with decent fuel economy for keeping your on-the-road costs down. It’s in a relatively low insurance group, too, which always helps.
We found: 14 plate ŠKODA Octavia 2.0 TDI CR SE Business Edition 5 dr – £9998
These prices are correct at time of publishing and may be subject to change.