Land Rover Discovery with family

The best used family cars 2024

The right car can make journeys with the family easier and more enjoyable. Here’s our guide to the 10 top used family cars in 2024, with something to suit a range of budgets and tastes.

Leo Wilkinson Cazoo

By Leo Wilkinson

Updated: 29 January 2024

Choosing a car that fits your lifestyle is always a good idea, so what makes a good used family car? Well, anything that helps to keep the kids (or grown-ups) comfortable, safe and quiet is a must, and having a car spacious enough to cope with the clutter that comes with family life can make trips go more smoothly. 

Here, we’ve listed our 10 outright favourites – there’s something for every family, from cost-effective hatchbacks to premium-brand SUVs. If you’ve got a smaller family or simply want a more compact car, we’ve put together a separate guide to the best used small family cars.

1. Skoda Kodiaq

If you created a checklist of all the things that make a good family car the Skoda Kodiaq would tick more boxes than most. It’s very spacious, with a roomy interior that’s available with five or seven seats. The two third-row seats are a huge bonus if you want to bring the kids’ friends or the grandparents along on a day out – when you don’t need them they can be folded away to leave the kind of huge boot that you’d expect of a larger, more expensive SUV. 

What’s great about the Kodiaq is that although it’s huge on the inside, it’s not so large on the outside that you’ll struggle to fit it into a parking space. It also gives you a smooth, quiet drive, and it’s very comfortable on long journeys. Add to that an interior that has a premium feel and very competitive prices and the Kodiaq feels better suited to family life than just about any other mid-size SUV.

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2. Kia Ceed

If you want a car that’s fit for family life but also outstanding value for money, the Kia Ceed should definitely be on your list. Available as both a five-door hatchback and as an estate version called Sportswagon, the Ceed is a stylish choice that costs less than many rivals and comes with lots of features as standard.

Every version has an easy-to-use touchscreen infotainment system with smartphone integration and the interior has a solid, comfortable feel throughout. There’s a good amount of headroom and legroom in the front and back seats and the standard Ceed has as much boot space as rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. The Sportswagon’s boot is enormous, with a capacity of 625 litres to the load cover (slightly less for the latest mild hybrid models) – that’s more than you get with many mid-size SUVs. 

3. Ford Puma

If you’ve got a smaller family and want a car that’s fun to drive and cost-effective, the Ford Puma is a brilliant choice. It’s a compact SUV (you might also call it a crossover) that’s not much larger than a Ford Fiesta yet it’s a realistic option for a family of four, with an interior that has more space than you might think. 

Because it sits a bit higher off the road than your average hatchback, loading kids and child seats into the Puma can be easier. Headroom and legroom is good, too, but the boot is where the Puma really comes into its own. A capacity of 456 litres (up to the load cover) is actually more than you get with some versions of the Nissan Qashqai. The space includes what Ford calls the ‘Megabox’ – a large space under the boot floor that’s perfect for muddy shoes or sportswear that can be easily removed and hosed clean if necessary. 

4. Kia Niro

The Kia Niro is a big favourite with private taxi drivers and the same things that make it a great choice for mega-mile drivers ferrying people around also make it a great family car – it’s roomy, comfortable, reliable and gives you a choice of low-emissions or zero-emissions power.

You can get the Niro as a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or pure-electric model – the hybrid version costs the least to buy, but you could spend less on fuel with the plug-in hybrid version thanks to an electric-only battery range of about 30 miles. The pure-electric Kia e-Niro could cost you even less per mile, depending on where and when you charge it.

In every version, the interior is roomy and comfortable, and the dashboard is easy to use. Even the most cost-effective models come with useful features such as a reversing camera, while higher-spec models have all kinds of extra goodies, including leather upholstery and a heated steering wheel.

5. Tesla Model 3

Tesla cars are remarkable for their quick acceleration and long battery ranges, but they are great family cars too.

While the Model 3 is the smallest Tesla it’s a great choice for families. It’s more affordable than other Teslas, for a start, and although it’s a saloon it’s very practical. Much of that is down to the way it’s built, with the batteries and motors positioned in a way that leaves a spacious cabin with lots of headroom and legroom. The boot is large and although you don’t get the versatility of a hatchback you do get a ‘frunk’ – an extra luggage space under the bonnet that’s large enough for a couple of weekend bags or a few pairs of muddy boots.

6. Land Rover Discovery Sport

If you’re looking for a car that can take you on family adventures, the Land Rover Discovery Sport could be just what you need. As with every Land Rover, it's a true off-roader that will get you to places that most cars – even many SUVs – can't, yet it’s quiet and comfortable on everyday journeys.

The interior is as family-friendly as it gets, with lots of storage spaces for odds and ends and very comfortable seats. A smooth ride helps to make the Discovery Sport a relaxing car to travel in, whether you’re a driver or a passenger. While the Discovery Sport isn’t as spacious as the larger Land Rover Discovery it’s available with up to seven seats and, because it’s more compact, it’s easier to squeeze it into tight parking spaces. It can cost a lot less to buy and run, too. 

7. Audi A4 Avant

If you want a car that’s family-friendly and has a premium feel, the Audi A4 Avant is well worth considering.

While the A4 saloon has lots of interior space, the estate version (called A4 Avant) is the one to go for if you want maximum practicality. Boot space (up to the load cover) is 495 litres, which could cause fewer arguments about what to bring and what to leave behind on a family holiday. 

The interior certainly feels built to withstand the rigours of family life, with a real feeling of quality throughout. It’s beautifully designed and user-friendly thanks to a responsive touchscreen infotainment system.

8. Peugeot 5008

The Peugeot 5008 gives you the space and practicality of a seven-seat MPV in a super-stylish SUV. It’s essentially a longer, seven-seat version of the excellent Peugeot 3008 and it's great for families because each of the three equal-sized, individually sliding seats in the middle row has an Isofix child seat fitting. There are loads of neat touches inside too, including hidden storage and child safety locks that can be controlled via a button next to the driver. 

Another family-friendly aspect of the Peugeot 5008 is that it gives everyone on board a smooth ride, while the engines are especially quiet too. There’s no four-wheel-drive version and there’s no hybrid option but there is a wide range of models to choose from and each has an interior that’s as stylish and comfortable as it is roomy. 

9. Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia gives you a lot more space than most comparable cars, and in many cases does it for less money. Whether you choose the latest model (pictured), which went on sale in 2021, or the previous version, you get a very roomy interior and a generous boot, especially if you go for the estate version. 

You also get a wide range of engines to choose from (including a plug-in hybrid model in the latest car), a stylish and responsive infotainment system and the option of four-wheel drive. 

10. Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 is a family SUV that crams a lot of features into a compact package. It’s about the same size as a Nissan Qashqai, yet the XC40’s tall shape gives you loads of headroom, while big door openings make it easy to get kids and child seats in or out. The boot is large, and there’s a handy feature that allows you to fold the boot floor up to form a barrier, stopping your shopping bags from rolling around.

Every XC40 feels smooth and enjoyable to drive and there are front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive versions to choose from. As you’d expect of a Volvo, the XC40 is full of high-tech safety features, including a system that will automatically brake the car if it detects that a collision, with another vehicle, a pedestrian, cyclist or even a large animal, is imminent. 

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