Here at Thame Cars I have the privilege of being surrounded by some of the best family cars on the market today. Today's discerning buyers’ value for money, the latest technology and the highest quality, and manufacturers have upped their game as a result, meaning that even a small family car is packed with equipment and exudes luxury. So, when the market is full of fantastic family cars, how do you choose the best one for you? Let's take a look at our top three.
The Volkswagen Golf is a German stalwart which is now in its seventh generation. With each incarnation it has become more mature and a higher quality car, and it is now the small family car that many aspire to own. With the wheels pushed firmly out to each corner, the Golf is compact enough to nip around in a city centre but is also roomy enough inside to rival a large family car. There is plenty of space for passengers, and a 360-litre boot to swallow the family's weekly shopping. The Golf also takes advantage of the Volkswagen group's excellent range of petrol and diesel engines, and if you're lucky you might even find an all-electric GTE or Golf E. With a choice of models from the well-equipped Match to the sporty GTI, there should be a Golf to suit you.
The Ford Escort was a whirlwind success for over two decades, so when the time came to renew it, Ford needed something very special to replace it. Along came the Focus, which to this day is almost unrivalled in its class for its excellent handling and driving experience. There is a Focus to suit all tastes, from an economical diesel to the fire-breathing ST and RS models. Ford have also developed their innovative EcoBoost engines which are surprisingly powerful, utilising small 1 litre petrol engines and adding a flexible turbo to give it an extra kick. The EcoBoost technology gives the Focus a power output to rival 1.4 and 1.6 litre rivals, but the excellent fuel economy of a 1 litre supermini. This tempting combination of peppy engines, sporty handling and trim levels to suit every need has cemented the Focus' position at the top end of the sales chart every year since it was launched.
Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport
The old Vauxhall Insignia was a capable large family car, but much like its Vectra predecessor it had a reputation for being decidedly dull and dowdy. So, in the face of its rivals Vauxhall decided it was time to up its game, and this time it has created the Insignia Grand Sport. With its sleek coupe-like body and good looks, the Insignia Grand Sport has a noticeable presence on the road. Despite its low roofline, the Insignia is roomy and luxurious inside, with comfortable seats and a generous level of equipment that ensures the interior is just as nice as its exterior suggests it should be. The Insignia benefits from Vauxhall's flexible range of petrol and Diesel engines and comes in a choice of hatchback or estate variants. Vauxhall has definitely brought something good to the table this time round.
Other cars to consider
While the Golf, Focus and Insignia Grand Sport are my current pick of the bunch, there a number of other excellent cars to consider. It would be rude not to mention the Astra, which has proven over the years to be a very capable little brother to the Insignia. With its recent facelift the Astra is an attractive, high quality and well-equipped model to bring a more home-grown alternative to the Golf. Or if you've decided to modernise your life a little and shake off the fossil fuelled internal combustion engine in favour of an all-electric car, the Hyundai IONIQ is a modern and environmentally friendly alternative. If you still get that "range anxiety" and worry about running out of electricity at an inopportune moment, the IONIQ does have a hybrid option too.
We have a large selection of the models mentioned in this blog available for you to see and test drive here at Thame Cars. You're very welcome to come and have a look at them if you're thinking of changing your car, so you can see for yourself why they're my favourite family cars. We only stock the most popular models, colours, engines and trim levels, and all of them are prepared to as-new condition by our workshop, so I'm confident you'll find your perfect car here.