RAC Cars News


Affordable Family Cars

By raccars Published

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The perfect family car has a lot of requirements to fulfil - it needs to be spacious and comfortable, safe, affordable and practical. That's a pretty tall order but it's not actually that hard to find. With a budget of only £5,000, all of these will fit the bill.

Ford Focus

There is a reason why the Focus is an obvious choice for this category, which is that it is simply so capable. It's an economical, versatile and eminently sensible choice for a family without sacrificing driving pleasure. The second generation Focus is plentiful on the used market and available from £5,000 in five door hatchback and spacious estate formats.

Nissan Qashqai

This was where the crossover craze really began, with the super practical and competent Qashqai combining the spaciousness of an SUV with the ride of a hatchback. Launched in 2007, used versions cost from £5,000 and offer a supremely comfortable drive.

Citroen C4 Picasso

The C4 Picasso turns its nose up at the boxy styling of other MPVs in favour of sleek, curvy lines. It's big enough to carry a family in comfort but surprisingly economical. The interior avoids feeling cramped even when full, thanks to the large windows, while there's a lot of carrying capacity with the seats folded down.

BMW 3 Series Touring

This is a driver's car, offering plenty of entertainment on B-roads and a sophisticated interior. However, it is slightly more expensive and the interior is surprisingly small for an estate.

Lexus RX 300

Believe it or not this large, luxury 4x4 can be bought for £5,000. It's comfortable and reliable but not really kitted out for serious mudplugging, despite the 4x4 format and has a bit of a thirst.

Seat Altea

A low profile choice, the Altea handles well and has a roomy cabin. The XL variant has more boot space and there's also a Freetrack 4 version, with four wheel drive and an elevated ride height for those who like chunkier, SUV styling and the idea of adventure. It's quite a lot of car for the money but its budget status is obvious from the cheap materials used in the cabin.

Honda Jazz

It might seem on the small side but the Jazz is Tardis-like in its capacity, with room for four adults and a baby pram in the boot. Some clever designing means the rear seats flip to provide masses of cargo space.

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