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Buying a large family car

By raccars Published

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The large saloon used to be the default choice for a family car, until it was usurped by the uncontrollable spread of the crossover. Now a new breed has emerged.

The modern family car

If you're bored of the ubiquitous crossover, try one of these smart family cars for 2016.

Citroen C5

The C5 is as French as red wine and Brie. It's a little quirky, spacious and takes corners like a hippo. It has actually been around since 2008, which means that it is awaiting its replacement and that run-out models may be something of a bargain. It's comfortable and comes with plenty of assistance features and some generous discounts.

Vauxhall Insignia

It's not an exciting car but the Insignia is tried and tested as a practical family car. Like the C5, the Insignia is a little long in the tooth now so you should be able to negotiate a good discount. In any case, the Insignia offers quite a lot of car for the money and a very owner-friendly proposition, with a generous level of kit and plenty of engine choices.

Ford Mondeo

A ubiquitous entrant into 'best saloon' lists, you know what you're getting with the Mondeo. However the upmarket Vignale edition could surprise you yet, both in terms of its quality and its price. However, the lower trim levels are keenly priced for the level of space, comfort and quality they offer. The Mondeo is a particularly good motorway cruiser among the cars on this list and is capable of reaching high mileage without too much trouble.

Hyundai i40

As a saloon buyer, you may not have considered Hyundai before. However it's worth stepping outside your comfort zone for the brand's latest model line-up. The i40 has been around for four years but still looks fresh and surprisingly glamorous. The cabin lacks sophistication but the i40 provides a comfortable ride and plenty of kit at all trim levels.

Kia Optima

If you can get past any badge snobbery, the level of quality on display in the Optima could surprise you. With a smart cabin and efficient engine range, it's a great value proposition and its 'budget brand' status is far from obvious in its rather chic looks.

Mazda 6

The latest 6 is a well thought-out improvement upon the previous model, building upon its strengths and adding some welcome touches in the form of lightweight construction to increase efficiency, a smoother ride and rakish good looks.

Peugeot 508

The French are very good at producing large, comfortable and rather boring saloons, and the 508 is no exception. The list price is relatively high but as the model moves through its life cycle, dealers are enthusiastically agreeing to discounts on this economical and well equipped car. Buy carefully and the 508 could be a bargain.

Volkswagen Passat

The Passat is almost smug in its confidence, but then it has a right to be. It's an extremely well finished and refined car offering premium quality at a middle price point. It's still one of the most expensive cars on this list but then it's also probably the best.

Skoda Superb

It can't be easy to live up to such an immodest name but the Superb does so in some style. It's the most spacious model in its class and one of the most practical. In fact it fits the hatchback format rather than the traditional saloon. It also offers high levels of build quality, refinement, comfort and spaciousness at a far lower price than the VW Passat, for example.

Skoda Octavia

Slipping neatly into the gap between the larger Superb and the smaller VW Golf segment, the Octavia is a good looking, practical car. It's cheaper than its corporate stablemate, the Golf, but just as good to drive.

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