In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the number of crossovers and SUVs being sold.
For plenty of manufacturers, these high-riding models now account for the bulk of their sales, and with crossovers and SUVs usually being roomier than the hatchbacks they’re based on, it’s no major surprise that the key market for such models is the family car sector.
Whether you’re looking at a compact or a mid-size crossover or SUV, here we take a look at the best ones available.
Ford Kuga – from £24,615
The Ford Kuga is now one of the most popular crossovers available in the UK, and now heads up Ford’s SUV line-up in the UK – sitting above the Ecosport and Puma.
This new third-generation Kuga arrived in showrooms earlier this year, and impresses with its stylish design, value for money and practicality – its boot measuring up to 526 litres. Alongside petrol and diesel versions, there’s also a new plug-in hybrid model, which will be an exceptionally cheap to run family car. With its 35-mile range allowing for a claimed fuel economy figure of more than 200mpg.
MG HS – from £20,995
MG is a brand that now majors on offering great value for money, and that’s exactly what you can expect from its largest HS crossover. With starting prices of just £20,995, it makes it more affordable than much smaller SUVs, while you also get the added bonus of a seven-year warranty, too.
It comes loaded with standard kit, while it also has an impressive safety rating, too, with Euro NCAP awarding the model high scores in all categories.
Skoda Karoq – from £22,765
Skoda absolutely excels at offering no-nonsense yet practical cars, and every model in its range would be up to the job of being a family vehicle. While you’ll need the largest Kodiaq if you require seven seats, the mid-size Karoq is a brilliant crossover and our choice here.
With a 521-litre boot, it’s one of the most spacious models in the mid-size SUV sector, while you can fit it with clever sliding rear seats known as ‘VarioFlex’. With this, the boot can increase to 588 litres. Plenty of rear space and loads of useful ‘Simply Clever’ touches make this a great choice.
Mini Countryman – from £23,395
Just because you choose a crossover or SUV, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on driving enjoyment or fun looks, and that’s exactly why the Mini Countryman is such a great option. There’s a whole host of options available – whether it be an affordable Cooper petrol model, an efficient plug-in hybrid or sporty Cooper S or John Cooper Works versions.
It’s also roomier than you might expect, with the Countryman having a large 450-litre boot and also plenty of rear space. If you’re happy to hold out for a few months, a facelifted version arrives in showrooms shortly with more efficient engines and a more modern interior.
Ford Puma – from £20,710
If you find the popular Ford Fiesta just a bit too small for you for family car duties, you should consider the new Puma crossover. Being based on the Fiesta, it’s fantastic to drive and is one of the most engaging small SUVs available, while also featuring efficient mild-hybrid powertrains – making it cheap to run.
There’s also a rather clever ‘MegaBox’ feature in the boot – essentially an underfloor storage box, which can be hosed out thanks to a plug at the bottom. It’s great for putting muddy or sandy clothes in, and is a really useful touch for a family car to have. It also extends the boot space to 456 litres.
Renault Captur – from £18,295
Since debuting in 2013, the Captur has gone on to become one of Renault’s most popular new cars, and it’s the biggest selling car in its segment across Europe. A new second-generation version has recently launched, and it’s an even better choice if you’re looking for a compact and inexpensive family car.
It’s one of few cars in its class that comes with sliding rear seats, and with them moved forward, its boot offers a large 536 litres of room. Add in cool styling (as well as loads of options for personalisation) and a much-improved interior, and the Captur is definitely worth considering.
Citroen C3 Aircross – from £18,905
Many firms like to make their crossovers feel as ‘sporty’ as possible, and often widely miss the mark. But Citroen takes an entirely different approach – comfort. With soft armchair-like seats and a soft suspension setup, the C3 Aircross is one of the most comfortable cars around.
It’s also got quirky looks on its side that’ll make it stand out on the school run, as well as practicality. Like the Renault Captur, it can come with sliding rear seats (fitted to top-spec models) and it increases the boot from 410 to 520 litres. Large rear windows will also give kids a great view.
Fiat 500X – from £18,895
In a similar vein the Mini Countryman, the Fiat 500X is a quirkier take on the compact crossover. As much as we love the regular 500 city car, it’s just too small to use as a family car, and that’s where this ‘X’ model steps in.
It successfully carries over the retro styling, but adds a welcome dose of spaciousness. It’s certainly not the largest car in this class – as its 350-litre boot isn’t the largest – but is still roomy and worth considering if you have a small family.
Audi Q3 – from £31,620
The Audi Q3 is more spacious than key rivals from Volvo and BMW, and it makes it a rather good family car if you fancy something a bit more upmarket.
With a 530-litre boot, which can increase to 675 litres with the rear seats slid forward, this is one of the most versatile mid-size crossovers around. Admittedly, you pay quite a lot more for it, but if you like a high-quality interior and a premium image, the Q3 is a good choice.
Dacia Duster – from £11,425
Last but not least at the opposite end of the spectrum is the Dacia Duster. With new prices starting from just £11,425, this chunky crossover is a car that offers value like no other car in this class can get close to. You might want to spend a bit more money for a few more luxuries, though, as entry-level models are rather sparse.
Despite its low price, though, the Duster is a rather spacious family crossover. Its 445-litre boot is large for such an inexpensive car – though more impressively the boot increases to 1,623 litres with the rear bench folded. Just be aware that the Duster’s low price means it misses out on some of the safety assistance technology that plenty of pricier rivals will get as standard.