Best Small Family Cars

The judges choice for Car of the Year, and ‘medium car of the year under $50,000’ in 2017, the Mazda6 offers the driver a sense of true synergy between car and road.

Mazda has a great reputation for quality and reliability here in Australia, with satellite navigation, digital radio, MZD Connect, an auto-dimming internal rear view mirror, electric handbrake and dual-zone climate control standard across the range.

Using just 6.6L/100km, it’s got a forward-facing camera to detect passengers and other objects or vehicles, protecting both passengers and pedestrians through the Smart City Braking system.

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A very affordable small family car that does everything that you need it to do. While it’s mostly adequate, with basic and functional fittings, the infotainment screen stands out at 8.0 inches, with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety is excellent, with an upgrade pack including AEB, blind-spot detection, driver attention alert, lane keep assist and smart cruise control. The pack also has an electronic parking brake, rear air vents and a 4.2-inch super-vision centre cluster screen.

It also drives really well for a cheap car – so if driver experience and practicality are your things, then fitting the family into an i30 makes sense.

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If you need to tow a caravan, boat or trailer, you can’t look past the CX-5 as an outstanding all-around mid-size SUV. With a strong diesel engine, it’s a family car that drives comfortably and looks super sharp.

The CX-5 is also available in petrol in a variety of specification levels to suit your needs. From 2012 to 2016 it’s been Australia’s best selling mid-size SUV.

With a comfortable interior, updated this year, dual-zone air-conditioning, and USB charge point for rear passengers, it’s not hard to see why the CX-5 is an Australian family favourite.

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Top Cars for Big Families

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For smooth driving, comfortable height and a turning circle of just 10.9m (other seven-seaters turn in 11.8m), this powerful family car ticks a lot of boxes. If you do still get stuck in a tricky parking situation, you can flick it to Auto-Park and let it park itself.

It’s the most elegant seven-seater SUV available in 2018, partly because it’s a little smaller than the other vehicles in this class. The boot is electric-powered, which is really helpful for a parent with kids.

Fuel efficiency is also outstanding, at just 7.8L/100km.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is quite a bit cheaper than the competition and has a five-year warranty and generous twelve-month service interval.

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A large family car with seven seats and tons of space, which doesn’t feel that heavy to drive. It’s got super-light steering, making three-point turns and reverse parking perfectly manageable.

It’s looks set it apart, with a sleek appearance that disguises its true size.

The safety features are exactly what you want when transporting loved ones, with side curtain airbags extending to the back row of seats, two ISOFIX points in the second row, and two tether points in the third tow.

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A large family car, you’ll buy this wagon for its function rather than form. The Carnival is well-presented, built to carry up to eight people comfortably. Even the third row can fit three adults fairly comfortably – unlike many large cars whose third row of seats are really only suitable for small children.

It’s designed as a people-mover and looks a little like a delivery van, but it suits its purpose. You can’t look past the comfort, accentuated by features like the power tailgate and sliding rear doors make it easy to get people and luggage in and out. With all the seats down, you can still fit in a lot of luggage.

Kia offers a seven-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and seven-year capped price servicing.

This low-priced five-door family car may require you to look past its boxy styling to the practical interior to see the real value that’s been overlooked by Australian buyers in the market for a large SUV.

With ample space inside, the EX flex and glide child seat system makes it easier to get little ones in and out of the back. And there are 16 cup holders – which you might use for pens, water bottles, and storing kids toys.

The V6 petrol engine provides stellar driving dynamics in all-wheel-drive, you can also choose an environmentally friendly hybrid option or front-wheel drive. Safety features include a surround-view camera, AEB, rear parking sensors, six airbags and electronic stability control.

Your family size and budget are usually your biggest considerations when choosing an ideal family car. As much as possible, choose one that has advanced safety and infotainment features to keep everyone secure and comfortable while on the road. You may have to pay more for a car with plenty of modern technologies, but it’s worth it if you’re loved ones greatly benefit from them.

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