Our little car is just not going to cut it in a few months time. The small boot is not made for storing pushchairs or giant packs of nappies, and getting in and out of the back with a baby seat is just not practical. With that in mind, the search for a family car is underway.
For the last few weeks I have spent an unhealthy amount of time staring at the AutoTrader app on my iPad trying to understand what the best family car we can get for less than £10k is. There are a lot of options out there which can be a great thing for the customer.
When it comes to buying a new car, I want one that is fit for taking us on some great family adventures in the not-to-distant future and have some specific criteria on the ‘must have’ list. A big enough boot space for a pushchair is an obvious one, but when we get beyond that pushchair stage that boot will need to be big enough to fit all of the necessary equipment for some camping trips and weekends away. Some kind of off-road capabilities would be a plus. I don’t necessarily mean full 4×4 Land Rover Defender ability, but knowing that we could drive on a beach, down a forest track or go out and play in the snow, would be a great benefit. Roof bars also make the list, purely because I hate any other kind of bike rack, those ones that you strap to the back of the car are both confusing and time consuming, and folding seats down and putting muddy bikes in the back of my new £10k car is not the way I want to go. Roof mounted bike racks are much easier, and quicker.
SUVs are massively popular now, so it won’t be difficult to find the right car for my family adventures, and after many hours of research over the last few weeks, here are the cars that I’ll be looking out for.
5 – Dacia Duster
No. I’d never heard of Dacia until 18 months ago either, and yes, that does make me slightly sceptical too. However, the Dacia Duster is the cheapest 4×4 on the market and it looks pretty good too.
Most online reviews are pretty favourable when discussing the Duster, after all you can purchase the base model brand new for less than £10k. However, as positive as the reviews are, the terminology always lacks a wow factor. Words like ‘practical, functional, utilitarian’ are often in the description and never anything more exciting.
The reality is that the price tag will attract you, but the basic interior will not quite live up to expectations. Although this car is probably the most capable off-road, the lack of interior comforts and technology will mean that this car will stay quite low down on the list, unless brand new is what you are looking for.
The 1.5 diesel Laureate model is the pick of the bunch, and you will find plenty at this spec on Autotrader with less than 10000 miles on the clock.
4 – Nissan Qashqai
When it comes to the family car crossover, the Nissan Qashqai has had huge success. It’s rugged looks and raised driving position, coupled with family car comfort and economy have made it a firm favourite for many years.
Although there are four-wheel drive versions available, the vast majority of these are just two-wheel drive and the 1.6 diesel version boasts an impressive 58 mpg combined.
Nissan released an updated facelift version in 2014 which is definitely the best looking of the range, however, it’s unlikely that you will find one of this generation for under £10k.
For under £10k you can pick up a 2013 model that’s done around 25000 miles.
3 – Mini Countryman
A Mini isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think family car but the Countryman is exactly that.
Mini launched the Countryman in 2010 to capitalise on the popularity on small crossovers and then released a facelift version in 2014. Despite being the first Mini to have 5 doors, it still has the unmistakable character and sporty looks of the mini. It also has some cool features such as sliding rear seats so you can either have more passenger room or more boot room, depending on your needs.
Certain models are available with ‘All4’ all wheel drive although you wouldn’t get too far off-road.
Of all of the cars on this list, the Mini Countryman is probably Michelle’s favourite but the limited boot space stops this from being top of my list. Ultimately, it’s still a Mini and with our family set to grow over the next few years this might not be the best choice at this time.
A quick search will find you a 2013 / 2014 model with around 20000 miles for less than £10k.
2 – Vauxhall Mokka
The Mokka is Vauxhall’s offering to the compact crossover market and it’s high on my list due to it’s looks and affordability. The Mokka is available it a 2wd 1.6 petrol, of an all wheel drive 1.4 turbo petrol, or 1.7 diesel, with the 1.4 petrol seeming to get the best of all of the reviews that I’ve found.
The Mokka was seemingly built with family adventure in mind as some models come with a built in bike rack that slides out from below the rear bumper. A great addition if you can find a second hand Mokka with this feature.
If you’re looking for the 1.4t 4wd version, you will find a 2014 model with around 30000 on the clock for £10k or less.
1 – Peugeot 2008
The Peugeot 2008 tops my list for a family car fit for adventure.
In terms of a car for £10k or less, with the 2008 you will find the newest model, with the least miles, for your money. In fact, you can find a 2015 version with less than 10000 miles around this price point. For an SUV with a great spec that can’t be beaten.
The 2008 comes with two choices for engine, a 1.2 petrol, or a 1.6 diesel, both offering great economy and some models have a £0 road tax fee due to the low emissions.
The Allure spec is the one to go for, with many features such as automatic lights and wipers, follow-me-home headlights, Apple Car Play, and a touch screen entertainment system.
Certain models also have Peugeot’s Grip Control technology which has preset modes for driving in snow, mud or sand. Although the 2008 is only available in 2wd, this Grip Control technology will give you all the capability you need for some great family adventures. With winter tyres coming as standard on the models that feature grip control, the 2008 is actually more capable that some 4wd cars when it comes to handling snow. Check out the video below to see the 2008 in the snow.
With so many features and benefits, the 2008 is my number one choice for our new family car and we are on the look out for one right now. I expect to be driving one within the next couple of months.