Best family cars 2022 – our pick for the best everyday drivers

Best family cars 2022 – our pick for the best everyday drivers

If there’s one advantage that cars today can be many things in one package, it’s the ability to combine family-friendly functionality with fun. Sure, today’s family car could be mistaken for the beginning and end of the modern SUV, but within that niche, as well as other four-door forays, the daily driver has never been more desirable.

They come in many forms: SUVs with surprising driving characteristics, saloons and estates with supercar-beating performance, and even an EV turned into a sleek, desirable shooting brake. Times have never been better when you’re looking for a car that combines functionality and performance.

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To be on this list, the SUVs we’ve included not only drive well ‘for an SUV’, but actively contribute to the high-end car market, with a driving experience that is as unique and determined as any other performance family car. .

This isn’t an ordered list, but a collection of brilliant to drive performance cars that put as much emphasis on the way they drive as they do on isofix points. They all have some level of accommodation for a four-legged friend, and the ability to sail to Euro Disney as easily as the Nürburgring, if you’re brave enough (for Euro Disney, not the Ring).

Best family cars 2022:

BMW M3 Competition xDrive

The BMW M3 has never been more usable than in its current G80 version, specially equipped with xDrive. It’s bigger, more practical, with plenty of room inside, with wide-opening doors and a generous trunk. It’s also more luxurious and rideable than ever before. But don’t think this makes the M3 soft.

That’s because the new M3 Competition xDrive is also pretty much the best non-specialist M3 in recent history, with blazing speed, massive cornering capability and a level of engagement that makes driving more fun than ever. In fact, you’ll soon be able to buy a Touring for the first time, so expect this list to be updated next year.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is not alone on this list because it is a more practical version of the brilliant Giulia, but because it has an exhilarating driving experience all its own. This is supported by the Stelvio’s all-wheel drive system, an element that fundamentally changes the way this car drives compared to the rear-wheel drive Giulia.

It’s different in the way it steers, comes with more suspension travel and a chassis balance that almost makes it feel like a long and Italian Nissan GT-R. It has a generous rear axle and an almost transparent four-wheel drive system that gives this Alfa a high degree of agility, especially in slippery conditions. And while the extra weight is noticeable, it’s not a deal breaker, as the gorgeous twin-turbo V6 will still pull with almost the same intensity as in the lighter and purer Giulia.

Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S Shooting Brake

if Mitsubishi ever made a modern Lancer Evolution estate (there was one in the IX generation), it would have become a bit like AMG’s brilliant little four-wheel drive estate. The CLA45 S Shooting Brake takes its hardware from the A45 Sthe most powerful hot hatchback on sale today, and among the new C63 SE Performance was unveiled, it featured the most powerful four-cylinder engine on sale today.

The CLA45 S takes the same ingredients and repackages them in a sleek low-rise, with even more aggressive looks and a relatively large case. We made the correlation with the Lancer Evo because the CLA has this much-improved four-wheel drive system that’s clearly routed forward until the smart differentials get involved and start sending that power front-to-back as well as left and right.

Porsche Macan GTS

In the traditional sense, there are no SUVs that drive as well as the Macan GTS. It has an innate ‘Porsche‘ feel, a chassis that’s both capable and polished when you’re in the mood, yet flexible enough to never be a problem in everyday driving. The new twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 engine of the latest GTS is just a feather in the cap, even if it’s not quite as vocal as the previous 3-litre.

But as a family car, it’s a package that Porsche knows has struck a chord with buyers. The Macan’s mid-sized body is balanced in size, the build quality is exceptional and it has an attractive design that looks both expensive and dynamic, with enough customization to ensure you can specify it exactly to your taste.

Audi RS4 Competition

The standard Audi RS4 is a fine companion as a high-performance family car, but it’s fair to say that this B9 generation has never been as successful as its predecessors. So as production draws to a close, Audi Sport has introduced a new Competition model with many minor hardware changes that it hopes will give the RS4 the edge this generation has been missing.

The changes include tweaks to the exhaust, gearboxes, wheels and tires, but there’s one big addition that fundamentally changes the way the Audi drives: the new manually adjustable coilover suspension. This completely transforms how the RS4 rides and handles, giving it an expensive and plush feel that only comes with very expensive suspension hardware. The Competition isn’t cheap, but it still undercuts the headline of the Vorsprung model, making a difference in our view from what has traditionally been one of the ultimate fast family cars.

Jaguar F-Pace SVR

Our third and final SUV on this list is like the others in that it is an entertaining car to drive, regardless of the fact that it is an SUV. The F-pace SVR is a sweet mix of JLR’s venerable (and nearly extinct) supercharged AJ-V8 engine and its most dynamic SUV chassis. All of its elements, from the engine and gearbox to the chassis balance and all-wheel drive system, are utilized to the fullest of every JLR product, resulting in a truly brilliant car to drive, with a growling V8 soundtrack alongside.

The 2020 update also comes bundled in a brand new interior, featuring industry-leading digital interfaces and a massive increase in material quality. In addition, the exterior design has been given a gentle update and, together with its aggressive bumpers, large wheels and SVR-specific design elements, it also looks good on the road.

Skoda Superb Combi 280 4×4

We’re not sure there’s a more understated performance car for sale right now than the Skoda Superb 280 4×4. Sharing every bit of its aesthetic make-up with other ‘Sportline’ Superb Combi models, the 280 4×4 distinguishes itself by hiding a slightly detuned Golf R engine, gearbox and all-wheel drive underneath. Despite the common body, if you really look at a Superb you will notice that it is a sleek and refined car, although it is more likely to have a small diesel engine hidden inside.

To drive, the Skoda isn’t as sporty as it could be, although the adaptive dampers and Sports Driver mode do their best to keep the Superb under control. But the upside is arguably the most cavernous interior of all the non-SUVs on sale today. It is also relatively efficient, very well built and comes with all the modern technology you could wish for.

Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo

Up and down this list, we’ve explored today’s best fast family cars, but the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo is arguably the best fast family car of tomorrow. The Taycan has already proven itself to be a fantastic, fast and luxurious EV, with more composure than just about any rival, in a package that’s far more attractive than you’d think of an electric station wagon.

The GTS is arguably the most determined of all Taycans to drive, and when combined with the elegant Sport Turismo bodywork, it proves to be just about the ultimate fast family car. Sure it’s expensive, and overall battery range isn’t as good as it could be, but in terms of desirability – whether you like electric cars or not – the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo definitely lives up to its purpose.