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Best used family cars 2022

Best used family cars 2022

If you’re looking for a new set of wheels for the family, you can save money by choosing a used family car that still keeps up with the latest models on the market.

Our list of the best used family cars focuses on maximizing value and space. That means you won’t find any fashionable SUVs or crossovers.

Instead, our guide to best-used family cars focuses on the big sedans, hatchbacks, and MPVs that used to be the bread and butter of everyday driving, but have since been overshadowed in fashion by those exciting new ‘niche’ models or increasingly everyday ‘executive’ sedans and SUVs.

But fear not, because practical models that are not fashionable is good news if you are looking for a family car on a budget. In fact, it has concentrated the minds of automakers who in recent years have been cramming more and more luxury, quality and technology into cars that compete in an increasingly difficult arena.

So read on for our take on the best used family cars available today and check out the best used cars to buy across all market sectors here…

  1. Opel Insignia Grand Sport
  2. Skoda Superb
  3. Hyundai i40
  4. Toyota Prius
  5. Volkswagen Passat
  6. Mazda 6
  7. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso/Grand Space Tourer

1. Opel Insignia (Mk2) – Used Family Car of the Year

  • Our choice: Opel Insignia Grand Sport 1.5 Turbo (165) SRi (2018/18, 26k miles, £13,274)

Could this be the used car bargain of the decade? The boom in the popularity of SUVs and premium brands means that the values ​​of mainstream family hatchbacks have plummeted, and few have suffered more than the Insignia. While that may be bad for Opel, it’s good news for used car buyers, with many examples now on service stations for less than half their price when new.

A look at the Opel promises great value for money. Originally known as the Insignia Grand Sport when it was unveiled in 2017, the streamlined hatchback shape covers an interior that rivals larger executive models in space and premium appearance. It’s also very well equipped, while the slick touchscreen infotainment features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for seamless connectivity.

The comfort and refinement of the Insignia impresses on the move, with its smooth handling and low noise levels that keep you relaxed and refreshed on long journeys. But hit your favorite winding road and you’ll find that precise steering, strong grip and good body control make the Vauxhall a surprisingly engaging companion.

The diesel models are smooth and economical, while the fast GSi editions offer a tempting amount of flash for not a lot of money. However, it’s the turbocharged mid-range petrol engines that are the best buy, with their mix of eager acceleration and low running costs that help deliver the best of both worlds. There are no plug-in or mild-hybrid options, but for private buyers this won’t make a difference as it won’t offer the same tax savings that made these machines so popular with commercial vehicle drivers when they were new.

While the Insignia isn’t the most glamorous, exciting or desirable choice out there, at this price you’re willing to make a few sacrifices when it comes to narrowing down its attractiveness. It’s critical that you look past the somewhat shabby image and you’ll find an extremely capable machine that has now won consecutive Auto Express Used Family Car awards.

Financing options for a car

The Vauxhall Insignia is a great value car when new and offers as strong a value as a pre-owned purchase. Go for a 2018 SRI petrol model and you can expect to pay around £249 a month for a four-year hire purchase agreement with a £3,000 deposit. At the end of the contract, the car will be yours and cost £14,952 all-in. That’s not a lot of money for such a large and well-equipped four-year-old family car.

Check out the latest used Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

2. Skoda Superb (Mk3)

In terms of price-quality ratio, it can’t quite match the Opel, but the Superb remains a sensational family car. Few rivals are this roomy and it feels much more agile on the road than you might think. The Skoda also has a wide range of engines, is packed with kit and has an unrivaled reputation for reliability.

Though it’s been around since 2015, the Superb range got a facelift in 2019 when some welcome technology updates included the availability of matrix LED headlights and adaptive cruise control. The latest Superb also has a range of high-tech infotainment systems, with all cars featuring at least an 8-inch touchscreen and higher-spec models getting a 9.2-inch version. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for cars fitted with the fantastic Virtual Cockpit digital dashboard – it’s standard on the top-end Superbs, but a cost option on several higher-end cars.

That said, even if your budget is only a slightly older Superb, you’ll still enjoy the benefits of driving one of the most beautiful, best-built and most practical large family cars out there. Within the VW group, only the long-wheelbase Audi A8 offers more rear seat space and legroom.

View the last used Skoda Super Prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

3. Hyundai i40 (Mk1)

The Hyundai i40 is a slightly left-wing choice, because while it’s often overlooked when new, the i40 is a smart used buy if you’re looking for a stylish family sedan on a budget. The emphasis on comfort means the Hyundai isn’t as entertaining to drive as some rivals, but the roomy interior is well-built and dripping with standard equipment.

Check out the latest used Hyundai i40 prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

4. Toyota Prius (Mk4)

The car that introduced the concept of “alternative” hybrid powertrains in the late 1990s is now so far into the mainstream that it’s shoe-in as one of our favorite used-car options for families.

The model continues its groundbreaking mission to turn everyone into a hybrid driver, but there’s nothing about the current Toyota Prius that justifies the old-fashioned eco-warrior expressions of ‘her shirt and sandals’. The Prius is simply a great family car that’s cheap to run, fully lives up to Toyota’s fantastic reliability reputation and looks good too – if you’re on the admiring side of its ‘Marmite’ styling.

If you’re a fan, the Prius is certainly a viable alternative to other compact family hatchbacks like the VW Golf, Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra.

The combination of an efficient 1.8 petrol engine with hybrid self-charging battery assistance means that a carefully driven Prius can deliver comparable fuel consumption to a diesel rival, but with much lower emissions. The latest Mk4 version is also pleasant to drive, with an updated CVT automatic gearbox that offers much improved refinement under acceleration, and a chassis that is lively and composed.

Practicality is good too, with decent boot space and a comfortable cabin. However, a battery under the rear seat provides less headroom in the back. That’s a problem for bigger adults, but one of the few flies in the ointment.

Check out the latest used Toyota Prius prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

5. VW Passat (Mk8)

The rise and rise of prestigious executive models like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class has knocked the stuff out of the class of large family cars, but it has had a profound effect on survivors like the Volkswagen Passat.

Modest and conservative perhaps, but the big VW smells of refined quality and is packed with technology to rival the best of seemingly more prestigious rivals. It is also extremely spacious and the interior offers a real feel-good atmosphere thanks to its thoughtful design and high-quality construction.

The latest model arrived in 2015 and got a facelift in 2019, and the latest 1.6 and 2.0 TDI diesels are smooth and efficient, while the latest (post-facelift) 1.5-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines are torquey and efficient.

All Passats are extremely comfortable to drive and are excellent long distance cars with supportive seats and a great driving position with lots of adjustment. There’s an impressive amount of passenger space front and rear, while the Passat also offers plenty of in-cab storage and a massive 585 liters of luggage space.

All new versions above the SE class get an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while the digital dashboard of the VW Virtual Cockpit is also a valuable option.

Check out the latest used VW Passat prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

6. Mazda 6 (Mk3)

The Mazda 6 won the Auto Express Best Family Car category in 2014, and although it has been around for a few years, a facelift in 2018 has kept the model relevant. In fact, it is still one of the best in its class in 2020, showing how good it was in 2014.

One of the key features that has remained unabated is the Mazda driving pleasure. It is one of the few family cars that is an absolute pleasure to drive and that combines sporty handling with efficient and powerful powertrains.

Most people also find the Mazda 6 an eye-catcher, with its clean and sporty lines offering a refreshing alternative to the often conservative styling of rivals. Fortunately, the sleek lines don’t translate into a cramped interior, and the Mazda 6 offers plenty of room inside for five adults, as well as their luggage.

On the road, the Mazda 6 is smooth and refined, with only the more tightly sprung Sport Nav version feeling a bit firm for some. The cabin is also a great place to be, with a premium feel and high specification, including a 7-inch tablet-style touchscreen in the center of the dash. The SE L spec is one of the most affordable new versions, and they look great too, with climate control, parking sensors and electric mirrors among the goodies.

Check out the latest used Mazda 6 prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

7. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso/Space Tourer (Mk2)

Formerly known as the Grand C4 Picasso but since 2018 called the Grand C4 Space Tourer, our favorite new MPV is also a winner as a used car purchase.

Families looking for practical interior space will be amazed by the cabin of this French passenger car, and especially the folding seat arrangement which is one of the easiest to use. It’s also exceptionally spacious inside and feels light and airy wherever you sit, including the third row of seats that separate this Grand version from the regular C4 Space Tourer.

The Citroën is also quite a stylish machine, which is a rarity in its class, while the interior is even more striking than the exterior, especially in versions with the large 12-inch screen mounted in the center of the dashboard. Spec levels are also quite extensive, with top-end versions adding luxury, such as power-adjustable massage seats.

The engine range consists of efficient diesel and petrol engines, the latter including a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbo option that fits surprisingly well thanks to its 129 horsepower. A chassis built for comfort completes the winning hand.

Check out the latest used Citroën Space Tourer prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

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