Best Family Cars 2021

Many people who once would have chosen a traditional 'family hatchback' are now buying SUVs and MPVs instead.

However, that doesn’t mean the family hatchback market is dead; it still accounts for a huge number of sales and is very competitive, so there are some great buys out there.

But what makes a good family car? Well, it has to be practical, cheap to run, good to drive and well equipped; in other words, it needs to be good at pretty much everything.

Here we count down the top 10 – and reveal the models that are best to steer clear of.

10 Kia Ceed

It’s fair to say that anyone looking for a family-friendly set of wheels is somewhat spoilt for choice these days, so how does the Kia Ceed stand out?

Well, for starters it gets an industry-leading seven-year warranty, along with pretty competitive pricing and a decent equipment list, especially as you move up the range. So, if you’re looking for something sensible the Kia Ceed seems to tick a lot of boxes on paper already.

And even if a long-warranty and reasonable pricing doesn’t quite set your heart alight; there's more. This current Ceed boasts a lineup of engines which includes an eye-catching GT model, which is a warm hatch variant boasting 201bhp.

There are also a few different body types of the Ceed in Kia’s lineup, too. There’s an estate version called the Ceed Sportswagon, and there’s even a swoopy, svelte, stylish estate sibling called the Proceed.

But here we’re focusing on the hatchback version. So does the Ceed have the talents to triumph over its more established rivals like the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra? That’s something we’ll investigate over the next few pages. And remember, if you want to buy a Ceed or any other new car on sale, head to our New Car Buying service for some hefty savings.

Number of trims6
Available fuel typespetrol, diesel
MPG range across all versions47.1 - 50.4
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty7 years / 100000 miles
RRP price range£19,700 - £29,020
What Car? Target Price range
£18,473 - £29,020
What Car? PCP range
£152 - £192
9 Honda Civic

If you are one of those people – generally of a certain age, it must be said – that often catches themselves muttering "cars all look the same these days", then you clearly haven't studied the Honda Civic very closely. We would argue it looks like no other car that's ever existed, let alone any other current family car. 

Whether you approve of its looks or not is another question entirely, and not one for us to comment on; we're in the business of dealing with the objective facts, and beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. And sticking with the facts, the Honda Civic has been a fixture on Britain’s roads for as long as the Volkswagen Golf, which means it has a greater heritage than many of its rivals ­– the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia are mere 'youngsters' by comparison.
In this review, we’re focusing on the hatchback version, but don’t forget there’s also the Civic saloon, so hit the link if you want to read about that. There’s also the stunningly quick 316bhp 2.0-litre Civic Type R that crowns the range, and again, you can read all about that by hitting the link for our separate review.

Regular versions of the Civic let you choose between two petrol engines and one diesel, and there are seven trim levels. That might sound like it's going to be a bit confusing, but the sheer variety of grades means there’s something to suit most buyers' needs and budgets.
Number of trims10
Available fuel typespetrol
MPG range across all versions33.2 - 49.6
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 90000 miles
RRP price range£21,530 - £39,995
What Car? Target Price range
£20,136 - £39,995
What Car? PCP range
£253 - £488
8 Mazda 3

There’s plenty of quirkiness to be found in Japan: toilet seats that sing to you and sushi delivered by model trains, for example. Likewise, the Mazda 3 has always tended to do things a little differently from others in the family car market, and the same is true of the latest model.

Front View
Firstly, there are its looks: this stylish five-door hatchback channels the stunning Kai concept car of 2017, with smoothly contoured surfaces and a sloped roofline that tails off neatly into its rear screen. It’s a world away from the more angular designs of rivals such as the Skoda Octavia. There’s also a saloon model, which we’ve reviewed separately, that pitches the Mazda 3 into executive territory. 

Styling isn’t the only area in which the 3 follows a different tack from its rivals; just take a look at the engine line-up. While key competitors, such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, have moved towards smaller, turbocharged engines, the 3 sticks with an old-school naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine. But don’t go thinking this entry-level motor is archaic. Named Skyactiv-G, it uses cylinder deactivation technology and a clever 24V mild hybrid system that's claimed to improve fuel economy and enhance performance mildly.
Things get even more interesting when you look at Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X compression-ignition petrol engine. It’s claimed to combine “the fuel economy of a Mazda 2 with the performance of an MX-5”, and replaces diesel power in the 3’s line-up. There’s also the option of four-wheel drive should you be desperate for extra traction on slippery surfaces. 
lever technology is one thing, but the 3 needs to be a seriously accomplished all-rounder if it’s to succeed in this hotly contested class. Read on over the next few pages to find out how it compares with its rivals, and we'll also tell you which engines and trims make the most sense.

And if a new 3 has piqued your interest, visit our New Car Buying pages to see how much you could save without the effort of haggling.

Number of trims6
Available fuel typespetrol
MPG range across all versions40.9 - 54.3
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
RRP price range£21,800 - £32,365
What Car? Target Price range
£20,925 - £31,490
What Car? PCP range
£179 - £301
7 Mercedes A-Class

Here’s a conundrum for you: what has huge presence but is relatively small, and prolific yet far from banal? Okay, this is the Mercedes A-Class review, so it’s a good shout that we’re referring to the smallest car with a three-pointed star. And before anyone writes in to tell us that the Smart Fortwo is the smallest Mercedes of all, technically you’re right, but it doesn’t wear that famous badge.

Few would argue that the A-Class doesn't cut more of a dash on the road than many other family cars, from the Ford Focus to the Skoda Octavia. And despite selling in inordinately big numbers, the A-Class retains its lofty air of prestige panache that makes so many potential buyers think: “I want one.”
There are various spin-offs, too, including the A-Class Saloon and the CLA CoupĂ©, plus not just one but two racey hot hatch versions: the sizzling 302bhp A35 and the 'pants on fire' 415bhp A45. You can read about all those by clicking the individual links; here we’re focusing on the regular hatchback.

So, after all that, you might be feeling the urge to bag yourself an A Class right now, but hold your horses. There are at least two other cars in the class that need to be considered first: the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. And if, after weighing up those, you do decide that the A-Class is still your dream car, you’ll need a route map through all the various trims, option packs and engines that are available.
That’s where this review will help you. Keep on reading and we’ll tell you how the Mercedes A-Class compares with its premium rivals, and which engine and trim combo makes the most sense. When you’re feeling au fait with the facts, the next stage is to head to our New Car Buying service. With a few simple clicks and no haggling at all, you'll find big discounts on the A-Class, and nearly every other new car on sale.
If you're after diesel power, the A180d is your best bet. It earns its spurs with a progressive power delivery that’s spread evenly through the rev range, and while it isn't spectacularly quick outright (0-60mph takes around 10 seconds if you pick the automatic gearbox) it still has more than enough oomph to sit happily in the outside lane of the motorway. The A200d is also a cracker, feeling quite a bit nippier and worth considering if you have the money, but the faster-still, yet pricey, A220d falls foul of the law of diminishing returns. 

What about your petrol engine options? Avoid the A180, because it needs to be worked quite hard to keep up with traffic. The more powerful 161bhp A200 is much pokier, and our pick of the range. In our test, it covered the 0-60mph sprint in 7.5sec – far quicker than the Audi A3 35 TFSI and BMW 118i managed – and it has effortless oomph for relaxed cruising. The A250 is also a belter. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine that packs an impressive 221bhp – enough to take you from 0-62mph in just 6.2sec, which isn't far off the Ford Focus ST hot hatch's time.

Finally, there's an eco-friendly plug-in hybrid, the A250e. It uses the 1.3-litre petrol engine from the A200 with an electric motor that bumps up the power to a useful 215bhp. That makes it properly brisk (0-62mph takes just 6.6sec) while providing you with an official electric-only range of 44 miles – an impressive figure that is also entirely believable, because we managed more than 40 miles on battery power alone.

Read our separate reviews for insights into the performance of the seriously quick AMG A35 hot hatch and the hugely rapid AMG A45.
The A-Class, even the sportier AMG Line trims, takes a different approach from the generally firmer A3 and 1 Series. Its softer set-up makes it one of the comfiest family cars over pockmarked town roads and sleeping policemen; the trade-off is more float and bounce along crests and falls tackled at speed than its two premium rivals. If you really value a cosseting ride, the best car in the class is the Volkswagen Golf, but only when fitted with optional adaptive suspension.
Usually, fitting bigger wheels or buying the sportiest version of a car is the death knell of a good ride, but the A-Class goes against that form book. Even the relatively sporty A250 model is no less comfortable than the cheapest models in the range, partly because it features a more sophisticated rear suspension setup. Even the heavy battery the A250e plug-in hybrid has to cart around doesn't trounce its ride; there's a little more the float we mentioned on undulating country roads, but it never gets out of hand. 

Our separate reviews for the AMG A35 and even quicker AMG A45 will tell you how the two hot hatches perform when it comes to ride quality.
The A-Class handles pretty well. Yes, there’s a bit of body lean through faster corners, but this happens so progressively that it never feels unstable during quick changes of direction. Even the steering impresses in the main; it builds weight naturally, and this, combined with its accuracy, means you can place the car easily on the road. It’s also light enough to ensure town driving isn't a chore. The A200 and A250 are the most dynamic versions, because their more sophisticated rear suspension design delivers flatter cornering.  

Is it the best-handling premium family car? No, because the A-Class isn't as agile as the Audi A3 S line. The A250e is the least fun to drive; at around 200kg heavier than the rest of the range, due to its big battery, it exhibits the most lean in corners and runs out of grip the soonest.

Handling is a big part of what the AMG A35 and AMG A45 hot hatches are about, so our separate reviews will tell you all you need to know.
The 1.3-litre petrol engines in the A180 and A200 aren’t the most refined in the class, but that's mainly a problem when you work them past 5000rpm. The BMW 118i is a lot smoother to rev out, as is the Audi A3 35 TFSI. The A250e suffers the same affliction but is whisper-quiet when it’s in electric mode. 
The more powerful A250 petrol comes across as rather more cultured, combining smoothness at low speeds with a fairly sporty rasp as you rev it out. The A180d is relatively hushed, with less rumble than the BMW 118d. The A200d and A220d are only a little more raucous.

The eight-speed automatic 'box (fitted to the A200d, A220d and A250e) can be quite jerky in traffic, but the seven-speed auto that comes with the A180, A200, A250 and A180d is much better. There’s more wind noise at speed than the A3 and 1 Series generate, but road noise is better tempered than it is in its two chief rivals, keeping the A-Class slightly quieter at motorway speeds. There is quite a bit of suspension noise over lumpy roads, though.
Number of trims7
Available fuel typesdiesel, hybrid, petrol
MPG range across all versions256.8 - 58.9
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / No mileage cap
RRP price range£24,095 - £57,195
What Car? Target Price range
£22,652 - £54,578
What Car? PCP range
£242 - £504
6 Toyota Corolla

So, you don’t want a diesel. The petrol cars you’ve looked at aren’t frugal enough and a pure electric car simply won’t cover the mileage you need. It’s a common conundrum for the modern car buyer. But before you tear your hair out, there could be an answer: a hybrid, like the Toyota Corolla.

Now, some hybrids need to be charged up overnight to get the best from them, but you don’t have to worry about any of that business with the Corolla; you simply treat it like a regular petrol car and let it sort out the electrical nitty gritty for itself. It has a small electric motor, to improve fuel economy or performance as necessary, and a little battery, which is charged by recovering energy from the brakes as you slow down.
When it comes to CO2 emissions and, officially at least, fuel economy, this halfway house between a petrol and pure electric car certainly delivers some impressive numbers. And, thanks to tax advantages, the Corolla looks to be much cheaper to run as a company car than any of its diesel rivals.

Put simply, the Corolla offers many of the same advantages as Toyota’s own Prius, but with far more conventional looks. But how does it square up against rival hybrid family cars, such as the Hyundai Ioniq? And should you consider a Corolla over conventionally powered big-hitters, which include the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia?
Stay with us over the next few pages and we’ll tell you all you need to know. And don’t forget, with our New Car Buying service, you could save a fortune on a Corolla or any of countless other cars without any awkward haggling.
The entry-level 1.8 Petrol Hybrid 122 has a modest 120bhp, which means a relatively leisurely 10.9sec from 0-62mph. That's noticeably slower than a Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 125 petrol, but its acceleration is still perfectly adequate for everyday driving, including on motorways. The only time you’ll really wish for a bit more oomph is when you need to overtake dawdling motorists on country roads.

Fortunately, the 177bhp 2.0 Petrol Hybrid 184 is much punchier and responds far more eagerly when you squeeze its accelerator pedal. It’s far from a hot hatch, but definitely better suited to outside-lane motorway driving, making swift progress much less stressful.
Fancy a bit of pampering? Well, forget the spa and buy yourself a Corolla instead because, along with the VW Golf, it's one of the most comfortable cars in the class. It has softer suspension than, say, the Ford Focus, so it smoothes off the rough edges of road ridges better and fidgets less on patchy sections of motorway.  

The trade-off is a little more body bounce along undulating roads than you get in some rivals, but if you enjoy a bit a softer edge then you may consider that a small price to pay. The only thing we'd say is avoid the bigger 18in wheels fitted to the GR Sport and Excel trims; they don't ruin the ride, but certainly add some extra jingle-jangle. 
Driven in a leisurely fashion, the Corolla's handling is fine. The steering is pretty accurate and builds weight predictably and reassuringly. There’s a decent feeling of composure as well, provided you don't expect really quick changes of direction.

When you start to push harder, though, you notice that the Corolla is less keen to tuck its nose in to corners than a Focus or even a Golf, and runs out of front-end grip sooner. Put simply, if you want a car that’ll have you grinning on a challenging road, there are better options.

Don't expect any more thrills from the sporty-looking GR Sport trim. It really is just a trim level; no added tautness is thrown in to improve the joy.
One great thing about hybrids is how hushed they are when you’re just pootling around town. Because the electric motor can manage on its own in stop-start traffic, progress is virtually silent and, when the petrol engine cuts in to assist, it doesn’t spoil the peace too much.

Yet on faster roads, particularly those with inclines, the petrol engine begins to whine away noticeably. The blame for this lies with the Corolla’s CVT automatic gearbox, which causes engine revs to soar abruptly during moderate to hard acceleration and stay peaky until you reach cruising speed. This issue is more pronounced in the 1.8 than the punchier 2.0-litre. 

Tyre and wind noise in the 1.8-litre aren't as well suppressed as they might be – road noise is especially noticeable with bigger 18in alloys fitted – and a Focus is much more hushed at a steady 70mph. The 2.0-litre hybrid is better, benefiting from 'acoustic' side glass that seals out more noise. Meanwhile, while regenerative brakes (all hybrids and electric cars have these) can prove tricky to use smoothly, but, thankfully, the Corolla's brakes are less grabby than those of most hybrids – letting you draw to a halt gently without jolting your passengers. 
Number of trims5
Available fuel typeshybrid
MPG range across all versions53.3 - 62.8
Avaliable doors options5
RRP price range£24,480 - £31,430
What Car? Target Price range
£23,008 - £29,525
What Car? PCP range
£215 - £293
5 BMW 1 Series

Previous incarnations of the BMW 1 Series had something unique to offer the family car class. Something that was more typical of your average sports car, actually: a rear-wheel drive layout, which, it was claimed, maximised its handling prowess to delight all you keen drivers out there. So you might be surprised to learn that BMW ditched that philosophy when it switched to this third-generation model.

Yes, the current BMW 1 Series has the same front-wheel-drive layout that’s used by every other family hatchback, although four-wheel drive is also available with some of its pricier variants, including the M135i, which you can read about separately by clicking the link. On paper, then, the 1 Series has lost its USP in the fight to win your heart over the Audi A3 and Mercedes A-Class, causing a bit of an uproar among enthusiasts across the land.
But does it really matter? Hardly, because previous versions of the 1 Series weren’t actually as good to drive as the hype suggested. So, with mechanicals lifted largely from the BMW X1 and X2 SUVs, not to mention a whole bunch of Minis, can the latest 1 Series finally lay claim to being the best-handling family car? And does it fix the space and practicality issues that, if you’ve owned one of the previous models, you’ll be acutely aware it suffered from?
That’s what you're about to discover if you keep reading through this review, where we’ll tell you all about how the BMW 1 series fairs against its key rivals, and which engine and trim makes the most sense. 

And if you do decide the BMW 1 Series is the car for you, make sure you head over to our New Car Buying pages to see how much we could save you off the list price, without any haggling involved.
Of the petrol engines – and of the entire range, in fact – we'd recommend going for the 118i. It's a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder with 138bhp that’ll get you from 0-62mph in 8.5sec. Yes, that’s slightly slower than the Audi A3 35 TFSI and a lot slower than the Mercedes A200, but, if you're not bothered about being the quickest away from the lights, it's brisk enough. More pertinently, you’ll find it’s keen to rev out and flexible, pulling well from down in the rev range, making it an easy and relaxing companion for everyday driving.

The 116d is the entry point into the diesel engine range, but the 118d is the biggest seller and we can see why. It feels punchier and more eager in town or on motorways, and makes a fine all-rounder. That said, all its shove is concentrated in a narrower band of revs than the A200d’s, which means the 118d’s performance isn’t quite as accessible. The more powerful 187bhp 120d is quicker still, and comes with an automatic gearbox; a combination that means it can hit 62mph from a standstill in 7.3sec. That drops to 7.0sec dead if you opt for BMW’s four-wheel-drive system (xDrive).

You can rear all about the M135i hot hatch, which uses a 302bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder unit, and how it compares to the Mercedes-AMG A35 by clicking on the link. 
Go for SE or Sport trim and you get the softest suspension available in the 1 Series. It doesn’t absorb surface imperfections quite as smoothly as a comparable Mercedes A-Class, but it’s still impressively cosseting and, as an added bonus, it doesn’t feel as floaty over undulating roads – great news for anyone with travel-sickness-prone kids.

Next up is the stiffer setup that's fitted to popular M Sport versions. Granted, this does exaggerate any initial jolts, but it's never crashy and manages to stay on the right side of comfortable, but the equivalent Audi A3 S line is marginally less jarring.

Finally, you can opt for adaptive dampers on the M Sport versions of the 118d, 120d and M135i. However, they don't represent enough of an improvement to justify the extra cost.
If you enjoy a sporty drive, you’ll find the front-wheel-drive 1 Series is a big improvement over the previous rear-wheel-drive models, and a sharper drive than the A-Class. For starters, the 1 Series’ quicker steering gives it a livelier feel, and, because it controls its vertical body movements better on lumpier surfaces, it's that bit more stable, too.

We'd suggest going for the stiffer M Sport trim to maximise those virtues, though. Even tighter control leads to less body lean, making it feel even more agile when switching from left to right at speed. That said, some people may find the 1 Series a bit too lively, and when we tested it against the Audi A3, we felt that offered more confidence-inspiring steering, a nicer handling balance and more front-end grip.

The M135i has its own bespoke steering and suspension to help it keep flatter in corners, and, with its limited-slip differential and four-wheel drive, it has amazing traction on greasy, winding roads. Read about that in greater detail by clicking the link.
The 1 Series keeps life pretty civilised at higher speeds, just like the Audi A3. Wind noise is kept abated and the suspension is jolly quiet, even over lumpy Tarmac. The A-Class is quieter overall on motorways, though, because the 1 Series does suffer from a fair amount of road noise – especially with bigger wheels fitted.

At low speeds there’s a bit of diesel rumble in the 118d, but the fuel-saving stop-start system cuts the engine in and out very slickly in traffic. Meanwhile, the 118i petrol thrums away more pleasantly, but its stop-start is far less cultured; when combined with the automatic gearbox, the whole set-up becomes quite clunky compared with its premium petrol rivals.

You get beefier brakes as standard on the M135i that can be added as an option on M Sport trims. They are more progressive then the abrupt standard brakes, so it’s easier to come to a halt smoothly.
Number of trims5
Available fuel typespetrol, diesel
MPG range across all versions38.7 - 62.8
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / No mileage cap
RRP price range£25,360 - £40,685
What Car? Target Price range
£23,721 - £38,625
What Car? PCP range
£246 - £408
4 Volkswagen Golf

If the Volkswagen Golf were a country, it’d be Turkey. Why? Well, it’s often said that Turkey is the bridge between two worlds, literally and metaphorically, with Istanbul’s bridges spanning the Bosporus River and linking Europe to Asia. And, as the epitome of the classless automobile, the Golf has always bridged two worlds: those of mainstream family cars and their pricier, premium alternatives.

It’s an amazing feat when you think about it. The Volkswagen Golf is a car that anybody would be happy to be seen in. Anywhere. Its rivals span the entire spectrum, from humbler offerings, such as the Ford Focus, Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon and Vauxhall Astra, to the fancier alternatives, which include the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A Class.
The Golf has been around for eight generations now and, as well as aiming to maintain its usual blend of impressive practicality and driving dynamics, the latest model adds a host of clever technologies into the mix. Some are designed to enhance your experience with the car, and others, such as the mild-hybrid assistance that’s offered with some of the Golf's engines, are there to boost efficiency and performance. This review covers the core Golf range, including the GTD hot hatch, but not the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI or plug-in hybrid GTE, both of which have dedicated reviews of their own. 
So here are the big questions: does the Volkswagen Golf provide the perfect balance of ‘everyday posh’ to win your affections? Does its clever tech really add to the ownership experience? And how does it compare with all the other family car rivals vying for your cash?

Keep reading our comprehensive review to find out the answers. We’ll tell you all about how it stacks up against its key rivals, and which engine and trim combination makes the most sense. Plus, you can use our New Car Buying service for great savings on a Golf and all manner of other family cars; it takes just a few clicks and it’s as easy as making toast.
Number of trims8
Available fuel typespetrol, diesel, hybrid
MPG range across all versions256.8 - 62.8
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
RRP price range£23,355 - £39,270
What Car? Target Price range
£21,893 - £38,139
What Car? PCP range
£223 - £410
3 Ford Focus

You hear so much about the rise of the SUV, and with good reason: they account for more than a third of all the cars sold in the UK. However, there's still lots to love about traditional hatchbacks, such as the Ford Focus.

The Focus still dominates the top end of the sales charts, and that success has much to do with perhaps its greatest asset: a legacy of serving up brilliant handling. That's something that's tricky to replicate in a taller, heavier family SUV. What’s more, for this latest version, Ford has worked to improve the areas where previous versions have dropped the ball, namely interior quality, rear leg room, boot space and on-board tech.
Of course, the family car class is many and varied. Chief among the Focus's rivals is the iconic Volkswagen Golf, which sits nearer the pricier end of the market, where you'll find premium models that include the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class. Then there are the more affordable rivals, which include the Kia Ceed, Mazda 3, Seat Leon, Skoda Scala and Skoda Octavia. And of course, there's the Focus's arch nemesis, the ubiquitous Vauxhall Astra. 

To usurp its rivals and broaden its appeal, the Focus comes in more variants than ever. You can have an estate, an upmarket Vignale (with distinctly premium aspirations) and an Active model (with butch, SUV-like styling), as well as the Focus ST hot hatch, which we've reviewed separately. 
So, should you add the Focus to your shortlist? To find out, read on. In this review we’ll cover all the bases, and, if you decide the Focus, or, for that matter, any other hatchback, is for you, check out our New Car Buying service. There you'll find the very best, hassle-free deals around.
Number of trims9
Available fuel typesdiesel, petrol
MPG range across all versions34.9 - 67.3
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
RRP price range£22,210 - £34,710
What Car? Target Price range
£20,454 - £33,697
What Car? PCP range
£226 - £398
2 Skoda Scala

You rarely get something for nothing in this world, so while cars are becoming bigger and more sophisticated, they’re also becoming more and more expensive. Well, most of them are; the Skoda Scala is one of the potential exceptions to this dastardly, dosh-depleting rule.

It's a little longer than the Volkswagen Golf and is available with the VW Group’s latest tech. Yet it's priced to undercut not only the Golf but also other big-name rivals, such as the Ford Focus, Kia Ceed and Vauxhall Astra.
If you’re a little confused about where this leaves the Skoda Octavia, that’s perfectly understandable. The Octavia is also an attractively priced family car from the Czech brand, but the truth is that not every household needs something as big as that. So Skoda hopes the Scala will complement, rather than undermine, its bigger and slightly pricier brother.

The Scala certainly looks quite different. By ditching the Octavia’s saloon-like profile for a proper hatchback silhouette, it has a style all of its own. What’s more, Skoda says it hasn’t skimped on choice; the Scala is available with an extensive range of engines and trim levels.

Over the next few pages, we’ll look at everything you need to know, from what the Scala is like to drive to how practical it is, and we'll reveal whether you should choose one – over its rivals – as your next new car. And remember, whichever new car you settle on, you can potentially save thousands without the hassle of haggling by using our New Car Buying service. Just click on the link to start the process.
Number of trims5
Available fuel typespetrol
MPG range across all versions47.9 - 53.3
Avaliable doors options5
Warranty3 years / 60000 miles
RRP price range£17,265 - £25,720
What Car? Target Price range
£16,156 - £24,043
What Car? PCP range
£155 - £0
1 Seat Leon

The Seat Leon is a perfect example of why the best things in life aren’t always the most popular. How so? Well, this Spanish hatchback is substantially outsold by its closest rivals but, when you weigh everything up, it’s actually a better car than all of them.

If you aren’t familiar with exactly where the Leon sits in the car world, it’s what we class as a family car. That means it’s about the same size as a Ford Focus or Volkswagen Golf, and those are, indeed, two of the cars it competes with in the sales charts. Of course, you can’t rule out the slightly longer Skoda Octavia as a rival, either.
All versions of the Seat Leon come with five doors as standard, and there’s a choice of engines ranging from ‘does the job’ to smile-inducingly brisk. You can also pick between relatively modest SE (or SE Dynamic) trim, the more extrovert styling and sportier driving manners of the FR versions or a more luxury focused Xcellence trim.

So, we’ve already told you the Seat Leon is a class-leader – why wouldn’t you just go out and buy one? Well, just because the Leon is a better all-rounder than its rivals, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the perfect choice for you. In some areas, it trails other cars in the class, and if those areas are crucially important to you, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
Read on and we’ll tell you where the Seat Leon excels and also run you through its few weaknesses. Plus we’ll tell you which of the engines, trims and optional extras we think make the most sense.

And if ticks all your boxes, remember that our New Car Buying service is on hand with healthy discounts on the Seat Leon, as well as on its key rivals. Getting a great new set of wheels has never been easier.
Number of trims7
Available fuel typespetrol, diesel, hybrid
MPG range across all versions217.3 - 65.7
Avaliable doors options5
RRP price range£20,400 - £37,980
What Car? Target Price range
£17,142 - £36,368
What Car? PCP range
£182 - £481