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Max Earey
best family cars

The 5 best family cars under €30k you can buy right now

Whether you’re looking for an SUV, estate, saloon, hatchback or crossover, we’ve got you covered.

CHOOSING A FAMILY car often means making sacrifices in the style stakes or worse, compromising on driving experience – but with a budget of €30,000 there is actually a lot of choice out there.

Here, I’ve picked five cars with five different body styles that are family-friendly in terms of space and practicality but also look good and have decent handling or at least a comfortable and refined ride.

I’ve also picked models that come with plenty of kit as standard – so these cars aren’t just basic spec models. You will actually get some bang for your buck.

1. Honda Civic (from €23,750, road tax from €190)

Melanie May Melanie May

The Honda Civic hatchback is reliable with solid build quality – important factors when considering a family motor. It is spacious too with plenty of room for all passengers and a massive boot that can hold at 478 litres, swelling to 1,245 litres with the rear seats tumbled.

But apart from all this sensible stuff, it is also great fun to drive with a well-sorted chassis and sharp steering. It certainly beats many of its rivals in terms of engagement.

There are three versions of the Honda Civic available for under €30,000 including a well-kitted-out S Design model. Here’s our review.

2. Kia Optima Sportswagon (from €29,949, road tax from €200)

Max Earey Max Earey

The Kia Optima estate makes the list because it does everything well. It looks good, has a spacious cabin, large boot (552 to 1,686 litres) and handles well out on the road. It is nice and comfortable too.

There are larger estate cars out there for less money, but they don’t come as well equipped as the Kia which gets plenty of equipment as standard including 18-inch machine-finished alloys, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, seven-inch touchscreen, sat nav and a panoramic sunroof. You’d have to spend more money on the other models to get them specced to the level of the Optima.

There is just one engine available for under €30,000 and that’s the 141hp 1.7-litre CRDi diesel paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Here’s our review.

3. Opel Insignia Grand Sport (from €27,600, road tax from €280)

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

When I was thinking about saloon cars under €30,000 that I would recommend as a decent family car I drew a blank. I have driven very few saloons in the last few years and those that I have driven are all priced well over €30k. But what I can recommend is a car that once was a saloon – and still looks like a saloon – but now has a much more practical fastback rear.

The Opel Insignia Grand Sport his a very comfortable cruiser with a classy-looking interior. It is roomy too, with plenty of space for a growing family and ISOFIX points on all three rear seats. The Opel Insignia Grand Sport comes with lots of standard kit including 17-inch wheels, automatic lights, keyless entry and start, air con, a leather-covered multifunction steering wheel, cruise control with speed limiter, ESP, ABS, TPMS…

The entry-level models start from €27,350. That’s a lot of kit for a competitive price when compared to rivals like the Ford Mondeo, Kia Optima and Skoda Superb. However, for under €29,600 you can have the 140hp 1.5-litre Turbo ecoTEC petrol version paired with a six-speed manual gearbox in mid-spec SE trim. That’s a lot of car for your money. Here’s our review.

4. Peugeot 5008 (from €29,345, road tax from €190)

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

If you have a large family, the Peugeot 5008 is a great seven-seat SUV which looks great both inside and out. The cabin gets the marvellous digital i-Cockpit as standard – in fact the interior of the 5008 is best-in-class in terms of design, quality and features.

There’s a huge amount of space and storage onboard and the boot can hold 1,060 litres with three rear seats in use and a massive 2,120 litres when all rear seats are folded. There are ISOFIX points on all three seats in the middle row.

For under €30,000 you can have the choice of two engines: a 130hp 1.2-litre PureTech petrol mated to a six-speed manual and a 100hp 1.0-litre BlueHDi diesel with S&S technology paired with a five-speed manual. Both of these can be had in well-specced entry-level Access trim. My choice would be the petrol model. Here’s our review.

5. Volkswagen T-Roc (from €24,750, road tax €200)

Paddy McGrath Paddy McGrath

There are a few reasons why the Volkswagen T-Roc made the list. Firstly, it is a stylish and trendy compact crossover and they are very much in fashion at the moment. Secondly, there is a T-Roc to suit most people with six versions coming in at under €30,000. Thirdly, these versions span the specification grades and you can get a top specced T-Roc with all the bells and whistles. Great value for money.

On the downside, I did find the T-Roc slightly cramped in the back, so if you regularly carry passengers six-foot and over they may feel the pinch. Here’s our review.

READ: What’s the difference between L-plates, N-plates and R-plates? >

READ: Motoring milestones: How to keep on top of basic car servicing >

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