Stretching Your Penny: Top Family Cars for the Budget Conscious

When picking a family car, buyers are typically looking for practicality over speed. They want great fuel economy and they also want to have a lot of space in the boot to carry the shopping and other bits and pieces. In short, it’s a lot to ask for and most people would simply buy a practical vehicle such as the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. However, budget family vehicles do exist and they’re more common than you might think, so let’s dive into a couple of the best so you have an easier time picking.


Kia Rio

The Kia Rio has a couple of fantastic advantages that make it an amazing family car. First of all, it pops up on a regular basis at many different dealerships and can be bought new for a very low price. Websites like Fiesta Kia even specialise in the car, making them easy to find due to their popularity. In terms of actual driving and practicality, the Kia Rio comes with several different variations, but the 1.1-litre diesel offers the best fuel efficiency at 85.6mpg. For the environmentally conscious, it has low enough CO2 emissions to give you peace of mind and it has plenty of space for passengers as well as cargo in the boot.

Renault Megane

The Renault Megane hatchback has a wonderful design that makes it look modern and stylish enough not to make your friends turn away in disgust at getting into your family car. While it certainly looks amazing, the insides are equally as impressive. Renault claims it can reach 76.4mpg, making it not the most fuel efficient family car on the market but putting it within an acceptable range. It’s an economical car that sports a lot of space and family comforts, but it does come with a slightly higher initial price tag.


If you want something that looks stylish and feels fantastic to drive, then look no further than a Mazda3. Although the entry-level models are slow, it’s inexpensive to maintain, stylish and comes with a very smooth driving experience that is sure to please you. It’s not the most budget-friendly vehicle due to its price, but it offers a level of comfort and practicality that is rarely seen at this price range and with this much style on the exterior. The diesel engine also has an impressive fuel economy, giving up to 74.3mpg on the 1.5-litre engine and with low emissions. However, if you want a little more power, the 2.2-litre diesel might pique your interest, but do keep in mind it lowers the fuel efficiency to 68.9mpg.

Volkswagen Golf

With a fantastic interior, budget running costs and a satisfying feel, the Volkswagen Golf is a definite contender for one of the best budget-oriented family cars available. It’s packed with all the latest technology and manages to reach 72mpg on its 1.6-lire diesel engine. It’s a stylish looking car that doesn’t try to do anything fancy, but the newer models (2017) does have a fancy screen that displays a wealth of useful information.