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The best family-friendly cars for back to school

Family-friendly cars that are functional, on-trend, and perfect for the school run.

cars driving in traffic

With parents getting back in the driving seat for the school run, many will be in the market for a new family motor.

We’ve put together our top pick of the best family cars for back-to-school that offer the all-important kerb appeal.  


A blue BMW X5 parked on a rooftop parking lot

Luxurious and sophisticated with lots of tech, what’s not to love?

The shock of leaving your sofa for the peak hour rush again will be somewhat soothed by the BMW X5 and its lovely, comfortable interior.

This used BMW has one of the best infotainment systems available, is spacious and genuinely fun to drive when you get out on an open road.

Mini Countryman

a black Mini Countryman parked in a town

Eco-friendly, comfortable, stylish and still very ‘Cool Britannia’, the Mini Countryman is the hybrid of choice for the school run.

And it’s not just an SUV hybrid, it’s an electric/petrol hybrid too, with a pure electric range of 29 miles - perfect for those short school runs and belting out a couple of your favourite tunes on the way back.

A used Mini Countryman is both good for the environment and for zipping through traffic. Nippy and a bit hippie - nice!

Audi Q3

A blue Audi Q3 photographed from a side angle

The Q3 might be the middle child of the Audi SUV range between the Q2 and Q5, but it’s arguably the best of the bunch.

It's well-built, looks smart and has one of the best driving positions thanks to the wide range of seat adjustments available.

Audi has been tweaking the Q3 since 2011 and we have to say it’s one of our favourite SUVs for combining comfort and class.

Used Audi models like the Q3 are also available on car finance deals.

Ford Kuga

A red Ford Kuga ST-Line X model

The Ford Kuga is surprisingly fun to drive and excellent value for money. We recommend you get one with a few optional extras, to really max out on what your used Ford Kuga has on offer

The rear is perfect for kids, but the boot space is a little tighter than you might hope for.

It has enough for everyday use (between 412 to 526 litres) but you might opt for something chunkier if you know you need a lot of room.

You'll also benefit from handy sliding rear seats, so you can choose legroom or boot space depending on the occasion.

Jeep Wrangler

a dark green jeep wrangler driving offroad down a rocky hill

If you’re going for the rugged look, and want something that will deliver the kids to school even if they relocate it up a mountain, then the unmistakable Jeep Wrangler is the top pick.

It's one of the most versatile models on the market and can easily tackle any terrain, with its brilliant Jeep 4x4 set-up.

Practicality aside, it's an iconic and instantly recognisable car that'll add some flare to your school run.

Jaguar I-Pace

a white jaguar i-pace driving on a uk road

In a world full of Teslas, the Jaguar I-Pace holds its own as a sporty all-electric SUV.

It’s great to drive, with a futuristic tech-filled cabin featuring brushed aluminium and luxurious leather throughout.

This used Jaguar EV will do 0-60 in a mind-bending 4.5 seconds, and Jaguar claim 298 miles between charges.

That’s a lot of school runs - unless someone keeps forgetting their gym kit!

Volkswagen Tiguan

a blue Volkswagen Tiguan driving on a country road in Germany

If you’ve seen the VW Tiguan advert you’ll know it’s aimed at the school run.

We think we can all relate to the overconfident dad who attempts a fist bump, much to his daughter’s dismay - VW knows its market when it comes to the brilliant Tiguan.

This used Volkswagen doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t; it’s comfortable, spacious and you can get 3 in the back easily.

It’s a sensible choice, and that isn’t a bad thing. Being a VW, it will hold its value reasonably well, too.

Porsche Macan

a red porsche macan gts parked in front of a green hill

With the Macan, you get the badge and the performance you crave from Porsche’s sporty origins in a much more practical shell.

Ever tried to get the kids into the back seats of a Porsche 911? Or paid to have the seats valeted after they’d turned it into a trampoline? Stories for another time.

Since its launch, the Macan has become one of the most sought-after Porsche models and one of the most desirable SUVs on the market for one simple reason: it’s brilliant.

Volvo XC90

a white volvo xc90 driving on a road

A lot of SUVs are good for those with one or two children, but the Volvo XC90 takes that up a level.

It’s available as a spacious seven-seater with an interior in typical Scandi style. And while we don’t mean IKEA, we can’t promise you won’t be cleaning spilled meatballs off the seats.

It features a range of engines, including a plug-in hybrid which can do 30 miles in pure electric mode.

Peugeot 2008

a white peugeot 2008 driving on a road

Look, hear us out. We know there are a lot of compact SUVs to choose between. The Peugeot 2008 is, however, one of the best.

Peugeot has taken their classic hatchback - the 208 - and made it a little angry-looking. This produced a winning SUV that will have other school runners green with envy.

It’s rugged, has best-in-class infotainment and a boot that will hold all the kit you could possibly need.

Mix all this with its low cost to run, and punchy PureTech petrol engine, and it’s a definite win in our opinion.