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Ten of the best: Back-to-School

Family-friendly cars perfect for the school run

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It’s been announced that schools will reopen in England. While home schooling has meant the school run has been reduced to moving from one room in the house to another, in a few days parents will be back on the road for the good old (and maybe even dearly missed) school drop and dash. 

With parents getting back in the driving seat, many will be in the market for a new family motor. We’ve put together our top pick of the best family cars which can handle the school run with ease while also packing that all-important kerb appeal.  


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’s lovely, comfortable interior. It has one of the best infotainment systems available, is spacious and genuinely fun to drive when you get out on an open road.


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 a Mini / 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 favouritre tunes on the way back. We know you’ve missed it. The MINI Countryman is both good for the environment and for zipping through traffic. Nippy and a bit hippie - nice!


The Q3 might be the middle child of the Audi SUV range between the Q2 and Q5, but like the Hemsworth brothers, it’s arguably the best of the bunch (Chris, in case you have to ask). It is well built, looks smart and has one of the best driving positions thanks to the wide range of seat adjustments available. Audi have been tweaking the Q3 since 2011 and we have to say it’s one of our favourite SUVs for combining comfort and class.


The Ford Kuga, despite the arguably unfortunate name (we don’t mean to be catty), is surprisingly fun to drive and excellent value for money. Top tip - make sure you get one with a few optional extras, otherwise the interior can lack substance just like an old school dinner! The rear is perfect for kids however, the boot space is a little tighter than you might hope for. If boot space is a concern, read on for the Peugeot 2008.


If you’re going for the Arnold Schwarzenegger, 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 not the most comfortable, it’s not the cheapest, but if it doesn’t have kerb appeal by the bucket load, then we don’t even know kerb appeal.


In a world full of Teslas the Jaguar I-Pace holds its own as a super sporty all-electric SUV. It’s great to drive, with a futuristic tech-filled cabin featuring brushed aluminium and luxurious leather throughout. It’s Eco, but not vegan. It will do 0-60 in a mind-bending 4.5 seconds and Jaguar claim 298 miles between charges. Maybe not be the perfect car for those in the countryside, but city dwellers will be more than comfortable with the range. That’s a lot of school runs unless, someone keeps forgetting their gym kit!


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. The Tiguan 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.


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.


A lot of SUVs are good for those with one or two children. Have any more and you’re going to be looking to trade in that SUV for a minibus! Not so with the XC90. It’s available as a spacious seven-seater with the 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.


 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 like Bruce Banner, made it a little angry. That’s 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 and fun PureTech petrol engine, , and it’s a definite Hulk Smash in our opinion.