Loading the family up for a traveling holiday provides adventure and fun. When you take to the road, you want a vehicle that is roomy, comfortable, and a smooth ride. You also want good gas mileage so your trip will be economical. In this article, we share with you the top five best family cars for traveling holidays.
#1 The Ford Fiesta
The Ford Fiesta is a favorite car for family holidays and a common sight on British roads. With plenty of space for small items in the roomy door bins and glovebox, and easy access to the rear seats with the five-door model, the interior provides comfort and convenience.
You will get excellent fuel economy with the majority of engines in the Fiesta models, close to the official estimates with the turbocharged 1.0-liter engines with highway driving.
Fiesta earned a five-star rating by the independent safety group Euro NCAP due to its seven airbags, three more than most small hatchbacks.
If you encounter slick roads on your holiday and your Fiesta starts to slide, the electronic stability control system, standard on all models, helps you regain control. For an additional cost, Fiesta offers another system that automatically applies the brakes if it senses you are about to have a collision in stop-start traffic, a good idea if you will be doing city driving for an additional cost; however it is not available on the less expensive, Studio and Style models.
#2 Volvo XC90
The UK models of the XC90 all have seven seats. Children fit well in the third row, as it is most comfortable for those no taller than 5ft 8in.
You can fit a few bags in the boot even with all seats occupied. However, when you fold the third row seats flat, the luggage space is extremely generous, greater than many estate cars. Additionally, there are several handy storage spaces in the front of the car that keep necessary items close when you are traveling.
The D5 diesel model averages almost 50mpg in official tests. However, the most fuel-efficient XC90 – the T8 plug-in hybrid – gets 112.9mpg (at least on paper).
Volvo claims the XC90 is their safest car; not surprising given the amount of its safety equipment. Airbags include window airbags to protect those in all three rows of seats. Plus, the XC90 comes with the latest version of Volvo’s City Safety system, which automatically applies the brakes if a pedestrian steps out in front of you or the car in front of you comes to a sudden stop.
A lane-departure warning system and active anti-whiplash head restraints are standard on every model. Options include blind spot monitoring and a system that stops you pulling out into the path of another car at junctions. Also, every XC90 has four-wheel-drive.
#3 Volkswagen Golf Estate
The Golf Estate has plenty of room for suitcases and other traveling necessities. You can fold the seat flat to transport large items, a useful feature for families. Additionally, items slide in and out easily as there is no drop down from the boot opening.
The interior is roomy with enough leg and headroom for tall adults to sit comfortably. The center second-row seat works well with an integrated child booster seat. All seats slide back and forth individually, providing ease of ingress and egress.
If you plan on a great deal of traveling, choose the regular 1.6-liter diesel engine that provides more than 70 mpg in official tests.
Crash testing by car safety specialists Euro NCAP earned the Golf the maximum five-star rating, partially because of its seven airbags, including a driver’s knee bag.
The Golf has a stability control system that helps correct skids. All versions except for the S model have an emergency braking system for city driving that stops the car for you if it detects a collision is imminent.
#4 BMW X3
The BMW X3 seats five comfortably. The front of the car has large storage bins and sensibly placed cup holders.
You will have no trouble fitting large suitcases in the boot, and, if you need more space, the rear seats fold forward so that they lie almost flat.
Although the diesel engine sounds a bit clattery when you are driving around town, the noise settles down on the motorway, and you do not hear much suspension or road noise, so the X3 is a relaxing long-distance cruiser for holiday traveling
No rival with four-wheel drive can match the fuel economy of the 20d automatic, which averages 56.5mpg. The two-wheel drive 18d model is the most efficient X3 with its official average of 60.1 mpg (58.9 with optional automatic gearbox).
The X3 received a five-star overall rating in the independent Euro NCAP crash test program with its front, side, and window airbags, plus an airbag beneath the steering column to protect the driver’s knees. The option list on the X3 includes a system that automatically applies brakes at town speeds if it looks like you are going to collide with a pedestrian or another car.
#5 Nissan Qashqai
The Qashqai offers style, space, and equipment, along with excellent fuel economy and sharp handling. Excellent for long trips, the Qashqai is good at shutting out noise, and soaks up most bumps in the road. Even after hours behind the wheel, you should emerge feeling relaxed because of the supportive seats. Isofix mountings on the outer rear seats make it easy to install child seats.
The big, square boot easily holds a couple of large suitcases. The rear seats fold flat if you need extra space. In the front, you will find two cup holders between the front seats, and a large storage bin to keep your valuables out of sight.
You will get the average 74.3 mpg with the 1.5-litre diesel Qashqai. 1.6 diesel and 1.2 petrol models are not quite as efficient. It is harder to get near the official figure in the petrol than in the diesels in everyday driving.
The Qashqai has the normal six airbags – four that protect those in the front, plus two that run the length of the car at window level. A stability control system reigns in the engine’s power and brakes individual wheels to help you stay in control in poor conditions, particularly effective when traveling on unfamiliar roads. The Acenta Premium and Tekna models come with a Smart Vision pack, which includes front and rear parking sensors and systems that warn you if you are in danger of having a collision or stray out of your lane. The Smart Vision pack is a relatively affordable option on lesser models.
Whether your trip is long or short and your family large or small, our list of the top five best family cars for traveling holidays should provide the perfect choice for having a comfortable, safe, and fun family traveling time.