Looking for a replacement vehicle on a budget is always a challenge – especially if you need to find a family car under 3000 quid! Fortunately, we love to test ourselves and have come up with a list of our favourite bargains for the cash-conscious family looking to upgrade their car this year.
What to look for in a family car
A family car buyer is generally looking for quite different qualities than a twenty-something driver. You need space (and plenty of it), reliability, safety and comfort – but, of course, if you can find a car that’s fun to drive too that’s a nice bonus! We recommend avoiding diesel engines at this price point, because they’ll usually have well over 100,000 miles on the clock, which is when dual mass flywheels and particulate filters start to fail, and that means expensive bills – so stick to petrol models! Let’s have a look at the top contenders…
It’s hard to look past a Mondeo in any price bracket if you’re after a solid motor that ticks all the boxes mentioned above. Renowned for their excellent chassis that make the driving experience top notch, the Mondeo is a modern classic.
A strong contender for the best family car under £3000, the Octavia offers a decent enough driving experience with the reliability and safety you’d expect from a car under the Volkswagen Group banner. Three grand should get you decent 1.6 FSI model – a surprisingly capable and economical engine in a car this big.
You may not be able to pronounce the name, but the Qashqai is a great car for the growing family. Solid, bulletproof reliability and a great driving position make this quirky Nissan worth considering when you’re thinking of upgrading. The 1.6-litre engine isn’t much more economical than the 2.0-litre version, so grab one of those for the extra grunt.
Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
Following on from the success of the original Picasso, the C4 version of this 7-seater in an excellent car – and you’ll get lots for your £3000! It’s fun to drive, spacious, surprisingly well-built and full of features, and all of this in a car with the highest NCAP rating in its class. The 1.8-litre engine is the best compromise between power and economy, so we’d opt for that… unless you fancy the extra fun of the 2.0-litre VTR+!
Finding the best family car under 3000 quid is a fun challenge, but we think that we’ve nailed it – choose any one of these and you should have a vehicle that’ll give you years of solid service, whether you’re on the open roads or parking with us down at Trafalgar Street car park for a day’s shopping.