The Audi A3 Sportback has been named the UK’s best used family car – ahead of models from Honda, Fiat, BMW and Volkswagen.
A survey of 2,000 parents, with children under 16, looked at the budget and criteria for their next family motor and the 2017, petrol-powered Audi A3 was voted as the ideal choice.
With around £15,500 to spend on average, families are looking for practicality, low running costs and good fuel efficiency as the key features.
When it comes to type of car, they're most likely wanting to drive a hatchback or SUV.
Audi was the most desirable brand, ahead of Fiat, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, Toyota and Mercedes, according to the CarGurus Family Car Study.
And diesel is a no-no, with just 10 per cent of parents wanting this sort of fuel, compared with petrol (33 per cent) or hybrid (20 per cent).
The research was carried out by online automotive marketplace CarGurus, which has identified the Audi A3 1.0-litre TFSI from 2017 as the ideal used family car based on the criteria set out by mums and dads across the country.
Costing around £15,000 as a 2017 model with approximately 30,000 – 40,000 miles on the clock, the five-door hatchback is available with a smooth and efficient 1.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, and can return more than 50mpg in real-world driving conditions.
The Audi A3 finished ahead of the Honda Civic 1.0 VTEC Turbo and the HR-V 1.5 VTEC, BMW 2 Series Active Tourer 218i, Volkswagen Golf 1.0 TSI, Fiat 500X 1.0 Turbo, Toyota C-HR 1.2, and Mercedes B-Class B180.
Meanwhile, for families with three or more children, the study identified the BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer 218i and Kia Carens 1.6 GDI as the seven-seater models that best meet their requirements.
While SUVs and their smaller crossover siblings are sought-after body styles, the majority of used models within the average £15,500 budget that was highlighted by parents tend to have diesel engines, higher mileages or – if petrol-powered – poorer fuel economy, typically averaging fewer than 50 miles per gallon.
Chris Knapman, editor at CarGurus, said: “Using this research, we have created a buying guide that puts parents’ requirements as the priority. When analysing the survey results, our team of expert reviewers – who are parents, too – sought to balance the need for practicality, safety and low running costs with the preferences expressed for certain brands.
“And in the previous generation Audi A3 Sportback, which best suits the average family’s criteria, parents get an excellent all-round car that does everything very well.”
To help parents during the car-buying process, online automotive marketplace CarGurus has created the CarGurus Best Family Car Buying Guide, which includes a host of information and practical advice for families of all ages.
In addition, the study revealed several other findings when it came to parents and their cars.
It found that two thirds of parents view the family car as purely a tool to get them from A to B.
When it came to the birth of their first child, 34 per cent said their vehicle was perfectly suitable ahead of their arrival.
Just over a fifth (22 per cent) bought a new car before the birth in preparation, while 16 per cent splashed out shortly after the newborn’s arrival.
But six in 10 (60 per cent) were ‘very nervous’ about driving with their child as a passenger for the first time.
Two thirds (67 per cent) view fitting a child seat as an awkward task – and when families are on the move, half (48 per cent) of parents find their children regularly distract them when in the car.
Overall, more than a third (38 per cent) of parents surveyed via OnePoll currently don’t have a vehicle which is entirely suitable as a family car.
Alongside a list of the top 10 family cars based on the criteria set out by parents, CarGurus has teamed up with safety expert, IAM RoadSmart, to provide mums and dads with some tips when travelling with their child or children in the car.
*Top 10 used family cars based on the average UK parents’ buying requirements
Visit CarGurus at cargurus.co.uk