The top five Fords for growing families
It's all well and good if you're the cash-rich buyer looking to purchase a sporty bargain but for those on the other side of the deal, those ready to wander into a showroom and fork out for a sensible family runaround, times can be tough.
Luckily, Ford offers plenty of choice when it comes tried and tested family machines that won't break the bank.
Below is our pick of the current range...
Ford Fiesta – From £9,995 – 1.0 EcoBoost Petrol – 65.7mpg
The best-selling Fiesta is perfect for a growing family, offering contemporary styling with state-of-the-art technology. Despite being the smallest car on our list, it has all the space required to comfortably seat a family of five and has plenty of boot space for pushchairs and shopping. Fuel stops will become a rarity thanks to its award-winning 1.0 EcoBoost engine, which 'combines satisfying power with exceptional fuel-efficiency,' according to Ford. Basic models include the new Ford SYNC system, which allows drivers to stay connected with friends and family on the move, make hands-free phone calls and even listen to text messages that are read out by the computerised system.
B-Max – From £12,995 – 1.0 EcoBoost Petrol – 55.4mpg
The B-Max was a real favourite amongst the AOL Cars team during its time as a long-term mule, offering everything a family needs and more. The tiny 1.0 litre engine was a bit of a worry at first but Ford's wonder-motor was more than enough to power even a fully laden machine. Clambering in and out is effortless thanks to the structural B-pillars - which usually divide the front and back of a car - being cleverly integrated into the doors themselves. This creates a one-metre chasm when front and rear doors are flung open, meaning that both children and boxes alike can be tossed in the back seats. Its clever television advert, in which a man in revealingly tight speedos dives through the car with its doors open, has created a lot of attention for the B-Max, and rightly so, it is a cracking car. At a reasonable price for the most basic model, it should definitely be on every family's shortlist.
Kuga – From £21,000 - 1.6 EcoBoost Petrol – 42.8mpg
Ford's new Kuga has grown in size, which means it offers a lot more much-needed interior space. The SUV is very comfortable on all terrains and is extremely easy to drive both on and off-road. It comes with the Ford SYNC system which means that you can access text messages, music and everything on your phone without distraction from the road. One of the cleverest additions is a sensor underneath the rear bumper that allows the boot to be opened with a swipe of a foot - undoubtedly made for the men amongst us who refuse to take two trips for 15 bags of shopping.
S-Max – From £23,110 – 2.0 EcoBoost – 41.5mpg
The S-Max is perhaps more suitable to an "already grown" family due to its ability to seat seven and cavernous interior. Both middle and rear benches fold completely flat, creating a part-time van that's able to transport the contents of the kitchen, while plenty of on-board tech (reversing camera, blind spot assist, for example) makes everyday life easier. The 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine is just as impressive as the smaller 1.0 litre in other models mentioned here, offering plenty of power yet returning impressive fuel economy figures. But above all else, it looks fantastic, certainly one of the sportiest people carries on the market.
Mondeo Estate- From £29,490 – 2.0-turbocharged diesel – 36.7mpg
We fell in love with our long-term Mondeo and have even begged Ford to let us have another one due to its spacious interior, comfortable seats and impressive build quality. Those looking for a daily workhorse that can withstand even the toughest tasks should look no further and it even offers up a spirited drive should you find yourself with an empty cabin and equally unoccupied road.
Author: Harry Boucher