Choosing a car for family of 5

We are a family of 5, so I would say more average size, rather then a big family, but when it comes to looking at cars it feels like we have a huge family.

H is 5 and uses a Maxi Cosi Rodi Air Protect high backed booster seat, I love his seat and I’m very keen to keep him in a highback seat for as long as possible.
M is nearly 4 and is in the same seat at H is in, although her seat is of course pink.
A is 19 months old so he still has a big seat, and is currently in a Britax First Class Plus birth – 4 year seat.

Up until now we have had a Renault Grand Scenic, which is a nice family car, it has plenty of space and 2 spare seats in the boot for any extra passengers, but it was cheap and has been temperamental for some time now, I have got to a point that I don’t really want to go far on my own because I’m worried it might not start or might breakdown on the way.

We will not be having any more children, so when it came to car hunting I figured that might open up our search a little, we don’t need 7 seats, however either cars have got smaller or car seats have got bigger, but it has proved to be quite tricky.

Yesterday we collected a lovely 2010 Ford Mondeo, and I think we have found the perfect car for us. Here are some of the options we looked at in our hunt:

Citreon Picasso/Grand Picasso

These look quite nice in the newer shape in my opinion, I’m not so keen on the older shape, but rightly or wrongly I am weary of these, just because of our poor experience with the Renault, and I put them in the same class, I know lots of people will have been fine with them, but I guess its just personal preference.

Honda FRV 

These look lovely, and in lots of ways the perfect car for a growing family, from the outside its just a big car, rather then a people carrier, but it has 6 seats, we looked in one but it was older then our current car, they seem to be quite rare, at least in our area they are. The one we looked out was a 2004 model and as I say, it was lovely inside, nice a spacious the extra middle seat in the front opens up like a tray when its not being used, plenty of storage and cup holders etc, But I couldn’t bare to spend so much on a car older then what we already have.

Ford S-Max 

These are probably my favourite of the 7 seaters that we looked at, I think they look nice for such a big car and I think Fords have come along way, the interiors are lovely, even the more basic models still look fairly nice. But again they hold their value and for us it was just too expensive.

Ford C-Max 

We found that these just aren’t quite big enough for 3 children in the back, having said they I know they have now brought out a Grand C-Max with the pop up seats, so that could be a great option.

Vauxhall Zafira

Surprisingly small inside, you would have to use one of the boot seats all the time for a third child, so it would work, but this came down to personal preference, and Mr R was not keen. I don’t want to always have to have one child in the boot, especially when we are going on holidays or day trips that we might need to take lots of luggage in the boot.

Vauxhall Insignia

This one Mr R loved, and they do look very sleek, but there was something I wasn’t sure on when I compared it to the Mondeo, and although the boot looked big, it did feel quite narrow so I don’t think it would have as much space.

Ford Mondeo

Obviously this was my favourite. The back seats look bigger then the others we looked at, with plenty of leg room too, the boot looks like you could curl up for a quick nap in it, its huge. We have got all three of the childrens seats in the back, without any compromise, we have put A in the middle seat with the big kids either side, H’s seat is a tight squeeze, I think A’s seat is slightly off centre, but it works, its a squeeze to buckle them up in the highback boosters but even Mr R can do it without complaining.

I think its the perfect car for us, and if doesn’t feel like a mini bus like the Scenic used to.


car seats


They are all very comfy in the back, and I’m very comfy in the front too.

And looking at this photo next on my to-do list is to adjust the straps on A’s seat, how on earth do they twist so easily!



Mums' Days


  1. February 20, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    We are also a family of 5. We had to get a mountaineer with a 3rd row seat. That way if a friend was coming too we had room. Ugh, the gas mileage isn’t the best though.

    • diaryofamumof3
      February 20, 2015 / 8:02 pm

      That is the only draw back of sticking with a 5 seater, that now we have no extra seats for anyone else. x

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