Fiat Tipo

The Tipo presents a tidy drive based around nicely weighted steering and agility, combined with an interior designed to provide comfort for driver and passengers alike; tailor-made for families.

The standard presentation includes air conditioning, cruise control and DAB radio with Bluetooth but an upgrade to the Easy Plus model adds a 7” Touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The Tipo is fitted with six airbags, ABS anti-lock braking system and ESC, including anti-slip systems as well as hydraulic brake assist (HBA) that increases the optimal braking power.

As well as hill holder, tyre pressure monitoring system and fog lights the Safety Pack offers autonomous emergency brake with speed limiter. The Lounge trim includes a rear view camera and the Visibility Pack, equipping you with rain and dusk sensors and electrochromic dimming rearview mirror.

Vauxhall Astra

The Astra is a true classic of its type that’s changed with the times. It’s an ideal compact family car that delivers on performance and premium features.

It’s a good looking number too. A curved roof sweeping from its front gives it an athletic appearance – and this is complemented by a lightweight body and either the five or six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic. The interior also delivers a classy finish, topped off with an optional power driver seat in leather with massage and ventilation system.

This car is all about relaxing and enjoying the driving experience. For instance, optional keyless entry means less fumbling when your hands are full. Similarly, if you struggle to retain your cool in a tight car park you can let the Advance Park Assist system deal with the stress. All you need do is select forward or reverse and control the accelerator and brake as the car brings you calmly into the space. Clever camera systems also include lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, following distance indicator and forward traffic collision alert.

Taking further care on the roads the Astra’s optional LED headlight system adjusts the beam from high to a wider field in the presence of other vehicles to prevent dazzling.

IntelliLink (standard on all models) keeps you connected through Apple Car Play and Android via a 7-inch touchscreen.

Renault Megane

The Megane plays very well among drivers looking for a tidy and compact family car. The styling of a smaller city run-around is in place through distinctive curves and sculpting, as is a set of standard kit offering practical and convenient features – and with a stylish black cloth interior topped off with leather steering wheel. Connectivity is via the R-Link 2 multimedia system with 7” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

LED daytime running lights, halogen headlights and front fog lights all make it on to the standard equipment list with a superb roll call of safety kit including: tyre pressure monitor, ABS with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, cruise control, hill start assist and driver, front passenger and front lateral airbags.

Further comforts such as key-card hands-free entry and automatic dual-zone climate control are also present.

Audi A3

The Audi A3 seems to have it all: features, looks, practicality and a great driving feel.

Static photo, Colour: Florett Silver

The standard equipment list is practical and includes pretty sensible stuff like LED daytime running lights, light and rain sensors. as well as cruise control, hill assist and rear parking sensors.

Tech is increasingly important, even in family cars and there’s no shortage here with Audi supplying the Multi Media Interface (MMI) Radio Plus with 7” colour MMI screen, controller and MMI Navigation, as well as Audi Smartphone Interface, Bluetooth interface and Audi Connect infotainment services.

The optional Audi parking system plus package also shows how tech has been harnessed for safety. An acoustic and visual park assist operates via ultrasonic sensors, at the front and rear, giving a graphic representation of the distance to any obstacles detected outside and within the driving path, shown on the MMI screen.

The Audi Pre-sense Basic package is a general safety kit that identifi es dangers in advance and intervenes when necessary to provide an extra level of safety. In the event of a potential collision the car will tighten front seatbelts, activate hazard warning lights and close windows.