Family cars with power

By Anna Kantilaftas, 29 Sep 2016 Car Advice

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Skoda Octavia RS

Family car on the streets, supercar between the sheets.

So you’re now a family person and within a matter of hours, your whole world has changed. Candlelit baths turn into nappy-changing tantrums; quiet dinners become more like a Hollywood war-scene; and quiet time is more valuable than a bottle of Dom Pérignon. And now you’re expected to give up your impractical sports car for something more kid-friendly.

But just because you have to upsize your car, doesn’t mean you have to give up driver enjoyment.

Ok, so maybe there are some concessions you need to make – like the number of seats, or choosing safety equipment over some fancy optional colour. But hey, sacrifice comes part and parcel with having kids and there’s always a compromise.

While the Mazda MX-5 and Audi TT may be off the new-car list, there are still a few cars that’ll fit the kiddie seats and still make you feel like Daniel Ricciardo.

SKODA OCTAVIA RS

Using the same engine as the Golf GTI, it’s got the practicality of a wagon, lots of equipment and the athleticism you’re looking for.

Skoda Octavia RS

SUBARU LEVORG

It’s got good safety, perfect for the family lifestyle with the space of a wagon and the turbocharged engine straight out of the Subaru WRX. Good times.

Subaru Levorg

HOLDEN COMMODORE SS

It’s great value for a performance sedan, and the same V8 engine as the SS-V with a lower price tag. The Commodore is an Australian icon (at least for another year or so), and offers comfort, space, and V8 grunt.

Holden Commodore SS V Redline

VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 132TSI COMFORTLINE

Add in the optional Luxury Package and you’ve got yourself a winner. It looks expensive for its price, it’s got a spritely turbo-petrol engine and it’s got the space of an SUV.

Volkswagen Passat

JAGUAR XF PRESTIGE 2.0D

It’s as luxurious and roomy. We’ve picked the base model for price reasons, but you can’t really go wrong whichever way you go. If you really want sporty though, and you have the budget, go the petrol XF S.

Jaguar XF Prestige

AUDI RS6 AVANT

It’s really the ultimate family car. The hot wagon and merges performance and practicality into one tidy wagon. Granted, it won’t be in everyone’s price range.

Audi RS6 Avant

MERCEDES-AMG C43 WAGON

If you really want a Mercedes-AMG C-Class but can’t justify the spend, then this V6-powered wagon is your most affordable option. It’s the price-gap between a standard C-Class and the performance AMG versions.

Mercedes-AMG C43 Wagon

AUDI RS Q3

If the RS6 is totally out of your price range, then you might be interested in the RS Q3. It has hot hatch performance with compact SUV practicality.

Audi RSQ3

VOLVO POLESTAR

Volvo has a reputation as a family-carmaker for a reason. So throw in its performance Polestar range, and you’ve got yourself a double-whammy. Polestar is Volvo’s racing partner so you’re guaranteed to get practicality and performance.

Volvo Polestar

FORD FOCUS ST

The Ford Focus is a powerful small car with turbocharged engines offered across the range. It comes stacked with features, safety and tech, and the ST adds the performance element for something a little more fun.

Ford Focus ST

JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE SRT8

We couldn’t do a family car segment without including a big, chunky SUV. So we threw the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the mix for good measure. This car is full of equipment and is a really popular car among Australians. The SRT8 may be the most expensive in the range, and the least suitable for off-roading with a single-range 4WD system, but it comes with a V8 engine, sporty seats and great styling.

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT 8