The Best Cars For Busy Mums
Does your life revolve around your car? Probably. The kids constantly need taking from one place to the next. Whether it’s school, a club or the doctors. And then there are your own needs too. If you’re out working, you probably drive there. Or even if you don’t, the car is part of your daily routine.
Driving can be a chore, but are there any cars out there that can make the whole experience a little more bearable? Fun even? These days there are some great choices for mums. No longer are we stuck trying to cram all the kids and their stuff into a hatchback. There are some real smart choices out there, especially now the crossovers market has really taken off.
When the Qashqai launched back in 2007, it was obvious that the car was something quite different. It quickly rocketed to the top of the sales charts and has been a firm favourite ever since.
Why? Because it rewrote the family car. Nissan gambled. They thought, how can we make the classic family saloon a little more livable and breathable? They decided that it would be good to borrow a little bit from the SUV and offroad 4×4 market. They thought it would be a good idea if a car had some of the space offered by these. It didn’t have to actually match the performance of these other vehicles, just make mums’ lives a bit easier.
The choice paid off and other carmakers have been playing catch up ever since. On the inside, the car is chock full of useful places to put things. And, what’s more, it’s actually economical. If you go for the 1.5dCi diesel version, you can expect to get about 74.3 MPG. And its carbon emissions dip below the 100g/km, meaning you avoid paying any road tax. All you need to pay for is the AA cover, petrol and the insurance.
But, like so many crossovers, the Qashqai appeals because it makes the driver feel safe. And given that owners of small cars make the most personal injury claims, it seems that it is actually safer.
Recently Mazda has been doing something a little special for a manufacturer from the East. The Japanese car company has started making cars with all the personality and style of its European rivals. The Mazda CX-3 is no exception. It’s rugged good looks are immediately obvious.
The car is a compact crossover, designed to go head to head against the likes of the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. And again, it has been designed with economy in mind. When it comes to the Mazda, you’ve got a choice of engines. You can either opt for the two-wheel drive 2.0-liter petrol engine that emits a paltry 136g/km. Or you can go for the more powerful four-wheel drive variant, that produces about a third more horsepower.
The two wheel drive version gives you efficiency. The four-wheel drive version sacrifices that for the ability to go offroad and to drive with confidence when the conditions are bad.
Citroen C4 Cactus
You’ll either love this car, or you’ll hate it. The cactus elements might look stylish, or they might look like your kid’s scabbed knee. But let’s leave the unusual styling aside for a second. What has Citroen tried to achieve with this car?
As a crossover, the Citroen Cactus is bold, like so many French cars of late. But unlike many French cars, the price is low, very low.It’s almost as if it was made by a South Korean budget car company, coming in at £12,990. The philosophy behind the car is also interesting. The main idea seems to be that less is more, and since you’re going to be filling it with your life, this is probably a good thing.
Citroen has also tried to make your life cost less. The BlueHDi 100 – the most efficient model -achieves 91.1mpg. That’s incredible. They’ve done this by making sure that the tyres have low rolling resistance. As a result, the car produces only about 83g/km of CO2. What’s more, compared to some of the other offering the car is actually quite nippy. It will get you from 0-62 in under 9.3 seconds.
One final point, however, is that the car isn’t the safest you can buy. In going for simplicity, Citroen has unfortunately fallen foul of Euro NCAP safety standards. That’s not to say that the car is bad; it still achieved four out of five stars. It’s just that it’s not up to the usual standard we’ve come to expect from the French.