It won't be long now until the kids are back to school, and while the school run might seem like a distant memory, after homeschooling for so long, the promise of all schools returning in September could have you in the market for a new family motor. And now's the best time to get car shopping. Forget those swollen, bulky and less than glam-looking but practical family cars – we've found 10 of the best value school run cars that have buckets of kerb appeal, and will score you brownie points with your kids too…
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Best family cars for the school run
1. Tesla Model X
There can be few things more cool for kids than getting out from a car with sci-fi like falcon-wing rear doors, but that's exactly what's on offer from the 100% electric Tesla Model X. Available with five, six and seven-seat layouts, this big SUV is also gut-wrenchingly quick (0-60mph in 2.6 seconds). Zero emissions, maximum street cred.
2. Volkswagen Tiguan
We couldn't miss out the VW Tiguan - if only because it was the star of the genius advert that featured a dad dropping off his teenage daughter at school. Featuring Dead Prez's Hip Hop as the soundtrack, the girl's overconfident father pushes his luck too far and earns her scorn when he attempts a first bump. The Tiguan is actually a sensible, comfortable choice when it comes to ferrying kids, with space for three in the back and one up front.
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3. Honda e
The impossibly cute Honda e could be the answer for parents who prefer a compact car for the school run. This retro-styled electric vehicle (EV) has a range of up to 137 miles and can be charged to 80% in just 30 minutes. Inside, there's a customisable dual touchscreen screen to keep young passengers engaged with their connected lifestyles. It doesn't even have conventional door mirrors - they have been replaced with high-definition cameras, which provide clear images on screens within the cabin. Small car, big personality.
4. Volvo XC90
This SUV is a big smoothie. Available as a spacious seven-seater, it's the perfect choice for larger families or if you're part of a school run lift-share. Oozing Scandi chic inside, you can choose between conventional petrol and diesel engines, plus a plug-in hybrid too which can offer nearly 30 miles in pure electric mode - which should be enough to cover the round trip to school.
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5. Peugeot 2008
The car market is awash with compact SUVs, but few have as much kerb appeal as the new Peugeot 2008. There's stacks of space inside and it's offered with petrol, diesel and all-electric power - naturally, the e-2008 with its range of up to 206 miles is the most planet-friendly version. Charge it overnight at home or during the day at work or stop off at a rapid charger and get 80% charge in as little as 30 minutes.
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6. MINI Countryman
Plug-in Hybrid If you're looking for an eco-friendly, relatively compact car with four-wheel drive and bags of character, then the MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid could be your perfect match. It's quirky and fun to drive, but there's also a decent amount of space inside. It has a pure electric range of up to 29 miles, so enough for most school runs. The battery takes as little as two hours 24 minutes to fully charge and it can zip through traffic with ease. Chunky and funky.
7. Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
If you're lucky enough to have £85,000-plus burning a hole in your bank account, then why not spend it on the best looking estate car money can buy. The sleek Panamera Sport Turismo is luxurious and beautifully built inside, and if you choose the plug-in hybrid model (known as the E-hybrid) you can glide silently up to the school gates in pure electric mode. Class act.
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8. Citroen Grand C4 Spacetourer
Go back 20 years or so and MPVs (or people carriers) were all the rage. SUVs are the new craze, but there are still a few MPVs around, and the stylish Grand C4 Spacetourer is one of the best. It's a genuine seven-seater, but it also offers a glorious driving experience because it’s comfortable and relaxing, and it's bathed in light inside thanks to an enormous panoramic sunroof and big windows. It's only available with petrol and diesel engines, though the latter is very economical.
9. Polestar 2
This stunning new five-door hatchback is from Volvo's sister brand, Polestar, which produces EVs only. Designed to take on Tesla's Model 3, you will be the envy of the school gates if you rock up in a Polestar 2 because it looks like nothing else on the market, while its vegan interior wins top green points. The upholstery is made from WeaveTech - a 100% vegan material that's lightweight and durable, with a smooth, sporty look and feel inspired by wetsuits.
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10. Audi RS 6 Avant quattro
Want practically but panache? Then Audi's RS 6 Avant performance estate could be for you. There's bags of space for you and your children inside, plus a big boot, and it's packed with tech. Most of all for petrolheads, you can't miss the roar of its 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8, capable of 0-62mph in a blistering 3.6 seconds. Serious attitude.