From city cars to big hatchbacks and SUVs to sports cars, family cars come in all shapes and sizes. And on the inside, designers have thought up clever packaging solutions to make the space as flexible and useful as possible - particularly important when you need plenty of storage and seating that moves with your ever-growing brood. Here's our pick of the best cars with innovative interiors that are good for you and your family too.
1. Volvo XC40
If you're looking for a classy mid-sized SUV then look no further than the Volvo XC40. There's already plenty of space inside, but you can't fault Volvo's attention to detail. As well as the optional pull-out trays under the front seats (big enough for a large tablet), you'll find slots next to the steering wheel for storing credit cards and there's a foldaway hook under the glovebox for hanging shopping.
2. Honda HR-V
Seating solutions don't get much more innovative than Honda's 'Magic Seat' system. Just like most hatchbacks, the rear seats can split and fold, but in the Honda HR-V small crossover, the seat bases also flip up, allowing tall or odd-shaped items to be carried with ease. Sounds simple, but it releases a huge amount of load space.
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3. Citroen Berlingo Multispace
Citroen's popular Leisure Activity Vehicle has bags of space as standard. It also features a party trick which is ideal for those IKEA moments when you have to squeeze in a long shelf or wardrobe system. Simply fold the back of the front passenger seat flat and slide the tall object in through the giant rear hatch.
4. MINI Countryman
It's not so long ago that rear seats could only be flipped down as a bench for extra load space. The MINI Countryman is one of the growing examples of cars with back seats that can be split and slide back and forth for extra versatility. In other words, you can have less rear legroom and more boot space, or vice versa.
5. Ford Puma
The lower load compartment in the all-new Ford Puma is a great example of an inventive approach to modern car design. Not only does it provide an extra 80 litres of storage space (456 litres in all), it's able to transport items up to 115cm tall if needed. It also features a waterproof lining and drain plug, making it easy to clean with water and the ideal space for storing wet boots and muddy sports gear - or even wipe down a small dog after a park run!
6. Peugeot Traveller
If you're looking for a jumbo people carrier that can carry up to eight, then the Peugeot Traveller (or very similar Vauxhall Vivaro Life and Citroen SpaceTourer) could be right up your street. Available in two lengths (standard and long) it offers multiple configuration options thanks to seats that slide on rails, or can be removed. So, apart from a regular 'minibus' arrangement, you can also have a 'lounge' configuration with pairs of seats facing each other and centre tables.
7. Land Rover Discovery
The Land Rover Discovery is head and shoulders above most of the opposition when it comes to off-road ability and practicality. It can also seat seven people, which is nothing new, but in most the rearmost two seats are strictly for children. Not so in the mighty Discovery 4x4 where there's space for adults too. What's more, if you don't have extra passengers, seats six and seven fold down electrically.
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8. Skoda Superb
On average, British motorists experience 133 days of rainfall every year, which is where Skoda's commodious Superb hatchback and estate comes in. It features an umbrella neatly incorporated into the driver's door. The Czech car maker has been dreaming up solutions for making drivers' lives easier for years. Its Simply Clever range includes an ice scraper located in the fuel filler flap of every Skoda car.
9. Vauxhall Combo Life
There's no shortage of storage space in Vauxhall's versatile Combo Life ‘Leisure Activity Vehicle’, but when ordered with a panoramic roof, it comes with overhead storage running down the centre of the vehicle, plus a large 36-litre box mounted above the ‘hat tray’ in the boot - ideal for clothes, books and even cuddly toys!
10. Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Admittedly, the epic Rolls-Royce Cullinan is hardly a family car, but its Viewing Suite is sheer genius. At the touch of a button, two exquisitely finished leather seats and a cocktail table are deployed from the luggage compartment. The best seats in the house for enjoying the finest views in the world in sublime opulence.
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