Catering for the school and shopping run are the primary considerations for moms. Space and versatility for easy loading of grocery bags and catering for the kids’ sports equipment require a large-ish boot and easy side-door entry to the back. Additionally, a high roofline helps, as does good engine economy.
No longer available as an all-new car, these will become increasingly scarce in the second-hand market. The Livina shared most of its hardware with the Nissan Tiida sedan and first-generation Qashqai, together with a number of Renault models. Because of its versatility and good space it is also popular amongst meter-taxi operators. Opt for X-Gear versions and you at least stand out from the crowd, though it is by no means an off-roader and does not even offer any higher ground clearance – it is merely a styling kit.
Still a fairly new model in South Africa, second-hand models are still priced fairly high. The B-Max has been available in Europe for years and is a consistent high seller there. Its coup d’etat is its wide-opening front doors and sliding rear doors, creating a huge cavity for easy entry. It rides in Fiesta underpinnings.
Never heard of the SV? It is the high-roof version of the Golf in terms of underpinnings, engines and interior appointments but with a slightly different, MPV-style body shape. Doors open conventionally to the side and is a good choice should the more utilitarian Caddy model prove to be too mundane for your tastes.
At a far higher price than most offerings in this segment, this Mini is no longer a mini, but boasts maxi interior space. It is quite a size larger than smaller Cooper models, with top models even offering all-wheel drive, turning it into a very versatile family car for a variety of lifestyle needs.
The Avanza is about as basic a vehicles as it comes, though it has aircon and power steering and the automatic version is surprisingly delightful to drive. Being a no-frills car, it is affordable, comes with legendary Toyota reliability and ease of maintenance, and is one of few vehicles in the market to offer the option of seven seats, but at the expense of load capacity.