AA Buyer's Guide: Family friendly options
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There have been some fantastic new family friendly vehicles launched in New Zealand over the past months. Whether you need something frugal or have a craving for something with capacity for towing, here are some great models to choose from.
The Outlander is built on an entirely new platform, shared with Nissan, and arrived in 2021. It starts at a very attractive entry price point of $41,990 for the five-seat petrol 2WD LS, which has a great suite of standard features. Features include a full ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) suite, wireless Apple Carplay connectivity and embedded sat-nav.
If you can stretch your budget by $3000 you can upsize to the seven-seat XLS, which includes stylish synthetic suede and leather upholstery, heated front seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, and larger front and rear disc brakes. All new Outlanders are powered by a 2.5-litre petrol engine and there is also the choice of AWD if you sometimes find yourself heading off the beaten trail.
Isuzu’s seven-seat large SUV has undergone a major revamp. It boasts 3500kg towing capacity, making it perfect for towing the boat or caravan, but probably the most notable improvement has been in safety. MU-X has just been awarded the maximum five-star safety rating from the independent vehicle safety authority ANCAP.
It’s powered by Isuzu's 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, which is more powerful than before with 140kW/450Nm. It consumes 8.3l/100km and has a CO2 output of 220g/km.
The price is relatively high at $80,990, as this model is only available in the top specification. But if you need a spacious seven-seater with a ladder chassis that can both tow and pamper the family, it’s worth a look.
MG HS PLUS EV
If you are looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, or concerned about rising fuel prices, the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) version of the MG HS SUV is a great choice.
This model combines impressive performance and technology with low emissions. It has a useful pure-electric driving range of 63km.
The total output from the electric motor with the 1.5-litre turbo combustion engine is an impressive 189kW/370Nm. Fuel consumption is just 1.7l/100km combined, with 39g/km emissions.
As a PHEV, it offers the flexibility of longer journeys with no range anxiety. It won’t break the bank at $52,990 and is backed with a seven-year, unlimited kilometre battery warranty. It’s also eligible for the Clean Car Discount, with a $5750 rebate.
Skoda Octavia iV wagon
In the past, station wagons and families went hand in hand, but now it’s mostly about SUVs. Skoda has plenty of those, but the Octavia also keeps the estate-car faith, including a more eco-friendly option in the form of the new iV PHEV.
The iV is equipped with a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine and electric motor, giving a combined system output of 150kW and maximum torque of 350Nm. It can travel approximately 60km on pure-electric power; the official fuel consumption is 1.3l/100km and CO2 is just 30g/km, making it an incredibly efficient wagon. Spacious too, with 490l of cargo space.
The Octavia iV is available in both Style and RS models, from $65,990. It’s also eligible for a $5750 Government rebate.