It’s fair to say that dads often get the short straw when it comes to cars. Having to take into account all the boring, real-world considerations like practicality and safety often means forsaking those far more interesting qualities of performance and design.
If you’ve recently become a father, and you’re reluctantly putting your two-seater sports car up for sale, don’t despair. Motors.co.uk is on hand with a guide to our top five cool cars for dads. If you need space for a little one, but aren’t quite ready to resign yourself to a lolloping people carrier, then you could do worse than to pick from our selection of cars for dads who enjoy driving.
Ford Focus ST estate
When it comes to making affordable, driver-friendly family cars, Ford is arguably king. The Ford Focus ST marries the usability and brilliant practicality of the regular Focus hatchback with credible performance, courtesy of a 247bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine. It’s even available as an estate, which, with its large load space, could well be the ideal fun family car.
Also recommended is the previous generation ST, with an even larger 2.5-litre engine. It’s something of a used-car bargain, and while it comes in hatchback form only, its cavernous cabin and boot should be more than enough to cope with all your baby-related paraphernalia.
Search for a used Ford Focus ST here
The BMW M5 is a car that makes us question why people buy sports cars. It offers staggering performance and a handling balance that belies its large saloon proportions. When you’re not in the mood to play, and you have to trundle off to that parents’ evening, the M5 instantly switches role, providing relaxed, cosseting transport. High running costs – particularly a prodigious thirst for fuel – are the main drawbacks, but given that the previous V10 model is available for around £15,000, it makes a very tempting proposition for the family man itching for that performance hit.
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If you’ve got kids to take on the school run, but still crave the adrenalin rush only a top-flight supercar can give you, look no further than the Porsche 911. Not only will it start first time, every time – unlike your average Italian mid-engined exotic – it has two small back seats, meaning it genuinely is a usable family car, at least while your children are still small. Forcing your teenage offspring into the back of one of these is likely to result in a number of hasty calls to Childline, however.
Search for a used Porsche 911 here
Jaguar XF Sportbrake
The power, elegance and luxury of the Jaguar XF saloon, offered in a commodious – though no less striking – estate body. Jaguar prefers to call it a Sportbrake, because, frankly, labelling anything this good-looking as an estate is simply criminal. It’s available in a range of engines, so it will suit everyone from all-out power mongers to the cost-conscious hyper-miler, and will take the sting out of taking the kids to football practice with its sumptuous interior and quiet, livable demeanor.
Search for a used Jaguar XF here
Skoda Octavia VRS
It may be rather more down to earth than some of the other suggestion on our shortlist, but the Octavia VRS isn’t short on driver appeal. Sharing its engine with the Volkswagen Golf GTI, it satisfies those usually exclusive facets of performance and economy. It may not have attention-grabbing looks, but will suit those who prefer to remain anonymous on the road – the number of police forces using VRSs as unmarked cars being testament to that. Factor in VW build quality, a well-thought out cabin and a large boot (bigger if you opt for the estate), and you have a sensible family car that isn’t very sensible at all.
Search for a used Skoda Octavia here