Top five cars for footie away days
Few things beat the joy of the open road, and if you’ve got a car full of mates and a good craic too then the journey can sometimes be better than the destination…. especially if you’re on an away day.
With the Leasing.com Trophy in full swing, we thought we’d pick a few cars out which are perfect for carrying four, five or even seven of your mates in pure comfort.
Offering all the practicality of the Audi A4 albeit with a little more sizzle to get you to the game a little quicker, the Audi A5 is the sporty yet still practical choice from Audi’s A range. Not only that but the eye-pleasing profile gives its some serious street-cred while the embossed lines of the bonnet gives its exterior a subtly racy look. If you have this car you can guarantee your mates will be volunteering you to do all the driving, and you know what? The car is that good you won’t mind.
Driver or passenger, there’s not one thing to dislike about the cabin of the Audi A5 coupe – a statement which arguably runs across the entire Audi range. It differs ever so slightly from most coupes too in the sense that rear passengers are looked after, but we wouldn’t try fitting more than three mates in the car.
As standard, every A5 comes fitted with xenon headlamps, cruise control, 17-in alloy wheels, three-zone climate control, LED daytime running lights, Bluetooth connectivity and Audi’s MMI infotainment system. Add to that a brilliant build quality throughout, intuitive layout and plush seats, and it appears that every need is catered for.
If you foresee spending a lot of time in your car, Audi have made that feel less of a burden and more of an enticement to go the extra mile just so you can spend a little longer in the vehicle.
With the A5 range due to be refreshed in 2020, now might be the perfect time to get a great deal on the outgoing model.
The latest seven-seater SUV to hit the market, the Seat Tarraco is a no-fuss, spacious, adaptable and well-kitted out car.
The Tarraco offers a great driving position, with lots of adjustable points on the seat and steering column ensuring that whether you’re big or small you will be able to cruise to the game in comfort.
As for your passengers, they’ve got it made. Stepping into the rear passenger seats (or middle row if you use all seven) there is plenty of knee and head room as well as foot space, with a USB point and 12v charger as well as climate control. With a 40/20/40 seat setup, the middle seat folds down for a drinks/arm rest too. This ensures it is a nice and spacious area for passengers of all shapes and sizes to be.
On the back of the front seats you will also find picnic tables which can hold the most ambitious car picnic your mates might bring along and also feature some cool pop-out drinks holders.
On top of the foot, knee and headspace afforded to passengers behind the driver, the middle-row seats can slide forward or back for additional room as well as recline for additional comfort and spaciousness.
If you’re carrying four mates to the match, we’d recommend one in the front, two in the middle row and the most annoying one in the sixth and seventh seats at the back. Versatility is the key here, and like the tinkerman himself Claudio Rannieri, you can switch your passengers or seat set-up around at the service station or for the drive back from the match.
Similar to the Audi A5, the Skoda Superb will soon be getting a facelift. While it doesn’t quite have the kudos of the Audi, those in the know realise the Superb is one of the comfiest and most accomplished saloons on the market and has been for years.
Opting for the estate model, you and your mates will have no complaints going up and down the country. It’s a cavernous car, with a segment-leading 660-litres of cargo space and it doesn’t skimp on rear-passenger leg room either – no joke, they’ll feel like they’re sat in the back of a limo with its big windows and spacious footwells. The middle of the 40/20/40 seats also folds down if there’s only two mates in the back making a handy armrest and drinks holder if you’re allowing a few tinnies to be drunk on the way down. If you are carrying three in the back, the middle seat is slightly raised so head and leg room isn’t as bountiful which might prove to be uncomfortable for long journeys.
For the driver, you get a car that offers plenty of efficiency, comfort and decent handling. The 8-inch infotainment unit is as solid as any other the VW Group offers and comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard so you can find where you need to be going with ease. The suspension set up of the Superb ensures any bumps in the road are barely felt, and if you want to nullify that completely you can opt for the top of the range Sportline model which comes with adaptive dampeners. Honestly though, the standard models do just as good a job.
While MPVs may have fallen out of favour in recent years, there’s still a time and a place for these adaptable pieces of kit. One is obviously on the school run for ferrying your children. The other is obviously when you’ve got a bunch of overgrown children to ferry to the match. And when it comes to MPVs one vehicle stands above any and all others in its pedigree of practicality: the Citroen C4 Grand Spacetourer.
New to market and replacing the Picasso, the Spacetourer is the epitome of a TARDIS car: it doesn’t look big on the outside, but sit in it and it’s positively cavernous. Passengers in the second row get three individual seats with enough head, leg and shoulder space for your tallest mate to sit in comfort. Whereas being relegated to the middle seat on some of the other models listed will involve straddling the central console, the Spacetourer has the benefit of a flat floor meaning it’s as good as any other seat on offer.
Like the Tarraco listed above, the middle row slides forward so those in the third row can sit in relative albeit cramped comfort if there’s two adults back there. Again, depending on which mates annoy you, it’s entirely up to the driver what formation your passengers take in the car. Maybe the front seat passenger makes a couple of poor choices on the music front, or doesn’t pass you a Haribo in good time, and if that’s the case you can put him in the sixth seat for a bit and promote someone else to the front of the car.
As for the driver, the Spacetourer offers a smart and comfortable interior with great visibility. With its light steering as well as rear parking sensors, it makes parking and manoeuvring the MPV a doddle, while on the road it offers plenty of grip to inspire confidence while not exactly setting the heart pulsing. Relaxing is the word we’d use to sum up this car for driver and passenger alike.
Having been crowned World Car of the Year in 2018, thanks to its premium exterior and interior style as well as its advanced infotainment and safety tech, it’s no secret just how good the Volvo XC60 is.
It’s big too. At 4,644 long by 1,891mm wide it’s a decent space for five people to travel in comfort and style. Around the cabin you’ll find a number of storage options from the deep centre-arm console and sizeable door-bins to coverable drinks holders. Unlike the majority of the vehicles on this list, the rear passenger seats don’t split into 40/20/40 meaning there’s no armrest for rear passengers, but the good news is it’s therefore a true five seater with enough passenger room that you won’t be hearing and grumbling on the road.
Comfort has always been a key value of the Volvo badge, and that shines through behind the wheel. The standard-fit suspension adequately deals with the varying state of UK roads, and in Comfort mode on the motorway you’ll be hard pressed to notice any imperfections with the ride as the XC60 deals with any and all issues so well. Considering the XC60’s weight, it also delivers impressive acceleration making it a capable motorway machine and ideal for travelling up and down the M6 or M1.
The more sensible of your friends will also be thankful for how safe it is too. With a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating – scoring 98% for adult occupant, 87% for child occupant, 76% for pedestrian and 95% for safety assist – it’s class-leading and was even awarded the best overall performance of 2017 for safety.