Best rental car for families

The key to a comfortable family road trip is to pack light with a vehicle that is going to give you enough space to enjoy your journey without feeling cramped. But what is the best rental car for families of 3 - 6?

Rental car for family of 3

Opel Corsa Essentia or similar

The best choice of family car for 3, with air conditioning and power steering, is the Opel Corsa Essentia, or similar. The vehicle specifications say the vehicle can accommodate 4 adults, but this is the ideal rental car for a family of 3. How so? If you're travelling with a young child, you're going to need the extra seat to pack in a compact pram, while your luggage takes up the boot space. Don't worry about bringing a car seat for the little one, you can hire one with your vehicle.

Book Essentia or similar

The Avanza is a great car for family road trips

Opel Corsa Essentia vehicle specifications:

  • Manual Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio-CD
  • Power Steering
  • 4 x adults
  • Luggage: 2 x med soft cases

Rental car for family of 4

Chevrolet Cruze or similar

If you're a family of 4 and looking for a comfortable, automatic transmission road trip car, then the Chevrolet Cruze is a great choice. It's spacious for the driver and passengers and offers enough boot space for everyone's soft cased (not hard-shelled) travel bags.

Book Cruz or similar

The Toyota cruiz is a great car rental choice for families

Chevrolet Cruze vehicle specifications:

  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio-CD
  • Power Steering
  • 4 x adults & 1x children
  • Luggage: 1 x large 2 x medium 1 x small soft cases

Nissan X-Trail 2x4 or similar

If you're a family of 4 looking for a 2x4, the Nissan X-Trail is the vehicle for you. A 2x4 is perfect for driving around both urban and unpaved roads, however if you want to go off-road with a vehicle you'll probably want to hire a 4x4 like the Toyota Hilux or similar. In a 2x4 only two wheels receive direct drive from the engine. That means a 4x4 has much greater grip than a 2x4 in muddy or sandy conditions which makes for better off-road driving.

If you want to take a vehicle off-road with the family, hire an equipped Toyota Hilux 4x4 or similar. It'll comfortably fit your family of four and still have space for four medium sized backpacks that you can fit in the back, roof-top tents secured to the roof.

If you're looking to head out on a safari getaway to a national park in South Africa, the advantage of hiring a Nissan X-Trail is that you won't need a 4x4 vehicle for the well maintained roads that most national parks promise. Another advantage is that this 2x4 vehicle is slightly higher than other cars, which means your family will get a slightly better view of wildlife when on game drives.

Book X-Trail or similar

Nissan X-Trail 2x4 car rental for family of 4

Nissan X-Trail 2x4 vehicle specifications:

  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio-CD
  • Power Steering
  • 4 x adults & 1 x children
  • Luggage: 4 x med soft cases

The Mercedes C180 or similar

If safety is your foremost concern when travelling with your family of four, then there's nothing like the reassurance of Mercedes to help you feel at ease.

The Mercedes C180 Safety Specifications

Driver Air Bag Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes
Passenger Air Bag Brake Assist
Rear Head Air Bag Electronic Stability Control
Side Air Bag Daytime Running Lights
Rear Body Air Bag Child Safety Locks
4-Wheel ABS Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Traction Control

The above safety features are specific to the Mercedes C180, so when hiring a vehicle in its class you can expect similar features, however they may not match exactly.

Book C180 or similar

Choice a Mercedes is you want the safest of car rental for families

The Mercedes C180 vehicle specifications:

  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio-CD
  • Power Steering
  • 4 x adults & 1 x children
  • Luggage: 1 x large 2 x medium 1 x small soft cases

Rental car for family of 5

Toyota Avanza or similar

The Toyota Avanza is a great car hire option for a family of 5, fitting everyone in and ensuring there is still space for everyone's luggage. Remember to pack light and don't use hard shelled suitcases. A good guideline for planning luggage in the Avanza is to try and stick to packing two large, two medium and one small soft case for the family in this vehicle.

Book Avanza or similar

The Avanza is a popular car rental option for families

Toyota Avanza vehicle specifications:

  • Manual Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio-CD
  • Power Steering
  • 4x adults & 1x children
  • Luggage: 2 x large 2 x medium 1 x small soft cases

Rental car for family of 6

Toyota Quantum or similar

All aboard! When planning a trip for a family of 6, your best car rental option is to hire a Toyota Quantum or similar. A combi type vehicle gives your family enough room to enjoy a comfortable trip with air conditioning and enough space for luggage.

As with the Nissan X-Trail, the advangage of hiring this vehicle is that it is higher off the ground, making it easier for sightseeing and spotting wildlife on game drives in South Africa.

Book Quantum or similar

Toyota Quantum vehicle specifications:

  • Manual Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
  • Radio-CD
  • Power Steering
  • 8 x adults
  • Luggage: 4 x large 3 x small soft cases

Whatever vehicle you decide to transport your family in, remember, the key to a smooth road trip is to pack light and choose a vehicle that is big enough to travel comfortably.

Dalene Ingham-Brown

Dalene Ingham-Brown Title: Blog Contributor
Affiliation: Drive South Africa Blog

Passionate about travel, social media and making lists, Dalene is on a mission to nurture her love for camping in South Africa.


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