But what if you choose not to choose your usual diesel child box? Well, how's about an SUV that hasn't just got style and character, but also a turbocharged petrol engine kicking out 260hp? One which combines all this with four-wheel drive and a smart interior laden with toys? Piqued your interest yet?
Why? Well, for starters, just look at it. It's terrific, isn't it? Not just 'for an SUV', either; the CX-7 is well-proportioned and genuinely appealing in its own right. There are loads of references to the contemporary RX-8 in there, too, from the bulging wings to the kinked window line and the circle-in-circle taillights.
The CX-7's beauty is more than skin deep, though. Mazda's trick of making a big car feel like a little one, which it honed with the 6 and CX-5, is in evidence here too; there's more than a sense of the hot hatch in the way the CX-7 changes direction. Meanwhile, that 2.3-litre turbo, pilfered from the MPS models of its time, provides more than adequate go - granted, it's not going to kick your average Audi RS4 in the teeth away from the lights, but it'll give you a significant amount more get-up-and-go than you can expect in your average diesel family slugger.
That money doesn't buy you a hound, either. A very reasonable 100k-ish mileage, a recent major service and a decent chunk of MOT left over all mean this example isn't the kind of thing you'd have to buy while burying your fingers in your ears and shouting 'la la la la la' very loudly.
In other words, not only does the CX-7 offer the antidote to the family-spec car buying blues, but it does so at a very tempting price, too. More than enough reason for a closer look, we say.
SPECIFICATION - MAZDA CX-7
Engine: 2,261cc, 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: six-speed manual
Power (hp): 260@6,300rpm
Torque (lb ft): 280@4,000rpm
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 106,000 miles
Price new: £23,960
Yours for: £2,895