If you’re like many parents who are in the market for a new vehicle, you have several things to consider before driving that new car off the lot. The ideal family car provides a balance between several features to ensure that it meets the needs of both parents and children.
The following are the main points to look for when purchasing a family vehicle:
Size and Seating Capacity
The size and seating capacity of your new vehicle will depend not only on the current size of your family, but also on any future plans you may have to expand. Minivans and three-row SUVs are good choices for larger families, while smaller groups can get by with a sedan or a compact SUV.
State-of-the-Art Safety Amenities
Twenty-first century technology has made it possible for vehicles to be equipped with safety features such as collision detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and reverse sensing, all of which minimize tragedies that were all too common in the past. Additionally, choosing a vehicle with weather shields keeps your passengers warm and dry, with the added benefit of reducing glare on sunny days.
Certain amenities make life much easier for families with young children. Child-lock features, for instance, prevent curious children from being able to open the rear doors or windows of a moving car. Some vehicles are equipped with reminder indicators that let drivers know when the child-lock feature is engaged, providing an added layer of safety.
Other child-friendly features include rear-facing child car seat anchors, backseat climate controls to keep little ones comfortable, sunshades, and power sliding doors to provide easy access.
Plenty of Storage Space
Ample storage space is essential when it comes to family transportation. Family life often means carrying sports gear, groceries, camping equipment, and a variety of other objects. Having enough room to carry it all prevents crowded conditions while on the road.
The rising cost of fuel and increased environmental awareness means that fuel efficiency matters when purchasing a new vehicle — and busy parents who ferry children around to various social, sports, and scholastic activities can benefit significantly by choosing a car that saves them money at the pump.
Don’t overlook electric vehicles when seeking a family-friendly car. However, it’s important to check out the availability of charging stations in your area and/or decide whether it’s feasible to have one installed at your home before making a commitment to this option.
Connectivity and Entertainment Features
Those planning on enjoying long family road trips in their new vehicle should look for something with optimal connectivity and entertainment features. Wi-Fi functionality, built-in entertainment systems, and rear-seat screens can help keep everyone occupied and entertained during long drives, transforming what might otherwise be a tedious journey into a pleasant and relaxing family adventure.
Reliability and Maintenance
The last thing a busy family needs is to constantly be dealing with an unreliable vehicle. Research several makes and models before making your final choice, and be mindful of any common themes that crop up in customer reviews and reliability ratings.
It’s also important to check out the maintenance packages and warranties each type offers — some offer less expensive packages and longer warranties than others.
Always test drive several cars before deciding on one, and if possible, take the whole family along for the ride to make sure you find the perfect fit.