Whether you want to trade-in or are looking for a used car, you have to be more attentive to detail when shopping for a family car. Remember, you’re not just considering your needs but the entire family, especially the kids.
If this is the car you’ll be using to drop them at school, attend festivals, go for road trips, or wherever your adventures may take you, make sure that it has these nine features first.
Safety is a critical concern and should be on top of your priority list. Look for a car with more than a 5-star safety rating in crash tests conducted by either Euro NCAP or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Skoda ENYAQ iV and Volkswagen ID.4 make excellent choices. They are highly ranked on Euro NCAP.
Key security features to check on a family car are auto-locking, good safety locks, and a steel body. It’s also essential to go for driver-assist features. Some of the features are GPS, lane monitoring and blind-spot detection.
Collision Avoidance System is an advanced feature available in Skoda ENYAQ iV, Volkswagen ID.4 and other highly rated vehicles. It alerts the driver or takes control of the steering wheel when a collision is just about to occur. When checking the safety rating for different cars, go for those with a 5-star rating and a top performance in crash tests.
As you will realize, cars with intelligent speed assistance systems help you avoid getting a speeding ticket on the way to school or work. It also gives you an early warning of possible collisions from pedestrians or other vehicles.
Adaptive cruise control enables you to maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. Lane assist helps shift lanes while blind-spot monitoring gives an early warning on vehicles located in your blind spot zone.
Go for a Car That’s Easy to Maintain
You don’t want a car that gives you a headache every time you need replacement parts or services. When checking its maintenance schedule, ensure that this will not be a big issue by going for a vehicle with an oil change interval of 20,000km or more.
A five-year/100,000km warranty is another indication that you’ll get long mileage from the car and that it’s easy to maintain. Also, look for an expert technician for the particular model. It means that you can quickly take care of issues such as wheel repairs.
The car you choose should also have an easy system for checking the tire pressure to avoid accidents due to low tire pressure. Some models will even alert you on the dashboard if there’s a low tire. For the interior, look for fabric that’s easy to clean and won’t easily attract stains. Also, look for child-friendly door locks and knob covers.
Lots of Storage Space
Having a family means that you’ll always have lots of luggage to bring along, even when making a simple strip to the mall. You have to get a car with enough space for your luggage. The boot or trunk of the family car has to be large enough to accommodate even bulky items such as a baby stroller.
Go for a vehicle with foldable rear seats, a large trunk, and enough space for everyone. SUVs and hatchbacks have stow and go features which might be a huge help when low on space in the boot. You might also want to consider a storage space easy to manoeuvre.
Hatchbacks have wide-open storage space and a wide opening lid boot. If you’re buying a used car, inspect its original documents to determine how big it originally was and whether it has been modified.
Enough Sitting Space
When going for a family car, make sure that it has enough seating space. Remember you have to fit in children, luggage and pets. Additionally, all your vacation gear needs to be in the boot, including sporting equipment such as bikes, skis or fishing gear.
The family car should also have enough room for everyone to get in and out comfortably. It’s less comfortable, especially when everyone is squeezed into a tiny space on a long trip. Make sure everyone, including the kids, have room to move around when seated.
In addition to enough sitting space, you’ll also need seats that are comfortable for everyone inside – especially if you’re making long road trips on holidays or visiting friends and family members.
When going for a test drive, make sure that you test the seats by sitting on them for more than 10 minutes. You might also want to bring some friends and family members along for the test drive. The front passenger seat should have full adjustable features so that everyone can sit comfortably and enjoy their ride.
Back Seat Extras
A trip with the kids means you’ll have to bring some of their favourite toys and play items along. It creates a necessary distraction enabling you to concentrate on the road. Other than toys, you might want to bring along some snacks, drinks, video games and electronics. Back seat pockets and cup holders keep the items within the children’s reach and maintain an organized environment. Another consideration is USB connectivity. It keeps the children entertained on their phones or other devices.
In-Built Sun Shades
Some car models don’t offer enough sunshades to the rear passenger windows. A lot of sun exposure can be uncomfortable to kids making them fussy. It also prevents them from having peaceful naps when sleepy. Check whether the car model has an inbuilt sunshade.
When traveling with family, kids’ safety is always a priority. Go for a car with airbags on the sides and side curtain airbags that cover each seat row. It protects everyone whenever an accident happens. When using rear-facing child seats, make sure you can switch the airbag off quickly, reducing safety hazards.
For easy, quicker and safer baby seat installation, go for Isofix clips. These clips are easy to use and can fit securely in most car brands. They eliminate additional parts that you need to order separately, saving you time and money. You might want to bring the car seat along when viewing the car and trying out the Isofix clips.
Always choose a reliable car brand. You’re assured of 5-star safety features, certified safety ratings and comfort. Also, the car brand stands by its products.