Picking a family car for most of us is a big and important task, where you need to tick many boxes off. And there are many options out there. However, you need to start looking and weighing the pros and cons of each option.
So fasten your seatbelt and get ready to learn simple and useful tips as well as essential considerations you should focus on before selecting the best car for you and your family.
Useful tips on what to consider when selecting your new family car
Your very first thought when buying a new family car should be: What kind of family do I have? What needs do you and your family have, and therefore, what kind of car could provide solutions to each of those needs? Then look for the best and most affordable car option for you.
Safety of a family car
Safety should be your primary concern. Your new car will be transporting your children. The grandparents might travel along from time to time and even one of your kid’s friends might join in. Therefore, the safety your car provides is vital. Look up each car’s Euro NCAP score for crash safety as well as child and pedestrian protection. Even when is relatively unusual that a car does not achieve a five-star rating these days, it is always best to check the figures and see how it scores.
This is a paramount aspect to consider. Try to bring your child seat along with you, when purchasing your new family car. How well it fits could make or break your decision.
Extra safety and comfort features
There are lots of other child-friendly features you may want to shop around for, such as integrated sun blinds or UV-filtering tinted rear windows to limit sun exposure on long journeys. When driving with kids in the car it is virtually impossible to avoid the spills and mess. The color and material of the seats will make all the difference in the long run. You want to love your kids and not want to kill them each time you drive them to school, so choose practical over cool on this one!
There are four main body styles to choose from; hatchback, people carrier, saloon, and estate. All appeal to family motorists, but each with different strengths and weaknesses.
Hatchbacks generally have lower running costs and come with equipment that provides good value for your money, but you will need to compromise on space.
Saloon cars often look deceptively bigger than hatchbacks and their sheer load-space in the boot can be bigger, but the reality is, they are not as flexible. The opening on the boot isn’t usually as big while the load space is deeper. Consequently, loading pushchairs into many saloons can be tricky. Nonetheless, you can expect more interior space than a hatchback.
People carriers are excellent choices for big families. They are bigger, more practical and geared for family life. Usually, they come with flip-down tables, plenty of storage, sunroofs, and connectors for game consoles and DVD players.
If you have three young children, all needing to be in child car seats, a people carrier or larger 4×4 is probably the only viable option.
Estate cars combine the practicality of a people carrier and the hatchback’s lower running costs, but they do not always present the best value for money – especially some of the premium compact estates that are more about lifestyle statements than practicality. But you can still look VERY cool as you drive the whole family places. Five-seater cars with two fold-up seats in the back may be your best bet if the family grows to seven people. However, keep in mind that you will sacrifice all your space when all seven seats are occupied.
Not all doors are created equal
You will probably go for five doors instead of three, no biggie there. Just make sure the back doors open wide enough for you to install a child car seat and get younger children in and out of the car.
Sometimes a back injury or being too tall could become an uncomfortable issue. Wide-opening doors are practical if you regularly transport adult family members, especially those who are elderly or mobility-impaired. In this case, sliding rear doors, provide even more easy access. These type of doors also make the child seats less hectic. And cleaning after your kids… Just a thought!
Driving and Comfort
It is always important to consider how maneuverable and comfortable a car is. These are key elements when purchasing a car. Especially, when you plan to drive with the whole family. Take your time and sit down on all the seats. Pay attention to the quality and space. How easy will it be for everyone in your family, including kids, elders and pets to get in and out of the car? When you go in the test drive, pay attention to how the car feels on the road and how well controlled it rides. Test breaks and maneuverability, how well would it react in emergency situations?
Most new cars are packed with handy gadgets. Just as we write this something exciting will be added to a new model. Bluetooth, backup cameras, blind-spot alerts, cruise control, Sat-Nav systems… How about something extra for the kids, especially on longer trips? Yes, built-in rear-seat screens! Also, look for 12v power sockets in the car. You might want one for your own phone charger or sat nav, and it’s handy to have two for older children to plug in their own DVD players or handheld games consoles.
Such is the life of a family car
You’ve thought of your own probably. In the end, all you really need is take a close look at you and your family’s needs and work on making wise choices that match your budget. Someday, when all the kids leave home, you can go back the car you want! By then you’ll probably miss the spills and the noise. Such is life….
Now come and add some coolness to your family car! Change the color, add some graphics, tint your windows. You name it; we can do it!