There are so many variations of the ‘ideal’ family car on the market right now, it can be really overwhelming to choose the one that will be right for you and your family. From safety features, to space, to ensuring you have room to grow, and other specifications on your ‘must-have’ list, here are a few things to consider as you hunt for your ultimate family car:
It goes without saying that the safety of you and your family is of the utmost importance when selecting a new car. Not all cars on the market today are created equal, so make sure you understand some of the safety features available, and decide what is most important to you.
Autonomous and intuitive technologies such as emergency brake assist and blind spot monitoring have come a long way, and while it’s important the driver doesn’t get complacent and rely solely on the safety technologies of the car, these features can add another layer of protection and peace of mind to the drive.
Reverse cameras, parking sensors and lane assist are all safety features which are becoming more commonplace – and for good reason. Enquire about which safety features are standard in the model you are looking at, and which can be added if desired.
There are so many great family vehicles out there that can accommodate families of varying sizes. If your family is still growing, look for a model that will allow you to expand – such as one with additional rear seating. Some seven-seaters have the option of folding down the back two seats to create a huge boot storage space, and it means you have the option for those two extra seats when needed. It’s great if your car has some extra room for guests, like the kids’ friends. Or if you know you’re wanting to add a few more pairs of feet to your family in the future, it’s worth investing in a car larger than your current needs.
Pay close attention to the rear seats of each prospective model you test drive. Some cars intend for only kids to sit in the very back, so that an adult will find themselves uncomfortable with their knees around their ears. If you’ve got growing teens that will be sitting in the back, try a seven-seater SUV with fully sized rear seats, such as the Mazda CX-9. Alternatively, if you only need a five-seater and want to make sure the kids have got plenty of room in the cabin, have a look at a spacious five-seater SUV like the Mazda CX-5.
Boot space is so handy for families, ensuring you’ve got room for groceries, nappy bag, pram, or sporting equipment. When looking for your perfect family car, make sure there’s plenty of room not only in the boot, but also in the cabin. You don’t want the kids to feel squashed if they have their school bags by their feet to make the quick transition at Kiss n Drive.
Technological innovations have come such a long way, and there are so many additions you can choose to include in your new car. If connectivity is important to you, many family cars now include USB ports throughout the cabin and rear. In addition, most models are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, making it super easy to connect your smartphone to your display.
Zone climate control means the kids no longer need to argue over the air-conditioning – each member of the family can select their ideal temperature for a comfortable drive. Seat ventilation and heating is available in some models and is a great addition, if you want that extra feeling of luxury.
Think about what sort of use you want to get out of your new car. Will you mostly be driving in suburbia, for school drop offs and sporting games? Do you go camping on the weekends, and need something that can go off-road?
Fuel efficiency is important no matter how you use the car, but may be affected depending on use – so make sure you enquire specifically for fuel efficiency when the car is used as you intend to. For example, a model may have excellent fuel efficiency when driving on the freeway, but may churn through fuel when going off-road. Keep in mind how you intend to use the car, and find a model created with that in mind.
Other things to consider when searching for your next family car:
- Do you need a roof rack? Will the car be able to support a roof rack if you ever need one?
- 4WD vs AWD?
- Petrol vs diesel
- Is there room for your family to grow as the kids get older?
- Does the car come with a long warranty?
- Have you chosen a reputable dealer?
- Additional storage you may need – armrest console, seat pockets, side door holders, cargo organisation
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to selecting the perfect family car. Take into consideration the size of your family, your own requirements and preferences, the safety technologies you want, how you intend to use the car and how much you can afford to spend. There are so many great, safety conscious, fuel-efficient models on the market today, so make sure you do your research and ask all the questions, and you’re sure to find the ultimate car for your family.