If you are expecting a child or raising a family, you need a car that will satisfy the needs of your entire household. Your sports cars and convertibles will not provide the type of safety, security, and space required by kids. You need a true family car.
Here are some of the things you should keep in mind as you do your research for your ideal family car.
For a family car, safety is one of the most vital factors you must consider. You shouldn’t buy a car unless it has a very high safety rating in its class. When you are looking at safety, you should also look at the performance of the car in crash simulations. What are its ratings for car seats? Some of the safety features you should look for include:
- Airbags (front and side)
- Blindspot detection
- Traction control
- Anti-lock brakes
- Adaptive headlights
You may also want to look into the way it handles extreme weather conditions. For instance, if you live in a place with very high temperatures, you want to be sure that it can function well in that type of environment.
After safety, car space is the most important factor when choosing a car for the whole family. Most parents prefer seven-seater cars with three rows of seats. So SUVs or minivans are better than sedans for families that want to move around with their kids, pets, and a sizeable amount of luggage. For instance, if you have two kids and two dogs, you need a vehicle that can accommodate car seats for your kids and still make your pets comfortable when you are travelling in your car.
Type of fuel
Today, you have different options when you are looking at the type of fuel that will power your car. You can buy a car that runs on petrol, diesel, electricity or hydrogen. You can also pick a hybrid car that combines two different types of power sources.
However, with the recent advances in technology, the improvements in battery power, charging time, and battery lifespan, electric cars are an attractive choice. Apart from the low maintenance cost, and environmental preservation, you will also be able to enjoy a quiet car with modern safety features, and an efficient braking system.
Today’s cars provide a lot of entertainment through WiFi, smartphones, tablets, satellite radio and TV. Children will love to watch movies on 10-inch headrest screens, use Bluetooth wireless headsets and play built-in video games. Some have infotainment systems that can stream content from providers that offer unique content for kids, while others allow your older children to queue up media content from smartphone playlists.
If you are buying groceries in bulk, folding the back seats will allow you to have more space in the boot of your car. It will also allow you to have enough room to fit in a double stroller in your car boot. Having more space at the rear will also make it possible for you to pack sporting equipment like skiing or hockey equipment when you go skiing during winter.
You need to set a budget before you start searching for a new car. There are already many family expenses to take care of so you don’t want to get a car with very high monthly payments. It’s always better to use your savings to buy a car outright or to reduce the amount you will need to borrow to finance your new car. But if you can’t afford to pay cash, you need to set a realistic budget that will allow you to enjoy the most important features of a family car without defaulting on your monthly car payments.
Depending on the age of your kids, you may want your car to have certain features designed for children. For example:
- Cup holders at the rear seats
- Vent controls for children
- Power sockets for teens to recharge their mobile devices
- Window shades to allow toddlers to have a good nap
Car owner reviews
It is important to read user reviews about any car you like from different sites. Some review sites even provide reviews written by car owners in different locations. So you can find out what people who live in the same community are saying about the car you are planning to buy.
Remember that many ratings you see for cars online may be influenced by the manufacturers who want to get more people to try out their cars at their dealer’s lot. But when you read reviews, provided by people who have used the car, you will be aware of the pros and cons attached to buying a particular car model.
These are some of the main features you should look for when you are planning to buy a new family car. Use them to create a comprehensive car-buying checklist before you make your final buying decision.
Bethany Seton is a recent economy graduate. Before settling in an office, she decided to follow her passions for writing and traveling. Currently, she travels with her laptop and writes for various blogs, hoping one day she will gather all the experience she gets in one book.