Those who have young families know that they will require a bigger car once the family grows in both age and number. How to get a nice family car is not something that everyone is conversant with and this has been the reason for many arguments and frustration among couples who need to make the buying decision. Other than the people who will use the car, they will think of their pets and luggage, as well as an occasional visitor who will need a lift. The following are ten tips to look for when making the final buying decision.
- Saloon vs. hatchback
When asked, many people will say a saloon car exceeds a hatchback in size, because that is how it looks. However, actual measurements and practical usage shows that hatchbacks are more flexible because of their design, and can accommodate abnormal loads, since they have wide openings. For example, a hatchback can sit five people and have room for pets in the back. It will be impractical to sit five people and put a dog in the boot of a saloon car.
The obvious choice for a family car is to go for five doors and forgo three doors, but for practical reasons such as installing a child car seat, the back pair of doors must swing wide enough and the legroom should be adequate. Tall people require wider access allowance and slider doors offer the largest possible size.
- Multipurpose vehicles/people carriers
If you have a bias against people carriers, having a larger family will force you to look the other way, with your opinions. These are the only types of vehicles that will allow more than two child car seats placed inside for children to use. Another option could be to go for large 4×4, but those come with high price tags and huge fuel bills.
Most MPVs/people carriers allow you to fold seats and convert them into luggage carriers. They will still have room for luggage even when all seats have occupants; hence, their name.
- Airbag control
Having a car that allows you to turn on and off the airbag gives, you control, without being an inconvenience, when you need the functionality. Some cars, which lack the option, will force you to go back to the dealer to make the change, and then rely on them to reverse it. This happens when you must put a child seat on the front passenger seat, in a rear-facing way.
- Seat mounting points
For people with young children who require child seats, going for a car whose seats have Isofix mounting points makes their work faster and harmless. The mounting points should be easy to spot and reach, and should not become nuisances when the seat is without a child seat.
- Crash safety scores
All car models have to pass a country’s safety standards before sale. There are different safety scores for different kinds of accidents, with the most popular being the crash test score, which defines the overall safety score of the car. Other than that, one should also look at pedestrian safety score because your children will be at close proximity when you drive home daily.
- Storage options
When left unchecked, family cars can be quite messy because children throw their food and belonging anyhow. A car with several storage compartments and racks makes it easy to get rid of clutter, without necessarily limiting the amount of stuff that gets into the car. The location of the storage is critical as it may interfere with the safety of passengers like a hollow compartment sitting below a child seat.
- Seat design
Before buying, you must make a decision of the type of seats you need. Sliding seats will allow passengers to seat freely for long durations because they offer variable legroom sizes. They also make it easy for passenger to move within the car. Reclines are good for sleeping in the car.
- Car accessibility
Big car sizes will require large garages and parking spaces. In some city areas, they will face special limitations in access such as paying more fees for parking.
The bottom line of getting the family car will be how much is available for the purchase of a new car and this will limit many of the above choices.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Chad is a writer who specializes in the area of home safety and also advocates the online pro auto help for new car owners who are also starting new families.