When looking at family cars you want to pick a car that ticks all the right boxes.
For families, that will usually be the same kind of thing, after all the two seater coupe or sports car is a thing of the past and that dream has been shattered by the reality the kids can’t get to school sat on your lap!
Yes for family cars you want a car that is safe, does the job, but nice looks are a bonus too. Here I discuss the key factors to look out for, and a few little additions that always sweeten the deal.
Safety Is Paramount
For the safety conscious you will need to look for family cars receiving the top Euro NCAP ratings. These ratings inform car buyers of the safety of vehicles they are looking into, looking at things such as seatbelts and airbags to then put to the test in various scenarios.
If you are the ‘soccer mom’ type who is responsible for carting the kids to and from school, it is also worthwhile looking into the score a vehicle receives for pedestrian protection. Children do have a nack of running unannounced into the road, regardless of training from their parents or schools, so a family car with a decent score in this regard is a must.
Another worthy check for parents of younger children when looking into family cars is to see whether the passenger airbag has a feature which allows it to be turned off. Of course it is usually suggested to avoid putting child seats in the front seat, but from time to time needs must and this feature is a handy little time saver rather than having to pop by the dealership.
Boots, Doors And Accessibility
Boot space is something else you will want to consider in a family car, it can be surprising to find out that hatchbacks often have bigger boots than their saloon peers, despite saloons often looking the bigger of the two. If you do a bit of a search on the Internet, you can find a couple of sites that have actually done a number of reviews, or I guess more accurately features/assessments on fitting a pushchair into the car boot. For young parents then these reviews are well worth seeking out.
Again for young families, back doors that open wide are a great bonus, especially when trying to put a car seat into place.
Looks – Pretty Fly For A Family Car Guy
While safety and practicality are vital, you don’t want to have to sacrifice the image of the car if you can help it.
Thankfully there are plenty of cars out there designed for families that go beyond just being worthy chariots to carry your little warriors to and from school. For example the Volkswagen Golf, now in its seventh generation of motors, is a stylish number that ticks all the right boxes. There are also a number of Peugeot cars that look really great as well as being highly rated on the NCAP test sheets.
Extras – We All Love A Bit Extra
A number of Korean car manufacturers have also started to rival their European peers, with both Hyundai and Kia launching appealing family cars that also come backed with lengthy warranties. Price wise, these often fall below their counterparts too, so for more budget pressed consumers they are well worth a look.
Louisa Jenkins is a freelance blogger who specialises in offering advice on family cars. She offers tips on what to look out for when buying a new or used car and how to make a car the most fuel efficient it can be.