Dad wants a German coupe, Mom wants a sleek SUV. Your coming-of-age teenage daughter is begging for a baby blue convertible, while your son wants plenty of cabin space so he and all his teammates can pile in. How do you compromise?
Buying a family car can inspire quite the family feud. Everyone has a say in what they want and making each family member happy is a mission impossible from the start (if you’ve ever taken a poll on where to go for dinner, you’re probably already well aware of your opinionated clan).
Good news: it’s totally possible to find a family car that everyone can fall in love, even if it’s not love at first site. You just need to look for the right features! Here’s what you should be keeping an eye on when it’s time to pick out a new set of wheels.
Safety over anything
Have you ever thought about the fact that a car is just like metal box hurling through space, navigating through other boxes of metal at top speeds? Yeah, when it’s the people you love most inside that frame, you better hope it’s incredibly sturdy!
New technology has brought a number of car features that amplify security measures to the max. In addition to a standard 5-Star safety rating, look for features such as:
- ABS brakes
- Automatic emergency breaking
- Traction control
- Stability control
- Accident avoidance systems
- Tire-pressure monitors
- Side airbags
Tackle the town
You’re shopping for a family car, which means Mom or Dad will be driving it to school, soccer practice, dance recitals, grocery stores, shopping malls… pretty much anywhere and everywhere in day-to-day life.
Considering the mileage you’ll be racking up, you should look for a family car that boast a high rate of mile per gallon (MPG) on both city and street. You don’t want a gas-guzzler eating into the few extra dollars that would be better spent getting ice cream together! Keep an eye out for highly fuel-efficient vehicles or, if you really want to save big (and help the environment!), pick out a hybrid instead.
In today’s hyper-connected society, it seems as though we are all but glued to our cellphone—even while we’re in the car! First, operating a phone while driving is a huge safety hazard. Second, it’s a major drain on phone batteries and data usage.
Solution? A car that has Android Auto or Apple CarPlay built directly into the dashboard; they bring similar interfaces to the display unit and encourage drivers to stay off their phone, helping to keep the whole family safe.
You might be surprised that you don’t need to buy the most recently releases models to enjoy entertainment features; you can find a used Mercedes for sale and get all the perks for half the price. Other than an integrated dashboard that allows you to play Pandora and listen to the audiobooks in your library, additional entertainment features you might want in a family car include:
- Fast charging
- WiFi hot spot
- Second-row screens
- Sound system
- Voice assistant
- Bluetooth support
If you’re the type of family that loves packing up the car and heading out on an adventure, you should make sure your family car can keep up with the travel demands. Whether you’re headed to the beach or to the mountains, look out for these perks that will make getting there so much easier:
- Auto-dimming mirrors
- Handless entry
- Overhead racks
- Head up display
- Built-in navigation
Comfort, not conflict
It doesn’t matter how far you’re going—regardless of whether you’re just running errands around town or you’re taking a full-on family road trip to the next state over, you and the kids need to be comfortable.
Otherwise, everyone will be slightly irritable, fighting over the “best” seat, eager to get out of the car (and away from each other) ASAP. Bond with the family without feeling cramped up with these features:
- Spacious cabin
- Multizone climate systems
- Ergonomic seats
- Keyless entry
At the end of the day, you have the purchasing power—what you say, goes. But shopping for the right features means everyone can find something they enjoy!