Buying a new family car is exciting but there are so many things to look for. In this guide we look at 10 of the more important ones so end up with the right family car.
Your family’s safety is very important and will be forefront in every parent’s mind, especially in a family car. Everyone wants the best for their family when they are on the road but if things take the wrong turn, we need to be in a car that will provide us the highest level of safety and protection.
New cars have come a long way in terms of protecting people inside them in case things unexpectedly do go wrong. Many of the popular family cars that Australians buy today are quite safe.
They are all crash tested by ANCAP to make sure they are safe before these cars make it onto our roads. These ratings are out of 5 stars.
The higher the rating the safer the car is. Not many people would toy with the idea of getting a family car that gets anything under 5 stars for safety. All cars on carloop will show you the latest safety rating from ANCAP to help you make a safe family car choice.
Practicality in a family car is a must. With all the things that you need to take with you, it’s important that they can be stored for trips in the car. Cars that are designed for a growing family include practical features like:
Plenty of cup holders for the kids drinks
Cubby holes to store those fidgety bits
Bottle holders in the doors for big water bottles
Whether it’s driving the kids to school or getting to work, you never want to get stuck on the side of a road because of an unreliable car.
New cars are generally a lot more reliable than a used car. This is because car companies continually update their range with increased reliability each time.
 Inside space
Space is one of the most important things that parents look for when they are on the search for their next new car. Kids and car seats go hand in hand. Family cars need to have good space in the back seats to easily fit children and car seats.
If there is a baby that’s under 6 months, legally you would need fit in a rear-facing car seat. These seats takes up a bit of room in the back.
We recommend that you take the baby seat with you after you have shortlisted the cars. This is to make sure it fits in the back without pushing the front seat too far forward.
Good back seat space also saves you time as it’s quicker to get the kids in and out. For growing families, we recommend looking at SUVs as they are designed specifically for families and take into account the need for larger backseat space.
 Boot space
Good boot space is a must have for most families. If you have babies, toddlers and young children, you need to take the pram with you on nearly all family trips as well as the million other bits and pieces required to have an outing with children.
Many cars either do not have the space (think about smaller hatchbacks) or make it difficult to get these things into the boot.
Family SUVs and wagons generally have larger boots which makes it easy to get the pram and shopping along with the favorite toys of the day, in or out.
 Visibility – What you can see
When you get into the driver seat of any car, it’s always good to check if you can see clearly through the windscreen of the car.
Another good check is to look in the rear view mirror to make sure you can easily see through the back window too. Some cars have smaller back windows which can impact visibility.
 What will you be mainly using the car for?
Everyone uses their cars differently. Some parents use it drive the kids around, others use it mainly for city or highway driving.
If you are using a car to drive the kids around, a small hatchback or sedan will not offer the leg room in the back. Baby and child car seats will also be harder to get in and out of.
Larger cars which is designed with families in mind might be a better choice. SUVs, wagons and larger sedans will suit the family well.
 Easy to park
As the family grows, we look for practical space in a family car for the baby seats, prams and other bits for the kids. A small hatchback car will no longer fit your lifestyle but a bigger car will. Bigger cars are great as they tick most of the boxes for a family.
The main downside to these cars is that they can be hard to park in the city or at shopping centre car parks because of their size. To help with this, reverse cameras which have been around for a few years now have gotten a whole lot better.
A lot of the cars have screens which now show guidelines that help with reversing into those tight parking spots. We have also put together a list of best value family cars that are quite easy to park.
 Car height
Height of the car is not something that people give much thought to when they are looking for a new car it’s definitely a factor to be considered when you’ve got to get the kids in and out all of the time.
It’s a lot easier on your back than lifting them in and out of other lower cars. SUVs are generally higher and should make it easier to get the kids, prams and other bigger things in and out.
 Pet friendly cars
Pets are part of many families and dogs in particular love to get out and about. To get them out there, you need a car that has enough space and height in the boot. Why the boot?
Well with kids in the back seats, the safest place for the family dog is the boot. SUVs and wagons offer good room in the boot. This means that getting everyone in the family car including the fur babies is easy.
 Technology & Mobile Phone Connectivity
Technology is all around us. We all use either an iPhone or an Android mobile and like to feel connected on the go.
New cars have in-built technology that makes it super easy and safe to connect to your phone. Not only can we make calls in the family car, we can connect our phone to display maps directly onto the car screen so you never miss a turn on family road trips.