Whether you’re driving to the grocery store or taking a road trip to a national park, you want to know that your family is tucked away in a safe and reliable vehicle. Every year, car manufacturers create new vehicles with more advanced safety features, so there are plenty of options for you to choose from. However, choosing a family car can feel intimidating if you don’t know what features you’re looking for. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about choosing the safest family car.
What to Look for in a Family Car
We know that choosing a family car can be a challenge, so we’ve listed out some of the most important features to help you feel empowered at the dealership.
Manufacturers are constantly releasing new cars with upgraded safety features, including backup cameras, parking sensors, blind-spot warning devices, and more. Adding high-tech safety features to your vehicle can raise your final bill, but if it’s within your means, it’s worth spending a little extra to keep you safe on the road. Some of the best family-friendly safety features include:
- Automatic emergency braking
- Adaptive cruise control
- Blind-spot warning
- Surround-view camera system
- Additional driver-assistance technology
- Rear-door child safety locks
- Anti-pinch windows and tailgates
- Safety passenger-monitoring devices
- Rear-seat mirrors
- Extensive side-impact airbags
Since your car is a long-term investment, look for a vehicle with enough space to accommodate your family as it grows in the future. Kids don’t stay small forever, so check to see if the car is roomy enough to fit your children once they grow into teenagers.
SUVs (sport utility vehicles) are popular family cars that boast ample space and high safety ratings. SUVs have high ground clearance, so passengers sit higher above the road than they do in a traditional car. This increases your visibility, which helps you see other vehicles and any upcoming traffic jams. SUVs are available in a range of sizes that fit between four and eight passengers.
While cloth seats are more affordable, a material that’s easy to wipe down, like leather or pleather, helps prevent lingering stains and smells in the long run.
Families with multiple children need space for all their cargo, snacks, and entertainment. Many modern cars have seats that fold flat into the trunk for extra storage space, but some seats are easier to fold than others, so we recommend trying them at the dealership. Look for extra space for kids in the form of cubbies or below-the-floor storage.
SUVs are known for their roomy cabins, but not all of them fit multiple car seats. If you’re a big family, bring your car seats to the dealership to see if the car is a good fit. All vehicles are equipped with LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) mounting points, or child safety seat anchors. However, these anchors aren’t available in every seat, so make sure that there’s an anchor for every child. If your child needs a boost, some cars include built-in booster seats for children over the age of four.
If you’re a family that takes frequent road trips, you might want to look for a car with some form of built-in entertainment. Newer models offer a variety of entertainment features, including integrated seat-back tablets, overhead DVD players, custom headphones, mobile wi-fi hotspots, USB charging ports, wireless phone charging pads, and hands-free sound systems.
Now that you know what features to prioritize, you can start looking for your perfect family car. Once you finalize your purchase, don’t forget to secure quality insurance that covers the whole family. If you need a policy, you’ve come to the right place. The General has provided affordable coverage and five-star customer service for over 60 years. You can get a quote in under two minutes or less, or read more articles about buying a car on our blog.