Buying a new car for your family can be a daunting task. You want to make sure your investment keeps everyone both satisfied and safe. There are quite a few factors to consider, but the best family cars 2018 can meet all of your demands and deliver the whole family happily to your destination.
Safety and Security
The first consideration in buying a new family car is usually safety. Luckily we live in the internet age, which means there is plenty of information available on the safety ratings of various vehicles, but you still have to read through the research for yourself. These safety ratings are measured using different factors, so it’s important to take into account your personal priorities such as side airbags, lane assist, rearview cameras, automatic braking or crash test scores. Not all cars come with spare tires, so check for that too. Bluetooth connectivity will keep your hands free and eyes on the road.
Practicality and Style
Notice how it’s practicality “and” style, not “versus.” You don’t always have to sacrifice your taste for functionality, but most people do find that their daily experience using a family vehicle is more important than what it looks like. Here it’s important to use friends and other social resources who have the same model you’re interested in. Ask them what they like or dislike about it. How are the entertainment options? How customizable is the riding experience for each passenger (think temperature, gadget compatibility and charging ability)? Note things like the number of cup holders, doors and window shades. Does the interior look like it will stand up well to spills, dirty boots and pet transportation? The best way to gauge the comfort of the ride is to get everyone together for a test drive.
Space to Grow
Families change over time, so a good family vehicle will be able to adapt from car seats to carpooling smoothly. Does the number of rows affect personal space, or can the seats be adjusted and folded down to accommodate gear? Even if your kids are small, consider the spaciousness of the back seat, because they’re only going to get taller. Vehicles develop reputations for being easy to convert from passenger space to cargo, so now’s a good time to call your friends again and see what they think.
With all the resources available to help you learn more about a car before you buy it, there’s no reason not to do your homework. A test drive should be the final decider where comfort and overall user experience is concerned, but safety and mileage are well-documented and easy to consider when making your ultimate choice.
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Embedded photo courtesy of Blair Lampe.
Blair Lampe is a New York-based professional mechanic, blogger, theater technician, and speechwriter. In her downtime she enjoys backpacking wherever her boots will carry her, rock climbing, experimental theatre, a crisp rosé , and showering love on her 2001 Sierra truck.