When you become a parent your car needs change. Rather than worrying about 0-60 speed acceleration, you’re worried about 0-60 gummy bears being shoved between the seats. Suddenly that vehicle is no longer a fun transportation in which you spend brief parts of your day. That vehicle becomes a portable home base for your family - a safe zone for your kids. No matter their ages, sizes or interests there are several things you’ll need to consider if you’re a new (or old!) parent looking for a vehicle for your family.
Increased space - at first you need to worry about car seats. Infant car seats are sometimes pretty bulky and may mean you’re sliding your driver or passenger seat wayyyy up to accommodate. Take your car seat and base with you to test drive vehicles and see what the backseat space means for you and your family. In addition to car seats, you may be toting around a stroller or two. Does it fit? Will it slide in and out easily? Just a few things to consider. If your family is older, bigger you may be interested in high-volume cars like minivans or SUVs with third row seating. Even if you only have three children that extra row can be particularly helpful - especially because they’ll have friends and teammates jumping in from time to time!
DVD player - These really can’t be overrated. Pop in your kids’ favorite movie or even a season’s worth of their favorite cartoon. They are almost necessary on long drives and road trips, but can be still incredibly useful for short errands around town. Don’t worry if your favorite car doesn’t have one - you can get them installed after market. For toddlers and teens alike - this is a pretty awesome option for your car.
Storage - New vehicles are coming out every few months and they are more and more impressive. Many now boast of under-seat or trunk storage that is basically invisible. Whether it’s for groceries, emergency supplies, sports gear or all the fixings for an amazing day at the park or beach - additional storage space is important for families. More people = more stuff. Don’t forget to look at small storage spaces too! Cupholders are often ignored but once you’ve got kids with bottles, juice boxes, treat cups and energy drinks you will be much more conscious of the small storage spaces in your vehicle.
Coolers - some new cars are even coming with coolers to keep drinks and snacks cold for hours on end! If you’ve ever been stuck anywhere with hungry kiddos, you realize how “cool” this feature could be.
Automatic Everything - As a parent you will often have your arms full of babies, groceries, purses, backpacks, drinks, snacks, trash and shopping bags. If your car can give you a hand it makes quite a difference. Automatic side doors, trunks and remote starting your engine are little extras that add up to a lot of help. Your car can basically be your personal assistant!
Fuel Efficiency - You may not think of fuel efficiency as an important feature for family cars, but it is! You are spending money on diapers, lunches, school supplies, toys, presents and parties - you should be spending as little money on gas as possible. A fuel efficient car will need less gas and will use your fuel more efficiently. It’ll have a healthier engine that will last longer for you and your kids. Consider also using a fuel additive to make your car even more fuel efficient. A fuel supplement is a cheap and easy way to make your car more fuel efficient and safer to drive.
In the end, as a parent you’ll do anything for your kids. Make your car the safest, best possible option for you and your kids - you won’t regret it!