What are the best features to look for in a good family car?

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Answered by: Joe, An Expert in the Choose the Right Car Category
Every family is different and has unique needs, but every good family car should have certain features. The factors that are most important to families usually include safety, fuel mileage, efficiency, seating, and value. This is because the transportation needs of families often include taking the children to school, or other activities, as well as getting the parents to work. Other elements like reliability and cost of ownership play a role in the car buying decision since the vehicle will be used more for getting groceries that attracting attention.

There are some drivers who prefer the excitement of sports cars or convertibles, but this are not wise choices for families. The factors that make these cars valuable are inappropriate for a family car. Comparing cars from the same category makes a lot more sense than looking at the entire line. Even a car that meets the needs of one family will not always satisfy another. Larger families will often consider a mini-van with extra seating while a young couple just starting their family will be better served by a sedan.

Most families put safety at the top of their list of necessary features on a family car. This is often the factor that is most representative of what can be considered a family vehicle. None of the other features matters if the vehicle can not be counted on to deliver the family to its destinations without incident. Several areas of a car should have important safety features. Air bags and side curtains are a key element for keeping passengers safe. Including anti-lock brakes has become standard equipment on almost all vehicles for their ability to help stop a car and avoid skids. Well designed vehicles will have clear sight lines and few obstructions to help drivers stay aware of the traffic from every angle.

Another factor that is important to families is how fuel-efficient the vehicle is. Some families are impressed by the rugged durability of sports utility vehicles and the security they offer, but they cost of fuel can be substantial. Opting for a sedan, or even compact car, will be more attractive to those on a budget. The car will travel more miles on less gas and will cost less to own in the long run.

For some families, mileage is less of an issue than flexibility and utility. This is especially true for larger families that might have to make multiple stops a day delivering children to different activities. This also means there is a greater demand for seating and cargo space. The more activities the children are involved in creates more opportunities for car pooling and transporting the necessary supplies.

The specific needs of each family will help decide on a good family car. However, since there is no more valuable cargo than children, safety will most often be the first priority. The size of the family and budgetary considerations will influence whether a sedan, mini-van, or sports utility vehicle is the best choice. Shopping around and researching the specific options within a category will lead to the best overall choice for a vehicle.

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