Things to Consider when Choosing a Family Vehicle

Things to Consider when Choosing a Family Vehicle
Many factors go into purchasing a family vehicle, which can end up turning into a lengthy buying process. Picking something that’s appropriate for every family member isn’t difficult, but requires more research on your part. Below are some key things to consider when buying a family-friendly vehicle.
Let’s start with the most important feature; safety. Even if you find a vehicle that satisfies the majority of your criteria, unsafe is a non-starter.
Make sure to research the vehicle’s crash tests ratings, performed by both the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and NHSTA (National Highway Safety Traffic Administration). If the vehicle does well in both, you can add it to your potential car buying list.
Other than safety ratings, you should be mindful of the vehicle’s safety features. Add-ons such as electronic stability control, forward collision avoidance and side view assist can be very helpful – especially during our harsh Canadian winters. In addition, features specific to children such as child safety locks and anchors for car seats are also very important.
Another large issue is the size of the vehicle. If your family can’t stay comfortable for long periods of time, you’ll dread those long road trips. Be conscious of the fact that even if everyone sits comfortably during the test drive, you’ll most likely have many other items in the vehicle at a time, such as toys & games, groceries, etc. Make sure there’s plenty of room, so you don’t run into any problems when the car starts to get packed.
As for the number of seats, multiple rows are typically ideal, particularly if you have a large family. Having extra seats just in case is not a bad idea either, especially if you occasionally take on the role of driving your children’s friends.
This isn’t a big factor, but sometimes family entertainment options can make the car ride more pleasant for everyone. You don’t have to go all out by having DVD players on the head rest of every seat, but having a good infotainment system is probably a solid investment. Children can become very restless on long trips, so having the ability to listen to satellite radio or music from your smartphone can reduce everyone’s stress levels significantly.

If you already satisfied all of your criteria and still need to narrow down your decision, why not go for the vehicle that will help you save a couple bucks at the pump?  Do some research and compare fuel efficiency ratings between your potential candidates.