Selecting a new family car is a big decision. Not only is it a significant purchase, but it also significantly impacts your and your kids’ comfort and safety while on the road. Add to that the numerous car options on the market, and it’s enough to make your head spin. This is why all of us at Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA helping you navigate this tricky road. Here’s what to look for when shopping around, and which vehicles made our list of the best family cars out there. In our book, safety always comes first—so every car here scored a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest-ranking there is.
What to Look for in Family Cars
The best family cars are the ones that best meet your specific needs—so a natural starting place is to pinpoint exactly what you want out of your vehicle. If you’re just starting a family, you’ll want to look at the best cars for babies; if you’re already a rowdy crowd, you might want to look at large family SUVs. Consider how many kids you have, how old they are and what kind of activities they’re into. Will you be hauling sports equipment around? Do you end up driving everybody everywhere along with their best friends? Do you take a lot of road trips, where having kid-friendly entertainment options are must-have sanity-savers?
Here’s a quick checklist of what to keep in mind as you browse the best family cars available:
· Size · Price · Comfort (in both the back seat and front) · Trunk space · Entertainment and connectivity options · Safety ratings · Safety features
Family car safety features
Safety features may appear last on the features list, but they’re one of the most critical criteria to consider. After all, what’s more important than the safety and wellbeing of your children? Good news: Family cars are safer than they’ve ever been before, and they just keep getting better. Here are some of the modern safety features to look into when shopping for family cars:
· Car seat support. Most cars make it fairly easy to get car seats in and out, but if you still multiple young kids at home, you’ll want to know how many car seats can fit in one row. Most cars made after 2002 come with the built-in LATCH system for easy car seat install.
· Back seat reminder. We’re all busy, and we all get distracted. To avoid ever forgetting your kids in the car, look for a vehicle with an audio reminder to check the back seat when you reach your destination.
· Collision warning. These come in various forms, but they’ll alert you when you’re too close to someone in front of you or moving in too quickly. Some will even automatically apply the brakes. They work not just for other cars, but also for pedestrians who are crossing in front of you.
· Blind spot monitoring. This one is literally a lifesaver. We all check our side mirrors before changing lanes or making that turn, but now the mirrors have warning lights that tell you when someone’s in your blind spot.
· Parking sensors. Especially helpful for city drivers, these sensors let you know when you’re getting too close to other vehicles, shopping carts or anything else above a certain height.
· Lane-change assist. When you start to slip out of your lane but your turn signal isn’t on, this will gently turn your steering wheel back and alert you.
· Adaptive cruise control. Thanks to this feature, you can set the maximum speed for cruise control, and your car will speed up or slow down to keep pace with the car in front of you. It’s especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic.
· Rear vision cameras. When you’re in reverse, you get a live image of what’s behind you, with grid lines to help you keep a safe distance from other objects. There are also 360-degree cameras, which provide a virtual 360-degree view around your car, helping you navigate tight spaces.
About Anderson Behel
With today’s sophisticated cars, it’s more important than ever that your body shop is certified to repair your type of vehicle. At Anderson Behel, Silicon Valley’s leading collision repair company, we’re proud to hold several certifications, which means we’re a Honda Certified Body Shop, Acura Authorized Body Shop, Nissan Authorized Body Shop, Subaru Auto Body Shop a Porsche Collision Center and most recently a Volvo certified shop. What does this mean? At Anderson Behel, we’ve invested in the finest training, equipment and tools to do an O.E. repair on each and every Honda, Porsche, Acura, Volvo, Nissan and Subaru that comes into our shop. Why not work with a body shop that is qualified, experienced and certified by the carmaker itself to work on your car? It just makes good sense and that’s why we proudly tell the world that we’re certified on some of the world's finest vehicles.