The family car transcends definition, as the nuclear formulas of yesteryear fall by the wayside and the quickfit solutions of the mini-van fall short of the post-millennium cut. Shopping for the family machine normally leaves Mum and Dad with a rolling headache, as SUV hybrids, sedans and fuel efficient hatch-backs roll away before their eyes – while choosing a vehicle to appeal to your non-stop lifestyle is challenging, the following five tips can remove some of the guess work and help you make the right choice for you. After all, there’s no one size fits all set of wheels waiting for you.
Take an honest account of your current finances and reflect on what you can afford. A second hand people-mover with low miles and a solid history is a sound investment, achievable and within immediate means. If you’d like to opt for a market darling and drive away in a new Ford family SUV, determine the impact of monthly payments on your bottom line, before signing off in the dotted one. Making concessions on features for a better price will not always pay off.
Our relationship with the bowser flounders as fuel prices rise and the Monday morning rush turns into a tri-weekly event, as day-care drop offs, after school pick-ups and weekend sport events run the tank dry. The petrol pump doesn't need to be an enemy; in fact, you’ll find fuel economy popping up on basic features lists, across a variety of models and badges. By cutting back on fuel consumption, you’ll reduce your collective carbon footprint and start the conversation for a better environment around the dinner table.
Comfort, Convenience & Aesthetic
Considering the hours you’ll spend cruising and tripping around the countryside, with the full family loaded and ready to go, comfort is a central concern. Do yourself a favor and strike the two door vehicle off your list – cute, zippy models are better suited to those without bursting schedules. Though kids graduate from booster seats and safety straps relatively fast, saving yourself the choir of “let me out” later on will minimize parental stress. Extra leg room, storage sleeves and a roomy boot space are essentials in your search for the family friendly unit. Spacious does not mean ugly. Long gone are the days of the white station wagon or paneled door people mover; look around for sophisticated and stylish models, they are there. Transporting a family from A to B can be mentally and physically taxing; whether you’re travelling with half a football team, three dogs, a newborn or party-going teens, a family car should reflect your lifestyle, without sacrificing your on-road identity. While durability and longevity will become familiar friends, style and class are still within reach, even when real-life is set aside to umpire backseat arguments and juice stains.