6 January 2016 · Family Cars

The 5 Most Important Features for a Family Car

Family car

Here at Terry Shields Toyota, we know that starting a family doesn’t just mean big changes in your lifestyle – it fundamentally alters your requirements when choosing a vehicle.

Things like handling, mileage, and exterior styling are still going to be important of course, but a whole new set of concerns is going to drive your decision making when you’re looking at cars as a home-on-the-move rather than just a means of getting from A to B.

Read on for the five most important features you should look for in a family car.

1. Serious Safety

The minute your family members are on board, safety goes from being one of many concerns to the absolute top priority for any vehicle. Thanks to sterling work by both the government and car manufacturers, road deaths and accident rates have fallen sharply in Australia over the last four decades, but safety still needs to be at the very forefront of your thoughts.

Before browsing individual makes and models, perform your own background research using sites such as How Safe Is Your Car. You should also consult the ratings compiled by the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme (ANCAP). This organisation provides detailed results of how individual models perform in a series of internationally recognised crash tests carried out by independent specialist laboratories. Insist on vehicles that have proven excellent ANCAP ratings when considering possible candidates for your next family car.

2. Ample Storage

Once kids are involved, your requirements for a vehicle instantly move from being a stylish way of getting around town to something that can play a key role in the constant logistical struggle that is raising a family.

Whether it’s room for buggies and prams, or plenty of storage for school bags and sports kits when you’re on the move, you’re going to need a lot of extra space for all stages of your family’s growth. Keep an eye out for flexible options such as flat-folding seat rows which can be a godsend when you’re multi-tasking.

Having items randomly strewn through your vehicle is a recipe for trouble when little hands are involved – ideally, you want as much as possible neatly tucked away in either the boot or various strategically placed built-in bins and cubbies. Accessories such as cargo barriers and roof racks can also give you more options to play with when it comes to maximising your use of available space.

3. Reverse Sensing and Collision Detection

When you’re ferrying your family around, cars become intrinsically chaotic environments so you’ll want as much assistance from technology as you can get.

If you’re trying to talk down warring siblings, or keep one eye on a toddler in a back seat, features such as reverse sensing and collision detection can quite literally turn into lifesavers.

Something as simple as rear parking sensors, Blind Spot Monitors, or a Reversing Camera (standard on many of our models) can be a huge benefit on larger, family-orientated vehicles and give you peace of mind when operating in tight spaces with an unruly crowd on board.

4. Built-in Entertainment

In a perfect world, your children would be happily (and quietly) entertaining themselves on even the longest of trips. Sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. You’ll need on-board options to keep busy little minds entertained on both long and short journeys.

Assuming you have your own devices, Wi-Fi connectivity solves a lot of problems on its own. Many modern models also come with additional options such as built-in touchscreen displays, DVD players, and Bluetooth support for audio players.

5. Weathershields

We’re blessed with a wonderful climate in Australia but too much exposure to direct heat and sunlight can be a nightmare if you’re trying to keep toddlers calm within a confined space.

Rear-window shading is often a sensible way of keeping things quiet in the back seat. Advanced options such as our Toyota Genuine Slimline Weathershields give you the best of both worlds – protected access to fresh air without having to brave the elements.

At Terry Shields Toyota, we’ve helped thousands of families just like yours to find a perfect car for their long-term needs. The points we’ve raised above are just some of the more obvious ones you’ll want to consider for your next family car. We’re happy to talk you through a full range of options in person at all price points across our range of new and used vehicles.

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At Terry Shields Toyota, we’ve helped thousands of families just like yours to find a perfect car for their long-term needs. The points we’ve raised above are just some of the more obvious ones you’ll want to consider for your next family car. We’re happy to talk you through a full range of options in person at all price points across our range of new and used vehicles.

Our friendly team can advise on safety features and other important aspects to consider when choosing a new car.