How to choose a family car
Today, family cars occupy an important niche in the lineup of car manufacturers. In this article, we will look at all their benefits, tell you how to choose a family car, and give a comparison rating.
The bigger, the better. Six or more airbags, seat belts, inflatable curtains, knee airbags, together with electronic roadside assistants in the form of ABS, ESP and other abbreviations by ear, are the foundation of a modern family car.
To prevent the car from letting you down on a long trip, choose a brand with a history of quality models. It sounds like a universal advice about nothing, but it makes a lot more sense than advice about specific brands. Explore forums with reviews of real owners: choose several models that suit your requirements, and read about them in real life.
- Ergonomic driving position: everything important is at hand. Ideal if you don’t have to leave the backrest to select the desired function on the dashboard. A good addition is a multifunction steering wheel with the ability to control machine systems with one click. The less you are distracted by the car, the more attention remains on the road – safety is paramount.
- Rear seat comfort: A family car should be comfortable for everyone. Therefore, we are heading for cars with a spacious rear sofa. It is important that the knees of a tall passenger do not touch the front seat in a comfortable position. There should also be a margin of space above the head, it is better if it is with a cousin.
- Optimum temperature: It is imperative that the car has a comfortable microclimate regardless of the weather outside. Therefore, cars with climate control (or at least air conditioning) are most preferred for family use. Heated seats will not be superfluous.
- Storage spaces (glove compartment, niches, shelves, compartments). The storage system inside the car (family!) Is a useful feature! Each manufacturer, in one way or another, tries to provide the interior with compartments for useful things. Someone succeeds in this better, and then a scattering of useful trifles fits comfortably in numerous pockets, shelves and niches.
Every day in a family car is different. In a heap of various tasks, a large trunk will definitely not be superfluous. Landmark – 400-500 liters of payload with the ability to fold the rear row.
Everything is here: the size of the transport tax, fuel consumption, the cost of maintenance and repair. Keep in mind that the family car is called for a reason, and usually not only you need it. Keeping the car in service for a week or two will be costly and inconvenient.
Car type and body
For the role of family cars, hatchbacks (exclusively 5-door), sedans, station wagons, compact vans, minivans, crossovers and SUVs are best suited. The difficulty of choosing a body type is due to the fact that each of them has its own advantages and no less significant disadvantages.
Hatchback advantages :
- Additional safety, which is achieved due to high maneuverability, comparative compactness and wheel spacing along the edges of the body;
- Large trunk opening, which opens the possibility of loading oversized cargo;
- Wide rear window for good visibility (although for some cars this point is very controversial);
- Convertible salon, thanks to which you can transport long loads;
- The most affordable cost (at least, lower than sedans and station wagons of the same model).
Disadvantages of hatchbacks:
- Noise isolation is inferior to three-volume bodies (that is, sedans with their trunk separated from the passenger compartment);
- Poor visibility through the rear window when the trunk is fully loaded, which reduces the safety of maneuvering;
- Comparatively long duration of heating the cabin in winter;
- A small volume of the luggage compartment (a hatchback, as a rule, is inferior in this parameter to other types of bodies), and if you buy a car for a large family, folding seats will not help out, since in the transformed position they do not allow transporting both cargo and passengers at the same time …
The advantages of sedans:
- High level of safety in case of impact of your car in the rear by a “catching up” car – the trunk acts as a buffer;
- The absence of the likelihood of various objects falling into the passenger compartment in a collision;
- As a rule, a large trunk volume;
- The interior does not lose heat when the boot lid is opened.
Disadvantages of sedans:
- Usually, sedans have very modest capabilities to transport bulky cargo;
- Low potential for interior transformation.
The advantages of station wagons:
- Increased, in comparison with sedans and hatchbacks, weight, which is the basis for good stability of the car;
- Roomy luggage compartment (can compete with compact vans);
- The possibility of transforming the salon;
- As with hatchbacks, large trunk opening.
Disadvantages of station wagons:
- There are some drawbacks of hatchbacks (long warm-up of the cabin, foreign odors and the risk of objects falling from the trunk into the cabin in a collision).
Minivans and compact vans
Advantages of minivans / compact vans:
- Spacious interior, and 7-seater modifications are available for minivans;
- As a rule, the most spacious trunks (especially for minivans);
- They also have a number of advantages of hatchbacks (high potential for cargo transportation; good visibility through the rear window).
Disadvantages of minivans / compact vans:
- Disadvantages of hatchbacks (except for the capacity of the luggage compartment);
- As a rule, relatively large dimensions, which negatively affect maneuverability.
Crossovers and SUVs
Benefits of Crossovers and SUVs (4WD Only):
- Increased cross-country ability, which makes these cars the most versatile (trips to the dacha, to the village, to a picnic with children will not cause problems);
- The spaciousness of the cabin (especially variations with the third row of seats);
- The capacity of the luggage compartment is not much inferior to minivans;
- Enhanced security.
Disadvantages of crossovers and SUVs:
- Typically higher fuel consumption;
- Reduced maneuverability;
- The most expensive maintenance and repair.
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