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Shopping for A Family Car: How To Find The Right Ride

mom-and-daughter-in-car

As a child, I spent a lot of time in our family car with my parents and younger brother.  My father was in the military and every year or so, we loaded up the wagon and moved to a new town.  During the summer, we road-tripped through the western Rockies or traipsed up and down the East Coast.  If my dad had to make a phone call, we stopped at a roadside pay phone.  If my brother and I were tired, we lay along the back seat…

Needless to say, times have changed and automobiles have changed!   When I was a child, I could never have imagined an age when we would charge book-sized digital pads in the car.  Today’s family vehicles are designed to suit modern, mile-a-minute lifestyles with fancy features, hi-tech add-ons, and automatic everything. 

We all have personal preferences when it comes to features, colors, makes and models, but there are certain basics every mom should look for in a family car.

  1. Seating.  On-the-go moms need enough room not just for their kids, but also for friends, relatives, carpoolers, and even pets.
  2. Storage.  Trunk space, nooks and hooks, cup-holders, drop-down trays – these magic compartments are the key to keeping a car clutter-free.  Make sure there is enough cargo space for Costco runs and sports gear – those are the toughies!
  3. Simplicity.  Life for moms is hectic enough, so using the car should be simple.  Look for easy-to-understand controls, “smart” features that adjust automatically, and other things like Latch anchors to simplify your daily routine.  For those with young children, Cars.com performs car seat checks, including extensive testing of latches, in all test cars.
  4. Tech.  It’s crucial for moms to keep their phones charged so they are reachable at all times.  For kids, it’s just as important to keep their beloved iPads juiced up!  In the digital age, a car needs to have sufficient ports and outlets.
  5. Durability.  Can the car take real wear and tear?  Families max out the capacity and capabilities of a vehicle and every inch gets used.  Consider what is likely to break (like retractable window shades which kids love to play with) and how much repairs will cost.
  6. Ins & Outs. My family is perpetually late and rushing in and out of the car.  Loading and unloading shouldn’t be a struggle, so check the layout and make sure it works for you.
  7. Safety.  There are a lot more cars on the road these days – and too often, distracted or rushed drivers.  Protect your family on busy roads by carefully researching crash tests and the placement of airbags.

For more info on finding the right ride for your family, check out www.cars.com/family, a helpful hub on Cars.com, which offers tips, advice, vehicle reviews and more from their team of expert moms.

This post was sponsored by Cars.com