What to look for in a family car 1

My boys are growing up and are now eight and nearly seven and what we need in a family car has changed dramatically since they were newborns.  However, it is not always financially possibly to buy a new car at every stage of childhood, so I thought I would put together a guide to what to look for in a family car detailing what we needed and why at what age.  At the moment I am lusting after a new Honda CRV 2013, especially after being in a friends on Mothers day at Maxi’s football match!

maxi car wash

When I was pregnant I was so focused on getting the right car for the type of buggy or pram and I never really thought about the possibility of actually needing a double bugging not far down the line (there is a 15 month gap with my boys)

Newborn to Toddlers

  1. Isofix – safety is always been our number one priority and all the best and safest car seats have proven to be isofix seats.  So having numerous isofix points is essential.  In the early months many people like to put their children in the passenger seat, so an isofix point there would be perfect.
  2. Windows blinds or darkened windows are perfect for stopping the sun.  If they are built in there is less chance of a tantruming or board toddler pulling them off!
  3. Airbags – The option of an airbag which can be turned off if you are putting your rear facing car seat in the passenger seat is essential.
  4. Boot space – we started off with a saloon car, which although it had a large boot space, you had to lift the pram quite high to get it in.  In our second car (an estate) it was much easier to get it in and to have room for shopping, travel cot and all the other paraphernalia you might require.
  5. Wipeable seats or seat covers – need I explain vomit, mud, sticky fingers etc
  6. Child locks

Toddlers to Preschool

  1. At this point my boys moved from five harness car seats to high backed booster seats.  Again with isofix.
  2. Boot size became less important, however, the estate car allowed us to just lift the boys on to the boot to put shoe on or to even have a tailgate picnic!
  3. Car lighter points.  By this point in our life our children were watching in car DVD’s to keep them entertained on long journeys.  Ideally we would have loved built in ones, but finances meant that we bought portable and it is good to have a plug in point at the rear of the car.
  4. Blinds or darkened windows.  To stop glare.
  5. Wipeable seats or seat covers – need I explain vomit, mud, sticky fingers etc
  6. Child locks

School Age children

  1. Our boys are still in high backed booster seats again both of them still with isofix.  Many children are not at this age,. but I am very safety conscious!
  2. Wipeable seats or seat covers – need I explain vomit, mud, sticky fingers.  This has become more important as the boys play junior football and everything gets covered in mud, everything!
  3. child locks, but ones I can disable to let them out themselves if I need.
  4. Car lighter points.  Whilst we still have portable DVD players, we also have handheld games consoles and tablets too.
  5. Drinks holders.  as they boys are older we can trust them to have a drink in the car, it would be nice to have someone each side to put one.
  6. Window blinds, all these games mean that these are still essential.

More recently I have hankered for a four by four due to the strange weather conditions we have had locally.  Snow, rain and floods all mean that it is harder to drive in my little car.  I think this is why I have been hankering for my friends Honda CRV.    It was brilliant, it managed the snow and ice easily and they live  on a hill.  Another plus is they also have a couple of dogs and there is room in the boot for their cage and the boys are both asking for a dog.  Another thing that really sold me o nthe car was the ability to get three car seats in the rear seat.   The fact that I carry my most precious cargo (the boys) in the rear of my car most of the time is not lost on me and I would like them to be as safe as possible.

I know that we certainly will be considering Honda for our next new car.

I would love to know what you found or find essential in a family car.


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