Family car checklist with tips on what to look for when buying a car

in today’s guest article, jana henning from meinauto.De 10 helpful tips on the topic of family cars compiled for us. If you have any questions or perhaps some additional information from your own experience, we look forward to your feedback and comments!

What is the perfect family car? That is, if it exists at all. do you also immediately think of things like a lot of space inside and a large trunk? That’s how most of us feel. Or do you have a specific model in mind?? Maybe the good old station wagon or a "real" family van with sliding doors? But there are now many more than these two to choose from, and that doesn’t make it any easier to make a decision. For example, small station wagons for those who don’t want to switch to the compact class despite their offspring. Or high-roof station wagons like the VW caddy. Many people at least take a look at the new SUV class (sport utility vehicle), which is becoming increasingly popular among families.

Family car van Ford C Max with sliding doors

There can be no blanket answer to the question of what the perfect family car is. Why? Every family has its own requirements in terms of comfort, equipment and design. In other words: as different as the families are, as different are the cars that could match a. no matter which model you decide on in the end, every car that wants to be considered family-friendly has to be measured against important criteria such as space, comfort and safety. The family car checklist is intended to help you in your search and give you tips on what to look out for when buying a car.

1. Trunk volume

In general, everything that has to be transported on a regular basis must fit into the trunk: the shopping and luggage for 4 people or more, strollers and children’s bicycles, often also bulky or long items. So far, so good. But who of you can imagine under the measure 500 liter trunk volume (the z. B. Every compact class station wagon should have) something concrete imagine? The luggage compartment volume in cars is determined according to the VDA standard. 500 liters then correspond to 500 blocks, each 20 x 10 x 5 cm long. Not yet better? How about 14 boxes of water! A beverage crate takes up about 35 liters of volume, which can be quickly converted and visualized in your mind’s eye. It is incomprehensible why so few car manufacturers publish pictures of folded strollers in the trunk when presenting their vehicles. Ask other parents about their experiences and be sure to take the stroller with you to the dealership for a practical test.

Speaking of transporting bicycles in, on or on the carfamilies in particular like to go on vacation in their own car. Then not only the children’s bicycles must fit in the trunk or. Anyone with older children needs a bike carrier anyway. The German automobile club ADAC published its 2011 bicycle carrier test in time for the major school vacations in germany and tested 14 car systems for safety and durability during emergency braking and evasive maneuvers. Nine bicycle carriers for the trailer coupling and five bicycle roof carriers were tested. Bicycle carrier systems for the trailer coupling offer the greatest safety, and they are also easier to install. The winner of the ADAC test was the bike carrier for the trailer coupling thule euroway G2 920 with an overall score of 1.6. With the montblanc exporer II it’s "finger off!". During an evasive maneuver at 70 km/h, for example, a wheel fell off and became a dangerous projectile.


(source: ADAC 2011)

2. loading sill height:

In a family car, great value is placed on the trunk volume, while the loading edge height is often unjustly underestimated. If you want to spare your back, you can orient yourself to a very low and comfortable 50 cm. Up to 67 cm loading edge height is optimal. What is comfortable also depends on your own body size. This clarifies only the practical test at the car of other known families or directly in the car dealer.

3. seats:

Most of the time the whole family rides in the car, but sometimes not (z. B. When furniture needs to be transported home) and sometimes more (z. B. If your own children’s friends or grandma and grandpa are to travel with you). If the latter is the case, only a 7-seater family car comes into question or. A 5-seater that can be flexibly converted into a 7-seater. The best way to do this is to fold away the 3. The second row of seats can be easily installed, without having to install the seats separately.

Family car Opel Astra Sports Tourer view seats bird's eye view

It’s always practical and convenient – regardless of whether it’s a 7-seater or not – if the rear middle seat can be folded away and converted into an armrest with storage compartments. If the two outer seats can be moved diagonally, the two children have enough space on long car trips and their toys are always within reach. This also means less stress for the parents on the car ride.

4. Storage space

Sufficient storage compartments and pockets in the doors, consoles, on and under the seats plus the question "what fits in??" are not negligible factors in a family-friendly car. Additional plus points are given for more practical holders and nets in the interior and luggage compartment. Can perhaps even fold out small tables for the children on the back seats?

5. Doors

"no more family car without sliding doors!"is what you hear from many parents. No wonder, strapping the kids into the back seats is very practical with sliding doors. Especially when space is tight – in parking spaces or in your own garage. It should also be tested whether the tailgate can be opened wide enough, or whether you regularly bump your head when loading and unloading the trunk.

6. Materials:

With small and large children, things can easily go wrong. That’s why the materials used in the car, especially the upholstery of the seats, should be hard-wearing and easy to wipe clean. It is not always chic, but very practical, if the frequently used loading edge is protected by plastic rails. The paint in the area gets quickly and often unsightly scratches. Which evil one takes rather in purchase? In the area of materials is also whether the side windows and the rear window are already tinted or are equipped with sun blinds. Retrofitting is often expensive and time-consuming, unless the sunshade is to be with suction nubs.

7. Safety systems

Safety plays a particularly important role in a family car. A look at the NCAP crash test is obligatory – 5 stars are tops. The important ESP (electronic stability program) anti-skid system is a must in every car. From november 2011, it will be compulsory for all new cars, and ESP is already fitted as standard in many today. This is something you should always look out for when buying a car. ESP prevents the car from swerving uncontrollably when changing lanes quickly and during abrupt evasive and overtaking maneuvers. In addition, there are new active safety systems that are designed to protect the driver and all passengers as well as possible in dangerous situations. For example, brake assist, drowsiness warning, lane departure warning, blind spot warning systems and, brand new, pedestrian detection with automatic emergency braking in the volvo V60 station wagon or the new ford focus turnier. A parking aid is also more than just comfort. A built-in rear view camera can prevent you from overlooking small children who have walked behind the car when backing out of a parking space.

8. Child seats

The only way to minimize the consequences of an accident is to use safe child seats and fasten seat belts properly. When buying a car, make sure that the ISOFIX child restraint system is part of the standard equipment. ISOFIX is a standardized fixed anchorage for child seats. This is to prevent operating errors when installing child seats in the car and to increase safety. When buying child seats, always make sure that they have been tested for safety and that they are marked "universal" or "vehicle-specific". As the name suggests, universally approved child seats can be installed in various cars. If they have a vehicle-specific approval, they are not suitable for every car. If you have three children, you should test whether three child seats fit next to each other on the back seat bench. In a compact-class station wagon, it quickly gets too cramped here.

9. Child safety lock

Young children have a great spirit of exploration and are very eager to experiment. If you want to prevent your child from trying what happens when you open the door while driving, you should look out for a child safety lock for the rear doors when buying a car. bad accidents have also happened with power windows. The only thing that helps here is anti-trap protection for the rear windows. The question is: is the child restraint standard equipment and if not, how much is the extra equipment?. It is often worth switching to the next higher equipment level if it includes additional comfort and safety packages that are important to you. Some car manufacturers also offer special "family packages" as an extra or even complete family special models.

10. Airbags

How many airbags are standard equipment?? Are there also head and side airbags for the rear seats?? Can the passenger airbag be switched off so that the baby seat can also be transported on the passenger seat??

An overview of family cars, sorted by vehicle class, can be found at meinauto.De.

Product reviews are purely editorial and independent. Sparbaby.De is a participant in the partner programs of amazon and selected other suppliers. if you buy something through our affiliate links, we usually receive a commission. This allows us to offer our content free of charge and remain independent.

11 thoughts on "family car checklist with tips on what to look for when buying a car"

You should revise this sentence:

"what is comfortable also depends on your own body size."

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Christina Cherry
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: