The reasons that you might have chosen a car when you were younger and didn’t have kids are very likely to be different from the reasons you might choose a car now that you’re a mom. It’s less about personal gratification and preference, and more about what is going to help you rise to the practical challenges of your life. As such, here are some of the qualities that make a great “mom car,” and how to pick out the one that best suits your needs.
How much space does it offer?
This is likely to be one of the very first questions that most family heads have about a vehicle and for good reason. For one, you need to make sure you have the space to park and drive the thing. If you live out in a rural area, you might have all the space in the world but the closer you get to the city, the smaller the roads and parking spaces can feel. Similarly, you need a good idea of how much space you need to seat your family, as well as much storage space you’re going to need. You’re not just going to be driving the kids around, after all, you’re driving around their luggage on road trips, their sports kits, instruments, and the other accessories they will take around with them in their day-to-day lives. If you need something on the bigger end, MarketWatch recommends a few of the latest SUVs to see to your needs.
How versatile is it?
This feature is, in part, related to the space available inside a car but also goes beyond it. A car that can be versatile to your needs is one that can meet a wider range of practical concerns. One of the most obvious examples of this is how much you can use and configure the interior space. For instance, can you fold down the seats to add more storage space and vice-versa? The addition of a convertible roof can be considered another point of versatility, as well. After all, it’s not just a style thing, a roof that goes down can also help keep the family cooler on those hot days. Think about how many different ways you can configure your driving experience to your needs.
Keeping the family safe
One of the biggest priorities should, of course, be ensuring that your family is going to be well taken care of. One of the biggest benefits of updating your car is taking advantage of some of the new safety technologies out there. This includes a host of features, such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, and collision detection features that can help you prevent accidents little and large. However, you should also look at the collision ratings for any vehicles that you’re looking at. Basically, these ratings help you get an idea of how much the car can protect you in the event that it does hit another vehicle or obstacle.
Keeping it running
Safety and security features are all about keeping the car and the people inside it safe. Reliability is all about keeping the car in good condition. It’s all about how much wear and tear the car can take before it starts requiring repairs. There are sites like the Reliability Index, which is one of the best resources online for seeing which cars are more likely to suffer damage first, what kind of damage they might suffer, and how much it can cost to replace the parts.
How far does it go on a gallon?
As people become more and more conscious of their carbon footprint, the question of fuel economy comes up a lot more often. Of course, cars that can go further on a gallon aren’t just more eco-friendly, they’re also more convenient and cost-effective. If you have the budget, you might even want to consider going electric. More and more charging stations are opening up, and apps like Zap-Map can help you find them quite easily, so driving an electric car is becoming a more practical option. Of course, electric cars are still expensive, so many people are just going to look at choosing a car with a good fuel economy instead.
Value for money
Affordability is going to play a big part in the selection of the right car for you. There are various different factors that play into value for money as well. The buying price is just one part of it. The reliability that’s mentioned above will directly affect the running costs of the car, as will the fuel economy. Your choice of car can even affect your insurance ratings, so choosing safer cars can come with lower insurance costs. Some brands like Riley Ford are better known for value for money than others. When you’re choosing a car, make sure that you get a good idea of not just the sticker price, but the running costs, as well. That will give you a real idea of how much it actually costs to own.
Does it keep the family happy?
This might not seem as important as some of the other factors here, but if you’re planning any long drives, such as a road trip, then the ability to keep everyone satisfied is crucial. Comfort plays a role in this, such as having a great air conditioning system to make sure no one’s too hot at any given moment. You might also want to look at which cars have the best infotainment systems, as the entertainment potential of a car can do a lot to keep the kids well-behaved in the back. Being able to play movies that they can watch on screens in the back of the seats is a luxury feature, but one that a lot of parents can see the practical advantage of.
Of course, “mom cars” aren’t really just for moms. They’re for anyone who needs to manage a family’s worth of driving and can take care of all the little practical needs along the way. Hopefully, the tips above help you find the car that best suits you and your brood.