So, you and your wife have been cruising the roads in your fancy two-door, riding in style, turning heads as you go. But, then comes the news that your family of two will be a group of three soon and suddenly, your two-door hot wheels don’t seem all that safe anymore. Decisions have to be made and changes have to be done.
Whether you trade in or buy a bigger car altogether, keep in mind that space shouldn’t be your only priority. There are several things that you should take into account before you make a child-friendly purchase.
Safety is most certainly, most definitely the number one priority while choosing a child-friendly car. Most cars come with ISOFIX and back seat airbags but pay attention to the side crumple zone, space between the car seat and the side door and the position of the back-seat airbags (if the car has any). Ensure the car seater you purchase is ideal for your kid as well. A proper fit is necessary as it prevents detachment while on road. A car with New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) ratings will give you a clearer picture of what to expect (safety wise) while purchasing a new car. The list will have the sort of safety features installed in the car and how it performs in case of mishaps. Reading through the NCAP will be greatly beneficial before deciding on a car for you and your little one.
Most parents opt for a cheaper purchase than a valuable one. Take notice of the car’s insurance, maintenance, fuel consumption as well as its resale value before deciding to buy it. Don’t hesitate to spend a little on your car as it could save you a lot later on. If you’re planning on getting a used car, then it is better to hire an inspection officer to help you analyse the car (take notice the car’s warranty info’s as well).
Driving with a child on board is not a walk in the park. Babies, especially newborn, will have trouble settling down in a new environment. Take notice of the car’s internal environment. Listen to the engine sounds and if it feels draggy when you paddle to the metal. Types of suspension fixed also matters as they help you absorb the pressure put on the wheels without jostling the car too much. Of course, it should be a comfortable ride for you too. While test driving, see if there’s enough leg room for you and feel how the wheels move in your hand for any jerkiness.
Most vehicles perform well on a straight line. But when it is taken to a curb, they deter away and cause a “swaying” feel to the occupants. This could be avoided by purchasing cars with S-VCS (steering assist vehicle control system). This feature helps control the car turning manner by steering your wheels accordingly at a curb. As a result, you’ll stay in your lane without swish swashing around.
BIG BOOTH! Need there to say more? When you have a little one that depends solely on you for everything, you got to be prepared all the time. That includes extra diapers, extra clothes, extra food and so on. To put it all away, you will need big boot capacity. Some SUV’s, like Audi Q5 have spacious interior but when it comes to boot capacity, they don’t match up much. So, get yourself a car that comes with a huge rear.