“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!” While not all families are the same, they do have one thing in common – love. With love, comes the desire to protect, secure, and be together — which includes traveling.
When you travel with kids, pets (which are sometimes considered kids), and of course, adults, you need to be sure you have the space and capacity for your needs! Afraid you’ll forget an important aspect while car shopping?
No worries, we listed some key questions to ask yourself before buying a new family car
How many kids will you be chauffeuring?
Kidding…kind of. But really, you need to consider how many children you will be transporting at any given time on a regular basis. A seat belt is essential for each passenger – so when doing a headcount make sure you have the seats to match. If your kids are still small, you’ll want to only count the seats in the back for their optimum safety — save the front for the adults.
Will you be using car seats? Where?
If your children are in the car seat age, you’ll definitely want to check out the back seat space. Maybe you have multiple car seat age kids which will require not only the amount of seat belts, but also the extra space for their car seats (some are bigger than others), their little legs, and anyone/anything else along for the ride.
Will the seat belt system meet your children’s needs?
Meaning, while your kids grow their seat belt needs will change. When they are big enough to move on from their car seat, most seat belts have a shoulder strap that may not fit the child. Is there an option for a lap only seat belt until they are bigger? Make sure to scope out the belts to ensure they fit every phase of life for your growing family.
Are there side airbags?
Some vehicles include side airbags to give additional chest protection to adults in a collision. Because these airbags are not required by law, they are not in every vehicle — which is actually good, in the case of kids.
Children who are seated in close proximity to a side airbag may be at risk for serious or fatal injury if the airbag deploys close to their head, neck, or chest. Kids under the age of 12 should not sit up front with the passenger airbag, so avoiding a side airbag in the rear of the vehicle is important.
Make sure to check with the dealership or read the owners manual to be sure they are not included if you ever have small kids in tow.
Our Favorite Family Friendly Subaru’s
Wondering which Subaru’s are best for the family? We love the whole lineup. With your loved ones in mind, the Subaru Outback, the roomier Forester and the Subaru Crosstrek for the smaler family Here’s why:
This all wheel drive vehicle is perfect for a family who loves to explore. Not only is it perfect for unpaved roads, but with it’s low step-in height it is kid accessible. The rear seats include plush, roomy seats, folding armrests, climate-control system, and user-friendly touch screens.
Road trips will be a breeze with comfort and plenty of cargo space. Plus, new since 2017, this vehicle includes an EyeSight safety suite which has automatic reverse braking to help watch for little ones that go unseen passing behind the car.
The Subaru Forester has become roomier with lots of neat options. Add some more stuff
This smaller family friendly vehicle is perfect for those camping trips or driving in harsh weather with its all wheel drive. With all-around visibility and higher ground clearance you’ll be able to keep your eye on any possible hazard.
Comfortably with cushy seats and easy-to-clean fabric, you’ll be able to clean up any mess from a toddler. For extra safety, this vehicle features voice command to let you change the radio station without taking your eyes off the road.
The Crosstrek offers the option to add safety features like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, and lane-departure/lane-keep assist functions.
When looking for a family vehicle, the most important thing is to ask yourself what are the needs of your specific family.
I encourage families to look at all the stuff they carry in their car now, that is what you want to take with you car shopping, because it might look all new and shiney but it might not be able to handle your day to day necessities and bringing those items with you to the dealership will help them and you find the right fit.
Subaru’s have so many options, especially for those trips full of adventure around the Pacific Northwest.
We would love to help meet your goals of a family friendly vehicle. Have questions? Click here to schedule an appointment at Suburb Service, or call (206) 364-8089 to reach our Seattle location.