For a small family unit, with just the one small child, a city car or a supermini might prove to be a viable option. However, as the family unit expands, with the introduction of one or even two more children it becomes a far less realistic option - they just don't provide the space required for ferrying kids round on the daily school run, or during the weekly trip to the supermarket.
As with all car purchases, it's important to take a measured approach; all available options need to be weighed up and all key elements taken into consideration when looking at family cars. If you go in with the eyes closed type of approach, you'll probably end up making an impulse purchase.
The majority of car manufacturers produce at least one or two (if not more) family cars. Amongst the family cars you'll currently find on the market are Toyota's 7-seat Verso, the Volkswagen Touran and the Peugeot 308.
Each of these cars which you come across in your hunt will possess a number of features unique to their manufacturer - so it's well worth being thorough when trawling through the listings in a car magazine or browsing round your local dealership.
To help you on your way, we've produced a list featuring two key elements you should consider when looking for family cars.
Car type: It's worth noting that family cars is an umbrella term; there are some hatchbacks classed as family cars, there are some saloon cars classed as family cars. The qualification criterion isn't all that stringent - the typical family model is one that provides enough space for a family, it's that simple.
So when choosing from a couple of family car models on a shortlist, you're likely to be faced with a number of specific types. There are pros and cons for owning all of them; for example, if you opt to expend your cash on a saloon car, and you have a baby, you might find it difficult to load highchairs, pushchairs and baby rockers into the boot space.
Despite possessing a very spacious interior, saloon cars don't always provide a good amount of boot space. Hatchbacks do; but on the flipside of the coin, they aren't quite as roomy. Ultimately the final choice comes down to personal requirements, but the type of car will factor heavily in your final decision.
Fuel efficiency: With car running costs continuing to rise, for many families it's important that their cars run as efficiently as possible. Family cars that produce poor fuel efficiency rates just aren't likely to be viable in the current economic climate.
However, this factor certainly shouldn't daunt you. Family cars that can provide solid fuel efficiency rates aren't exactly hard to come by. For example, the aforementioned Peugeot 308 (the five-door variant) makes heavy-use of the French manufacturer's e-HDi micro-hybrid technology; as a result it can provide fuel consumption rates of around 70.6 mpg - which is very impressive, and something very few, if any, motorists would scoff about.
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There a number of key elements that motorists need to consider when searching for family cars to buy. This article summarises just two of them.
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