When you’re purchasing a car for your family, you probably want it to be safe and have enough space for everyone -- but that isn’t all a family car needs. Cars now come equipped with more features than ever. Here are the top 10 features you should look for when purchasing a family car.
1. Bluetooth Capabilities
There’s no way to drive safely with one hand on your phone and one on the steering wheel. To avoid this issue, you need to find a vehicle that has Bluetooth capabilities. This feature allows you to drive with both hands firmly on the steering wheel, even while talking on the phone, which gives you optimum control.
2. Anti-Lock Brakes
Anti-lock brakes prevent your vehicle’s wheels from locking up when someone has to slam on the breaks. If your wheels stop turning when you slam on the brakes, this causes the front tires slide, which then make the vehicle impossible to control. Anti-lock brakes are a great feature for any vehicle that helps to avoid this issue. With Anti-lock brakes, the driver is able to maintain control over the vehicle while braking in an alarming situation. This system works by rapidly applying pressure to the brakes instead of continuous pressure.
3. Rearview Camera
Backing a vehicle up can be difficult, no matter who you are. Whether you’re trying to avoid a parked vehicle or a child who ran behind the car, a rearview camera can help to prevent problems and accidents. This feature is also known as a backup camera. The camera shows a clear picture of where your car is and you are able to easily see when you are in danger of colliding with something while in reverse.
4. Parking Sensors
Parking sensors are used to avoid accidents while parking, whether it’s parallel or in reverse. They work by having sensors on the vehicle that let you know when you are too close to an object. While you may not be able to see it, the sensor will alert the driver to anything in their path. This warning may sound because of a tree, a car, a curb, or even a child.
5. All-Wheel or Four-Wheel Drive
Nothing provides more safety and control in hazardous road conditions than having four-wheel drive. Many cars have front or rear-wheel drive, which means that only two out of four wheels are completely controlling your vehicle. The other two just simply provide support. Four-wheel drive provides optimum control over all four wheels, making it possible to drive in snow or other poor road conditions.
6. Storage Room
If your vehicle is being used for your whole family, you want it to have a lot of storage room whether it’s for soccer equipment, shopping, or luggage. While it may not seem like an important feature, you’ll realize how essential it is when you need it. Each family requires a different amount of space, but be sure to check out the square footage of the car before purchasing.
7. Steering Wheel Controls
While driving, you shouldn’t be distracted by changing the radio station or controlling the climate. A lot can happen when a driver takes just one second to look at the radio or adjust the temperature. To help to avoid any accidents, buy a car with steering wheel controls so the driver is able to make adjustments without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel.
8. Blind-Spot Warning
Unfortunately, while we drive, there are always blind spots. It’s easier for a smaller vehicle to get into your blind-spots, which can cause accidents if you are shifting lanes. Blind-spot warnings will alert you, usually using a beeping noise, to let you know when there is something you cannot see in your blind-spot.
9. Tire-Pressure Monitors
Maintaining proper pressure in your tires not only extend the life of the tires but can also save lives. When a tire has low pressure, it has an increased chance of bursting – especially while driving. Tire-pressure monitors will tell you when the pressure in your tire drops below a certain PSI.
Telematics combines cell phone and GPS technology. Many car manufacturers are beginning to put this feature in their vehicle for one reason: if something happens, central dispatch is contacted immediately. If the airbags are inflated for any reason, central dispatch will be informed, and help will be on their way. A popular telematic is “OnStar.” If you’re in an accident, OnStar will call you to find out if you are hurt and ask if you need help.