How to Choose The Perfect Family Car for Long Trips

choose the perfect family car

Remember those epic family road trips from childhood? You crammed in the back with siblings, singalongs competing with the engine sound, windows down, chasing butterflies or sibling fights. Those memories are priceless, but let’s be honest. Sometimes, the car itself can make or break the experience.

Choosing the perfect family car isn’t just about getting from A to B but about comfort, safety, and creating a good experience for everyone on board. Here, we’ll discuss 7 tips to consider when picking your ideal family car so those road trip memories are filled with laughter, not meltdowns.

7 Tips to Choose The Perfect Family Car

Choosing a perfect family vehicle can be difficult as people have different priorities. Following are the tips our experts suggest for everyone looking to upgrade to a family friendly vehicle:

Right Body Type

Forget “one size fits all”. The perfect family car depends on your unique needs. Want a car that prioritises fuel efficiency for driving? A sedan might be your solution. But if you’re a family of adventurers with kayaks and camping gear, an SUV with extra space could be the best for your next road trip.

Here’s a quick overview of popular body types to help you find your ideal match:

  • Sedans: Comfortable for smaller families, as they have good fuel efficiency but might leave luggage longing for more space.
  • SUVs: They are good for cargo and offer all-wheel drive for off-road fun, but they need more fuel.
  • Wagons: Think of them as the sporty sibling of the minivan. They offer car-like handling with a large amount of cargo room, perfect for active families on the go.
  • Minivans: The undisputed king (or queen) of family cars. Spacious, practical, and packed with features, they might not be the trendiest option, but they are best for comfort and convenience.

Safety First

There’s nothing more important than keeping your loved ones safe on the road. Safety should be your top priority when choosing a family car. Look for vehicles with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, awarded by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program. This independent rating system tests vehicles for crashworthiness and passenger protection.

But safety goes beyond strong bones. Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) are becoming increasingly popular, offering a suite of technologies that can act as a virtual co-pilot. Features like Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) with Pedestrian Detection can help you avoid collisions, while Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) keep you aware of your surroundings.

Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) is another game-changer, helping you detect vehicles hiding in your blind spot. Remember, even the safest car can’t prevent every accident, so responsible driving is key. But with these features, you’ll be well-equipped to drive on the roads.

And if the worst does happen, reputable car removal Adelaide can help you get a fair price for your old vehicle so you can focus on finding a safe and reliable replacement for your family.

Comfortable Seating For All Passengers

A happy journey starts with a comfortable ride. Choose a car with supportive seating that adjusts for all shapes and sizes. More legroom and headroom are key, especially for long trips where cramped quarters can lead to cranky passengers.

Climate control helps everyone stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Don’t forget about the little ones. Built-in entertainment systems or sunshades for rear windows can be lifesavers on extended journeys, keeping kids occupied and protected from the sun’s glare.

Enough Cargo Capacity

Family life means adventures, big and small. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or transporting sporting equipment, your car must have enough cargo space to handle it all.

Look for features like foldable seats that expand your storage options, or consider roof racks for bulky gear. Hidden compartments and under-floor storage can also be lifesavers, keeping your car organised and clean.

Fuel Efficiency

Filling up the tank can put a hole in your wallet. That’s why good fuel economy is a major plus for any family car. With rising petrol prices, consider alternative fuel options like diesel, hybrid, or even electric vehicles (EVs) if your lifestyle allows.

Look for features that can improve fuel efficiency, like stop-start technology that automatically shuts off the engine when idling or fuel efficient engines designed to save you money at the pump.

Remember, a fuel-efficient car doesn’t just mean saving cash on petrol. It also means lowering your environmental impact. And if your current car isn’t fuel efficient, car wreckers Adelaide can buy your old vehicle and you can put that money towards a more economical option for your family.

Child-Friendly Features

Long journeys with little kids can test even the most patient parent. Child-friendly features can be a lifesaver, keeping your backseat passengers entertained and content. Look for built-in sunshades to protect them from the sun’s glare and USB ports to keep their devices charged for movies or games.

Easy-to-clean upholstery is a must for drink spills, and don’t forget to check for anchor points to install child car seats for maximum safety securely. With a few thoughtful features, you can turn your car into heaven for happy little travellers.

A Realistic Budget

The perfect family car doesn’t have to break the bank. Set a suitable budget before you start shopping, considering the upfront cost of the car and ongoing expenses.

Whether you choose a brand new car, a reliable used option, or explore car financing options, remember to include running costs like fuel, insurance, and maintenance. A little research beforehand can help you avoid surprises and make sure your dream car stays within your budget.


Choosing the perfect family car is about finding the right balance between size, safety, comfort, and budget. Use these handy tips to choose a family car that ticks all the boxes for you. Research thoroughly, take those test drives, and get ready to hit the road in style and comfort. Happy adventuring!

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