What to Look For in a Family Car?

What to Look For in a Family Car?

Stepping into parenthood can be a really exciting time! Everyday is full of little discoveries, however one of those discoveries might be your car won't be able to cut it when it comes to fitting in buggies/prams/pushcHairs, car seats, luggage, and eventually, other passengers.

If you’re in the market for a family car, whether it’s for an SUV, minibus, Saloon, Estate etc, there are a few essentials to consider. Here’s our expert guide about what to consider.

Sliding doors.

Easy accessible cars can be really important to some drivers - especially parents. Which is why sliding doors can help massively with having to fit and remove child seats, as well as getting younger children in and out of the vehicle.

And that’s not the only perk.

Let’s say you suffer from a bad back injury or you’re freakishly tall, wide-sliding doors are also extremely useful for when you have to pick up any large goods, or transport any family members or friends.

TIP: Make sure to check if the doors slide all the way back without it closing back onto you. If it does, then add it to your shopping list of potential cars to buy or lease.

ISOFIX gives you peace of mind.

What is ISOFIX?

Essentially, it’s a standardized international car seat fitting system, which was introduced in 1997, and made standard in most vehicles in 2006. The main function of an ISOFIX, is to make the process of installing a child’s car seat easier, quicker and, most importantly, safer - particularly for younger passengers. Isofix removes the need to use seatbelts. They latch onto specially designed anchor points behind the interior of the car.

There is also Top Tether systems, which are additional anchorage points located in different areas in the car (usually on the top of the car seat or behind the rear seat). These additional anchor points can essentially provide your child further support and protection, which in turn will give you peace of mind during your journey.

FYI. Most vehicles will have two main ISOFIX points, one of each by the outer rear seats, though there are some that come with 3 fixing points, so just keep that in mind when purchasing or leasing a family vehicle.


Just like traveling abroad for a nice summer holiday with the family, cars can trigger memories, too. However, driving in a car piled together can easily become a nightmare for parents when dealing with their children’s noisy antics.

A long road trip together like this doesn’t have to be nightmare, which is why it is so important to find a vehicle that has features that can keep your kids entertained. Sure, good old-fashioned road trip games can keep your kids happy, but let’s face it, eventually they’ll get bored again and sooner or later, they’ll revert to making tons of noise.

Assuming that you have your own entertainment devices or gadgets, Wi-Fi connectivity and a hotspot can solve that issue in an instant when going on long commutes with the kids. The kids can connect their devices, to watch films, play games, talk to their friends, listen to music, and read an electronic book.

Many modern, yet affordable cars today - like the Skoda Octavia hatchback - have built in touch screen displays, DVD players, and a onboard Wi-Fi hotspots, and Bluetooth support for audio players.

Read more: Hatchbacks with the Best Sound Systems!


An enjoyable trip away with the kids can quickly turn from enjoyable to uncomfortable, or even dangerous if the temperature is too high.

No longer do you have to deal with the agonizing sound of your child moaning that the “sun is in their eyes,” rear-screen window shadings will help restore order and your sanity when driving with the kids.

While some cars window shades don’t have reduce the glare, cars like the Hyundai Tucson have built-in rear and rear side sunshades that makes sure that your children always stay happy and cool.

Of course, if you don’t have a car with sunshades, you can add deep tints or buy side-window sun screen shades that have static adhesion technology that makes its stick to your car window with ease. Many car manufacturing companies, including Toyota and Volvo, offer suction-cup window shades at an affordable price.

Clean Keepers

A car, just like your home, can easily become a mess. It can often be quite a challenge to keep clean, especially if you add kids to the mix.

The cleanliness of your car becomes a lot more difficult to maintain If you continuously have to pick up all of those unwanted crisps, crumbs and foods off the floor.

Thankfully, the modern car has become so homogenous in terms of efficiency that some family cars have their own in-built car vacuum cleaner. The 2018 Honda Odyssey is equipped with their very own vacuum cleaner.

Their in-built vacuums work like any other accessory when the cars running or when the car is in accessory mode. Both vehicles come with an 8-foot hose which makes it long enough to clean the entire car. Their vacuums also include gulpers and crevice extensions, to get into tight spaces and to clean up spillage.

This feature is only exclusive for American cars. However, Vacuum maker Dyson plans expansion for UK, and is set to launch by 2021.

Visibility features

We know that safety is one of the most important things on a buyer’s mind when it comes to transporting you, and your family around.

Apart from checking whether a vehicle has Anti-Lock Brakes or Airbags, it’s important to seek out other features that can improve your visibility and awareness.

We’ve all been there before: where we’ve been in an accident, or we haven’t properly assessed a situation on the road – all because we haven’t checked our mirrors.

Not looking in your mirrors is very common in the world of driving, but it’s one of the reasons why drivers get into so many accidents.

Fortunately, some new car models like the Volkswagen Tiguan have a Driver Assistance feature which can help improve your visibility on the road. This feature includes Area View, which allows drivers to see the entire surrounding when parking or reversing.

Features like the Blind Spot Monitoring Alert also warns you of cars driving in your blind spots. These electronic monitoring systems not only improve your vision, but its helps wrap you, and your family in a electronic safety cocoon.

Here at Rivervale, we have a myriad of family vehicles to suit your needs. Just like you, we understand the importance of having a family vehicle that gives you enough room to comfortably squeeze in all your family members whilst minimising any risk of injury for you, your kids or family members, so that you are able to enjoy the ride ahead.

What Features Make a Family Car Standout for You?

Leave a Facebook comment for your chance to win £20 of High Street Vouchers. Each month we pick our favourite comment from the previous month - get involved for your chance to win...

Users must be logged in to Facebook to view and add comments. Comments do not reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

Back to car leasing blog Next post Previous post
Arval Lex Autolease Alphabet BVRLA Seagulls Leaseplan Leasys Novuna Vehicle Solutions Santander ODO Fleet Insight ALD

We use cookies to make the website work as well as possible and improve our services.

Accept Cookies Managing cookies