Must-have fam­ily car fea­tures

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Motoring -

A FAM­ILY car is not just a tool to trans­port your fam­ily from point A to B. It is also, in some ways, a sec­ond home for the fam­ily. Just like a home, the right fea­tures can trans­form your fam­ily’s jour­ney from bear­able to mag­i­cal.

Here are some es­sen­tial fea­tures to con­sider when look­ing for the right fam­ily car.

1. ISOFIX child seat har­ness

If you are a par­ent, noth­ing is of higher pri­or­ity than the safety of your child. Tod­dlers and chil­dren below the age of 10 have a much bet­ter chance of sur­vival in a col­li­sion if they are strapped into a child safety seat or booster seat.

To main­tain safety stan­dards in au­to­mo­biles, the European New Car As­sess­ment Pro­gramme has been car­ry­ing out tests us­ing dum­mies that rep­re­sent chil­dren up to the age of 10 since 2016.

A good fam­ily car is de­signed to of­fer the right pro­tec­tion for your chil­dren with the aid of booster or child seats. There­fore, a fam­ily car with suf­fi­cient ISOFIX har­nesses to se­cure booster and child seats is in­valu­able.

2. Good safety rat­ings

A har­ness is only as good as the pro­tec­tion pro­vided by the rest of the car. A good safety rat­ing for a car could mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween a light in­jury and se­vere trauma dur­ing the un­for­tu­nate event of a col­li­sion.

Take your time to re­search the ac­tive and pas­sive safety fea­tures of your car and how they will pro­tect your fam­ily and you in the event of an emer­gency.

3. Plenty of seats and doors Am­ple seat­ing and the right­sized doors for your fam­ily mem­bers to get in and out of the fam­ily car are very help­ful. The last thing you want is for your fam­ily to get drenched in the rain try­ing to cram into a small space via tiny doors.

For a fam­ily of four, a sa­loon or SUV would suf­fice. For a larger fam­ily, though, a seven-seater MPV with slid­ing doors could prove to be a life-saver.

4. Stor­age spa­ces and cub­by­holes

Fam­ily road trips re­quire an arse­nal of drinks, snacks and en­ter­tain­ment de­vices, which take up space. Hav­ing a con­sid­er­able amount of cub­bies and stor­age spa­ces will help main­tain peace in the car. Oth­er­wise, the driver will have to spend half the jour­ney re­solv­ing con­flicts be­tween sib­lings on whose drink is oc­cu­py­ing whose space.

Be sure you test out the ver­sa­til­ity of the in­te­rior stor­age space be­fore sign­ing the dot­ted line. You have been warned.

5. USB or charg­ing ports With so many fam­ily mem­bers and elec­tronic gad­gets to keep up with, hav­ing suf­fi­cient charg­ing ports through­out the car will en­sure that ev­ery­one’s phone or cam­era is fully charged when you ar­rive at your des­ti­na­tion.

Take your time to re­search the ac­tive and pas­sive safety fea­tures of your car and how they will pro­tect your fam­ily and you in the event of an emer­gency.

(Clock­wise, from top left) Ex­tra stor­age in form of cuphold­ers, USB charg­ing ports, ISOFIX child seat har­ness, a pull-down tray.

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