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  • When buying the ideal family car, it’s important to consider size and seating capacity, cargo space, and budget. Consider how many passengers you plan to accommodate, how much cargo you’ll often need to carry, and how much you’re willing to spend.
  • Also keep in mind reliability, in-car entertainment, and fuel economy. A vehicle that’s easy to maintain and doesn’t have too many problems is a good buy if you’re on a budget. The same goes for vehicles with good fuel economy. Having in-car entertainment is helpful if your family often goes on road trips.
  • Make sure to also consider good safety ratings and superb safety features to keep your family safe. In addition to this, test drive the vehicle you want to buy to experience the smoothness of the ride and its rate of acceleration in person.

Choosing the right family car can be overwhelming. There are a lot of new and used cars available out there, so it can be hard to choose which one fits your family’s needs and lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll try to break down and simplify the process for you. Let’s explore the important things you have to consider, so you can make a smart choice for you and your family.

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Family Car

Here are some factors that can help you narrow down your options when looking for a family car:

Size and Seating Capacity

Let’s start with the most important one. Consider who will ride your car. Do you have toddlers? Are you often on the road with your teenagers? It’s important to establish these things early on, so you’ll know what size of car you need. Remember that the size of a vehicle plays a very big factor when it comes to ride comfort.

If you have kids, you might want to get a vehicle with third-row seats. You might not need that much seating space now. But as your family grows, you’re going to need a lot of space, especially once you have teenagers who may invite their friends to ride with them.

Take note that your options aren’t limited to minivans. A lot of modern SUVs offer third-row seats. Some of the popular models include the Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, and Ford Expedition.

It’s important to think long-term when choosing a family car, especially if you have no plans of buying another vehicle in the next five years.

Cargo Space

Aside from ensuring that there are enough seats for your family, you also want to make sure that there’s enough space for cargo. Make sure that your car’s trunk has adequate room for groceries, luggage, toys, and sports equipment.

If you’d like to buy a minivan, some of the best picks when it comes to cargo space include the 2022 Kia Carnival, the 2021 Kia Sedona, and the 2022 Honda Odyssey.

If you’re looking for a small car, you might want to look at hatchbacks like the Honda Fit, the Kia Niro, and the Hyundai Elantra GT. These compact cars offer good cargo space despite their size.


Buying a family car is a huge purchase, so it’s important to do your research. Visit different dealerships and browse various car-selling websites. Compare the prices of different vehicles and look for promos discounts.


When choosing a family car, it’s important to choose a model known for its reliability. Check if the vehicle you’d like to buy is included in any major recalls. You can easily find this information on the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) website. You can also check out online forums to find out the average repair and maintenance costs straight from other vehicle owners.

It’s also a good idea to check if spare parts are readily available for the model you’re considering in case some faults need to be repaired in the future.

In-car Entertainment

If you often go on road trips with your family, you might want to consider getting a vehicle loaded with tech and entertainment features. If you have the budget for it, choose a car with a modern infotainment system.

Keeping a kid entertained during a long trip is important. It’ll keep them from distracting the driver or making any unnecessary noise or movements while on the road.

Fuel Economy

Saving up on fuel is important—especially if you’re a young couple who’s trying to save up for your family’s future. There are many fuel-efficient cars out there. You can check a car’s MPG rating to know how it’s performing when it comes to fuel economy.

Good Safety Ratings and Superb Safety Features

Safety should be your top priority while on the road—especially if your kids are with you. Look for vehicles that have good safety ratings. You can check the NHTSA site for information regarding a vehicle’s safety rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website also contains helpful information regarding ride safety.

When shopping for a family car, look for helpful safety features like lane-departure warning systems, blind-spot monitoring systems, rearview cameras, and the like. These features help drivers reduce the risk of road crashes.

The Importance of Test Driving Your Vehicle

Assessing a vehicle is not just limited to checking it out online or reviewing its safety features. If it’s allowed, try to take your kids with you during the test drive.

When doing a test drive, make sure to focus on important things like how smooth your ride is or how quickly the car accelerates. You also have to check how superb the handling is. If you can, test drive the car in different road conditions, so you’ll know how efficiently it responds.

It isn’t easy to decide which make and model to buy. However, if you involve each family member in the decision-making process, it’ll surely be a fun bonding experience. As long as you do your research beforehand, it won’t be too hard to narrow down your options.

About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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