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Cars for Families

by Jacob P. | August 8th, 2011 | Helpful Hints, Teen Perspective

Our family has two cars, a Honda Odyssey and a Mini Cooper. The mini van is now thirteen years old and needs to be replaced. It still runs, but is prone to breakdowns, so we don’t drive it very far. Due to that, we are looking for a new family vehicle. Hunting for a family vehicle can be much harder than it sounds. So, I figured I would input my two cents on family cars.

First of all, you must determine what type of car you need. Here I am only going to discuss sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and mini vans. The car you need really depends on the size of the family. With only one kid, a sedan or crossover works just fine. With three or more kids, SUVs and mini vans tend to be the answer. That leaves the average family with two kids as a tricky situation. Personally, I would advocate for an SUV or mini van in this situation. Why? Well, a sedan doesn’t allow for more than one extra passenger. The same is true for some crossovers. The other crossovers (the ones with third rows) only seem to work. Having ridden in the third row of a crossover before, I will tell you there is not much room back there.

Once you have narrowed down the categories you are looking into, it is time to determine which category is best for you.

  • Sedan vs crossover: Sedans and crossovers present excellent options for small families. In this case, the differences between the two are more of a personal preference than family related matters. Both are smaller and generally only have two rows of seats. Sedans tend to have better gas mileage, but this isn’t necessarily true. Also, crossovers may look big, but they aren’t. I generally feel squished in them. The only upside is the larger trunk (sometimes).
  • SUV vs mini van: This is actually the bigger comparison. The most basic problem is the height. Because SUVs are built on truck frames, they are much taller than mini vans. This makes climbing in hard for small kids. Also, this makes driving harder for some people. At the same time, most SUVs can fit 8, unlike most mini vans’ seven. Also, SUVs can tow better, have four wheel drive, and can handle more weight. Finally, SUVs off-road better (if you go off-roading with the family).

In the end, finding a car for a family can be struggle. Look into a vehicle that suits the family well and is equipped for your life style. But, most importantly, make it something you like.

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