3 Tips for Shopping for a Truly Family-Friendly Car

If you’re on the hunt for new or used cars for sale in Albuquerque to fit your family, you know that there are plenty of options to choose from! 66% of the American population owns more than two cars to accommodate their families.

Large families are no longer stuck buying a minivan to fit all of the kids in one vehicle.

According to a survey from Kelly Blue Book, 89% of families would prefer to drive an SUV, 82% would consider a Sedan, and just 50% want the traditional minivan.

This study also found a significant shift in the importance of function over style. Drivers these days really care about appearances, and they want a family vehicle that looks nice on the inside and outside.

These days, there are tons of vehicles designed to fit growing families – including standard minivans. But, shopping for a new family isn’t just about finding a vehicle that fits everyone inside.

Any type of vehicle purchase is a major investment that will cost you a pretty penny upfront. So, you want to make sure the car will last you for years.

Here are some tips to consider when shopping for a family-friendly vehicle upfront:

1) Bring Your Family with You When You Shop

One mistake that many families make is leaving the kids at home when they are searching for a new family vehicle. While car shopping may not be the most exciting thing for your children, it is important to take a test drive with the entire family to make sure that everyone is comfortable.

If you have younger children that require car seats, it is also important to make sure they fit in securely while still leaving enough room for a person to sit next to them. Plus, once everyone is inside, you want to ensure there is still room for all of their school backpacks, sports equipment, and anything else you usually have in the family vehicle.

Family Vehicle

It’s always smart to see how your family fits and feels in a vehicle, especially if you’ve got quite a few people in your crew. You want to make sure that everyone in the family can fit in and have a smooth ride before making any final purchasing decisions.

So, don’t just examine the car on your own and visualize how your kids will look in the backseat; instead, bring them with for a test drive!

2) Think About the Little Things

There are some other details you need to consider when shopping around for a family vehicle versus an everyday car for yourself. You may not need any extra features, but they could make all the difference when you have some kids sitting in the back seat.

For example, it may be a smart move to get a car that has ventilation and temperature control for separate rows so everyone can be comfortable. And getting a car with a built-in DVD player could save you some sanity on those long road trips!

Car DVD Player

The small things might not seem like a big deal when you’re shopping, but after driving around with your whole family for a while, you might find them more noticeable.

But, of course, you need a car that has the most important features while still fitting into your budget.

If there are some extras that are non-negotiable, you may need to consider finding pre-owned cars in Albuquerque instead of new vehicles. This will bring down the price while still allowing you to get a vehicle that checks off all the things you want to have.

3) Consider the Safety Features

Finally, and arguably most importantly, you need to do your research about the necessary safety features that must be included in your family car. When driving around with the whole family, especially small children, you want to know that a car has all of the safety features it needs.

There are some rather obvious safety features that you will want to double-check for, like airbags for both front and rear-seat passengers. Many larger vehicles also have side curtain airbags – which are designed to provide head protection across the entire span of the side of the vehicle. This is designed to protect passengers from a side impact or in the case of a rollover.

Other traditional safety features like ABS brakes, stability control, and tire-pressure monitoring are extremely important in a family vehicle to keep everyone safe on the road.

Also, you will want to make sure that your vehicle comes with ALR/ELR seatbelts. These will automatically restrain the passenger if a quick jerking movement is made to keep them safe in case of an accident. Most vehicles have this, but it never hurts to double-check that they work properly!

Seat Belt

You may also want to consider additional safety features that are incredibly important for families with children.

For instance, backup cameras and rear parking sensors are able to detect any movement (such as a child running into the path of the vehicle) and send an alert or automatically stop the car. This is something that would be important for families who back in or out of the garage when their children play outside.

If you have small children in car seats, you will want to purchase a vehicle with a LATCH system so the seats can be properly installed. This stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. This has been standard on any vehicle made after 2002, so if you are considering an older vehicle, you may want to have these installed after market.

Another safety feature to consider if you are getting a larger vehicle (like an SUV) is visibility aid. There are more blind spots on larger vehicles; visibility aids are designed to guide drivers by notifying them if anything is in their way, such as another vehicle passing them in a blind spot.

Always be sure to check that the car you are considering meets the standard safety features and has had any recalled parts corrected.

You can find out information on vehicle recalls through the buyer’s guide on Motor Trend magazine. You can also see how these vehicles performed in crash tests to find a car with higher safety ratings.

Car Crash


Choosing a vehicle for your entire family is certainly a big decision with lots of things to consider. Not only do you want your family to be safe and secure on the road, but you want them to be comfortable, too. Little added features can make all the difference here – so be sure that you are taking the time to consider what you really want in a family vehicle before signing on the dotted line.

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