Best Car Features For New Parents

By Alexi Falson on 06 Jun 2022
image for Best Car Features For New Parents We all know that once you have kids, your main responsibility is to keep them safe until they're old enough to take care of themselves. While this is relatively simple, in the context of driving on the open road, it's no easy task.

When people drive recklessly, they’re not only putting themselves at risk, they’re putting you and your children in danger. With that in mind, it’s important to discover the best car safety features on the market, and which car is best for a baby car seat to keep your young children safe.

Let’s dive in and discover the best car safety features on the market, and find out which is the best baby car seat in Australia for all those new parents looking for the best, safest car on offer.

Best Car Features for New Parents

When it comes to finding the best car for new parents, you want to find a car that is built tough, packed with a range of safety features and has real-life practicality that makes installing a baby seat with the proper mounting points as easy as possible. This list will give you a run-down of the most important considerations for a safe car for new parents and the easiest way to install your baby seats.

ANCAP Rating & Child Occupant Protection Score

One of the best indicators of just how safe a car is for new parents and their children is by looking at the official ANCAP safety rating, and more specifically, what that car’s child occupant protection (COP) score is. The overall ANCAP score indicates how safe that car is for all occupants, while the COP score examines just how well that car protects children, offers child restraints and how well that car can accommodate a different set of child restraints. The best car for new parents is most easily identified by taking a look at ANCAP’s child occupant protection rating

Seating with ISOFIX Mounts For Baby Seats

Finding a car with a set of the best car seats in Australia is useful not only in keeping children safe, but ensuring you, the parents, can be comfortable on long drives. The best car seats offer space, comfort and practicality, as well as easy to access ISOFIX and top tether mounting points on the rear of the passenger seat for the safest installation of your baby seat. Thankfully, all major modern manufacturers install their ISOFIX mounting points and top tether brackets in easy-to-find and accessible points in their interior design. The best baby seats in Australia make installing the baby seat itself a simple task, with easy to find instructions and straight-forward instructions on using the ISOFIX and top tether mounting points to secure the baby seat. 

Second-row Ventilation

An important part of keeping your children safe and comfortable in the back seats of your car is to ensure they’ve got the proper ventilation to keep cool in the summer and warm enough in the colder months. Family cars typically offer second-row ventilation, but it’s worth looking at the fine-print, as this can be a feature reserved for mid-to-high models within a lineup.


An important consideration for new parents keeping their young children safe in the back seats of a passenger car is having enough space, practicality and storage. This is because the risks in the event of an accident multiply when you factor in loose items making their way around the rear of the cabin in an accident. As a result, the best and safest family cars for new parents offer a huge array of storage spaces and a large boot to accommodate larger items like prams.

Collision Warnings

The best way to keep your children safe in an accident is to avoid it in the first place, which is where active safety technologies can really step in and save the day, particularly for new parents. A basic collision warning system keeps an eye on the road, while noting your speed as well as the speed of any vehicles in front of you. If the car you’re following suddenly hits the brakes, the collision warning system will either warn the driver or intervene by hitting the brakes automatically with autonomous emergency braking (AEB).  

Blind Spot Monitoring

Blind spot monitoring helps to avoid accidents by keeping an eye on the blindspots close to your car that other drivers and cyclists can often hide in, particularly in the city. These systems will either play an audio warning, provide a visual warning on the mirrors or step in and intervene if necessary, depending on how smart the car’s active safety system is.

Lane-Change Assist

A lane-change assist system will help inform the driver when the car is veering outside its lane, and either provide warnings or steer the car back into a safe position automatically with a lane-keep assist system. This is particularly useful in both tight urban environments where there is a risk of hitting another car, or on long road trips where the driver’s concentration can slip and the car can veer outside the lane onto the side of the road.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Features like an adaptive cruise control system are invaluable for new parents when it comes to keeping children safe, especially on long holiday road trips. The system combines a lot of the lane-change and collision warning systems we’ve just learned about, and keeps the car in a safe position on the road in relation to other cars. As the name suggests, an adaptive cruise control system adapts to the traffic conditions around the car, and will slow down if you’re too close to the car in front, and reacts quickly when the car you’re following hits their brakes in the event of an emergency.

Rear View Cameras

Rear-view cameras are commonplace in even the cheapest new cars on sale, which is particularly welcome considering just how important they are. Further than just helping out while parking in tight spots, rear view cameras give the driver a clear picture of what is behind the car, which can prove invaluable when it comes to identifying pedestrians and especially informing the driver of any young children playing behind the car while reversing to avoid a tragic accident.

Best Cars for New Parents, Based on ANCAP’s Child Occupant Protection Score

According to ANCAP’s official child occupant protection ratings, the best car in Australia for new parents keeping their children safe is the Mercedes-Benz EQC, which scored a 92 for child protection. Interestingly, the Mercedes CLA, B Class and GLE, have also scored 92. The Mazda 6 managed to round-out the top five with a score of 91 specifically for child occupant protection. Other cars in ANCAP’s top ten for child occupant protection scores include the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, Ford Escape, Mazda BT-50, Isuzu D-Max, Volkswagen Golf, BMW 1 Series, Hyundai Nexo, Mazda 3 and the Toyota RAV4.

What is the Best Baby Seat in Australia for 2022?

It’s difficult to say definitively exactly what the best baby seat is, considering there are different seats for children of different ages. We can, however, get results from an independent assessment from the Child Restraint Evaluation Program (CREP) which recently awarded their best baby car seat for the Australian market. After testing more than 82 child seats, the program found that the Nuna Pipa Klik and Cybex Cloud Q car seats were each rated five stars for the rearward-facing category. For those with children between four and seven years old, the Nuna Aace scored five stars for the booster seat category, while the Safe-N-Sound Maxi Guard Pro+ scored best for the forward-only category.

Which Position is Safest For a Baby Seat?

It’s widely known that installing your baby seat in a rear-facing position is by far the safest for the child’s protection, and the best option for new parents. In fact, it’s legally required that parents with children under six-months old must install a rear-facing child seat with an inbuilt harness. It’s recommended that even if your children are over six-months old that you stick with the rear-facing mounting position for your baby seat to keep your children as safe as possible.

Don’t forget that if you’re looking for a new car to accommodate your growing family, OnlineAuto’s team of specialists can help you find the perfect car for new parents at the cheapest possible price.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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