6 Features for Your First Family Car

By Alexi Falson
Updated on 20 Nov 2022 First published 12 Mar 2021
image for 6 Features for Your First Family Car Purchasing a new car is a major decision, and with so many options out there on the market, it’s important you get your priorities right to find the perfect fit for you and your family.

Family cars like SUVs, sedans and wagons come in all shapes and sizes, and have a range of entertainment, comfort and safety features that can make a huge difference if you’ve got a growing family.

It can, however, be difficult to know exactly which features are the best for a family car, though, which is what we’ll be unpacking today.

Five-star ANCAP Safety Rating

We’ll kick off with the most important consideration for any family car - keeping all of the occupants safe, which is best indicated by a five-star ANCAP safety rating.

ANCAP puts cars through absolutely horrific conditions to ensure that only the toughest and safest vehicles get the five-star tick, which gives owners confidence when it comes to keeping their family safe. 

ANCAP ratings are broken down into individual adult and child occupant protection, as well as pedestrian and safety assist scores that can be easily checked through the website, or with the help of one of our OnlineAuto reviews.

Active Safety Equipment

On a similar note, ensuring your vehicle comes fitted with some active safety equipment is an essential feature for a family car.

Things like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure alerts and rear cross-traffic alerts offer a heap of confidence, especially on long-distance journeys.

Be sure to check whether or not the entry-level model of the family car you’re looking at comes fitted with active safety equipment, or whether you’ve got to upgrade to a certain variant; it’s well worth the investment.

Large Boot with Tie-Down Hooks

It’s one thing to squeeze a family into the car, but you’ve also got to make sure you can fit a holidays-worth of luggage in the boot, too.

Modern vehicle platforms and clever interior packaging designs have come a long way when it comes to boot size, with the majority of family-centric vehicles offering volumes starting from 500L that can accommodate a heap of cargo.

It’s also worth looking out for tie-down hooks, under-floor storage areas and even nets on the side of the cargo bay to help secure loose cargo or separate certain items that you don’t want to lose track of.

Practical Cabin Design with Storage Options & ISOFIX Anchors

Following on from boot space, interior packaging and practicality in the cabin is a must-have for a first family car.

It’s important that you take into consideration both the amount of space in the front of the cabin, as well as the number of storage options you’ve got to swallow up loose items that families so often accumulate.

Following on from this, check out both the headroom and legroom on offer in the second row of the cabin, and take into account just how much your children can grow in a short period of time to make sure they’ll be comfortable in a few years’ time.

Finally, make sure there’s a pair of ISOFIX anchors on the outside seats, and enough space to accommodate both forward and rear-facing child seats, with wide door pillars for easy installation.

Keyless Entry & Hands-Free Boot Lifts

There’s nothing more frustrating than fumbling around for your keys when you’re loaded up with cargo, which is why keyless entry & start is a must-have feature for a family car.

Proximity sensors fitted on the car can tell when you’re approaching, with some of the best designs offering a hands-free means of opening up the boot so you can unload on the fly.

Apple CarPlay & Android Auto Integration

One of the biggest advances for in-car tech in recent years has been the widescale adoption of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in passenger vehicles.

Designed as a seamless entertainment and communication experience, these smartphone integrations allow the driver to stay focussed on the road while having full control over key phone functions.

It might not seem like a major advancement in technology, but once you’ve acclimatised to this tech, it’s impossible to go back to the standard infotainment system without Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Request a Quote

If you’re considering buying a new car this year, click here to get a free quote on your dream car, or to talk with one of our car-buying experts that can take all the stress out of buying a new car - and save you thousands in the process. 


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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