I don’t know how you choose your family cars but in our house it pretty much runs like this: We decide we need a car, my husband immediately downloads about 100 apps and starts reading every article ever written about cars and families. I receive excited texts and emails from him about „appropriate“ cars for us and am required to watch hours of boring videos on youtube about cars from his narrowed down selection.He then spends a couple of weeks pointing these cars out to me on the motorway (nice tail lights) in car parks (we are not trying to steal it) and car show rooms (sticky baby fingers on shiny cars). This all gets about as much reaction from me as you would expect from someone attending the funeral of someone else’s beloved pet hamster. I appear to be interested but mentally I am on my Christmas Wish List.
This all ends as nastily as you expect with him pressing me to care and me pressing my hands together so as not to scream. I just don’t care that much. Take any one, take them all if we can afford it (we can’t) just choose! Then one day, I feel it. I get struck by the mood and I drag us all off to the a car showroom and pick the mum mobile pretty much the way I choose shoes – I fall in love.
Still, we narrowed down a checklist to keep us on track in such moments:
- Boot space – either you go long (an estate car) or you go up ( SUVs, „Family Vans“ etc). I prefer to go up as going long makes parking a tad more challenging, no thank you. We need space for shopping, dog box and sometimes suitcases.
- Economical – Most of our runs are pretty short with the occasional weekend away and yearly family holiday. The town runs needed to be done without feeling like we are personally responsible for the demise of the environment.
- Mum Friendly – This includes anything that makes the children happy and comfortable, makes getting into the car easy, makes my journey easy to do and generally reduces the amount of swearing I have to bite back on.
I suppose if you want anything useful from this article I can share with you our narrowed down options for a family of four plus the pug, occasionally:
- Honda CRV – Very nice and runner up. Great space, comfortable for everyone and has a glass roof. Was a very narrow race.
- Mazda CX 5 – Lovely car, just a little bit big and the CX3 felt a little bit too small – I realize this sounds like Goldilocks, but it’s true.
- Skoda Yeti – Felt boxy and huge, I felt like a Hobbit with such high ceilings.
- Renault Espace – This was the straw that broke this camel’s back – I just don’t want to do the school run feeling like I’m steering the blooming enterprise.
And The Winner Is… The Renault Captur!
Like I said I just fell in love. I didn’t even know it’s spec but I sat in it and it felt right. It had so many things that I love:
- Keyless technology – never fumbling in your handbag whilst juggling your child again.
- Park sensors and a camera – I am paranoid that some small animal has snuck behind my car and that the car is not only beeping because of a small hedge. I like that I can look.
- Higher seated position – I love that it is a little bit higher and I sit properly in it, yes I am 84.
- Eco Option – I have a button which I press and „Eco“ shows up on the dashboard which makes me feel like I am doing at least a little bit for the environment. It generally is very economical anyway.
- Two-tiered boot – I can have more or less space depending on how I’m feeling. I can also hide Birthday presents that I bought from the children. Or chocolate come
to think of it. It also means that my boot looks tidy because my shopping crates are stored there. You can also move the back row of seats forwards 17 centimeters if you need more boot space and only have little kids in the back seat. They still have plenty of space.
- It has six gears – Great for keeping fuel costs down on long journeys.
- Large, simple display. Good for the navigation (Tom Tom technology so warns about speed cameras too, ha!).
- Half-leather option – you get the wipe-clean leather on the edges of the chairs and the warmer material in the middle. Leather is very cold on the bottom in winter!
- Not too big but big enough – I really hate feeling like I am steering a ship rather than a car. We still have plenty enough space for shopping and luggage.
What is a bit rubbish:
- It is a little bit sensitive.
- The start-stop technology is a bit of a lottery which seems to take in so many variables it is not worth it thinking them through before the red light changes.
- The heated seats heat when they feel like it and only have the option of being on or off.
- The strange plastic bits on the steering wheel which don’t look like they belong.
- There isn’t a CD player. So sad that the children‘ CDs just can’t play…. (you can put everything onto an USB stick and play it that way if you should really want to!).
Wonderful Extras That I Added:
All Weather Tires – Hooray! No booking to change my tires over for snow tires in
October February only to switch back again in April August. I was always so behind on this.
Back Seat Organizers – I looked all over amazon but only managed to find really ugly ones in black. Thankfully we were in the process of working with Laessig and got to choose a few items to test. I decided to test these car organizers, how cute are they! They are very nicely designed and made. No more dirty marks on the backs of our chairs from little kicking feet.
So we are now off in our smaller than expected but still spacious family car. We can even fit the dog box in the boot for the times we take Oscar Pug with us. For the school run it is perfect and still is able to cope with longer journeys and luggage comfortably.
Have you chosen a family car? What did you go with? Thank you for reading!