How do you go about choosing your family car? Do you ask around for recommendations? Read reviews or just go for the one you like the look of? It’s a major purchase and one I’ve always procrastinated over getting right. Over the years I’ve had my fair share of bloomers, from the ‘ I just wanted it’ Mercedes A Class which turned out to be a total pain in the butt from the minute it parked on my drive ( completely conned by a cowboy sales man ) to the Audi which threatened a fire each time I ventured out of the village.
So I’ve learnt the hard way to follow my head and not my heart. When you’re driving your most precious cargo around safety is paramount. Which is the sole reason I’m driving my beast of a Peugeot 5008 around the Devon roads right now. I spent weeks researching a safe and economical 7 seater which would comfortably seat my three children, a dog, a pushchair and occasionally, their friends.
The hardest thing about choosing a family car though is compromising budget with space. I found that generally, the bigger the car, the more tax and fuel you were looking at. And as much as I longed for something less ‘fun bus’ looking, the reality was we needed a car to get us from A-B without costing the earth to run while coping with the demands of a family of 5. Reliability is also a big factor, not running up huge repair costs and keeping within budget, it’s all very well splashing out on something expensive but there’s the chance of running into bad credit car finance if you go beyond your means.
And we found it; 3 individual seats, a large boot with 2 reserve but usable seats (always worth checking out the reality of how usable those extra seats are. Some are designed for borrowers without any legs or pain receptors in their bum.)
Leg room in the rear seats is also worth noting, (I have plenty in my 5008) three’s nothing worse than a long journey with cramped leg room, a 8 hour journey in the back of a BMW taught me that. And as much as I loved the idea of pull down aeroplane style tables on the back of the front seats, turns out they weren’t as useful as I imagined they’d be. Sometimes those must have gadgets are pretty useless.
One huge plus when driving a larger family car are rear parking sensors. I love ’em. They’ve even helped me get over my fear of parallel parking. How I ever managed to live without that reassuring, beep-beep reminder is beyond me. The Peugeot 5008 also comes with a rear parking camera. That, my friends, is a game changer.
But now as family circumstances change, I’ve found myself wondering if I really need something quite so spacious. My teenager and his friends seldom need collecting or delivering anymore. At most there’s now 4 of us in the car and a dog in the boot while the pushchair is now a fraction of the size and rarely needed that often if I’m honest.
So what’s on your must have list, answers on a postcard and recommendations greatly received.
This is a collaborative post.