Family-friendly vehicle features are a dime a dozen these days, so how do you narrow it down? When you're a parent, your little ones always come first, which is why it's wise to help them enjoy both the destination and the journey along the way.
From state-of-the-art entertainment to versatile and convenient add-ons, finding a vehicle when you have kids is a journey in itself.
The holy grail of kid-friendly vehicles, many of today's seats can be folded flat or removed completely, giving you ample storage space for weekend outings or after-school soccer practice. If you've got a big crew, then you might want seating that simplifies third-row access with a middle row that automates tilting and gliding from both sides.
Some seating even collapses into the cabin floor, disappearing from view while creating plenty of wiggle room.
You need to keep them occupied during long rides, so seek out AppleCarPlay or Android Audio for a more enjoyable experience. These apps make it easy to connect devices for streaming, watching YouTube videos, keeping up with online classes, listening to music, or playing games, and it's simple to switch between users if you want to share a hit over the radio or via the built-in TV.
Keep kids going during any adventure with state-of-the-art entertainment streaming from your rear seats. Watching something together not only keeps little ones busy, but it's a fantastic bonding experience we don't get enough of in the social media age. Whether you select headrest-mounted displays or a ceiling-mounted screen is all up to you.
Especially the rear seats. Cold temps don't stand a chance when you've got comfy seating in tow, so look for vehicles that have the same features in the back as up front.
Kids love sinking into that warmth as much as anyone, and the feeling alone can help them remain (somewhat) calm and collected during crisp days about town.
With kids, it's even more vital to keep your eyes on the road. Thankfully, you can do so while still keeping watch over the whole clan. Baby backseat mirrors let you see even rear-facing car seats, so you can maintain a connection with every family member.
Many models offer this feature built-in, but you can also find them aftermarket at a wide range of retailers.
When you've got children comfortably tucked into the back row, they're unlikely to pay much attention to you shouting from the front seat. If they're deep enough into their on-the-road entertainment, they might not even notice.
Thankfully, retailers have noticed; many are incorporating built-in microphones and speaker systems that allow riders to easily communicate in their indoor voices.
In today's technologically enhanced world, wi-fi is no longer negotiable. It's a must-have for many families, and getting it installed in your car will take your kids' eyes off the road and occupied on their tablets, phones, or your onboard entertainment — hopefully minimizing "are we there yet?"s.
Wi-fi is chauffeur-friendly, too, helping you navigate difficult terrain or roadside shutdowns by streaming directions and traffic info directly through your vehicle's sound system.
Did you know some cars come with a built-in vacuum to make clearing cookie crumbs from the seat cushions a breeze? While any vacuum could do, if it's always on hand, it's that much easier to reach for and helps keep your transpo immaculate.
During long weekends, road trips, and food runs, it makes even more of an impact.
Summer's here, and the living is easy. Or is it? Window sunshades help keep your vehicle cool and free from harsh UV rays that can hurt your kiddos' eyes, so you won't have to worry about them squinting or overheating.
Motorized controls are included in most models, so you can operate the shades directly from the driver's seat.
You know how difficult it is to pull up that rear door when you're juggling your toddler, your school-aged child, and hefty bags full of groceries, but worry no longer. Whoever or whatever you have in tow, a hands-free liftgate is that feature you didn't know you needed.
Whether it's a kick pad under the back bumper or another ingenious option, this feature is non-negotiable.