What’s the ideal family car?

Family is an important aspect for Asians. Very few individuals do not depend entirely or partially on their families in Malaysia and Asia, for that matter. The theory is true simply because Asian parents don’t generally prefer their children to be too independent or live as self-sustaining adults.  In Western cultures, things are entirely different as most individuals venture out on their own once they reached the prime age or even at a muchyounger age. Western parents are certainly no control freaks. The decision to buy a first car is mostly decided by parents in Malaysia due to the ridiculous cost of cars here and the young adult who just started out his/her job could barely afford downpayment for a new car on few months’ salary. But, enough about Asian family mentality, we’re here to talk about the ideal family car.

Despite better public transportation options in this country, people prefers a car as an essential mean of transportation. Hence, you get massive traffic jams on a daily basis during peak hours. Furthermore, a household of four could own up to four cars eventhough the house is relatively not big at all, only a car fits in. The cars are parked scattered in the neighborhood causing a nuisance for everybody. This is a common sight in this country, especially in highly populated townships. Luckily, more educated and affluent families usually from the mid-level income level and above do not cramped up other people’s space, instead they find decent family cars and stress on vehicle’s quality rather than quantity. This brings us to the ideal family car topic where most Malaysians these days would opt for an SUV or MPV, depending on family size.      

With countless festivities and special breaks in Malaysia, driving excursions are almost like an institutional thing. Any major festival comes along, you often see hordes of cars driving out of the city like they’re running away from a plague. Most people that works here in the city hails from out of town; they came to the city to try and earn a better living. Some even brought their whole clan to live in the city with them.

When purchasing a new family ride, the decision almost always falls on the man of the house, the father.  There are plenty of factors to consider when deciding the right family car, including financial obligations, preferences, makes/models and more. SUVs and MPVs are more preferred over sedans and compacts, these daysi. So, we’ll break down some pointers about an ideal family car, be it an SUV, MPV or sedan.

First up, an ideal family car would have to be comfortable. It needs to fit five occupants, carry the right amenities, safety features and etcetera. There are more SUV choices than MPVs from various brands and models between RM50,000 to 150,000 price range to choose from, such as Proton X70, Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Perodua Alza, Peugeot 3008, Volkswagen Tiguan, Mazda CX-5 and Renault Captur. The choice to make here is whether you have a small family, usually 3, or more than 4 in the household; if you have more than 4 in the family then you’d need a mid-sized or large SUV. If you have more than seven in the household, then an MPV is a more appropriate, suppose you have to take the whole gang around to everywhere. An SUV is also a good choice for soccer moms, who stack up groceries at boot and pick up the kids. In the western world, soccer moms usually go for station wagons for these activities.     

Do the family car’s design and features matter?

As the car industry becomes as competitive than ever, everyone is out to offer potential buyers the best deals with all the trimmings. You’ve probably heard of leather seats, fabric/leather seats, touchscreens, LED headlights/rearlights, connectivity features with Android Auto or Carplay, USB charging ports, integrated steering controls, and infotainment with voice recognition. The above equipment exist to enrich people’s lives.

Safety is all there is

For a family car, safety is the most important aspect and should be at the top of the list. A car’s safety features are often related to driver’s assistance systems, they go hand-in-hand. When shopping for a car, look out for a car with a 5-star Euro NCAP or a lesser known Asean NCAP rating for domestic brands, at least 5-star. Either safety rating is essential to denote the overall durability of a car. It is simply a peace-of-mind for every journey. When shopping for a new ride, always look for these important safety features and active safety systems such as: Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), ABS, Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), as well as parking sensors (some cars even come standard with a reverse camera), Hill Assist and etcetera. You might also want to get a car with at least two airbags and Hot Press Forming (HPF) body panels that denote a robust passenger safety cell for protection in the event of side collisions.

In a nutshell, when it comes to the right family car, it’s a necessity to consider comfort and practicality over performance and spec. Sometimes thoughts from your spouse and family members matter especially if they do get a lot of time in the car. In addition, it is advisable to get a car with Euro NCAP rather than Asean NCAP status as Euro NCAP is world renowned on crash test worthiness for cars. Remember, safety and assistive systems help save lives!

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