If you’re in the market for a new family car, then you may feel pretty spoilt for choice. The market is more flooded than it’s ever been, and there are countless car manufacturers all claiming to produce the best car for any family. Before you dig into any specific models, it’s usually a good idea to settle on a class of car. There are many good choices out there, but if you ask me you only need to look into one: 4x4s. Here’s what makes 4 wheel drives the best choice for any family car.
As soon as you have kids, the safety of your cars becomes one of the biggest factors. After all, your kids are more precious than anything material you could ever own. Safety is one thing that most 4x4s have in buckets. The weight and extra stability means that you’ll have a much better control over the car. The elevated height also allows you a clearer view of the road ahead, and means that you may be able to see obstacles sooner than you would in something a little more squat. The thicker body kits on most 4x4s also means that you and your family will have more protection in the event of a crash. Of course, roads are dangerous for anyone using them, and the best protection is an alert and careful driver behind the wheel. Still, when you’re driving a 4×4, everyone inside will be safer than they would in another class.
Off-road capability is another big advantage of owning a 4×4, and has been a major selling point for years. You’ve probably been on some family outing before, and found yourself driving along some winding dirt road in the country with no idea of where you are. You drive into a patch of mud you think your little hatchback can just about manage, and then you end up stuck there until the tow comes along! While your kids may find all of this hilarious, you’d probably be happier if you could have avoided the whole thing! When you have 4WD, these kinds of day-trip mishaps won’t be an issue anymore. The main feature that separates a 4×4 from other models is that all four of its wheels can receive power from the engine, rather than just two. The extra power in each of the wheels means that your car can gain that extra bit of momentum you need to get out of thick mud, up steep slopes, and over all kinds of other rough terrain. Even if you live in a particularly urban area and you won’t need to go off-road all that much, you can always switch down to a 2WD setting, better suited to the road you’re on. Although most 4x4s will be fine to do a little off-roading right out of the lot, your safety should come first. Make sure the vehicle is equipped with decent quality 4×4 tyres, and that you check the capabilities before you attempt any journey which you’re not sure about.
One of the main features that makes 4x4s a brilliant class of car for any family is the added space you have. If you’ve ever taken a family holiday that involved a lot of driving, you’ll know how tough it is to fit everything in. You and your spouse strain your suitcases to fit in all the outfits you could possibly need. Then comes all your kids’ luggage, along with inflatables and oversized stuffed toys that simply can’t be left at home. Having all this stuff forced into a tiny hatchback cab is not only very uncomfortable, but can sometimes compromise your rear view and make driving dangerous. As soon as you get into the cab of any typical 4×4, you’ll feel absolutely spoiled with all the space you have. This will ensure that you can bring almost anything you’ll need for any kind of outing, without pressing your kids into one another and causing arguments the for the whole trip! We recently bought a Land Rover simply because it was better for taking the two puppies out – my Volkswagen Beetle’s boot just wasn’t suitable!
Finally, you’ll get better overall performance compared to other models of car. I know this isn’t really an advantage exclusive for family cars, but it’s still one more reason to take a 4×4 over other classes. The added traction and stability means that the car will handle smoothly, and you won’t be affected as much by extreme weather. Yes, the added size makes it a little more difficult to get into tight spaces and gaps. However, this is a minor setback to an otherwise brilliant experience.