Children and cars can be a stressful combination – and it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re heading off on a long-distance trip or ducking out for what should be a quick trip to the shops.
Some days, being a parent is challenging and anything that makes your day a little easier is much appreciated.
Here are six features available in new cars on the market right now, that every parent should know about.
Volvo’s integrated two-stage booster seats
Imagine never having to drag booster seats in and out of the car ever again. Heaven.
Imagine you have a baby in one arm, the other hand is leading a tantrum-throwing toddler and shopping bags are hanging heavily over both wrists.
Upon finally making it to the car, what gets dropped in order to open the boot? Nothing at all, if you have a hands-free tailgate!
A sensor, generally located under the rear of the car or near the opening lever, can be triggered with a wave of the foot or elbow. No need to fish around in an overloaded bag for keys, either, thanks to proximity sensors. There are quite a few cars available with this feature including the Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson and Nissan X-Trail.
Okay, so this may look more like an office space on wheels, but don’t overlook its potential to help keep the kids entertained.
The Volkswagen Multivan features a fold-out table with multiple storage areas. It’s perfect for board games or computers, and there’s room to tuck all manner of miscellaneous things out of the way, preventing them from rolling around on the floor while travelling.
Loudspeaker relay system
It makes sense to have a way to communicate between the front and rear seats in a people mover. Between the sheer size of the vehicle, road/engine/wind noise and the fact that everyone is facing the same way, a loudspeaker relay system allows for parents to bark directions at the kids without the need for yelling.
ISOFIX anchor-points have been installed in cars for the Australian market for years, but it’s only recently that we’ve been allowed to use them. The ISOFIX system makes it easier to install a child seat safely and securely.
A second mirror that sits above the rear-vision mirror provides a birds-eye-view of what the kids are up to in the back. If they suddenly go quiet, that’s when it’s likely they are up to no good. Best case scenario, they’ve gone to sleep.
BONUS: Having multiple USB points around the car also comes in handy to keep iPads, iPhones and iPods powered-up, so an honourable mention has to go to the Land Rover Discovery Sport which has two charging USB points in the second row.
As a parent, which features do you find helpful?