Leo Tolstoy once wrote in Anna Karenina, “All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Guess what – the same applies to your family who has to live with a car that possibly doesn’t meet their needs. Every family is different, varying from the age and number of kids to the number of generations living under one roof. That is why before you buy a car, it’s important to consider how your family will be using the car and what sort of future plans you’d like to make with it.
The small nuclear family
If there are just about five of you in a family with a child or two, then maybe a five-seater will do just fine. But don’t just rush out to buy any old five-seater. First consider what your needs will be. Do you have young children who will need ample space for child seats at the back? Or maybe you have sporty teenagers who need some space in the boot for all their gear? Or your child could be musically gifted – who’s to say they won’t need space if they’re a master in the cello? And even if you don’t have kids, consider what your own lifestyle is. Here’s 3 cars to consider:
Honda Civic for new and young families
Starting at RM62,000, the Honda Civic is perfect for new families and those with young children. Coming in with a 5 star ASEAN NCAP and a 4 star EURO NCAP safety rating, you can trust the car to be perfectly safe. You can even monitor if your children are wearing seat belts with rear seat belt reminders.
Equipped with keyless entry, you can unlock the Civic at a touch instead of pressing a button, making entering or opening the 519 litre boot with your hands full a lot easier. Speaking of entry, the Civic’s ground clearance is 172 mm, so your small kids can enter the vehicle without much hassle.
Honda HR-V for urban adventurers
The Honda HR-V is a compact, urban crossover suited for life in the city with a 5.5 metre turning radius – perfect if your family loves making a quick weekend getaway to go off the beaten path. Capable of carrying 5 passengers, the HR-V is equipped with a spacious 448 litre boot, making getting groceries or carrying luggage easy. And if you’ve got your hands full, this car has keyless entry!
Driving in with 196 mm of ground clearance, the HR-V is less likely to hit bigger bumps and make rough country roads more manageable when fully loaded. The 196 mm clearance is also not so high that your kids may find it hard to get in.
In terms of safety, the HR-V has rear seat belt reminders so you always know if your little ones are wearing their seat belts. The 5 star ASEAN NCAP and 4 star EURO NCAP rating also does not hurt. All this makes the HR-V’s RM66,000 starting price tag seem like a steal.
Honda CR-V for the suburban family
Being the HR-V’s bigger sibling, the Honda CR-V is less suited for the city due to its larger size and 5.9 metre turning radius. However, it is at home in the city sprawl and countryside. The massive 589 litre boot capacity is also phenomenal for storing everything you need.
The CR-V, like the previous two cars, has keyless entry and also has a walk away auto lock. Meaning if you’ve got your hands full with items, simply walking away will cause the door to lock. Newer models of the CR-V also come with rear seat belt reminders. Children will also have an easier time getting in and out with a 198 mm ground clearance while ensuring very little will scratch your car while fully loaded.
The large and extended family
You might have a large, multi-generational family under one roof, but you should still inform your decision based on how many people you frequently drive around. Perhaps your children don’t need you to ferry them around anymore. Will you have to ferry your parents around? Or will multiple people use the car, and perhaps not everyone can handle a large vehicle? All these are valid issues to consider before deciding on a car. But here are three options to help you with that:
Toyota Avanza for the urban family on a budget
The Avanza is simply phenomenal for the urban family. With a minimum turning radius of 4.7 metres, the car is as manoeuverable as the Myvi! It also has 180 mm of ground clearance which is close to a Civic’s 172 mm. Smaller children can enter and exit without assistance. It also comes with child seat anchor points so you can be sure your toddlers are safe. The four star ASEAN NCAP safety rating is well deserved.
It does however have only 128 litres boot space, so don’t expect to put much in here when you are at full capacity. You could however easily fold down the rear seats to give you more space when grocery shopping or moving. As it starts at RM47,800, those on a budget and looking for an MPV will want to give this car some serious consideration.
Perodua Aruz for the explorers
The Perodua Aruz is a large 7 seater with a reasonable 5.2 metre turning radius. Fitted with curtain airbags, the Aruz ensures even the rear passengers are safe in an accident. That’s probably why it got a 5 star ASEAN NCAP rating. It is a little high with a 220 mm ground clearance, making a side step crucial if you have younger kids, but should be no problem if you keep an eye on their safety.
Convenience wise, the Aruz has keyless entry and a built-in SmartTAG with Touch ‘n Go reader so you don’t have to keep taking your card or SmartTag reader out at the tolls. Just drive right through! It does, however, have a smaller boot at 213 litres, but the rearmost seats can be folded to increase the storage to 514 litres. So it’s probably best to use this car to take your kids around with the rear seats down for the extra space until you need to use them. Definitely worth the RM66,000 price tag!
Toyota Innova for everyone under one roof
The Toyota Innova is pretty unusual for an 8-seater MPV. It has a rather reasonable turning radius of 5.4 metres and a ground clearance of 178 mm, almost comparable to a Honda Civic’s 172 mm! At this height, you don’t have to pick up your younger children to get them in the car because they can get in themselves. Ageing parents also benefit from the low ground clearance, being able to enter without much assistance. It also has a boot space of 300 litres, already more than a Myvi’s 277 litres. Fold down the rear seats and you’ll get 758 litres of room! Now that is space!
Now, the passengers are not only comfortable with all the room but also kept safe with curtain airbags. That’s probably one of the reasons it got a 4 star ASEAN NCAP rating. The car also comes with an adjustable timer auto lock, meaning you can decide how much time elapses before the car locks itself if no one interacts with it.
Families come in many different sizes and ages. With as many needs as there are families, finding the right car can be a touch challenge. Or if you are looking for a hybrid, check out our article on hybrids for urbanites! In the meantime, browse our extensive inventory and save with the Tukar-Je Sale?