How to Find the Right Car for Your Growing Family

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A new addition to the family might require a larger vehicle than what you currently have. That sedan just isn't going to cut it. You might even need to upgrade to something with more seats, such as a third-row SUV or mini-van. But what exactly should you buy? How do you go about finding such a vehicle? Let's look at a few ways to find the right vehicle for your expanding fam.

5 Things to Look for in a Brand New Family Car

Primary Vehicle Usage

What will you be using this vehicle primarily for? Is it a daily driver? An off-road adventurer? A little bit of both? If you are going for practicality, consider getting a small SUV with front-wheel drive (FWD). They are more fuel-efficient than larger SUVs or SUVs with all-wheel drive (AWD). If you are looking for something that can load camping gear or haul an RV, consider getting a larger SUV or, if you only need a couple of seats, try a pickup truck, as their payload and towing capacities are higher.

Project Into the Future

Before you visit your local Nissan dealership, envision where your family and your life will be in five years. Will you be adding another child, or maybe another road trip-loving dog? If so, buy something with that extra space now. Even if you do not plan on adding another baby to the family, consider the notion that you will likely be chauffeuring your child's friends around in a few years or shuttling back and forth between activities.

Consider the Costs

How much are you able to spend now, insurance included? What are your limitations? If you are on a tight budget, a pricey new third-row SUV might be out of the question. You might need to consider buying a gently-used small or mid-size SUV or mini-van. Remember, new babies equal new expenses. Try picking a vehicle with payments amounting to less than your household salary. And, of course, do a lot of comparison shopping until you find the right deal.

Snag the Right Features

Features might seem like an afterthought, but with a growing family, they need to be a forethought. Safety features should be a paramount concern. Find a relatively new used vehicle that comes with a driver aid bundle. Also, do your research on how functional its LATCH system is for child safety seats. Check NHTSA and IIHS safety ratings while you're at it. Accidents happen, but having the right safety features and designs can make a world of difference in how things turn out.

Consider these factors before going in for a test drive. Make a list of the top five or six vehicles that meet your needs, then contact your local dealership to take them out for a spin.

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