He came back home after a long tiring day, with a knowing smile signalling the onset of the weekend. Even before he stepped in, his little one jumped over him and asked about the trip for the weekend. His dad peeped out of his room eagerly, with a faint expectation to join them as well. Just then, his bundle of joy, his daughter started crying in the cradle, marking her presence. The enthusiasm was infectious, which just got doubled in the presence of his busy, beautiful wife. The picture was complete with the family car looming over the porch, glowing in the dusk.
Trips and drives become a source of rebonding times with the family with all the comforts of being in home yet not in home. These aspects lead to the search for the perfect family cars. A diverse range of cars from different segments making it into this list with an entire segment, the Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV), gaining in popularity.
While choosing the right car from this segment, there are various factors which are taken into consideration, each important in their own way.
A majority of the time will be spent inside the car, so comfort is always placed highest on the list. Driving comfort includes features like automatic transmission and electronically adjustable side mirrors. For passengers though, the list of features increases. Comfortable seats, integrated entertainment systems, and rear AC vents are some features that make those journeys with the family comfortable and pleasant. Adequate legroom for the rear passengers is also a very important factor that plays a role in choosing the right car.
Boot Space and Storage
Shuttling between the hectic schedules of the kids from tennis coaching to dance classes, sometimes it really is a boon for the parents to be able to be fit in as much as possible in the car and yet have space to relax. Storage inside the cabin is also a must to keep all the essentials at arms reach.
Travelling with a toddler/infant requires more care and attention, with their mischievous nature coming into play. An automobile which focuses on infant safety with non-rexin seat covers, central lock system, rear seat belts, and easy attachment provisions for child seats would ease away all the worry factors for parents.
90% of road accidents occur due to human errors. Cars that come with well developed safety features such as airbags, anti-lock braking system, and good structural stability go a long way in assuring the safety of the car’s occupants and minimizing the impact of human errors.
In the growing economy, a gap permanently exists between the amount we earn and the amount we spend. This makes the quoted and real world mileage of cars a very important factor to consider. Cars that provide very good fuel economy make it high on every list for the very reason that they make the most out of every drop of fuel.
Every buyer considers these factors before taking the plunge of buying a car. To cater to these needs of the consumers, various models and categories of car are present in the market. Some of the best cars from each segment are listed below.
With 70% of cars being sold annually from this segment, this is the most popular choice amongst consumers. Some of the best models inclusive of all the pre-requisite factors are:
With the after service by Maruti rocking the markets, it is one of the most trusted car offered in this segment. With classy interiors and design, it’s one of India’s favorite family car. Suited for all road conditions, a pre-owned Swift is affordably priced between Rs 2.10 lakhs to 6.20 lakhs.
The Maruti Alto has the distinction of being the country’s highest selling car. The popularity of this small car is down to it being economical both in terms of ownership costs and good fuel efficiency of 22.5 kmpl. The excellent after service of Maruti is an added plus point. For a small Indian family of 4, this is the perfect fit and rounds of its perfection with an affordable price range of 1.75 to 3.30 lakhs for pre-owned models of the Alto.
With leading cabin space and boot space, this spacious car from Ford is a trendsetter in its segment. Offered in both petrol and diesel variants, the Figo is well regarded as a car that is enjoyable to drive and also scores well in terms of passenger comfort. While the Figo has been revamped, the previous generation can be found in the price range of 2.20 to 5.30 lakhs for a pre-owned one.
Premium hatchbacks or the B+ segment targets and audience that prefers small cars but with the complete feature sets of larger cars. Over the years, the technical superiority combined with the aesthetic appeal and top class safety features have made these models the most ideal bet for a family car.
The Hyundai i20 is the first hatchback to sport a six-speed manual transmission gearbox. Hyundai are among the world leaders when it comes to safety and that is evident in the aesthetically designed looks with world class comfort. Available in both petrol and diesel options, it has a price range of 2.90 to 5.80 lakhs for a pre-owned i20.
With world class engines with better combustion rates, the Maruti Baleno has become a hit with buyers looking for a more premium offering from the stables of Maruti. With dual front airbags and enhanced protection, safety is a key feature of this car. It has a price of 8.25 lakhs for a pre-owned Baleno.
The Tata Tiago offers sufficient rear leg space, classy designs, interiors and dual airbags for safety. The hatchback also scores well in terms of fuel economy, a specialty of Tata. This car is a fresh effort from Tata and departs from the manufacturer’s utilitarian image. The Tiago has been launched at a price range of 3.20 to 5.54 lakhs.
Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) are the go to cars in terms of class, comfort and design. Specifically designed to tackle rough driving conditions, these work brilliantly on Indian road conditions. Some of the best models under this segment are enlisted below.
Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
The Vitara Brezza is a feature rich offering from Maruti with an eye on making a mark in the compact SUV segment. The car comes equipped with a driver side airbag as standard on all models and also features rain sensors, Apple CarPlay enabled entertainment system and plenty of storage space. With effective fuel economy and space, Maruti has priced the Vitara Brezza between a range of 6.99 to 9.68 lakhs.
This sporty model from Ford is a fun to drive vehicle with the option of an Automatic AMT gearbox. With classy interiors and stylish finish, the addition of child seat in the seating arrangements scores a brownie point. It’s priced in the range of 7.5 lakhs to 10.35 lakhs for a pre-owned EcoSport.
The Duster looks the part, offering a rugged exterior and a spacious, comfy interior. There is also an all wheel drive variant (AWD), which combined with the well-developed suspension makes even the roughest of roads a breeze to drive on. With the mileage of 20 kmpl and a price range of 6.30 lakhs to 10.75 lakhs for a pre-owned Renault Duster is a worthy buy.
When they first launched, multi-purpose vehicles were tagged as family cars. These cars offered space at affordable prices, making them an instant success with those looking for a car to fit their entire family. Some of the best models under this segment are:
The Ertiga made MPVs accessible to many and offered the perfect combination between price and space. The added bonus of a mileage of 21 kmpl hit the right chord with consumers, who flocked to the Ertiga. This Maruti becomes even more attractive as a pre-owned Ertiga comes in at a price range of 4.85 lakhs to 7.80 lakhs.
This 7 seater car can boast of being powered by Honda’s excellent engines. Available in both diesel and petrol variants, it is a good highway car for families considering the space and performance needed for such long drives. A pre-owned Mobilio comes between the price range of 8 lakhs to 9.6 lakhs.
Toyota Innova Crysta
The most popular Toyota Innova is being revamped and launched in a better abridged version. Recently launched at the auto expo-2016, it surely emerges as one of the top favourites of the pick. The new gen model is based on Toyota New Global Architecture. The pricing is expected to be in the range of 10-15 lakhs. The outgoing Toyota Innova is still the best in the segment and with a price range of 7.30 lakhs to 14.20 lakhs for a pre-owned model, the Innova provides excellent value.
A car is no longer just a medium of transport, it means so much more in today’s world. The age old adage “House on Wheels” is literal in every sense with the automobile playing a major role in being an invaluable asset in every aspect of life. Right from the late night sneaky drive, the nurturing of rock singing abilities with head banging, the long romantic drives with headlights for company, the soiling of backseat by ice-cream spillage and many more!! It’s an integral part of the lifestyle of the family. Such a car is “The Ideal Family Car”.