More than Just Minivans: How to Find a Family Car that Doesn’t Totally Suck

Tips, Used Car Dealer, Used Cars

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“Minivan.”

Does the word make you want to toss your cookies?

Much like the dude in this State Farm commercial, you may have sworn you’d never in a million years stoop to the low, low level of minivan–only to realize you’re three kids deep and you need a family vehicle, STAT.

Don’t despair. Just because you want to keep your family safe doesn’t mean you’ve sold out. There are loads of used cars in Winnipeg that are spacious, reliable, and economical–and (shocker!) not all of them are minivans.

Here’s how to find a family car that doesn’t make you want to hide behind the steering wheel.

1) Put Safety First (Sorry, No Sports Cars)

We know we just said family cars don’t have to suck, but they still have to be safe–and that means no more convertibles. (Please don’t hate us.)

Safety is the number-one feature to consider when buying a family car. Here’s what to look for:

  • Amazing crash test scores
  • Low rollover ratings (like, 10% or less)
  • A LATCH system for car seats (standard on all vehicles made since 2002)
  • Top-notch airbags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Lap and shoulder belts for all seats (for some ridiculous reason, manufacturers are not required to install shoulder belts in the rear middle seat, so not all cars have them)
  • An interior trunk release in case–God forbid–someone gets stuck inside the car
  • Adequate room in the backseat for your car seat (duh)

2) Get Your Priorities Straight

No two families are alike. Ours is certainly unique. Like, we dress up in chicken suits and sparkly red outfits for fun. Not exactly normal.

Embrace your family’s individuality, and buy a car that caters to your specific needs. Some variables to consider:

  • The number of kids you have: How big of a car are we talking?
  • How old those kids are: Just a baby? You could get away with a car seat-friendly sedan. Got grade school kiddos? Get something spacious and versatile–yes, we mean minivan. Have older kids to lug around? Consider a large, sturdy SUV.
  • Where you live: If you’re in a colder climate (*cough cough Manitoba*) you’ll want four-wheel or all-weel drive.
  • What roads you’ll be driving on: Mostly city streets? Opt for something smaller and more maneuverable. Going cross-country? You might want something bigger and more comfortable, with road-trip stuff like cruise control and a DVD player to keep the kids quiet.
  • Whether you need towing capacity: If so, make sure to get a V6 engine.
  • Your income: Do you need to buy a cheaper vehicle? One with stellar gas mileage?
  • Your storage needs: If you’ll be dragging around strollers, sports gear, or other bulky items, make sure you make room for them too.

Still not sure what sort of family cars to look for? Take this fun quiz from Parents to see what kind of car is best for your fam.

3) Shop Around and Take Some Test Drives

family-932245_1920.jpgWhen you’ve got an idea of the family car you want, whip out the laptop and make a visit to our trusty friend Google.

Research the best makes, models, years, and trims that meet your criteria. What’s awesome about buying used cars in Winnipeg is that your options are nearly endless. So if you fall in love with a certain brand, chances are you’ll be able to find it at one of the several used car dealers in Winnipeg…like ours, maybe? (Sorry. Shameless plug.)

Once you’ve done your online shopping, it’s time to take some test drives. Woo hoo! Test drives are fun. Here’s where you get to experience the vehicle’s power and handling for yourself.

If you don’t like the way the car feels, stop right there. You might think that if a vehicle has awesome safety ratings and a decent price tag, you better buy it right then and there–but if it’s not your style, don’t sweat it. There are plenty of affordable cars in Winnipeg that are up your alley. We promise!

Come see for yourself. At Ride Time, we’ve got lots of used vehicles that are just waiting for a family to fill them up.

If you want help finding one, just ask us. We’re family guys, so we know how important it is to find a dependable car for your little youngsters (oh, and Mom and Dad too).

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