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Driver dilemma

Buying a new car? Here are some family-friendly features that make travelling with children easier

Clever features for family driving.

THE BEST FAMILY-FRIENDLY car features are those that make travelling with children safer – like child-locks, child-seat tethers and ISOFIX anchor points.

However, there are also a whole plethora of features that make travelling with children easier and a little less stressful. So, if you are car hunting and you do have children, here are some features that modern cars have that make travelling with the family a little less demanding.

Cooled/refrigerated storage compartments

Nothing can calm down a tantrum in a hot car better than a cold drink and many models nowadays feature built-in cold storage units.

Some storage is cooled from the air-con and others are refrigerated. Check out the cooled glovebox in the Kia Optima and the optional front centre console refrigerator compartment in the Range Rover.

Hands-free tailgate

Honda Honda

No more struggling to find your keys, the fob or the boot button when your hands are full clutching on to bags, buggies and blankies. Just wiggle your foot under the rear of the car and the boot will automatically open for you. It really is a fantastic feature for making day to day life that little bit easier.

Check out the automatic boots on the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and the new Honda CR-V.

Built-in tailgate benches

Shane O' Donoghue Shane O' Donoghue

These are perfect for impromptu picnics and for changing muddy shoes. Check out the built-in tailgate benches on the Land Rover Discovery and MINI Countryman.

Seat-back tables

Renault Renault

For holding snacks, lunchboxes, colouring books, iPads, and drinks, tables that flip down from the back of the front seats are great for making activities more comfortable and enjoyable for those in the back seats. Look out for tables with built-in cup holders for added convenience. Check out these tables in the Peugeot 5008 and Renault Scenic.

Heated cup holders

Volvo Volvo

Some cars now come with heated cup holders to keep your beverages warm. These are great for warming up milk for the baby and for keeping your cuppa warm so that when baby falls asleep you might actually finally get to drink a hot cup of tea. Check out the heated and cooled cup holders in the Volvo XC90.

Rear climate control

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

Having an air-con system with independent rear seat climate control is great especially when you want to keep the kids awake (turn the temperature down) or if you want them to fall asleep (crank that thermostat up). Check out the rear climate control on the Audi Q7 and Volvo XC60.

Individual rear seats

Citroen Citroen

Give your kids their own space and maybe they’ll stop tormenting each other. More space should hopefully equal more peace! Check out the rear seats on the new Citroen Berlingo and Ford S-Max and SEAT Alhambra.

Reclining rear seats

Nissan Nissan

Comfort is paramount in keeping little kids and big kids happy especially on longer journeys. Reclining rear seats are great as they encourage occupants to relax and enjoy the ride and hopefully you’ll hear ‘are we there yet?’ a lot less. Check out the rear seats on the Nissan X-Trail and Volkswagen Tiguan.

Door protectors

Newspress Newspress

Door-edge protectors do exactly as it says on the in, they protect other cars from your car doors. The plastic strip pops open when the door is opened and limits any damage caused if your door hits off something. Especially handy if your kids have a habit of flinging open the door. This is when those child locks can also come in handy. Check out the door-edge protectors on the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Kodiaq.

READ: Review – The Kid Ceed has blossomed into a well-tuned machine that’s fighting for class honours >

READ: 4 road hazards to look out for in autumn… and how to avoid them >

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