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6 New Car Innovations That Make Parenting Easier

6 New Cars Innovations That Make Parenting Easier

Kids and cars can be a nightmare combination. It doesn’t matter if it’s a long-distance trip or what should be a quick stop at the shops. Being a parent can be challenging on the best of days, and anything that makes the day a little easier is much appreciated.

There are new cars on the market right now, with features that could change your life. Sounds dramatic, but as a parent, that’s what it feels like at times.

Built-in booster seats

Once your children have grown out of their child seats, they can move into booster seats and Volvo offers integrated two-stage booster seats across a range of models including the XC60 and XC90.

The seat base pops up and can be locked at two different heights, as seen in the image above or you can see it in action in our video.

Imagine never having to drag booster seats in and out of the car ever again. Heaven.

6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: Built-in booster seat
6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: Built-in booster seat

Hands-free tailgate

Imagine you have a baby in one arm, the other hand is leading a tantrum-throwing toddler and shopping bags are hanging heavily over both wrists.

Upon finally making it to the car, what gets dropped in order to open the boot? Nothing at all, if you have a hands-free tailgate!

A sensor, generally located under the rear of the car or near the opening lever, can be triggered with a wave of the foot or elbow. No need to fish around in an overloaded bag for keys, either, thanks to proximity sensors. There are quite a few cars available with this feature including the Ford KugaHyundai Tucson and Nissan X-Trail.

Foldout table

Okay, so this may look more like an office space on wheels, but don’t overlook its potential to help keep the kids entertained.

The Volkswagen Multivan features a foldout table with multiple storage areas. It’s perfect for board games or computers, and there’s room to tuck all manner of miscellaneous things out of the way, preventing them from rolling around on the floor while travelling.

6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: Foldout table
6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: Foldout table

Loudspeaker system

It makes sense to have a way to communicate between the front and rear seats in a people mover. Between the sheer size of the vehicle, road/engine/wind noise and the fact that everyone is facing the same way, a loudspeaker relay system allows for parents to bark directions at the kids without the need for yelling.

Both the Mercedes-Benz V-Class and Volkswagen Multivan have a microphone near the driver that’s linked to speakers in the back of the cabin.

MORE: Luxury people-mover comparison : Kia Carnival v Mercedes-Benz V-Class v Volkswagen Multivan

ISOFIX compatibility

ISOFIX anchor-points have been installed in cars for the Australian market for years, but it’s only recently that we’ve been allowed to use them. The ISOFIX system makes it easier to install a child seat safely and securely.

There are only a few cars available here that have ISOFIX points on all three second-row seats, including the Audi Q7Holden Commodore VFIICitroen Grand C4 Picasso and Tesla Model S.

For more about how ISOFIX works, click here.

6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: ISOFIX compatibility
6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: ISOFIX compatibility
Parent mirror

A second mirror that sits above the rear-vision mirror provides a birds-eye-view of what the kids are up to in the back. If they suddenly go quiet, that’s when it’s likely they are up to no good. Best-case scenario, they’ve gone to sleep.

A parent’s mirror provides peace of mind and is certainly safer than turning around to look while driving. The Kia CarnivalToyota Kluger and Citroen Grand C4 Picasso both have this feature.

BONUS: Having multiple USB points around the car also comes in handy to keep iPads, iPhones and iPods powered-up, so an honourable mention has to go to the Land Rover Discovery Sport which has two charging USB points in the second row.

6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: Parents mirror
6 Features Of New Cars That Make Parenting Easier: Parents mirror

The Carousel thanks Tegan Lawson from Car Advice for this article

Written by Tegan Lawson

Tegan Lawson is the Lifestyle writer and Motoring Expert for The Carousel. Tegan produces in-depth interviews and reviews and helps readers make the best choice for their next car purchase.

Tegan got her first taste of motorsports journalism working for a regional newspaper. She was still a student at the University of Southern Queensland but was moonlighting patrolling the pits at the Leyburn sprints and heading to the drags, as well as working trackside at the Queensland Raceway V8 supercar rounds in the early 2000s. With petrol firmly in her blood, these early days spawned her love of all things automotive.

Her driving career as a 17 year-old began with the unique experience of a Suzuki Carry Van that was quickly upgraded to a more image-appropriate Holden Barina.

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