Public transport and taxis in Singapore may be super affordable. But between the unwillingness of cab drivers to make cross-island journeys and train breakdowns, some of us are ready to scream, enough is enough! This year is the year you’re getting a car. No more endless cab rides to and from school, swimming lessons or dance class. You’ve buckled down, got your driver’s license (or converted it) and are absolutely sure you don’t want to lease a car. Now all there’s left to do is shop for the perfect family car. Don’t know where to start? We do the nitty gritty groundwork to bring you the best line-up of cars ready to make your commute that much smoother…
FOR TRAVELLING IN COMFORT: Toyota Alphard 2.5 Elegance
Space: Six-seater, with various seat configurations. Plus, plenty of luggage room and recessed storage space to stash everyone’s luggage, and then some, for long road trips.
Safety: Seven airbags, including curtain shield airbags along the windows. The steering-assisted vehicle stability control ensures smooth acceleration, regardless of road conditions.
Fuel efficiency: 2.5-litre engine
Child-friendly features: Kids of all ages and senior citizens can board with ease, thanks to the lower rear seat access step and long assist grips. Plus, luxurious Captain and Ottoman seats with footrests, no less!
Cost: From $215,988
What we love about it: Load up the groceries easily with the one touch backdoor system, plus the Toyota Alphard also has a telematic system which turns your car into a smart one. The seven-inch MID (Multi Information Display) touch screen gives you access to some choice tunes for the kids, SatNav navigation for the road and even keeps you connected to social media when you’re out and about. There are even LEDs installed in the ceiling that can change to 16 different colours. What more can we say? You’ve got your very own party van!
FOR STYLISH BUT PRACTICAL MUMS: Škoda Kodiaq
Space: Six-seater with collapsible second and third rows.
Safety: Seven airbags, with full LED headlights that’ll give you a clear view of the distance and ample time to stop during a night drive or come monsoon season.
Fuel efficiency: 2-litre engine
Child-friendly features: The panoramic sunroof is tinted black to prevent the car from overheating, but still promises kids a scenic ride. Seats that can be shifted and tilted at will makes for easy car pooling, plus the tablet holders and cushy headrests keep wiggly kids comfy and entertained. The Kodiaq also comes with a driver-controlled electronic child lock and plastic, spring-loaded door edge protectors to prevent your car from scratching or hurting anyone when someone flings open the door.
Cost: From $167,900
What we love about it: The Kodiaq is looking like the swiss-army knife of cars – it has everything you could possibly need to have a safe and comfortable ride with kids, extended family and friends. Stash used wet wipes and snack wrappers in the trash bins installed into the doors. There are special compartments for umbrellas (finally, someone thought of it!), and a net system in the boot to keep your eggs far away from everything else. But the very best part? The Digital Voice Enhancement carries your voice to those in the back, which means you no longer have to physically turn around and bellow at child #1 to stop poking child #2 in the eye.
FOR QUICK TRIPS: Honda Jazz
Space: Five-seater, both front and rear seats can be lowered
Safety: The Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) automatically activates the brakes and the hazard warning lights when it detects an emergency stop situation.
Fuel efficiency: 1.3-1.5-litre engine
Child-friendly features: Two built-in anchors to directly fix your child car seats into.
Cost: From $92,999
What we love about it: This sporty-looking car comes with a digital TV receiver for you to watch terrestrial TV broadcasts when the car is at standstill. With the Media Server, passengers can also watch digital TV on tablets and smartphones during the journey. So, you no longer have to listen to the kids whine about being bored during car rides or missing out on their favourite TV programmes.
FOR LONG CAR-RIDES: Volvo XC40
Safety: Airbags and inflatable curtain work in conjunction with SIPS, the ultra-high strength steel framework of the car designed to reduce the impact of a side-on collision and prevent intrusion into the cabin. The Volvo XC40 also has a Driver Alert Control to help you keep awake during overnight road trips.
Fuel efficiency: 2-litre engine
Child-friendly features: Child locks for the back seats and a handy kick guard to prevent mud and dirt from tiny feet getting all over the upholstery. Ask about their built-in child car seats that can be used from infant to toddlerhood.
Cost: From $113,999
What we love about it: Say goodbye to car adaptors, this one’s got wireless mobile charging! Plus, plenty of pockets for storing spare toys or snacks for long car rides.
FOR BIG FAMILIES: Nissan X-Trail
Space: Seven-seater with foldable second and third row seats. Underfloor storage and lowerable floor for customisable storage and roof rails for strapping on bikes.
Safety: In addition to the dual front, side and curtain airbags, the X-Trail is an all-round intelligent vehicle that assists with ride control, hill start and descend, emergency braking. It also has an around-view monitor that detects any objects that are moving around your car.
Fuel efficiency: 2-litres engine
Child-friendly features: A panoramic sunroof to keep bored little minds busy, plus factory leather upholstery that’s easy to wipe up and salvage from sticky stains and messy spills.
Cost: From $126,800
What we love about it: Zero gravity seats make every drive super comfortable – perfect for mums and dads who spend a lot of time chauffeuring the kids around.
FOR NAVIGATING THE CITY: Toyota Harrier
Safety: Other than the seven-airbag system – located at the front, side, curtain and driver’s knee – the Harrier implements several safety measures to ensure you have the safest drive ever. These include the Pre-crash Safety System which anticipates collisions to minimise damage and the Lane Departure Alert and the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control which helps maintain a safe distance from cars in front.
Fuel efficiency: 2-litre engine
Child-friendly features: Ultrasuede seats which exude elegance, but are still easy to keep clean. Heaps of leg room to fit multiple car seats, plus a super-spacious boot to hold everything you need for a day out with the brood.
Cost: From $146,988
What we love about it: It has an electric twin sunroof and a button-operated power back door, plus a built-in memory that will adjust to each driver’s preferred height automatically.
FOR SOCCER MUMS: Kia Sorento
Space: Seven-seater with partial and full-folding of rear seats to suit different cargo combinations. Whether you need to stash the bikes for a trip to the park, or load up seven suitcases for an overseas trip, this car will have no issue on space.
Safety: Advanced 6-airbag system – driver, front passenger, two front-side and two side-curtain airbags.
Fuel efficiency: 2.2-litre engine
Child-friendly features: Retractable sunshade for the rear-door windows to keep your kewpie comfy from harmful sun rays.
Cost: From $154,999 including COE
What we love about it: The Smart Parking Assist System (SPAS) which uses ultrasonic, side-mounted sensors to search for parking lots and automatically steers the vehicle into place, for both perpendicular and parallel parking is a Godsend. Also, say goodbye to juggling groceries and a kid with the smart power tailgate that opens doors automatically when the smart key is detected. It even stores your favourite opening angles.
ONE TO LOOK OUT FOR: Ford Ecosport 2018
Space: The EcoSport standard Cargo Management System features an adjustable boot floor that can be opened to create more storage space. Also comes with cargo nets and organisers to keep your stuff intact and free from damage when on the move.
Safety: BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) and cross-traffic alert uses radar to identify and alert you about vehicles or people in your blind spot, as well as behind your car when you back out of a parking spot or driveway.
Fuel efficiency: 2-litre engine
Child-friendly features: A moonroof that comes with added UV filter, so junior can enjoy all the fresh air without baking under the sun.
Cost: TBC (not available in Singapore yet)
What we love about it: Ford has implemented a MyKey technology which allows you to programme your key to a restricted driving mode setting. A great way to promote good habits for new drivers (yes, we’re talking about your teens!). The settings can include features such as implementing safety belt use, limiting top speeds and decreasing audio volume. The SYNC Connect and FordPass lets you monitor and maintain your vehicle remotely, with plenty of fun functionalities like letting you check your fuel level, schedule the car’s next maintenance, request Roadside Assistance or even getting help to locate your vehicle. Top it off with in-vehicle WiFi hotspots? Yes, please!
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