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Need a child seat? Think twice before buying these cars if you do

Got a little one you want to keep safe while out and about in your car? Steer clear of these child-unfriendly cars!

August 27, 2021·7 min read

Cars you want to steer clear of if you have (little) kids

Oh… think twice. It’s just another day for you and me in paradise.

Apologies, that heading took me off on an extensive Phil Collins tangent that lasted longer than I’d like to admit. Like did you know he was in the movie ‘Hook’? Or that he got a toy drum kit for Christmas when he was 5? Or that he supports Tottenham Hotspur?

What were we talking about again? Ah yes, cars to avoid with a ten-foot pole if you’ll be using a child seat.

Whether it’s your very first child or you’ve got one or two little ones already, when searching for the right new car for your needs it’s vital to take their comfort and safety into consideration first and foremost. Which, let’s be honest, can mean a few dream-tier cars might have to come off the table.

So which cars are least practical for parents? And, perhaps a little more importantly, which ones offer the safety, comfort and other features that make them top choices for those with little ones?

When they’re older and don’t need a child seat any more, your options will open up like the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame’s did for Phil Collins in 2012. But in the meantime, here are a few of the biggest vehicular no-nos for parents of small children.

Ford Mustang

Yes, it’s a 339kW, 556Nm naturally-aspirated 5-litre V8. Yes, it comes in a 6-speed manual. Yes, you’ll get from 0 to 100 kilometres an hour in about 5 seconds flat. And yes, its exhaust note is perhaps equal to as magical as Phil Collins’ ‘In the Air Tonight’.


Not only are you going to find it rather challenging to get the car seat in the back in the first place, but the fact that it’s a two-door will make putting your child into the seat and taking them back out a huge pain in the butt. And when looking at how it fares on the ANCAP site, the fact that its overall rating is 3 stars combined with its child occupant protection of 32% is subpar, to say the very least. If you're still determined, the good news is we'll find a cracking new Ford deal right now.

Kia Picanto

Perhaps a little less appealing to all the petrol-heads out there than the aforementioned ‘stang, the Kia Picanto’s second-row seating space leaves a little bit to be desired. As such, when you put a child seat in there, you’d better hope you don’t want to push the front seat back at all - because you’ll struggle.

And while the Picanto shares very few features with the Mustang, it also fares quite poorly in terms of its overall ANCAP safety rating (4 stars) and child occupant protection of 64%.

Toyota C-HR

Another compact car which, while offering a reasonable amount of space for its second-row passengers, seems as if it would make getting the kids in and out of the car a bit of a frustration. Having said that though, like the Picanto, it’s not really been designed as a ‘family car’ per se, but rather a good little vehicle for city life and the demand for cars that take up minimal space that goes with it.

Although delivering the full 5 stars in its ANCAP safety rating, the Toyota C-HR’s child occupant protection is certainly on the lower end of the spectrum at 77%.

How to choose a family-friendly vehicle that suits your needs

Like all other vehicles, there are a few factors you should consider when you’re thinking about which type of family-friendly car you’d like to buy including:

How safe the vehicle is - utilise the ANCAP website and search their database and read all about how safe the car you’re thinking of buying is:

The features that are a must versus the ones that are a ‘nice to have’

Your budget

How many kids you have now (and how many you’re planning to have in the next few years)

What you’ll be using the car for - is it just for everyday tasks like school drop-offs/pickups, shopping, and the like, or would you like to take it on off-road adventures?

How practical everything is on/in the car - take your child seat into the showroom and find out first-hand a) if it can fit and b) how easy it is to put in and take out. Sit in the driver’s seat to determine how practical it is to do things like turn the AC on and off, change radio, etc.

Conducting plenty of research to find out if there have been any common issues with the car.

Let’s be honest here though. You’ve probably done a heap of research about family-friendly cars and already have one or two in mind. Because as our lord and saviour Mr. Philip David Charles Collins once said, “The answer is inside your head; it's easy to find if you take it logically.”

And we can help you get whatever you’re after for an amazing price.

Buy a new child seat-friendly car without the hassle with carconnect

If you’re in need of a new car that offers the highest level of safety for your most precious cargo (your kids, not the case of frothies) while you’re on the road, we’re here to help make things as simple and straightforward as possible.

All you have to do is search for the car you want and leave us a few basic details. We’ll then do all the legwork and tap into our enormous network of dealers that spans across the country to find you the hottest prices available. Once we have them, we’ll forward them over to you for you to decide on which one you’re happiest with and sort out payment.We’ll even arrange to have it dropped off to you wherever you are in Australia!

Give us a call on 1300 880 008 or send us an online enquiry if you have any questions about what we do or you’d like to learn more.

Psst… hey you. Yes, you! Just letting you know, too, if you’re considering car financing we can help you with that too! Find out how incredibly low your repayments could be now!

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Cars in this article

  • Norway

    2024 Ford Mustang

  • Norway

    2024 Toyota C-hr

  • Norway

    2024 Kia Picanto

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