Whitney Russell

Top 4 Car Features for One-Car Families

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Family standing in front of an SUV with an open trunk, surrounded by luggage for a road trip
Make the most of your family’s one vehicle by going with a few smart features

If your family is considering going down to just one vehicle for environmental reasons, financial reasons, or both, there are a few key characteristics to look for in your ride. Here are four features that will make your family’s one-car lifestyle a bit easier.

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Memory settings

woman sitting in car driver's seat holding steering wheel
Your car’s memory settings can save you and your partner some squabbles

Some might consider memory settings a luxury. However, when you’re a one-car family, memory settings go a long way in helping you and your loved ones stay sane and get on the road faster. This feature is especially useful if you and your partner have very different seat height and side-mirror position preferences, says Cars.com’s Mike Hanley.

Teen driver controls

Another feature to prioritize is a built-in teen driving monitoring system, as U.S. News & World Report recommends. This technology will allow your family to wait a couple of years before buying a new or pre-owned vehicle for your older child that’s about to leave the nest. When you go with a brand like GMC or Chevy, for example, it’s easy to find a vehicle equipped with Teen Driver technology. This advanced system gives you an easy way to monitor your teen’s driving habits and even gives you a report card for each drive, which indicates stability control and antilock brake events, as well as the distance traveled and maximum speed the vehicle reached.

USB ports and connectivity tech

2016 GMC Yukon rear-seat USB ports and climate control
Look for a vehicle with a plethora of USB ports so the whole family can keep their devices charged

Make sure your family’s sole vehicle has enough USB ports to keep everyone’s devices powered on commutes and road trips. And if your vehicle has extra connectivity perks, that’s a plus. For instance, some models let you pair two smartphones at the same time. These functions will let you and your crew access the contacts, apps, and infotainment you need when away from home.

Zoned climate control

A climate control system with multiple zones is another “must” when you’re a one-car household. It’s super easy to find a new vehicle that has dual-zone temperature control. Though, you can also go one step further and find a model that has a triple- or quad-zone climate control system to keep even the pickiest people in your family comfortable and contented.

Looking for a new vehicle to appease the whole family? Check out the 2021 Buick Envision and Chevy Equinox for these reasons. Then get the scoop on the Suburban RST, which got rave reviews from U.S. News & World Report.

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