A family car needs to be practical, efficient, safe, spacious, and comfortable for multiple occupants. It’s a car capable of doing multiple school runs effortlessly and offers amenities typical for family life. Mercedes has more than 30 different models on sale, and a bunch of them are family-friendly.
Choosing between such a large variety of models might seem stressful. But as long as you consider the key elements of a great family hauler, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for from Mercedes.
The best Mercedes family cars are either an SUV like the GLE, GLC or GLS, or a large sedan like the CLA, C-Class, E-class or S-Class. The E-Class has been regularly awarded as the family car of the year and the CLA and C-Class also won awards for safety.
A family transporter needs to be spacious enough for ever-growing children and different sizes of child seats. If you only have one or two kids who don’t have huge backwards facing car seats, a hatchback such as the A-class is worth looking into.
If your family needs a bit more space, then you should consider an SUV such as the GLE or the GLS.
Mercedes also offers a huge variety of different sedans, starting from the C-Class and the CLA sedan, up to the S-class, which is the flagship Mercedes sedan. While many car manufacturers have abandoned the large luxury sedan market in favor of SUVs and crossovers, few can argue the ability of a proven Mercedes sedan as a family hauler.
For almost two decades now, the Mercedes E-class has been praised for its family-hauling capabilities, stellar safety and comfort features, and was recognized as the family car of the year by many prominent automotive websites and magazines time and time again.
When shopping for a family car, it is crucial not to skimp out on the safety features. If you are buying a new car, you should carefully consider all the different options to keep your family safe.
If you are buying used, make sure that all the airbags and safety features are as advertised. Car brands spend vast amounts of money on safety, and you should as well. To determine how safe a car truly is, you should consider widely recognized car safety performance assessment programs such as EURO NCAP or IIHS.
EURO NCAP ratings are more relevant in Europe, and every Mercedes model goes through many different testing scenarios and is awarded a rating depending on the results.
In 2019, the Mercedes CLA was awarded the safest small family car of the year with a stellar 5-star rating. Models such as the B, GLB, GLE, EQC, or the G-class have also been awarded the highest safety scores in their respective segments.
IIHS is an independent organization that also thoroughly tests the safety of multiple different vehicles, but is based in the USA.
In 2020, the C-class was awarded the highest safety score out of all midsize family sedans on the market, and the E-class was also the top pick for a larger family sedan in 2019. SUVs such as the GLC and GLE have also been awarded as top picks in their respective segments.
While many different variables might sway you into considering one brand over its competition, the size of your budget will likely determine your next family hauler. This is especially true if you are considering a Mercedes. Mercedes is known for building great family cars, but they do come at a premium, compared to more affordable brands.
More affordable family cars by Mercedes are the A-class or the GLA. Sure, these models do offer a lot for their price tag, and they include many wonderful Mercedes features, but they are limited in size and are not necessarily built for larger families. The same goes for the CLA or even the C-class.
If your budget calls for it, opt for a used model instead, as the price of a brand-new A-class can get you into a spacious barely used sedan such as the E-class. A family car should be reasonably equipped, as it’s being used for the entire family and will likely be used for big trips accumulating many miles.
It is a lot wiser to skimp on the luxury features and tick the safety options if you are on the budget. Also remember that family cars often show considerable wear and tear inside due to kids being rougher on the vehicle and it serving as a lunchroom, among other things. So, keep this in mind if you’re worried about the inside of the car staying pristine and luxurious.
What to think about when buying a family car
What are some specific features a family car offers?
When shopping for a family car, these features are the reason why these cars are considered family cars in the first place.
First and foremost: safety. Safety is the number one concern when transporting your loved ones. When buying cars, people sometimes settle for less than what they intend to, but it’s crucial for you to not settle for anything but the best when it comes to safety.
Family cars also offer lots of headroom, lots of knee room, and cavernous amounts of trunk space for your pets and luggage. Child seat anchor points should be easy to get to without overcrowding. Multiple seating rows are also an option.
Furthermore, features such as power outlets, cup holders, multiple airbags, sun shades, storage space, and quality infotainment screens are usually associated with family cars.
Should I buy a cheaper Mercedes for a family car or a well-equipped more affordable brand?
As previously mentioned, your budget plays a significant role in your car-buying scenario. You might be tempted to go for a Mercedes even if your budget does not necessarily get you all a Mercedes can offer. And skimping on important family car features just to get into a Mercedes is not a good idea.
You should keep your kids safe and entertained during your long trips, as it helps you concentrate on your driving and makes the whole process a lot easier. Having a three-pointed star on the hood, but being crowded in the process will not get you a Mercedes-worthy experience.
So, the answer is always a well-equipped family car, no matter the brand and no matter the cost. The car will be used for transporting your entire family, not just your wish for a premium car brand ownership.
Do Audi and BMW make better cars than Mercedes?
Audi and BMW are premium brands just like Mercedes, so let’s check out the competition.
As far as reliability is concerned, it’s hard to judge a brand because reliability is more dependent on the way a specific car is treated. However, one could argue that Audi might be more prone to breaking compared to Mercedes or BMW, and BMW is the priciest to repair.
An important factor to consider when comparing these 3 brands is the way the cars drive, and these three differ quite substantially.
Mercedes is more prone to making luxury-oriented cars, with softer suspensions and a more subtle ride, but they do suffer for it in the corners. On the other hand, BMW is widely regarded as the ultimate driving machine, while Audi stands as a great all-arounder, but for some, a bit dull.