Family sedan reviews
Looking for the perfect family sedan to suit your needs? Compare family sedans and find out everything you need to know.
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Family sedans remain one of the most popular car choices in many parts of the world, and for good reason. Sleek design, great value and smooth reliability combine to make family sedans firm favourites for car enthusiasts and practical, safety-conscious drivers alike.
Because of their popularity, family sedans vary in price depending on the make and model, along with any additional features you might choose. With a little bit of research, you can find the sedan that perfectly suits your needs.
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What is a family sedan?
A family sedan, also known as a saloon, is a mid- or full-sized vehicle with either a two- or four-door set-up, a cargo area at the back and an engine in the front. In many ways, a family sedan is similar to a hatchback: both being family passenger cars that combine reliability with plenty of storage space.
The primary and most obvious difference between a family sedan and hatchback is the boot configuration. A hatchback has a large cargo area accessed by a rear door that generally opens upwards, which can usually be extended by dropping the rear seats downwards to create extra room. However, a sedan has its boot area separate from the main passenger cabin. Sedans tend to be longer than hatchbacks and have a recognisable boot shape with the roof of the car sloping down to the separate boot area.
Family sedans are one of the oldest models of cars, but they are still widely popular for their combination of space and size.
The features of family sedans
While the features of family sedans can vary between different makes and models, they share many characteristics:
- Low fuel consumption. Family sedans mainly use four-cylinder engines, which are great for preserving fuel. With a sedan, you won't need to worry about filling up every few days.
- Safety. Family sedans are generally known for their safety due to their strong driving power and sleek design. Family sedans ride low to the ground, making it easier and smoother for the vehicle to handle cornering and turning.
- Comfort and legroom. Most family sedan models include plenty of legroom, making for a more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience, especially for taller people.
- Quieter ride. A family sedan may provide a quieter ride than other family vehicles as the rear boot area is generally separated from the main passenger cabin by layers of insulation.
The benefits and drawbacks of family sedans
- Affordability. Family sedans are some of the most affordable vehicles on the market, giving Australians access to a reliable vehicle with plenty of storage space without breaking the budget.
- Easy manoeuvrability. Riding low to the ground and with a balanced centre of gravity, family sedans are known for easy manoeuvrability and firm stability on the road.
- Aesthetics. Sedans share the same basic design: one that has stood the test of time in regard to popularity on the Australian market. Sleek and beautiful, sedans are a safe option when it comes to looks and ultimately resale value.
- Resale value. As one of the most popular car styles, family sedans are always in high demand. With ongoing maintenance and regular servicing, your family sedan will easily retain much of its value to provide good resale return or a valuable deposit on a newer model in the future.
- Fuel economy. Efficiently balancing fuel and power, family sedans tend to offer excellent fuel economy, ultimately reducing your ongoing costs of car ownership.
- Storage space. While family sedans offer plenty of storage space in their own right, they can fall short when compared with the storage options offered by a hatchback. Some models may have the cargo space walled off from the main passenger area, meaning storage space can't be extended by lowering the rear seats.
- Pets. The rear cargo space is completely enclosed and separate from the passenger area, making it unsuitable for carrying pets. While a larger dog could safely travel in the boot of a hatchback, pets travelling in a family sedan will need to be tethered and seated on the floor or one of the passenger seats.
- Seating. Most family sedans can comfortably seat four passengers, which could provide plenty of room for a smaller family but may not be sufficient for guests or a larger family.
- Towing. If you only need to tow a trailer every now and then, the family sedan would probably be sufficient. However, if you are regularly towing a trailer or if you intend to tow a caravan or heavier rig, an SUV or 4x4 could be a better option.
- Visibility. Family sedans tend to have their seats in a lower position due to the design of the car. This characteristic can limit your visibility on the road, especially for shorter people.
- Off-road driving. Most family sedans aren't built with off-road driving in mind. If you're planning on getting off the beaten track, a 4x4 could be a better option.
How to compare family sedan models
When comparing family sedan models, consider the following:
How much can you afford?
Family sedans can run the gamut from extremely affordable family cars to outrageously expensive luxury sedans. Ensure you have a set budget in mind before choosing a family sedan and consider whether buying a second-hand car could give you access to a more valuable sedan at a lower price.
How long is the car expected to last?
No car can last forever, but when you're investing in a new vehicle, you want some peace of mind that you'll have use of the car for as long as possible. With so many different types of family sedans available, the life expectancy of each can vary considerably. Reading online reviews and seeing the age and condition of older second-hand cars of the same make and model can give you a good idea of the life expectancy of the family sedan you're considering.
What kind of warranty is being offered?
If purchasing a new car, how long is the new car warranty? If purchasing a second-hand car, it can be wise to purchase from a car dealer to take advantage of statutory and dealer warranties. This will protect you in the event that the car is faulty at the time of purchase.
How much cargo space do you need?
Depending on your travelling needs, you may only need a four-door family sedan. On the other hand, if you are constantly transporting items like prams or sporting gear, make sure you thoroughly test the cargo space of the family sedan you're considering before you purchase. It is always a good idea to bring along your child's pram or other items you normally transport when test driving or inspecting a vehicle.
How many passengers will you have?
Family sedans vary from two-door to four-door, so it's important to know which model you need. If you will only have one other passenger, you may be able to choose a smaller sedan and potentially save some money in the process.
Do you like the design of a family sedan?
Despite the wide variety of makes and models available, family sedans tend to follow a very similar vehicle design, including a long body and a tapered down boot. If you don't like the look of one model of family sedan, there is a good chance you won't like many other models either.
What kind of extra features will you need?
More expensive, higher-end family sedans can come with extra features, including technological devices like Bluetooth connectivity, reversing cameras as well as top-class engines. Make a list of the additional features you require and other features that would be nice to have but are not a deal breaker. Having this list to hand will help you when comparing family sedans.
Are family sedans worth it?
Family sedans fit many people's lifestyles, and maybe they fit yours. Maybe you want a family sedan because they look nice. Maybe it's because you see so many of them on the road that they've grown on you. No matter what the reason, a family sedan can be a good and affordable option, provided they suit your needs.
With their reliability, focus on safety and affordability, family sedans make the perfect all-around car. All you need to do is figure out what type of family sedan you want. As long as you won't need more than four people in the car on a regular basis and don't need the storage space of a hatchback or SUV, a family sedan could be an excellent choice for you.
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