This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at if you'd like to know more about how they work.

Tell Toyota what you look for in a car and see what MNers thought of their Hybrid range! £200 voucher to be won NOW CLOSED

(107 Posts)
MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Mar-14 09:28:39

You may have recently seen that 7 Mumsnetters attended an event day at Toyota HQ all about hybrid cars. Now, Toyota have asked us to find out what other Mumsnetters look for in a car.

Toyota say, “Toyota have been making hybrid cars for over 12 years and have sold over 2.4 million Prius Hybrid models to date, but there are still many myths surrounding this technology, like do hybrids need special fuel? (No!) Does a hybrid save me road tax? (Yes!) How does it feel to drive a hybrid?”

Below is a video of the event day. Please watch it and let us know your thoughts. (To read the feedback of Mumsnetters who attended the day please click here.)

Mumsnetters who attended the event commented on different aspects of Toyota hybrids including cost effectiveness, technical features found in the cars and its spaciousness. How do these rank for you when purchasing a car? What other optional extras do you look for? A feature that’ll park the car itself, perhaps? Or maybe car seat heating? Whatever it is, we’d love to hear about it!

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


BetterWithCheese Mon 03-Mar-14 09:46:24

I need a new car and the things I want are:
-fuel efficiency
-cheap road tax
-good visibility
-stereo with Bluetooth or other way to link to my iphone
-4/5 doors as have two kids
-comfortable seat/driving position
-solid feeling build
-heated windscreen - I hate scraping in winter
-good cup holder (seriously current Renault doesn't have any and it's a PITA).

That's it really. I'm on mat leave but when I go back to work I'll have a 30-40 min daily commute so need low running costs and comfort.

ouryve Mon 03-Mar-14 09:56:41

We bought a new to us car last year (actually a Toyota Avensis Tourer!) and looked for the following things.

Space - particularly rear leg and headroom, as by the end of the 5 years we expected to keep the car, at least one of the boys will be a 6' teen.

Boot space - enough for a Maclaren Major buggy and a week's shopping, without everything being crushed.

Fuel Economy - DH works 35 miles away, so despite wanting a large car, we didn't want a as guzzler.

Oomph - also for that 35 mile journey. We rarely do any town or city driving.

Petrol Engine - our last car put us right off diesels and their sodding useless DPFs.

Air Con/ climate control

Lockable rear electric windows, so the boys, who both have ASD, can't open them when we're travelling at 70mph on a drizzly day.

Not silver.

Rooners Mon 03-Mar-14 10:06:45

No idea about the hybrid element of it but I'm not sure what stands out as being different in other ways.

Tbh as a driver for nearly 20 years, I'm fed up with 'normal' cars and want something that is aimed GENUINELY at the parent driver.

What I mean by this is, can you PLEASE make a car that is easy to clean? On the inside? Like, maybe a laminate floor grin (or at least vinyl!) And inside panels that do not mark in an instant...and seats that don't hold on to stains like their life depends on it.

And no nooks and crannies for crumbs and sick to get into, never to depart.

Family car makers are still so blinded by the 'luxury' tradition that they can't see that true luxury, to a parent driver, means something that is easy to keep looking good - not something that looks great for about five minutes and you have to get cross with your children about, when really they should ENJOY going on muddy adventures and eating a picnic in it after without having to remove all their clothes.

Cars might look posh (temporarly) with 'carpet' and so on but honestly - I want something I can hose down.
Start thinking along the lines of the best aspects of 'family' rooms - things that work really well and still look stylish.

Marmoleum flooring, wet rooms, durable/washable paint.

The common thing is they are easy to keep looking great however much dirt and chaos and mess you throw at them.

So make a car like that and you've sold it to me already.

Rooners Mon 03-Mar-14 10:08:12

Also, Seat are on the right lines with their built in child seats.

Why hasn't anyone else copied that yet? It's brilliant.

MadMonkeys Mon 03-Mar-14 11:09:53

In a new car I would look for:

A generous boot
Good score in safety tests
Good mpg
Reasonable power
Upholstery that wont show the dirt too much...

manfalou Mon 03-Mar-14 12:30:00

We're currently looking a for a new car for myself, my IDEAL car would have the following:

A large boot space with enough room for a double pram and shopping.
Good MPG
Cheap road tax
Heated windscreen... I HATE defrosting my car in a morning!
Plenty of leg room for both the passengers in the front and back.
No tiny spaces for crumbs to get in that I can't get out!
Electric windows
5 doors.
Height adjustable drivers seat.... Im 5 ft 1, my partner is 5ft10.
Reversing sensors.

ShatnersBassoon Mon 03-Mar-14 12:34:51

Fuel economy is the one thing I'm going to look at carefully next time I choose a car.

I want cruise control too. I have it in my current car, thought it would be a silly gimmick, but I love it and don't think I'd be happy to lose it.

RubySparks Mon 03-Mar-14 12:55:05

What I look for in a car now are low running costs! So fuel efficient, low road tax, low insurance. We have been used to an estate car though so large boot space is important and live on top of a hill and can get a lot of snow so 4 wheel drive/engine power would be great and heated windscreen though I believe ford hold the patent on that?

Self cleaning interior would be great... We have a lot of mud tracked into car by kids and dog.

We inherited a new yaris which has the reversing camera which is pretty cool, could get a bit over reliant on that though I think.

BetterWithCheese Mon 03-Mar-14 13:14:48

Ruby my FIL's Seat has a heated windscreen (and heated seats-amazing!) so pretty sure Ford don't have the patent. Ford's is called quick clear So guessing there is something special about it, or they want you to think they do.

BetterWithCheese Mon 03-Mar-14 13:16:02

Oops, they want you to think their quick clear thingy is special.

NicNak71 Mon 03-Mar-14 13:19:38

I changed my car last year, space was a huge decider for me. My eldest daughter is tall for her age, although she's still in a car seat, she didn't have much leg room. My husband and I are both tall, I'm 5' 9 and he's 6'2 so our seats are pushed quite far back, taking up more of her space.

Front wheel or 4 wheel drive as we live in the countryside on roads that aren't treated in winter. I've been stranded for over a week before because my rear wheel drive car couldn't handle the snow.

Visibility and safety, again my last car had a few too many blind spots.

Boot space, I still need to carry a pushchair and changing bag for my youngest and I need to be able to fit in a couple of bags of animal feed and possibly a bale of straw.

changedirection Mon 03-Mar-14 13:27:12

We are looking for a new car (actually, 2) at the moment. For both, we want 5 doors (easy access to child seats in back), good fuel efficiency. For the big car, plenty of space for pushchair / tent etc without feeling too big to drive.

for 2nd car, low insurance group, good value, reliable, space in boot for pushchair keeping car as small as possible

aristocat Mon 03-Mar-14 13:39:28

We also need a new car and I want

Reasonable boot space
Heated windscreen
Adjustable driver seat, DH is lots taller then me
Fitted sun blinds
Good MPG

Also can central locking keys have a new design please. Surely with all the new technology we have now they can be made smaller/more compact. I hate having a huge key!

CheeseTMouse Mon 03-Mar-14 15:19:34

When buying a car we look for one with a decent automatic gear box as I don't like driving a manual and it's surprising how many cars this rules out. We also test the car by sitting in the back seats and we ruled loads out as our heads were too close to the roof (I am 6'2").Finally, I want something relatively compact as I have to park on the road. Oh! And the buggy needs to fit the boot...

JuniperTisane Mon 03-Mar-14 15:27:52

We need a new car. My wish list would include:

BIG boot
BIG interior
Heated windscreen
Interior glass panel with soundproofing to screen out the squabbles I wish

Right now I would settle for a car made in this century and has working central locking/boot lock TBH...

mistlethrush Mon 03-Mar-14 15:29:07

Legroom is critical - we write off most cars on the basis of the lack of it - and the driver's seat needs to go low enough as DH has a long back and is quite tall. We also need to be able to sit an adult behind DH when he is driving - headroom in the back also important.

We then move onto boot space - we need to be able to get a double bass in with one of the back seats still useable (that's most of the rest of the cars written off).

Fuel efficiency is important

We would like 4wd as an option - although that is less critical.

Agree with Rooners - we would like an interior with optional / removable mats and no carpet up the side (dog and DS) (In fact, an easy way of cleaning door pockets would be appreciated as DS managed to be sick into one the other day.. it was not at all nice trying to clean it out)

CMOTDibbler Mon 03-Mar-14 15:38:56

At the moment we have a Mini Cooper S and a Discovery 3.
I love the handling, the auto gear box (disability requires an auto) and the fuel economy of the Mini. The overly complex control interface, the fact that the seats don't go back to their position after a rear seat passenger has got in, and the fact you have to select the auto wipe every time drive me nuts.
I love the go anywhere, power, storage lockers, headphone points and audio control in the back seats and sheer capacity of the Landy. I hate the mpg, and the million places for crud to accumulate in it. I'd love an interior more suited to removal of hay/straw/mud/dog hair/mud/pony hair.

My ideal car would be easily adapted for those with disabilities, be cleanable, have a 3 pin plug for charging devices, let me plug a memory stick with MP3 files in to upload to a car hard drive, have great performance and handling (and not at extra cost for a sports pack - this drives me batshit when looking for a new car), proximity unlocking, 'save your setup' for seat positions/mirrors etc, and seats that fold really flat in the back

turkeyboots Mon 03-Mar-14 15:45:39

Good mpg like others. Heated windscreen a plus. I like the idea of a no carpets, wipe clean family car!

I'd also like modern electronics to be considered, espically ones which aren't just iPhones.

And having met too many tailgating twats lately, how about a LED screen on rear window which you could program to tell them to back off! Or automatic photo taker - send to police device. not having a good day

WowOoo Mon 03-Mar-14 17:35:03

When I'm looking for a car, I look out for:

Space - overhead as my husband is very tall
Boot space - for weekends away
I like having 4 doors so everyone can get in and out easily.
Good mpg

My last 2 cars have been Toyotas. I love them.

I'd love to get a hybrid next time. Dh wants a Prius, I'm not sure what I'd like.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 03-Mar-14 18:08:27

I look for a massive boot.
Good mpg
A heated front windscreen so I don't have to scrape it.
Ideally a built in pull out bike rack.
A built in sat nav is nice.

Oodhousekeeping Mon 03-Mar-14 18:09:56

Currently car hunting, have a old Toyota yaris but the new Aygo is the same same so planned on getting one. But then I drove it sad it's too sluggish for my commute so am back looking again since the yaris is now too big for what I want.

So I want a small car with enough oomph to do dual carriageways as well as city driving (VW do one ...)

chocolateshoes Mon 03-Mar-14 18:31:21

Ideally I look for:
A decent sized boot
Heated windscreen -no more scraping ice in work car park after a parents evening
Reliable starter
Good back support
4 doors
Fuel efficient
Electric windows

But in reality all we can afford is the electric windows!

Nottheshrinkingcapgrandpa Mon 03-Mar-14 19:45:31

Big boot is our main need- we never have enough space :/

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 03-Mar-14 20:52:47

Safety is always a massive consideration. I really liked the airbags in the seat belts that I saw on the MN Ford day that I went on.
Good all round visibility - I like quite a high driving position.
Small blind spot or blind spot indicators on the wing mirrors.
Big boot / 7 seats, I don't need both at once.
Some kind of hard drive for storing music and films.
Inbuilt sat nav.
Heated seats and windscreen
Sliding back doors (never had them but think they would save a lot of angst with ds1 getting out and not banging his door into whatever is next to the car)
Easy to keep clean interior - especially in the back and boot.
Economical and low road tax
A good, stable cup holder.
Programmable seat settings.
Parking sensors (not bothered about cameras or a car that can park itself).

Not asking for much am I?!

Maiyakat Mon 03-Mar-14 21:36:07

Relatively small car but decent sized boot. Would like a hybrid but find them comparatively more expensive.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 03-Mar-14 21:38:28

Safety, fuel economy, big enough but not too big, easy to park.

So... my current car is a diesel Toyota Avensis hatchback with parking sensors. DH's is the same but a bit older with no sensors. He had planned to change about now but can't find anything that suits as well ... WTF did Toyota stop making the hatchback Avensis leaving just the saloon (impractical for load carrying) or estate (too big). He looked at the new Golf estate, it's ok but seems to have some fussy gizmos (turning itself off, some sort of auto-handbrake) which he's dubious about.

>Ideally a built in pull out bike rack.
that'd be awesome. And I'd love someone to invent a way for a shortarse to get something like a windsurf board onto a roofrack....

Nouseforausername Mon 03-Mar-14 21:52:46

a car without 'quirks' my megane has a leaky door and the passenger window decided to open itself and I had to arse around with a fuse for 30 mins trying to mend the bugger! angry

sharond101 Mon 03-Mar-14 22:00:43

Good fuel efficiency
Good boot space - suitable for dog and buggy all at once
5 doors
Good heating inside and air con when needed
Heated windscreen
tinted windows
nice colour (purple is good)

Paintyfingers Mon 03-Mar-14 22:37:43

Tend to look at which scores for reliability.

stephgr Tue 04-Mar-14 01:14:47

I most need:
safety, reliability, low fuel consumption and low insurance costs. In an ideal world I'd have a car which drives itself!

Grennie Tue 04-Mar-14 01:28:59

Good mileage
Reliability - I read reviews of other car owners and common problems
Cheaper replacement parts and easy to get parts for repairs
Decent sized boot to transport stuff
Good value
A comfortable driver's seat including positioning of pedals. Too many cars are designed with the average height of men in mind. I am shorter
5 doors, with back seats that are easy to get into.
The look of the car. I don't mind driving a boring looking car, but I refuse to drive a "girly" car.
Visibility out of the back windscreen. Rejected a lovely car on that basis, the last car I bought. Poor visibility means poorer safety.

lionheart Tue 04-Mar-14 13:25:49

Top of the list would be safety and environmental concerns. Aside from cost, reliability is important.

The next car I have will also need to be comfy for teenagers/older children so will need to be roomy. I had thought that a more compact car would do once car seats and buggies were done with but was wrong about that.
I also look for style and practicality (actually, a decent coffee cup holder). Really dislike the fiddly interior bits which are impossible to clean.

Fletch049 Tue 04-Mar-14 15:25:14

The first thing I check is the boot if its to small I wont even bother carrying on looking at the car, then if its ok i will check for tinted back windows, comfy driving seat and sat nav

Fifyfomum Tue 04-Mar-14 16:50:03

-Fuel Economy
-Three FULL SIZED seats in the back, not two seats and a half seat
-good visibility
-good suspension (the roads in England aren't getting any better)

That is basically what I covet in a car.

BlueJean Tue 04-Mar-14 17:10:26

I have leather seats because they are easier to clean .But all of the creases and seams mean they still take ages to clean properly. A moulded seat with no creases or seams would fit the bill. Or even - like Ikea -offer seat covers that will look good- not boy racerish with go faster stripes. Just like the originals but in one piece.

A boot that doesnt have such a huge lip that I need the strength of two men to get heavy items out again. Lifting at an angle is a sure way to get a bad back.

Side windows that are easily cleared of condensation /rain/ snow etc. I have electric front and rear screens that clear easily.I cant wind down the side windows to clear them because there are no brushes on the opening and the air vents arent strong enough to make a difference. I could drive with the windows open -but that aint happening in pouring rain.

Sun blinds that will keep me from being blinded no matter what angle to sun is at. There doesnt seem to have been any changes in visor design for many years .But they dont do a proper job .Side window blinds or shading would help too.

I am small -but not smaller than a lot of women. I always find I am strangled by the seat belt that rises up toward my neck as the journey goes on.Longer slots for the seat belt adjuster would help greatly.

5 doors essential
Space in the back seat - those big car seats bring little people close enough to kick the drivers kidneys.
Space in the boot - doesn't fit an umbrella fold pushchair? Out

I'd love the rear sun screens that are built into some models in hot places.

Oh, and listen up Toyota. A garage that doesn't lie to you.

Grennie Tue 04-Mar-14 19:59:38

Totally agree about the seat belt around your neck. Basically remember that women are generally shorter than men and design for us as well.

Punkatheart Tue 04-Mar-14 20:01:09

i loathe heated seats. It reminds me of my CT scan, where I thought I had wet myself! I would just like it simple and spacious.

lottietiger Tue 04-Mar-14 20:03:28

My wishlist
A boot that's large enough to fit a pushchair and ten bags of shopping.
Wifi so that films/tv/music can be downloaded in the back.
Heated windscreen front & rear
leather seats as easier to clean
Decent storage behind the front seats for books, games etc
Cup holder and table in the back
lots of lights in the back and mirrors on both visors

and the obvious ones

Cheap tax
good fuel efficiency
safety features, abs, air bags etc
4 doors
electric mirrors

Hopezibah Tue 04-Mar-14 20:22:46

We look for size / seating to ensure it is suitable to fit all the car seats it needs to. Then car boot size / space to fit buggies etc. If all that is ok, then things like car tax, fuel efficiency, and environmental impact.

Additional handy features we've found with our toyota is a cup holder in daddy's car (the kids love that!), electric windows that can be locked. We just have them in the front but next time would look for it on all windows!

Something we had in a previous car which sounds very tiny but i found so useful was a little plastic clip in the glove box which a pen could clip into - it saved me so much time as i didn't have to scrabble all the way through the glove box to find the pen!

The good thing about the old days with cars was that the simpler things could be repaired cheaply and easily and it is a shame that it costs a small fortune these days to repair things like wing mirrors etc. If only there was a solution to that!

Wjjkl Tue 04-Mar-14 20:49:11

We look for the following..
Boot space
Headroom - we are both tall & a lot of cars are surprisingly lacking
Leg room - same reason as headroom!
Drive ability - we want a good size car but not so big it's a pain to drive round town or park

I look for cars that are cheap to run and insure. As long as there is room for a few kids and a small dog we're happy. Doesn't even have to be that roomy as we're nit very tall.

DH is a bit more particular, but then his is the main family car and mine is the smaller runaround.

mjmooseface Wed 05-Mar-14 11:50:46

When I get around to buying a car, I'm not going to buy brand new. Just because, due to my newfound clumsiness, I have been through enough phones/plates/mugs/laptops in the last few years that I wouldn't trust myself to keep a brand new car in pristine condition!! So I'd need a car that...

1, is durable. Cars aren't cheap, neither's the tax and insurance, so I'd like a car that's going to last the changing seasons, kids, many years, any scrapes etc.

2, has lots of room for growing kids and whatever may be needed for long car journeys. I can't wait for that day when I can load up the car with anything we might need, as opposed to packing as light as possible to go out for the day on the train!

3, has a way of linking phones/ipods to play music.

4, has 5 doors! I once tripped on a seat belt and flew out of a car where there wasn't 5 doors and we had to push the front seat forward!! Never again!

BlackeyedSusan Wed 05-Mar-14 12:04:49

I want a large boot, and yes a car that is easy to clean up vomit, and wee. it has to be reliable and make the sodding bulbs in the lights easy to get at. and safe/ in all things safe to protect the children if the worse happens.

telsa Wed 05-Mar-14 13:15:17

If I ever got I car, I would look for two wheels, a comfortable saddle, good luggage facilities, a loud bell, well calibrated gears....oh hang on, that is a bike.

billybear Wed 05-Mar-14 19:09:07

got a yaris last year cheap insurance , cheap road tax, uses less petrol, easier to park smaller car, good looking car, good for enough room in boot for our shopping, comfy seats a great car all round

SaltySeaBird Wed 05-Mar-14 19:46:47

Things I need in a new car:
-fuel efficient
-cheap road tax
-reliable with parts that don't cost the earth to replace
-bluetooth stereo and with integrated hands free
-good internal storage solutions
-nice styling (don't make me feel like I'm sitting in a plastic spaceship)
-good view of the road (I'm 5"4 and have had hire cars with poor visability, but a great view of acres of plastic dashboard)
- not too wide (or I struggle to park it in our garage)

Things I want in a new car:
-convertible. I've had three, they are great fun. The last one was very much a case of "baby forces sale" ...

CrewElla Wed 05-Mar-14 19:57:03

I need a roomy, fuel efficient, powerful people carrier. I have two young boys, two grown (man-sized!) stepsons, and I'd like us all to fit comfortably in the same vehicle. Would it be too much to ask for enough room for two backpack carriers and a picnic basket too?

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 05-Mar-14 20:10:04

Reliable and economical to service and repair

Heated front windscreen and mirrors so I can get started asap on cold mornings

A car that feels powerful and nippy to drive but with excellent fuel economy

Good quality, easy to fit add-ons such as tough boot liners/bike carriers etc

Sensibly placed cup holders - so many aren't well thought-through

Flexible seating for at least 5 and preferrably 7

High driving position

Holds its value well

A car that's a good work-horse but with a bit of spit and polish, feels luxurious - must have easy to clean internal surfaces that will handle what the kids throw at them

Must DEFINITELY NOT be so lovely that they break your heart when after years of service, they finally cost more to repair than they are worth and you have to get your DH to drive them on their last journey because you can't see for tears. sad

KateOxford Wed 05-Mar-14 21:15:02

I would look for a 5 door car, something not too big as we have to park on a street so parking sensors are essential. A decent sized boot, electric wing mirrors, isofix points, airbags, electric windows in front, a heated windscreen , heated seats, a digital speed dial display. If price wasn't an issue then I would choose a hybrid car however if it was much more expensive then I would choose as fuel efficient as I could afford. My son put some cream cracker down the gap in between his window in our car and it is impossible to get out! A car without too many n

KateOxford Wed 05-Mar-14 21:16:55

Contd... Nooks and crannies would be good! If it could have a mini Hoover which lived in the boot and which charged up as the car was driving this would be perfect. We very rarely actually get round to taking or Hoover out onto the street to Hoover up all of the crumbs we leave behind.

Blu Wed 05-Mar-14 21:27:50

I look for:
Spacious boot (camping)
Sensible design - a triumph of function and paracticality
Economical to run, repair and maintain.
Sensible level of gadgetry
Good storage - spacious glove compartment, ability to put things under the seats etc.
Accelerator pedal at the right height / angle. Doesn't give me cramp in my leg!
Safety for passengers and pedestrians
Good visibilty - no obscured rear and side windows.
Easy to see the front of your bonnet (sounds silly, but it's hard to see where my frnt bumper ends from the driving seat in my current car)

I am not remotely interested in:
Parking sensors (I am a demon parker and the sensors bleeping drive me nuts)
Heated seats
Electronic displays that tell me things I don't need to know

I try and avoid:
Electronics. Anything electronic that goes a bit wrong, or just temperamentally causes some light to come on on your dashboard is usually expensive to repair.
Over complicated engine parts. Why, oh why does the bit of exhaust hose that connects to the catalytic converter on my car only come with a whole new CC? And cars where you have to dismantle god knows what at 'How much!!!?' an hour just to change the headlamp bulb.

Firewall Wed 05-Mar-14 22:32:44

I look for good space, large boot.
Good Visibility from drivers seat through all windows and around (I've been in some cars where it's like driving in a submarine)

ComfyLeatherChair Thu 06-Mar-14 07:11:18

1 Safety
2 fuel economy
3 versatility ie having 7 seats that you can configure how you require them.
I would really consider 4wd having previously scoffed at the need for it where we live unless you have a requirement for Ru it such as horse etc. I admit I was WRONG. The 4x4s are coping well with the potholes, flooded roads, foot deep mud.

MinesAPintOfTea Thu 06-Mar-14 09:29:02

I look for:
Fuel efficiency
Cost of insurance
Cost of repairs
Will a bike fit in it
Generous space for driver and passenger (both over 6 foot)
Will the carseat fit

Not bothered about:
Fancy electronics
Air conditioning

PurpleSproutingBroccoli Thu 06-Mar-14 10:38:19

I look for:
- Flexible interior space with the option for lots of legroom in the back. Dh is a full foot taller than me and our dds are now leggy teenagers.
- Reliability. Ultimately for me a car is about getting from A to B so reliability is the bottom line.
- Running costs, particularly parts/repairs and tax/insurance. Again, with teenagers we're starting to think about adding them to the insurance in the future and the cost of that can be eyewatering.
- Air conditioning as this helps with travelsick youngsters
- Heated windscreens that clear rapidly on winter mornings.
- Rear speakers for the radio. We test-drove a car recently where the radio couldn't be heard in the back seat, which went down like a lead balloon with my dds.

Not bothered about:
- Fancy gadgets. The fewer moving parts the less can go wrong! Also, see my A to B comment above. My car is a tool for our family, not a lifestyle statement.

chellio1 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:01:27

What I look for in a car;
Space - especially in the boot as I have a pushchair and I need room for shopping or scooters for my two older boys.
Also enough room in the back for a baby seat and two booster seats, plus three proper seat belts - no lap belts.
Leather seats - These are much easier to clean when you have children, muddy feet get everywhere.
Air conditioning
Fuel efficiency and cheap car tax

mmjb Thu 06-Mar-14 14:09:23

In a new car I look for plenty of space in the boot for pram and dog,plenty of leg room both in front and back,easily cleaned seats,plenty of room in the back for two car seats to fit comfortably with isofix.
Good allround visability,child locks on back and windows
Most important would be that it has a first class safety report,5 doors

Mitchdafish Thu 06-Mar-14 14:34:04

Qualities of a new car -
Visibililty - a high up driving position is important, plus deep windows and no enormous vertical moulding between windscreen and door.
Visibility for rear passengers - so children can see out of the windows.
Edges - intuitive feeling about where the bumpers are.
Space - enough to have your picnic lunch in on a rainy day without feeling all cramped when you turn from front seat to the back to dole out the food.
Cup holders, phone holder, space on the dashboard for stuff.
Boot - big enough for family tent, wellies.
Can attach general bike rack and top box without hassle
Fuel economy.
Simplicity of design, not all fat moulding on the outside with no actual space on the inside.
Obvious how to open bonnet, how to do basic maintenance / jump start.
Not overly bossy - alarms about having seatbelt on etc: options about this.

flamingtoaster Thu 06-Mar-14 17:14:02

We look for:

good safety score
fuel economy
high driving position
comfortable, stable ride.
low servicing/repair costs.

gillybean2 Thu 06-Mar-14 18:00:52

High safety rating

4/5 doors

An interesting colour I like (not your standard red/blue and definitely not orange or yellow! - preferably green)

A reliable brand which won't cost the earth to service

Very good MPG (as I commute 2 hours a day for school run and work and more at weekends for social stuff) and reasonable road tax.

Decent stereo/cd and air con as standard - we don't all have mp3 players

Not having to pay for all the 'extras'. I want a model/special edition that is within my budget and comes with the 'extras' I want without having to add them for ��� more.

Salesmen who don't try to rip me off. I want to know the price charged is your best possible price without having to haggle. If you don't offer me a good price to start with I will go elsewhere.

BlizzardInWales Thu 06-Mar-14 18:08:49

I desperately need a new car haha.

For me I need:
Ample Space for two car seats
Leg room for passengers
Boot size
Cheap running costs
Cheap repairs ideally!
Heated windscreen
Smooth drive
Fun to drive if possible
Environmentally friendly is a bonus!


janekirk Thu 06-Mar-14 21:27:19


asuwere Thu 06-Mar-14 21:38:02

Things I'm currently looking for in a car:
- 7 seats (we have 7 in family so need this)
- isofix points in as many seats as possible
- usable boot space
- fuel economy
- cheap road tax
- reliability
- safety

I would also prefer sliding doors but they seem to be very hard to come by!

I really don't need any gadgets and extra electronics that are just something to look good in a brochure but realistically it's just another thing that could break and cost a lot of money to fix.

LakesBecky Thu 06-Mar-14 21:46:57

comfortable seats for 5
power steering
central locking
great vision
plenty room in boot

daisybrown Thu 06-Mar-14 22:26:09

Great at De-frosting/De-fogging the windows
Safety & Security
Fuel consumption and then performance

MrsShrek3 Thu 06-Mar-14 22:28:12

Toyota owner for 15+yrs, various models.
I love a good spec as standard. Top of my priority lists are:
good fuel economy
low overall running costs -tax, insurance group etc
room for three car seats in the back (yes, managed it in the Yaris!)
would love to see a more affordable 7 seater in the Toyota range.

dawnz Fri 07-Mar-14 02:06:18

Cup holder. There are some great car interior easy-clean ideas from other posters already - am fed up with nooks! Boot big enough for pram AND shopping is a definite want (or was when I had little kids). Window controls for rear seats that are lockable/operatable from the front. Heated windscreen is a good one - it's a faff (& dangerous) having to 'pop out' to start the car 5mins before you leave on frosty/icy day, leaving littlies inside on their own. Retractable aerial (boobs make it hard to reach ours which is located centre-front roof, when going to car-wash). Somewhere flat under the bonnet where you can sit windscreen/water refilling containers while you wrestle with getting the washer reservoir cap off. Some way of making the bonnet prop usable withOUT getting filthy fingers, would be great. Covered mirrors on inside of both front screen shades (our SmartForFour has em). Heater/fan control that allows simultaneous demist, feet & face. A alterable intermittent wiper control. Do NOT copy Merc's ridiculous foot-operated parking brake - disgusting idea that doesn't work.

Well, you did ask!

VestaCurry Fri 07-Mar-14 08:46:20

Economical to run, like the idea of a hybrid and am looking at them for my next car
Automatic (and still economical), my current A class automatic Mercedes eats petrol at an alarming rate
Good safety rating (I take notice of crash test data)
Heated front windscreen
Speed limiter (have this on current car and it's excellent, makes staying at 30 in a 30 mph easy without having to think about it)
Good lumbar support in front seats, I can tell v quickly if a car is going to make my back hurt
Link up to smartphone

drummersma Fri 07-Mar-14 09:28:49

My top priority is for a car that is reliable and economical (so a hybrid would be good if the price is realistic). It has to be small enough to park easily in tight spaces but with a flexible interior layout so I can carry a drum kit plus its 6'3" owner and another band member in comfort!
I like an upright driving position with deep windows to give good visibility, and also shelves/pockets/spaces to keep sunglasses, change for car parking, emergency wipes etc.

LadyMcFish Fri 07-Mar-14 10:25:03

After driving for…… 18 years and with young children, I definitely appreciate the following feature in a car:

Rear sensor parking is a must
Easy to clean car seat material (without paying extra for seat coating protector…can’t remember the name)
Easy to clean interior without too much narrow spaces (hoover nozzle can get it!)
Big car boot space for buggy and shopping
Possibly a small round/convex easy view back seat car mirror just above the rear mirror to view children in back seat (saw this feature in a Ford and shop bought mirror always fell off!)
Less carpet area on foot rest as it just catches mud :s
Fuel efficiency/mpg
Good size cup/bottle holder
Clever uses of spaces like a sliding drawer under back seat (saw this in Scenic and it’s quite clever)
Easy to adjust driver seat as I really hate turning the big ‘dial’ to adjust back seat angle… can you not bring back old fashion pull lever?

Looking forward to this car :D

LondonCocoa Fri 07-Mar-14 11:15:26

We're looking to buy a new car and some of the things we are looking for are:
MUM wants a car that looks nice! So good exterior design is important, she wants to feel she looks good driving her car... She also wants a car that is Super Safe as her most precious treasure is likely to be with her on the road... She's also very much needed at home, so she better stay well protected at all times...! Boot space has to be big enough to comfortably put in pram (with one hand!) and also fit a week's worth of shopping smile
DAD being more practical is looking at cost efficiency. He needs a car with a reasonable price tag that will drive 'for less' and that will also save on tax. Being a gadget man, he'll also look for high tech stuff such Bluetooth, GPS, parking sensors and good sound system!
And we're both looking for a car that while is taking us places to enjoy as a family will be as environmentally friendly as possible, so we can feel we're doing our part to protect the environment....

Daykin Fri 07-Mar-14 11:41:48

I'm looking to replace my yaris with something a bit bigger. We have a 7-seater too but it would be nice to get me plus 4dc in (we can do it in the yaris but it's a bit squashy and they are getting bigger.

Fuel efficiency is my top thing as my milage is huge so I fancy a hybrid but DP is convinced that they need new batteries every 5 min. I'm also not willing to pay a huge price upfront. I know I'll be saving money on fuel and tax but I need the sums to add up.

I want heated seats, sat nav and bluetooth because I've got used to them in my big car (don't have them in the current yaris, and I don't need them, I'm just being greedy. Parking sensors give me the rage so if I had them I would need to be able to turn them off. I want a decent stereo that picks up more than BBC 1-4. <glares at yaris>

I want a cup holder that takes my very standard thermos mug.

I want to be able to turn the front passenger air bag on and off easily.

I want it to go like the wind.

I don't want it to look like a 'mum' car - even though it is.

I like that lexus hybrid (200 something?) but I can't afford it. I need a poor mans version of that, but fuel efficient and high spec grin

HootyMcOwlface Fri 07-Mar-14 12:55:25

My DH is thinking about getting a Prius.
The main things for us are cheap road tax, good fuel economy, 5 door and reliable. Oh and safety.
I had a Volvo with heated seats before and it was ace! But really, I'm not much of a car person and would happily let my husband choose and buy it.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Fri 07-Mar-14 15:09:02

a nice colour grin seriously though, a decent sized boot, easy to see / read dials a good sound system controllable from wheel. easily adjustable seats, efficient heat / air controls.

lovingmum2four Fri 07-Mar-14 18:47:59

I like a car to be spacious without losing boot space. Fuel efficient, comfortable seating preferably with heated seats for cold winters, storage compartments drawers that can pull out from under seats would be handy. Good visibility, electric mirrors, tyres that don't cost a fortune to replace, easy to clean interiors as we stay in the country the car ges very dirty inside, outerbody paint that can handle suncream would be great.bluetooth, inbuilt tv, five doors with child safe windows and central locking. If it would be possible to have a entertainer pop out from the seats at the touch of a buton to keep the kids from fighting that would be fantastic!

fourlegstwolegs Fri 07-Mar-14 21:31:10

1) Well engineered
2) Well built
3) Good handling
4) Decent performance
5) Reliable
6) Practical for purpose!

RandomInternetStranger Sat 08-Mar-14 00:34:13

I want something with a bit of kick, lots of space, looks good, gadgets & gizmos, but most of all safe for the kids.

AgaPanthers Sat 08-Mar-14 00:41:24

Is this like when Homer Simpson designs a car and then bankrupts his brother's car firm?

nerysw Sat 08-Mar-14 10:54:05

In a car I look for something reasonable, reliable, cheap to tax and pleasant to drive. I need something hardwearing with two small children and the less posh things to go wrong on it the better!

Cherryjellybean Sat 08-Mar-14 12:06:34

I look for efficiency, parts that don't cost a lot to replace, cheap tax and insurance. I don't want to spend lots once I have a car.


Big boot for when we go away

Comfortable to drive

I love parking sensors and being able to turn off the airbag on the front passenger seat. But they wouldn't be a deal breaker when buying a car.

I look for cheap car tax & insurance, reliable, reasonably fuel efficient and enough boot space for us to take our camping gear. I also look for the car to be comfortable for me to drive - I'm short and like to sit quite upright when driving and I find some cars don't adjust enough for me (my ideal car would allow us to save driver profiles for the driver's seat so that we didn't have to adjust the seat manually every time).

There's not many optional extras I would look for but I do love our heated windscreen.

ILoveMyCaravan Sat 08-Mar-14 12:48:16

I'd look for:
Seats which are high enough to be able to slide onto them, preferably leather.
Seats which are easily adjustable up/down, forwards/backwards.
Enormous boot.
Very good all round visibility.
Very efficient demisters all round
Air con/climate control.
Definitely automatic and a diesel engine
Good sound system/speakers and built in sat nav
Lots of storage space
Tinted rear windows
USBs, charging points in the rear
front and rear parking sensors
Five doors
Capable of towing a caravan!

Benzalkonium Sat 08-Mar-14 14:56:37

I would only be able to buy a 2nd hand car and the single thing that would determine the purchase would be is the car likely to stay on the road without any maintenance for more than 1 year.

So no built in obsolescence please!

PloddingDaily Sat 08-Mar-14 20:55:54

My car essentials would be...

Safe (top rating ncap)
Fuel efficient & with low running costs
Well built, with good performance & handling across the range of speeds / road types,
Reasonable bootspace & sensibly functional interior- plastics not cheap & tacky looking...

My 'luxuries' (fantasy?! grin) would be:
Heated 'leather' (the manmade type for ease of cleaning the kids' sticky finger marks off! grin)
Heated windscreen to ease / speed deicing on cold mornings whilst the kids riot in the car
Auto lights reduces decision making when addled
Ability to link phone etc to stereo / carphone system
Parking sensors with loud beeps that I can hear over the kids
Rear power points for plugging kiddy entertainment junk chargers in...

Don't ask much, do I?! blush grin

Lovewhereilive Sat 08-Mar-14 22:25:40

Safety is the most importand consideration, followed closely by boot space (lug a lot of footballs and camping gear around!).
Comfort and reliability
Blue tooth good.
7 seats a bonus

4yoniD Sun 09-Mar-14 19:10:46

Good boot space
Roof rails for my roof box
Would be nice if I could get 3 car seats in the back
Sliding doors, a little extra headroom for getting kids in their carseats.
Air con, electric windows,
Rear parking sensors which are accurately configured (I LOVE mine!)
short bonnet (so I don't crunch it) and a flattish back (similar reasons)
Not a giant tank - a sensible size
not a van - cars look better and drive better
sensible mileage.
Middle size engine. I don't want a 1.1 and I don't want a 2L. 1.4-1.6 please.
Oh, and I want it all for a good price!

Why not be different and NOT charge for paint?!

twoboots Sun 09-Mar-14 19:55:16

Blue tooth
heated seats
digital radio
rear window warmer
High MPG
Permenant new car smell!

ceh1980 Sun 09-Mar-14 22:02:56

I wanted a Toyota Avensis having hired one but they were beyond my budget! So, what I look for in a car;

Reliability - warranty deals are always welcome
Safety - features to protect those in the back (esp my baby) as well as the adults up front inc Isofix
Fuel Economy - protecting my bank balance and the environment are of equal importance
Adjustable drivers seat and steering wheel - I am only 5'2" I need things to be able to change between me and my fiance
Big boot- Somewhere to put the buggy and goodness knows what else when we go away
Heated seat - great for easing an aching back!
Parking assist - for my fiance, not me honest, he is a newish driver!

And finally, I want it to look good, have a great entertainment system be a price I can afford and drive well too!!

I know, I don't ask for much......

WheresTheCoffee Mon 10-Mar-14 16:58:21

Air con, big boot and a cup holder grin

Lent1l Tue 11-Mar-14 12:08:14

We replaced our car about 18 months ago and spent a long time looking at lots of brands of cars to see what to go for. At the time we had just one 6 month old. We now have a second on the way and this was within our thoughts when we bought the new car - how will it work with two little ones. The things we looked for were:-
- When a car seat is in place in the back seats how much room is there for the people in the front? We are both quite tall and this doscounted several cars for us as we could not get comfortable positions in the front when the car seat was properly in place as the front seats were forced forward too far.
- How well does our buggy fit in the boot and what space remains for other luggage/shopping etc?
- Visibility from the driver's seat all round - several cars we tried had large areas at the very front of the front doors that caused visbility problems and roundabouts would be problematic.
- Drivers comfort. I suffer from back problems so those cars that passed the first three tests we took for extended test drives to see how my back felt once I was able to fully adjust the seat. Was I still comfortable after half an hour?
- Road noise from the car when driving on a motorway? We found some cars were too noisy on a motorway and made even normal conversation quite difficult.

Once we'd got past all of that we then looked at the specs of the car, as by this time we had narrowed down the make and model and then it was about which specific version of each model and what it offered for the price. Things like cruise control for long journeys; petrol or diesel; engine efficiency; insurance group.

As you can see for us the most important aspects were space and layout and then the spec of the car. Some hybrids had to be discounted as the boot space was taken up by the battery and with small children you need a boot that can fit the kitchen sink!!

crashbangboom Tue 11-Mar-14 21:08:53

We need seven full seats and the ability to accomadate Extended rearfacing seats. Don't want storage boxes.

Pooka Wed 12-Mar-14 19:37:26

The things I look for:

Fuel economy
Space for 3 kids and some friends
Comfortable seats and ability to adjust driving position for 6ft dh and for 5 ft 5 me.
Automatically retracting side mirrors (live on a busy road)

I currently drive a 10 plate ford s-max. I love it, in the main. The boot is scarily big when no kids in the pop up seats. Does mean that it looks like a complete dump because I rarely have to take things out to make space.

It drives really really well. Is a big car but has some poke - and while is. 2.2l it seems to have pretty good fuel economy. Can easily drive 350 miles to Cornwall, around Cornwall, and then some of the trip back on one tank.

Pooka Wed 12-Mar-14 19:39:42

Oh and my last car but one was a Toyota verso. I liked it very much, but it wasn't as responsive as current car and felt bigger strangely despite being smaller. Then had a honda frv which felt like it had better build quality. But was ugly.

Bubbles85 Thu 13-Mar-14 06:12:29

I look for a car that is comfortable and practical - not too big, comfortable, relaxing to drive... I must admit that as my current car has heated seats I would want that next time too!

chewbecca47 Thu 13-Mar-14 12:20:37

Smooth ride, fuel economy, good looks, nice interior, quality sound system, environmentally friendly... Oh, and child friendly too! ;)

TopsysMum Thu 13-Mar-14 16:52:08

I look for:

Seats that will fit three child car seats across the back
Big boot
Hard wearing upholstery
Sat nav
Parking sensors
Good size door pockets
Cup holders
Pockets for the kids to use
Decent size fold down seats in boot (ie that an adult could sit in if needs be! Not like the ones in the Verso)
Sliding doors
12v sockets

xxxkadzxxx Thu 13-Mar-14 19:16:54

I would LOVE a car which parked itself! My dream car would have heated seats, built in sat nav, plenty of storage, parking sensors (front and back), fold down seats (which could also be half down if i wanted) Any car i have must be 5 door so the children can get in and out easily. Childlock is a bonus for when i have young children in the car. A good sound system is nice, i love listening to music. Good heaters is a must! My car heaters take ages to heat up which isn't good on a cold day! I would like a car which is cheap to run eg; fuel, tax, insurance. I dont know about hybrid or electric cars as i have never tried them but i would be interested to take them for a test drive to see how i get on. The one thing i really would not want it to have is magnified mirrors! My car has them and Vauxhall claim its a safety features but it drives me mad (excuse the pun wink) and makes it near impossible for me to drive! Last but not least the colour and style play a big part! I like my car to look nice, smart and a little sexy! It doesn't have to be sleek but it has to look good!

amaradnas Thu 13-Mar-14 19:35:58

I first look at petrol/diesel consumption, then look for reliability and space needed for the family. Style is important and I've got to like the windows. My present car has arm-rests which I couldn't do without in my next car.
One of the most important things for me is that the seats are soft and comfortable. I also prefer an automatic, especially for driving around town.
I prefer conservative colours and therefore wouldn't consider a red or yellow car, even though it is safer and can be easily seen. Black is hard to see at night but I might consider as it may not need washing often!

ManeMrsS Sat 15-Mar-14 07:35:59

Seeking :
Good mpg
Height - so can put toddler in seat without bending too much
4x4 - As rural
Large boot for dog and pushchairs
Classic lines
Easy to clean upholstery (mud and crisps don't mix well!) - leather is perfect but too expensive an option

IncaAztec Sun 16-Mar-14 08:32:37

I am looking for:

-Isofix for the car seats (vital)
-Decent boot space
-Locking windows/doors from the front
-Cup holders
-Decent choice of spec - 1.4 petrol preferred
-Low running costs
-A local dealership

missmrsmummy Sun 16-Mar-14 17:27:16

In my next car, I'm looking for:

- heated windscreen (it seems that only Ford do these at the moment)
- 5 doors
- low insurance
- good mpg
- 1.2 engine
- central locking
- can connect to iPod/iPhone
- spacious boot
- isofix for car seat

Hope that's useful! I've been happy with my Aygo but just need a step up.

missmrsmummy Sun 16-Mar-14 17:28:11

Oops and cup holders!

kateandme Mon 17-Mar-14 04:41:30

fuel iffeciancy.
space in the boot
enough leg room for the kids to grow into in the back as far too many are so tight
4 doors preferably

MichelleMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 17-Mar-14 09:20:00

Hi everyone, thanks for posting your thoughts on the thread. Congratulations to TopsysMum who has won the £200 Love2Shop voucher! We'll be in touch shortly.

SnowieBear Tue 18-Mar-14 13:03:04

Got a 4 year old Prius T4 and now replacing it through work with an Auris Tourer Hybrid - can't wait! My Prius has been great for the last four years and I look forward to a bit more space in the boot for the next car.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now