kids and cars

kids and cars

kids and cars

Thinking of leaving the kids out of your decision-making process when it comes to buying your next car? Think again, advises Jonathan Crouch.

If you're a parent, just how much do you involve your children in the buying decision when the time comes to change your car? Probably not very much is the answer: they get what they're given. But perhaps you should.

Suspecting that perhaps kids might be more perceptive than adults would give them credit for when it comes to evaluating a prospective new car, we decided to test the theory out on a group of typical eight year-old school children from Dunottar School in Reigate, Surrey.

For typical kids, we chose a typical family car, Renault's 5-seater Scenic mini-MPV, and invited them to crawl all over it before giving us their opinions. These were interesting to say the least. Here's a quick sample..

Sarah McManus - age 8

This would be a brilliant car for holiday and family occasions but I think it would also be good for long journeys. It has lots of storage compartments and even has something in the boot that you can put the shopping under. On top of this, there are window blinds which are very useful for hot days in summer. This will be a fantastic car for lots of people.

Annie L. Smith - aged 8

I like the Renault Scenic because there are lots of cabinets in all different parts of it. One of my favourite parts of the car was on the two back seats where your head goes into a big pillow (the rear head restraint - Ed) but if you have children, you pull down the head part and down comes a head rest (the optional integral child booster seat - Ed). Is that cool or what?

I also like that inside the car at the back, there are picnic tables. Plus I like the way it had windows on the roof (this Scenic had the twin sunroofs option - Ed). Oh and really like the way it has lots and lots of places to store things, like the mini fridge and the bread storage cabinet (a removable air conditioned storage box fitted between the two front seats - Ed).

Katie Wintle Age 8

Inside, it's good in the back, especially because kids like me can have a snack using the useful flip down tables. If it's a hot day and the chocolate part of that snack is melting, you can put it in the handy compartment in the front. For bigger meal stuff, there is a useful compartment between the front seats that's like a bread bin.

If you're drinking though, there's no point in putting your cup in the cupholder just behind the rear seatback clips because once you've got it there, you won't be able to reach it again.

I did like the fact that for children my age or smaller, there's a comfortable pull-out carseat built into the rear seats. Dogs have also been thought about. If you need to pack your pooch in this car, pull down the rear parcel shelf and use it to put your dog on.

And you thought kids were only interested in getting in and plugging in their Ninetendos..