IT’S a truism of modern life that, as a parent, you will know a remarkably high number of people who drive SUVs – like the Honda CR-V pictured above. Even in austerity Britain, there can’t be a school in the nation that doesn’t have parents driving these.
The truth is that SUVs are ubiquitous because they are so practical.
This advantage becomes virtually a necessity when offspring arrive. There cannot be many non-SUV-driving parents who have never thought of getting one.
Think of all the room and being able to fit the children’s things into a sensible space. Imagine never having dusty footprints on the back of the driver’s seat, or shopping bags scattering their contents into the front passenger footwell as you drive home from the supermarket shop. It’s tempting.
The only thing that sounds more parent-friendly than an SUV is a driverless car, but we seem to be around thirty years away from this.
Researchers at Oxford University are currently trialling a driverless car, aiming to produce an affordable vehicle which is suitable for use on UK roads.
Several major manufacturers have joined the race. There has been much press coverage claiming that driverless vehicles are on their way, but where does that leave people who actually enjoy their driving, with or without their children?
The reality may turn out to be that people will still actively drive – when they want to – but with the option of ‘going driverless’ when they don’t.
In fact, lots of the technology that is likely to be part of a driverless car is already installed in some vehicles now on sale. This increases the safety of the vehicle and makes things more convenient for the driver.
What about now?
All of this leaves the modern family driver in a good position.
Several of the newer SUVs make practical use of cutting-edge technology, particularly to optimise safety and fuel economy, without compromising the driver experience.
For example, Honda’s latest version of its CR-V, which has been pleasing families since the late 1990s, has features that include (depending on the model chosen) electronic 4WD that works alongside a motion-adaptive electronic power steering system, to improve driver control and therefore safety.
The advanced driver-assist system provides collision mitigation braking. There’s a lane-keeping assist system and cruise control that works in adaptive mode to ensure the Honda CR-V is always a safe distance from other traffic.
There’s also an ambient meter that shows how the driver is doing in terms of fuel economy. Drivers develop an overview of their driving style and tailor it to minimise fuel consumption.
If you visit Honda online, you’ll find there are some great new car deals available on the Honda website at the moment.
For example, there are purchase plans starting from £259 p/month (0% APR), with four years’ servicing from £399. So while parents across the country settle down in front of Cbeebies and await the first driverless 4WD, it’s worth checking out the latest range of SUVs.
These are practical and ideal for the family market but sufficiently innovative to be interesting to petrol-heads with or without children.