Did you know women now influence more than 80% of car purchase decisions and drive 45% of all new cars on Australian roads?

With car dealerships often targeted towards men, it’s time for women to quite literally take control of the wheel.

So, what do you need to consider before buying a family car that’s perfect for school pick-ups, road trips, prams and ALL the gear?

The key is to do your research and work out the style of car that’s going to work for your family.

This handy Five-S guide (safety, space, size, seats and style) will get you started.

Safety

Safety should be your number one priority when shopping for a family car. Nowadays many modern cars come with ABS brakes, air bags and electronic stability control as standard these days, but you can also opt for reversing sensors and park assist features too.

Also look at ANCAP test results which measures passenger safety in serious head-on and side crashes.

Women influence more than 80% of car purchase decisions.

Space

Boot space is essential as a family car will need to fit prams, travel cots, kids’ bikes –  and more! It’s one of the reasons that SUVs and hatchbacks have become so popular.

You may even consider taking your actual pram with you to car dealerships to see how it will fit.

Seats

You will want an automobile with comfortable seats, good back support, neck rests and plenty of leg room in the front and also in the back for the kids.

While most cars offer five seats, many won’t fit three car seats comfortably across the back seats so keep this in mind as if you’re planning on three or more kids.

On that note, if you are planning on a large family, people movers with seven or eight permanent seats are what you’ll be after.

Is a panoramic sunroof on your car shopping wish list?

Size

It you’re in a metro area with on-street parking or you have a small garage or a tight car parking spot, a shorter and more compact car will make life so much easier.

Find out the engine size too. The bigger the engine, the more powerful it will be but fuel will also cost more.

Style

Does it look good on the outside and the inside too? Look the car over back to front and check out all the features it offers inside.

Sit in the back seat and see if there are air-conditioning vents and places for your kids to store their toys and gadgets.

Take it for a test drive, try parking it and find out everything the car comes equipped with – from safety features to technological advances like hands-free voice control tech and auto park assist.

And if it ticks all your boxes, it’s time to talk to the dealer.

The Ford Puma is a sporty compact SUV – so, how does it rate as a family car?

How does the Ford Puma rate on our 5-S guide?  

The all-new Ford Puma is a sporty compact SUV, so it’s super stylish and it’s jam-packed with connective technology. Let’s see how it rates as a family car?

Safety

The Puma has achieved a five-star safety rating, scoring well in each ANCAP assessment criteria (Adult Occupant Protection, Child Occupant Protection, Vulnerable Road User Protection and Safety Assist) so you can drive knowing you and your precious cargo are safe.

The SUV also comes with FordPass which allows you to locate your vehicle, lock and unlock the doors and start the engine remotely, so you can cool the cabin down on hot days, all via an easy-to-use app on your phone.

Other safety features include Autunomous Emergency Braking (AED) with pedestrian detection, emergency brake assist, forward collision alert, lane keeping aid with lane departure warning and excellent traffic sign recognition.

Space

The boot is not huge but it will fit a small stroller and plenty of gear for the family.

A hands-free power tailgate makes access to your Puma boot compartment easy, even when your hands are full. Simply, kick your foot under the rear bumper and the hands-free power tailgate opens and closes automatically.

Hands full? No problem, simply open the boot by kicking your foot under the rear bumper.

Seats

The Puma is a five seater SUV. The seats are comfortable and supportive.

The back seat space will comfortably fit a family with young kids in the back. There are two ISOFIX/ three rear tether child seat restraint points but due to limited space it will really only fit two car seats.

Size

As a compact SUV, Ford Puma is based on the Fiesta and is powered by a 1.0 litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine.

It’s ideal for inner city areas as it is on the smaller side compared to other SUVs on the market, so will zip into tight car spaces with ease.

 Style

The Ford Puma is very good looking but most importantly it’s smart too.

The Puma’s SYNC®3 infotainment allows you to use voice commands to find your nearest restaurant, make hands-free phone calls and listen to text messages.

Plus, seamlessly integrate your compatible smartphone through Apple CarPlay, Android AutoTM & Applink® for hands-free control of your favourite apps.

The enhanced active park assist helps you find and navigate a suitable parking spot, automatically steering you in and out while you work on the accelerator and brake. It’s designed to make parallel and perpendicular parking stress-free and for that we say thank you!

The Ford Puma is available from $31,490 drive away.