Edmunds Dads on Car Features They Love and Car Features They Want | Edmunds

Edmunds Dads on Car Features They Love and Car Features They Want

On the Wish List: Self-Cleaning Floor Mats and an Ejector Seat


Dads want their cars to do everything. They have to carry the whole family and their cargo, have some modern amenities like Bluetooth audio and still be fun to drive (at least a little). It's a tall order, and depending on the size of the family, the "driving pleasure" part of the equation is sometimes the first thing that goes out the window. With this in mind, and Father's Day on the horizon, we asked dads who work at Edmunds to tell us about the features they love in their cars, minivans and SUVs. Many have found a vehicle that makes them happy and takes care of the family's needs, too.

But there's always room for improvement. So we also asked these Edmunds dads to list the features they'd want in their next cars. We got answers ranging from the practical to the fantastic (and one that's even a little diabolical). Our editors took their wish lists, worked their car-recommending magic and came back with suggestions of cars with features that could make Dad's driving even easier and more enjoyable. Alas, a passenger ejector seat is not available. Yet.

2014 BMW 335i
Saman Shantiyai, senior manager, digital media marketing
Number of kids and their ages: one child, 9 months
Car: 2014 BMW 335i
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Compromise between sports car and practical family vehicle.
Dad-friendly feature Saman wishes his car had: Child camera, so you don't have a funky mirror dangling over a car seat.
What Saman really loves about his car: This car is perfect for me because it allows me to be the family man in a sexy sedan. I can show up to work as a professional, have a spirited drive on the weekends and maybe an occasional auto-cross or track day. I also love the fact that it's a bit of a sleeper: Other than the exhaust, no one can really tell it's got some bolt-ons, an ECU tune and ridiculous amounts of torque.
For Saman's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The BMW M3. The best way to improve on the BMW 3 Series is to upgrade to the M version. It will deliver the same levels of comfort along with a huge bump in performance for weekend fun.

2016 Chevrolet Suburban
Avi Steinlauf, CEO
Number of kids and their ages: six children, 5,9,9,11,13 and 16
Car: 2016 Chevrolet Suburban
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Room for eight, plus plenty of room for bags and storage (I haven't gotten a vanity plate but if I did it would read "Uber 4-8").
Dad-friendly feature Avi wishes his car had: I wish that the car could wash itself — inside and out!
What Avi really loves about his car: I can fit the entire family — my six kids, me and my wife — into the vehicle and we still have plenty of room for bags and "stuff" in the back. And it's got plenty of plug options for all of their electronic devices.
For Avi's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Ford Transit. Everybody gets a captain's chair in this modern van, along with tons of cargo space and the latest technology.

1971 Volkswagen Westfalia Bus
Sal Meda, imagery production specialist
Number of kids and their ages: three children, 10, 14 and 17
Car: 1971 Volkswagen Westfalia Bus
Favorite dad-friendly feature: The manual transmission. It keeps me focused while driving.
Dad-friendly feature Sal wishes his car had: Bluetooth connectivity
What Sal really loves about his car: Though the bus is old, I love driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in search of a perfect spot for my kids to surf.
For Sal's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Volkwagen Atlas. It's the biggest vehicle Volkswagen has sold in the U.S. since the original bus. It has three rows of seats, the latest technology, and even a huge panoramic sunroof for letting in the sun while you're cruising the coast.

2012 Volkswagen Jetta
Andrew Jobson, director, customer care
Number of kids and their ages: one child, 19
Car: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Bluetooth
Dad-friendly feature Andrew wishes his car had: A James Bond-like ejection button for the backseat passenger. It would have come in handy when my daughter started dating and I was not impressed with her companion.
What Andrew really loves about his car: The Jetta has successfully traveled coast to coast three times since I have owned it, and I have many special family memories in this car as a result. It is highly reliable, extremely fuel-efficient and has great pickup and acceleration. I could not be happier with it.
For Andrew's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Volkswagen Golf GTI. It will have all the things that made the Jetta so enjoyable, along with updated technology and even more impressive performance.

2006 Nissan Xterra
Jeff Hester, manager, web production
Number of kids and their ages: two children, 7 and 9
Car: 2006 Nissan Xterra
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Big cargo space and roof racks to haul all my family's stuff
Dad-friendly feature Jeff wishes his car had: A barrier in the back seat between my kids for when they start arguing, which happens 5 seconds after I pick them up from school. Every day.
What Jeff really loves about his car: After we got the Xterra, we bought my uncle's tent trailer, which I camped in as a kid. Now I can hitch it up to my Xterra and take my family camping, just like I used to.
For Jeff's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Nissan Pathfinder. Three rows of seating give the kids plenty of space to stretch out, while a new engine for 2017 bumps the towing capacity to 6,000 pounds.

2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
Will Macleod, senior product manager
Number of kids and their ages: one child, 10 months
Car: 2010 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
Favorite dad-friendly feature: I can get from the office to day care realllllly fast — if there isn't traffic.
Dad-friendly feature Will wishes his car had: I can't think of one. This one isn't the most practical "Dad car," but my son and I love cars, so it's perfect for us. Well, since he's just 10 months, I might be speaking for him.
Will's favorite memory in the car: It was the first time I picked my son up from day care in the car. I was a little nervous that he wasn't going to be very happy with the ride. At the time, I had a mirror on the back headrest so I could see him when I drove. I hit the start button with my eyes focused on him in the mirror, and it happened: He smiled and giggled when the car did the signature AMG growl. My heart melted. I realized I had a little enthusiast in the making.
For Will's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Mercedes-Benz GLC43 AMG. This compact SUV will easily accommodate a growing child, while the 362-horsepower turbocharged V6 will keep Dad happy no matter who's in the car.

2006 Acura TSX
Henry Alvarez, senior analyst, vehicle valuations and analytics
Number of kids and their ages: one child, 18 months
Car: 2006 Acura TSX
Favorite dad-friendly feature: I can drive my daughter to Gymboree, then take the car to the track the same day if I want to.
Dad-friendly feature Henry wishes his car had: I wish it had more legroom so that my wife could sit in the front seat comfortably with the baby car seat behind her. My wife is 5-foot-10 and it makes getting comfortable difficult.
What Henry really loves about his car: I bought the car before I was married or had a kid, but I figured both would happen during the time I had the car with me. I also wanted to race the car at various tracks. I have managed to make both things come true. During the week it handles baby duty and then on the weekends I race it — when time and money allow. Mission accomplished, TSX!
For Henry's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Honda Civic. The Civic is impressively roomy, even for rear-facing child safety seats. It's also fun to drive and, in the Si trim level, suitable for track-based driving events.

2001 Lexus IS 300
Harvey Kaner, copywriter
Number of kids and their ages: two children, 14 and 15
Car: 2001 Lexus IS 300
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Four doors, roomy back seating area, great handling on twisty roads and the power to do fishtails
Dad-friendly feature Harvey wishes his car had: Massage seats
What Harvey really loves about his car: After driving a 1974 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale convertible, the thing I wanted most was a sporty sedan with zero maintenance. The IS 300 was on my short list and beat out everything else. It got a big thumbs-up from my mechanic when he inspected it, and it's been rock-solid for me since 2005, when I got it. I still love to drive it.
For Harvey's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Lexus IS 350. It has the same qualities as the original IS but is fully up-to-date with the latest features and tech.

2006 Toyota Sienna
Sheldon Kung, senior data analyst
Number of kids and their ages: two children, 2 and two months
Car: 2006 Toyota Sienna
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Sliding doors, so you can still get the kid out in a tight parking space.
Dad-friendly feature Sheldon wishes his car had: More power! The van gets terrible gas mileage anyway; it couldn't get any worse with a V8.
What Sheldon really loves about his car: My Sienna is just so practical. It seats seven, so it can haul my extended family out to dinner or it can haul a full-size couch when needed.
For Sheldon's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Honda Odyssey. Fully redesigned, the Odyssey boasts a strong 280 hp, which is good for zero to 60 mph in about 7 seconds.

2015 Acura TLX
Matt Jones, senior consumer advice editor
Number of kids and their ages: one child, 21
Car: 2015 Acura TLX
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Bluetooth audio. With it, I can play my tunes and give my kid no chance to control the radio.
Dad-friendly feature Matt wishes his car had: If someone could invent self-cleaning ovens, couldn't we get some self-cleaning floor mats that are activated as soon as my son and his buddies get out of my car?
Matt's favorite memory in the car: My kid drove my TLX and said he wanted one just like it for himself once he graduates college. If he likes it enough to want one, that might mean I have OK taste and have picked out a cool car. By proxy, might that make me cool, too? My cargo shorts and I hope so.
For Matt's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Chevrolet SS. There's no car right now that has self-cleaning floor mats, but sedans don't get much more discreet and cool than Chevy's V8-powered sport sedan.

2015 Honda CR-V
Ben Marland, senior production manager
Number of kids and their ages: two children, 8 and 10
Car: 2015 Honda CR-V
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Seat warmers and LaneWatch (where the center touchscreen turns into a live camera trained on the right side of the car)
Dad-friendly feature Ben wishes his car had: Built-in hammock anchor points
Ben's favorite memory in the car: I love camping and road trips with our CR-V. When it still had less than 100 miles on the odometer, we took a spur-of-the-moment road trip to the Petrified Forest and Grand Canyon. We explored dirt roads miles from anywhere and had a great family time together!
For Ben's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Jeep Cherokee. In its available Trailhawk version, the Cherokee is the most off-road- capable small crossover available, which is perfect for deeper adventures into nature.

2012 Lexus CT 200h
Stan Cho, service desk technician
Number of kids and their ages: one child, 4
Car: 2012 Lexus CT 200h
Favorite dad-friendly feature: Hatchback and folding rear seats offer ample space for such a small car.
Dad-friendly feature Stan wishes his car had: Second-row USB ports
Stan's favorite memory in the car: My daughter prefers riding in the CT 200h over an SUV we have — she always asks for the little red car. We couldn't figure out why, but then I remembered that on one short road trip, we tucked my iPhone in between the passenger-side seat and its headrest. Boom: instant rear-seat entertainment unit. It's fine with me that she prefers this car. It's like driving a go-kart.
For Stan's next car, Edmunds editors recommend: The Audi A3 Sportback e-tron. It's a hatchback like the CT 200h, but it's also a plug-in hybrid, which is great for fuel economy. Stan can even get the e-tron with two extra USB ports in the back as an option.

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