World Dream Cars Update

Kid-Friendly Luxury Cars

>> Sunday, 10 February 2008

The Volvo XC90 leads our list of the industry's most kid-friendly luxury cars. The Acura MDX, Saab 9-3 Sport Combi, Mercedes M Class and BMW X5 round out the top five. All are examples of how an increasing number of luxury automakers are recognizing that luxury isn't just for adults. With that in mind, they are equipping vehicles with safety features and amenities designed to protect and accommodate infants, children and adults.

Shop wisely, and you'll see it's possible to drive a more stylish car with luxurious leather seats, a superior sound system--and plenty of holders for your children's sippie cups.

That's what you'll find in the three-row Volvo XC 90. It also features a unique second-row seat with a 40-20-40 three-way split that offers flexible seating combinations and cargo space for strollers and groceries when needed. All safety belt systems in the XC 90 include "pretensioners," which cut rear seatbelt slack in the event of a collision, a feature typically reserved for front-seat passengers. There's third-row air conditioning and an interior air quality system that alerts passengers to toxic substances in the incoming air stream.

The Mercedes Benz ML 350 has an eye to safety and entertainment with DVD screens mounted to the rear of the front head rests. This design means that drivers are not obstructed by roof-mounted DVD screens or a rear passenger reaching up to adjust the screen.

"There is a level of expectation that a car that is well equipped for a family should have certain amenities for children.” says Fallon. "They want some minivan amenities, but don't want to remove themselves from a level of comfort, style and prestige they are accustomed to.”

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