US: What are parents looking for in a car? Third-row seating?
October 17th, 2023, Clifton Mark

US: What are parents looking for in a car? Third-row seating?

With 78.2% of US parents of children under 18 expecting to purchase a car in the next five years, automakers will want to know their preferences.

In a recent targeted survey using YouGov Self-Serve, YouGov asked parents about the key features they’re looking for in a car. What do you need when raising (and transporting) the next generation?

The most sought-after feature by parents is a set of backup cameras (62%), for convenience and safety. These are especially handy when driving large vehicles. Around half mentioned cargo space (54%), easy-to-clean interiors (53%), Bluetooth (52%), cup holders (49%) and rear AC vents (48%). Among the least important features for parents are televisions and power sliding doors with only 17% mentioning these options.

A third row of seating, offered in larger automobiles, is a selling point for a third of car-shoppers with children (32%). However, two-thirds do not seek it out in particular. This feature is also more popular among women (36%) than men (27%).

Why get a third-row of seats? Why not? 

Of those who would look for third row seating in a new car, nearly half (46%) say that hauling kin is the main benefit of this feature. The second most common reason is to allow more space for child seats in the vehicle and easier access to them.

Carpooling was the third most-cited benefit, with 22% of parents saying that that is the main benefit of third row seating.

For the two-thirds of American parents would not look for third row seating, the main disadvantages are price (30%) and size (29%). A quarter (24%) say that the extra seating cuts down on cargo space.

While there is no single set of features that will please all or even most of parents, YouGov surveys can provide insight into what’s most important to key market segments.

Methodology: YouGov polled 463 US adults online on September 23 and 24. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Self-serve.