Unless you’re new here, there are probably at least two things you know about me.

  1. I hate winter. Yes, I’m Canadian. Yes, I was born here. No, I don’t believe you can just “dress for it.” Sand over snow, every single time.
  2. I love a road trip.  Given the choice between a flight and a drive, I’ll opt for the drive. I love planes too, but there’s something about a road trip.

Family Drive | Memory Maker

I can still remember the road trips we took as a family when I was a kid. This says a lot considering I barely remember what I ate for breakfast yesterday.

There is just this joy I feel when I recall those trips.

My parents were newly immigrated to the country in those early years. Flights for our family of 5 likely weren’t even a considerable option, but the car was freedom. We could go anywhere it seemed…and often with all of my cousins either along for the ride or waiting for us when we got there. Those trips remain among my favourite childhood memories.

I was never one of those kids who hated car trips. Especially in those early days before my younger brother outgrew his spot in the middle seat and lacked the arm length to poke me constantly.

I think that’s why road trips have figured so prominently in my own parenting. It started when the kids were little. We knew we could pile them in their car seats into the back of our VW Passat wagon and then bring every single thing we thought they might need – from the jumpy chair to the play pen – along as well.

In our years together we’ve hit the road at a moment’s notice or with weeks of planning with the same result. Happiness in experiencing the journey together.

Family Drive | Key needs

Last week at the Toronto International AutoShow, I was sharing some of my memories with Traci Sinyard. I had the pleasure of being one of the hosts at the VW Canada booth and Traci is a Product Strategist at Volkswagen Canada and the brains behind the all new VW Atlas.

VW Atlas Toronto Autoshow #VWAutoshow

She too grew up loving road trips but her focus was also on the cars themselves. Lucky for us, she grew up, followed her passion, became a mom and lent her expertise to the development of this new vehicle.

We chatted about dream family road trip car needs and she shared some of the ways she’s worked the answers into the new 2018 Atlas.

The Family Need: Comfort, space and easy trunk access

It was all well and good when the kids were little to stick their carseats into the back seat without worrying about leg room, but those days are over. At 12 and 14, the boys’ knees in my back are a new experience.  Are your kids fighting over the middle seat yet? Or do you have more than two and already hearing the “He’s touching me!” complaints? I feel for you.

The all-new 2018 Volkswagen Atlas is the first ever 7-seater with 3 full-sized rows. Even better the back row can fold down for larger trunk space which means everyone has room to stretch out and we can still carry (and access) all of our stuff.

VW Atlas 2018 Toronto #VWAutoshow

photo courtesy of VWCanada.com

The other thing I loved about this car for families: It can fit three car seats side by side! The back seats can fold forward with a car seat in place so there’s no unhooking and re-hooking it every time someone wants to climb in the back. Magic!

The Family Need: Entertainment

We are all about podcasts and audio books when we’re traveling and for the most part we’re all listening together. But there are times when the kids want to zone out and watch their own things. And if you’ve got younger kids the battle between whether they can watch paw patrol or bubble guppies can trigger an all-out backseat war.

The Atlas offers a solution: Media control. Parents can monitor who’s watching what from their device up front and control the ipads or devices in the back seat. That’s everything from volume control to what they can/can’t access on the device.  The Fender Premium Audio system means that when we are listening together we can actually hear.

The Family Need: Substance with Style

There isn’t a parent out there who’s thinking: I’d like a family car that makes me look like I’m someone’s parent. Why should we have to sacrifice style for substance? I fell in love with the Kurkuma Yellow Metallic colour on the Atlas on display at the AutoShow but also the sleek interior. Leather seats (take that potential exploding juice box), adaptive cruise control, a sexy digital cockpit dash that has a 12.3 inch display right in front of the driver and keeps you up to date on fuel efficiency and more… Because why shouldn’t we turn heads when we pull in for soccer practice, right?

VW 2018 Atlas #VWAutoshow Toronto

This post was subsidized in part by VWCanada. As always all opinions are my own. For more information on the 2018 Atlas visit www.vwcanada.com. It will be available for purchase this summer.