When I was a teen, my friends let me drive their pickup trucks on country roads well before I was licensed, gasp! It was not the safest way to do things but times were different and it did mean I was comfortable behind the wheel with lots of road hours before I had to do my test. My own daughter is city raised and public transit comfy but has had her G1 since 16…it is about to expire when she turns 21. We are going to giddy up and get her graduated to a full license before then.
This is why I accepted the invitation from General Motors to explore how the latest technology in the 2016 Chevy Malibu makes things safer for our kids. A road trip in Victoria didn’t sound too bad either, I am a good mom; I did need to learn about the vehicle for when she comes home from university with a degree in one hand, asking for the car keys with the other. It’s all for her sake, really.
Here is how teen driving has improved:
- With this car I can identify a specific teen key fob which will activate the features I choose to program that keep her safe
- One of these features is that the seatbelt must be buckled before the radio can be turned on and the radio can be preset to top out at a reasonable volume. I mean, MY kid won’t blast the radio, but her friends might.
- The system will send me an alert if she goes over a certain, agreed speed. It will also alert her while driving that her mom knows she isn’t going to Rachel’s for a sleepover but, rather is on the 401 on her way to visit friends out of town. Again, MY kid would never do this but it is good to know that the system will let me know IF…
- It has its own 4G wifi and lots of ways to charge multiple devices so there will never be a “sorry my phone died” moment. In fact, some models have wireless charging mats that are cooled to protect the phone from overheading.
- What any teen will love about this car is its utter connective coolness like Google Apple Play which puts their music and texts on view. This prevents the fumble with a phone to play just the right tune for the drive.
- I know how critical it is to stay in touch and how anxiety creating it is when I am wasting time in traffic. This is no longer an acceptable circumstance for the busy working parent but the texting while driving is estimated to be 6x more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. The idea here is that a quick glance at an incoming message on a visible screen will quell the need fiddle with the phone until the driver stops driving. Or we can go back to hope and deny…
As a mom of a certain age, there were a few key features that pleased me:
- The styling on the inside and out of this car are both way beyond their class. It is slick and maybe even sexy. Ok “mom sexy” but still.
- The fob has a sensor that makes opening the door one button simple. This system allows my key to in my purse and me to simply push a button on the car to open it. Given that my hands are always full of laptop/gym clothes/groceries/dog leash/camera gear.
- When I have a mini panic attack that I left said camera gear in the car but forgot to lock it, I can use the GM app to lock it from anywhere. And when I forget if I used the app, I can just do it again. The speed of life demands that we have multiple ways to quell the concerns.
- The Premiere level model has a unique cooling feature in its class…heated AND cooled seats. For those stressy 40 something mom days when full blast air conditioning just isn’t enough.
As for the road trips: this car has plenty of leg room front and back, good trunk space for those rides up remote roads with camping gear and such. On the #ChevyMalibu launch trip in BC, I was able to drive up the coast and explore all the way to Tofino. Now, there are the roads that any true driver should find but they are strictly for the experienced…so mom should take the wheel here, just sayin’.