Family shopping for a new recently polled roughly 1,000 parents on a variety of auto issues to find out what's important to parents today. Parents were polled on features and safety, vehicle choices, functionality versus technology, and even what happens if they get pulled over by the police.

Must-Have Tech Gadget: Rear Back-up Camera

Combining technology and safety, the rear back-up camera scored the highest marks out of all parents polled because it gave them a great sense of security on anything or anyone who’s potentially behind the vehicle. 39.3 percent of parents said this would be their first choice in a tech gadget, followed by the ability to synch all electronics in the vehicle (21.7 percent).

Most Overrated Car Feature: Cool box

Of all the features available in cars today that are important to parents, including safety, functionality, and technology, 42.4 percent of parents said they felt the cool box was the most overrated feature in a car. A cool box allows parents to keep food, beverages, and other child essentials chilled during trips. The overwhelming summary from parents was that they already brought other cooler options into the vehicle and found that they weren't using built-in chill systems as much.

Most Surprising Vehicle: Mazda 5 Crossover

Priced under $20,000 and available for lease as low as $250 per month, the Mazda 5 scored the highest overall points in terms of functionality, technology, overall features, roominess, and price. Parents loved its ability to seat up to six passengers comfortably, the ease of getting car seats in and out, the amount of storage space, and the USB jack for technology favorites. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, the Mazda 5 Crossover received an average score of 8.3.

Most Disappointing Vehicle: Toyota Rav4

When asked if they felt their vehicle was disappointing in terms of its effectiveness for parents, the Toyota Rav4 had the highest number of mentions. The majority of parents said they were overall disappointed with the vehicle’s handling and felt there just wasn't enough space that’s adequate for their needs. On a scale of 1 to 10, the Toyota Rav4 received an average score of 4.7.

Best Sedan Choice: Ford Fusion Hybrid

Packed with features, this vehicle scored highest marks out of all sedans because of its full slate of creature comforts, along with its ability to offer incredible fuel economy. The vehicle also comes with a rear back-up camera and rear sensors, options high on everyone’s list this year, in addition to technology features that allowed parents and kids to charge gadgets during the trip. On a scale of 1 to 10, the Ford Fusion Hybrid received a score of 7.9.

Given the choice between optional third-row seats or DVD package: Optional third-row seats

Admittedly, this one surprised us a bit. Sure, parents are big on functionality. But DVDs in the car go a long way toward pacifying kids during long trips. Perhaps that is the issue—47.3 percent of parents chose optional third-row seats over the DVD package (38.6 percent with 14.1 percent saying neither). Could this be because they're taking shorter trips? Either way, if you’re a parent who’s big into space, it’s hard to pass up a solid extra row.

Excuse most often given if pulled over by police: Child had a dirty diaper (success of getting out of ticket—less than 10 percent)

We had a little fun with this question! We all try to sometimes make an attempt at getting out of a speeding ticket. Ever wonder what parents do in this situation? Why not blame it on the diaper. The majority of parents said they’d tried this once when stopped for a speeding ticket. Perhaps they tried it only once because it worked for just 8.3 percent of those who admitted trying it.

Source:, a car leasing company.

What must-have features do you look for when selecting a car for your family?