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The top 10 cars to shut the kids up

  1. Some Australians have recently discovered that having children in the car is more distracting to a driver than talking on a mobile phone.

    Yep, a survey conducted by Monash University in Melbourne found that, of 12 families who agreed to have their driving characteristics monitored, parents spent almost 20 per cent of their journey time turning round or looking in the mirror to check on their offspring. According to researchers, that makes them 12 times more distracting than talking on the phone.

    But don’t panic. Ever scaling the frosty peak of up-to-the-second consumer advice, we’ve put together a list of ten vehicles that’ll soothe lively little ones, leaving you to concentrate on ignoring your mobile.

  2. Maybach Laundaulet

    While the 62 model it’s based on ranked 2nd on our list of the 13 worst cars of the last two decades, the Landaulet has a party piece. Essentially, it’s a partial convertible - a convertib, if you will - with a half-folding canvas top that peels back to expose the rear passengers. As the driver, you’re mercifully hidden from view, and insulated from the kids’ din via a massive glass partition. You also have control of the roof, which takes 16 seconds to fold. And if you get bored, there’s a 612bhp 6.0-litre V12 to play with.

  3. Jaguar XJ Ultimate

    If you thrust bleeping screens in front of humanlets, they tend to become placated. Based on this deeply responsible school of parenting, you should buy an XJ Ultimate. It has two eight-inch screens on the back of the front headrests, and a pair of iPads and keyboards docked in the front seat backs. But most importantly, there’s a set of wireless headphones for the cherubs. And a champagne chiller, which could help pacify the other half.

  4. Range Rover Extended Wheelbase

    If you’re the parents of two exacting giraffes, the 5.2-meter-long extended wheelbase Range Rover adds 14cm of extra rear legroom to the standard car’s already liberal provisions. There’s also the ‘Executive Class’ option, which replaces the ordinary three-seat rear bench with a pair of massive individual armchairs.

  5. Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

    As well as the 740hp 7.2-litre V12 - which makes the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta the fastest front-engined rear-wheel drive car ever - the passenger gets a little treat. While they’re desperately trying not to soil the the lovely leather chair, anyone sitting in the front gets their own auxiliary data readout, which tells them what gear the driver’s in, how many revs they’re pulling, and how fast they’re going.

  6. The Top Gear Convertible Renault Espace

    Nothing pacifies like a wistful gaze into the sky. Which is why it’s so profoundly unusual that no mainstream carmaker’s built a convertible MPV. Luckily, Top Gear’s light engineering touch was on hand to solve the problem. Despite some very minor incidents with a Barbary macaque and an automated car wash, we feel the magnificence of our creation has not yet been bettered.

  7. Audi A8

    If you subscribe to the philosophy of fighting fire with fire, the £6,600 Bang & Olufson Advanced Sound System option for the Audi A8 is your hottest ticket. It’s a 1,110-watt 14-speaker system that’ll drown out even the most penetrating din.

  8. The Jeremy Clarkson TGV12

    OK, so it doesn’t strictly qualify as a car, but the TGV12 Jeremy built from combining a caravan and Jaguar XJS with some train wheels will drastically reduce noise from passengers - if they’re getting annoying, simply raise the Jag’s roof. Early reviews weren’t positive, mind. The Editor of Railway Express magazine said, “The ride was awful, the noise was distressing, I genuinely feared for my life, and I ended up covered in excrement”.

  9. Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB

    With its extended wheelbase model, Rolls-Royce is one of few manufacturers to offer a factory-fit sliding partition screen between the front and rear seats. That leaves your offspring free to create as many decibels as they can muster. The EWB’s extra 250mm in length (stretching it out to six meters in total) is inserted right behind the b-pillar too - plenty of room for generously limbed younglings.

  10. Mercedes-Benz Popemobile

    If you’re worried about being attacked with high-powered weapons, find your children distracting, but also want to show them off a bit, go pontiff style. The Popemobile is essentially a person-sized display case - complete with its own oxygen supply - built into the back of an M-Class Mercedes. Passengers enter through a rear door, and can chose either an elevated papal throne or two more discreet seats in front. There’s room for another passenger in the wheelhouse as well. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, that man with the moustache is Dieter Zetsche, the chairman of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler AG. The man in the white is Pope Benedict XVI.

  11. Grand Prix Metalcraft Hunting Range Rover 

    The Grand Prix Metalcraft Range Rover was originally designed for desert hunting with falcons. That means that it has special hydraulically operated seats that lift for a better view - a concept easily adapted to create some sort of naughty seat for unruly kids. There are also six wheels, which is always good. 

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