Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from itsallnew. Show itsallnew's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Arcain- We still haven't had our LO, but we purchased/were looking at cars when I was a little more pg than you.  We ended up with an Accord because we imagined that all the baby gear plus our own things (luggage if we're travelling, groceries, etc.) or us, baby and visiting parents would require space.  Like I said, I can't tell you how we will do once baby gets here, but I feel like it should be plenty for us. 

    As for the process of buying a car, edmunds.com was incredibly helpful for us.  We read up on the cars we were interested in via their consumer reports, had a chance to do car comparisons, and you can also look up what dealers have (new and used) so you can go in educated.  GL!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from itsallnew. Show itsallnew's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Oh, and I echo many of the things to think about that others have suggested.  It's a lot that you aren't thinking about now but will come up as you get further into your pg and definitely post-partum...
     
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  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    In Response to Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?:
    [QUOTE]I'm expecting my first in January and drive a CRV, glad to see the positive review! Do you not want an SUV/minivan just because of the size? I drove a Civic for 6+ years and I feel the CRV feels just like a car. I didn't have any problems last winter either. If it's just the size/feel of a large vehicle you don't like, I would still test drive a CRV.
    Posted by June09[/QUOTE]

    Until a friend I mentioned had their third kid and upgraded to an Odyssey, she was thrilled with her CR-V (with 2 kids).  She said it was a great kidmobile 'til she outgrew it, but if you're expecting your first, you've got a long time (car life wise) before that's an issue.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    We ended up getting rid of the Civic (only DH could drive it and it was already over 10 years old) and caved to  the Odessey - but was largely because we do long road trips periodically (3-5+ hours) and when we include rowing gear plus baby gear, we knew a small car would not do. Of course, when we are surrounded by huge quad cab pickups (which DH eyes longingly), sometimes I feel like I am driving a little car :) nothing like being unable to see your minivan sandwiched between two quad cab F250s in the daycare parking lot.

    If we were still in the northeast, I would have probably insisted on looking at the VW Jetta - most likely the Jetta wagon - the newer Jettas are a little bigger than the one we have now (ours is 2003 and we have to put his convertible seat behind the passenger when we take him in the Jetta but when I looked at my sister's new Jetta, it had noticably more leg room in the back). Before we got the mini-van, it was the Jetta (the civic was smaller) that we used for the bucket seat and for shopping because it had more storage capacity and we could get both me, DH and the baby in the car and squeeze in groceries along with the stroller. And we liked how the Jetta handled the year-round conditions in Boston (DH liked it a lot more in bad weather than his civic). 
     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Thank goodness you didn't get the Jetta, nothing but expensive repair after repair (especially with the exhaust system) for me and 3 friends with the same car.  One traded hers for a Matrix, I got a CR-V, and the other 2 just suffered with theirs indefinitely...don't know what they have, now.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Regarding Luck's post on the Outback - we recently had to get a new car and I wanted a used Outback, but after trying both the older models and the newer (starting 2010, I think), the newer had much more room.  We ended up getting a new (2011) Outback and so far it has been great.  (The other contender after lots of test drives was the CRV.  Very nice car.)

    The other reason it's helpful to actually *take* a car seat to test drive is that sometimes the roominess of the car doesn't really match the size of the car, at least the way I perceive it.  My husband has an old Jeep Liberty, which seems like a huge SUV to me, and with the car seat behind the passenger, I had to move so far forward that I felt like I was in the windshield.  It made me panicky on the highway.
    Conversely, my beloved 1998 Camry that I had to give up recently was roomy and relaxed.  (I know the Camry's not a "small" car, but I just always thought of it as being smaller.)
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from RedFishBlueFish. Show RedFishBlueFish's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    The newer Jettas are a lot better than they once were. A friend has a 2005 and she loves it. She has no kids, though, and it's a tight squeeze in the backseat for an adult without any carseats.

    I've found that minivans tend to drive more like cars than SUVs and all SUVs aren't created equal. I find the Jeep Liberty and Wranglers to be behemoths, but the Grand Cherokee is not bad, even though it's technically bigger.

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    RFBF, I'm glad your friend got a good one and hope it does speak to the quality of Jetta nowadays.  And, I totally agree, an increase in vehicle size doesn't mean a decrease in handling ability these days.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    I have been lucky with my Jetta then. The only major repair I had to have done over the past 7 years was after I hit a deer on the highway (considering the amount of damage and where the deer hit the windshield at 60MPH), I was very lucky I was not injured at all - the windshield caved in and the glass broke into harmless glass shower. The guy who towed it was impressed on how it held up. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    They are great in crash design, thank goodness yours was no exception.  The ones that were problematic in my life had exhaust problems among other things that I can't remember.  Maybe we were unlucky Jetta owners.  I wouldn't want to besmirch a car if it doesn't deserve it.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    We live in the city and I work in the city, so a small car made sense for us... just not one so very small as the one we got (a yaris).

    My husband is in bands and does film stuff, so his work car is a minivan -- some sort of Ford. Sometimes I get to take it to Ikea, but it's usually full of gear... it's a smooth ride. It feels like a gigantic land yacht after the yaris. I don't think I could drive a car that size all the time, though. I'm an okay driver but a terrible parker. But my mom had a Rav4 and that handled and parked just like a car. That or a CRV would be great. I like the Forester because my friends with Subarus love them and never seem to have to repair anything on them.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    I hated having to sell my Toyota RAV4 - but the twins, stroller etc. just didn't fit anymore.  We looked at so many cars and ended up with a Subaru Outback.  We love this car. 4 wheel drive, good gas mileage and plenty of room in the trunk. Plus it was much less expensive than the SUV's - more like $28k instead of over $40k for an SUV.
    We can't take anyone with us in the car - we'd need a big SUV for that. But for the 4 of us it's great.
    We managed to pack enought stuff (stroller, 2 pnp, 2 booster seats and luggage for 4 people plus a huge bag of toys and books) for a 12 week visit to Canada this winter. We did need a Thule for the roof, but still - thats a lot of stuff.
    Good luck with your search.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Misslily, how do you find it rides and handles?  My SIL has one, and she (and we) feel it rides rough and is harder to handle than we'd hoped.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Love, love, love my Outback.  Loved it from the first moment I test drove one.  I find it really easy to handle, like the ride - smoother than an SUV, but not as "floaty" as some regular cars.
    It has a great turning radius for a car it's size.
    I couldn't be happier.  Well - I could.  I still miss my RAV4 (2005) which was small and zippy - but it's just too small for the twins.
    My DH drives it now and I "steal" it sometimes to run errands when I don't have the kids with me.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    I'm with Some-guy; NOTHING beats a minivan!  Never thought I'd get one in a million years, but so glad I did.  I had two Odysseys for a total of 9 years, and they cannot be beat.  You never have to worry if you have room for anything.  Everyone is always comfortable.  About two years ago I got rid of the van for an Acura MDX, which is a mid-size SUV, and although I do love it, it still feels small. If I had a third child, or if mine were any younger than 7 and 9 when I got it, I would have hated it.  The automatic sliding doors is an amazing feature, and once you get used to it you really can't imagine life without it. You can carry children, bags, etc. and just press a button to open or close the doors. You can park in tight spaces and not have to worry about squeezing in the door to buckle in the kids, or the kids smashing into other cars when they're older.  I recommend the Odyssey over anything, but if cost is an issue, there are certainly other vans that serve the same purpose.   
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Had a jetta and it was HORRIBLE in the snow!  Really, really, bad - I finally just bought snow tires and that made it work. 

    we now have a Nissan Altima - and we love it!  there's more space than the jetta, but you don't feel like you're driving a boat around.  the trunk space is HUGE.  Now, we don't have children so we have no idea about carseats, et al, but I bet it would work.  we can get 3 adults in the back for a short ride - there are 3 sets of seatbelts - but I wouldn't do it for a road trip of a few hours or more.  but 2 kids with carseats? sure!  My sister has a nissan altima and has 2 kids - no problem.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from jennifyr78. Show jennifyr78's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    DH and I are a one-car family, and planned to stay that way for a while.  We have a Mercury Milan (mid-size sedan) and figure it will work fine for a while.  We both take public transportation to work, so the car is mostly used in the evenings for errands/shopping/dinner plans or on weekends for excursions. 

    However, we have two 50-pound dogs that currently ride in the backseat.  We are dog people, and take our dogs with us to the beach on the weekends, to my in-law's house when we go over for dinner, to the dog park, to the groomers, etc.  I don't know what we are going to do once we have our LO. 

    As much as I don't want to do it, I think we may need to either trade in or get a second car.  Probably a cross-over or SUV where we can have the baby and a passenger in the back seat and the dogs in the back hatch area.  But that still creates a problem if we are traveling or need gear to be in the back. 

    I knew we will also make modifications to our lives and may not take the dogs out and about as much, but at some point we will still need to fit two adults, 2 dogs and a baby in the car.  Any advice from families with dogs on that one?
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    jennifyr78 - We have one toddler (3 yrs, 30 lbs) and one dog (7.5 yrs, 70 lbs) and we drive a Subaru Forester. Before the Forester we had a Honda CRV. We are also a one car family. I have had good luck with the Forester for carrying both dog and kid, but we haven't done a lot of dog + kid + traveling. When we go on car trips it is usually to see family, and they are all also dog people, so it gets really zoo-y to have a toddler plus either two Goldens or one Golden and two Airedales. When we have travelled with both dog and baby we put the suitcases and stroller in the back seat floor area, and let the dog have the whole back area. If you are not light packers, or you are trying to go with a very small baby, it might not work as well. (Toddlers require much less stuff than infants. I think it is an inverse log relationship between size of child to stuff needed)

    I think if you really like a sedan, you have to decide how close you want the dogs to be to the kid. My brother and I shared the backseat of my parents Corolla and Accord with the Golden we owned growing up for our annual vacation (2.5 hours each way) and it was OK, but we were older (8 & 11) so the dog wasn't as overwhelming, although there were times I had the tail end in my face and was less than thrilled. I have always had my dog in the wayback of my cars, because I didn't want him up in my grill when I was driving (Plus he was carsick as a puppy), so when DD was born, he just stayed where he was used to being.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    jennifer, a used Ford Freestyle (that I described and showed a picture of earlier in this thread) is perfect for what you're looking for.  $15,000 used (a new one is called "Taurus X," but it's the exact same car, and costs about $35,000).  

    We have a Lab we take everywhere; plenty of room for 2 big dogs in the back with the last row of seats folded down.  The second row of seats would accomodate 2 or 3 car seats.  The front is very roomy for even tall adults.  They don't make them under the "Freestyle" name anymore, but there are used ones "out there."  
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    I have a Forrester and DH has a Scion xA (about the same size at the Fit, I think). I LOVE MY CAR! I cannot say it enough. And I hate DH's car. It was our only car for a long time because we were city people at the time. But when I was about 9 months PG we bought the Subaru because we wanted an AWD car and also because we would no longer be commuting together when I went back to work which made 2 cars necessary. This summer we went to our in-laws summer place for a week with enough stuff for a 5 mo old (at the time), which is a lot more stuff than you would think (PNP, stroller, bed, diapers and food for a week, clothes, toys - and we only brought a few - blankets, plus one tiny bag for each of us). And we still had plenty of room. The Outback is even bigger. BUT neither look like big cars or even SUVs, IMO.

    We have never even tried to get our Chicco Keyfit stroller into DH's car because it would be impossible. Also, with DD's carseat installed you can't easily put the seat down. We tend to avoid his car when we go anywhere together.

    That being said we have already discussed getting a Matrix when he needs a new car - it is considerably larger than the Scion and he likes that style.

    Good luck!

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Redsoxfan76. Show Redsoxfan76's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    PS - although it wasn't 'cheap' the Forrester certainly isn't the most expensive car out there and that was half-fully loaded. Plus having AWD in new england is a huge relief for me. Lastly - it gets 21/27 MPG. Not bad!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Can you off-road in a forrester or is it too low to the ground?
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from bostongrl. Show bostongrl's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    Jenn... We have a Subaru Outback (older 2006) and a Nissan xTerra.  Our dogs are a big smaller (25lbs each) but I plan on letting them share the backseat with the baby.  We may need a small territory dividing device for the first few months when the baby can't defend herself ... but after that I'm assuming the kid and dogs will be use to being together anyways.  My dogs have never riden in the way back... hell... convincing them to ride in the backseat can sometimes be a challenge.  The puppy will ride with her front two paws on the console and then look at me like I've committed a heinous crime if I turn or stop and she gets toppled from her post.  It will be a sad day when I have to give up my Outback.. and will probably be replaced with another.  It is a zippy little car (manual... not all automatic versions are "zippy") that can be parked just about anywhere and it drives like a car not a truck. 

    oh... and you can put half of the backseat down.  So... if you had the half/half approach, you could lay all the baby gear along the floor and the half of the backseat that was down, and probably leave enough room for two large dogs in the back.  This goes for most SUVs/outbacks.  My DH's xTerra is the same.  We were actually debating this weekend whether we could still get two bikes in the back cargo area if we only had half the backseat folded down.

    And to the poster who's husband drools over pickups with quad cabs... mine does the same.  It took many hours of convincing to express my dislike for them.  The quadcab certainly leaves enough room for the baby... but after watching a friend have to wrap her stroller in a tarp so that it could ride in the truck bed when it was raining out ... I said "no thanks". 
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Non-mom car that's still good for kids?

    I was thinking about this thread the other day when we had to turn in our (my) beloved Odyssey when the lease was up, for a Pilot. Sniff. I do love the Pilot -- we had one earlier on as parents -- but I miss the extra room and conveniences that the Odyssey had. With four kids, those conveniences, and space, it turns out, were pretty darned handy! We are also a one-car family, so anything that involves bringing suitcases is...interesting. I do remember the VW Passat we had back when we had two (or three) kids in the back. Still, no trunk space, but a good ride.

    Looking forward to a few years from now when oldest is at the appropriate age to sit in the front and un-squash the rest of the car!
     
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