Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from emma143. Show emma143's posts

    Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Hi ladies,

    I have never posted here before, but boy am I glad I found these forums! I am due in August, and we just recently found out that we are having twins. My husband and I live in Cambridge so we have never had the need for two cars, and the car that we do drive is a tiny, two door Honda Civic, and it will not fit our LO's once they arive!

    We need to buy a new car before they are born. I am looking for something that is not a gas-guzzler, safe, reliable in the snow and rain, and affordable. We would really like to stay under $30,000. I found a used 2010 Subaru Forrester that I love, but want to see what other mothers are driving before I make my decision. A trunk that fits a double stroller is a MUST.

    Please share any tips or advice, thank you so much!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Jennifer11. Show Jennifer11's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    I would highly recommend the Subaru Forester.  I have been driving one since 2001 & it is great in the snow & it can fit the big Britax Regent car seat that we currently use for our nearly 5 year old daughter.  We love it so much that my husband just bought a 2010 Forester.  A great car!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Congrats on your twins!  Do you know what you're having?

    Our b/g twins were born last May.  We had a 1998 Toyota Corolla and a 2005 Mazda 3.  DH is about 5'8"; I'm about 5'3".  Both of these cars were fine when we had the infant seats (note that you should put one seat in the middle and the other near the door--it's easier for an adult to get into the back quickly if needed).  We also were able to put our Britax Diplomats (each next to a door) rear-facing in the Mazda 3 w/o any problems for me adjusting the seat to drive, and DH only slightly uncomfortable.  We JUST--last month--sucked it up and got a Honda Odyssey and sold my Corolla last week (sniff).  If you and DH aren't too tall, you may be able to postpone getting something larger until you actually have the kids.  I promise you that you'll have a much better concept of what you actually need once they're a few months old.

    We considered a couple of small SUVs before going with the minivan.  You need to think about things like whether or not a double jogging stroller is going to fit in the back of your vehicle WITH any other gear and/or a full load of groceries or the results of a trip to BJs or BRU.  If you're looking for something with a 3rd row, you need to think about how people will get into the 3rd row.  With a lot of SUVs, you have to tilt one of the 2nd row seats forward to get to the 3rd row.  If you have a convertible car seat next to each door in the 2nd row, tilting the seat forward is going to be tedious and you might have to remove the car seat to do so.  With the Odyssey, we liked that we could take out the middle seat in the 2nd row and either leave the middle open OR move one of the captains chairs to the middle, leaving plenty of space for an adult to get into the 3rd row.  (I don't think you can do this in the Siena, but I don't know for sure).  With both the Odyssey and Siena, you can fold the 3rd row flat, and even with the 3rd row intact, there is plenty of room for a double jogging stroller and groceries.

    We are actually leasing our minivan b/c we could pay less/month for a newer car with more bells and whistles than if we bought a used car. 

    If you haven't joined a mother of twins club yet, I highly recommend it (www.mmota.org).  They're a great resource and can get into the practical and logistical nitty gritty of different SUVs and minivans and what has worked best for other families with twins.

    ETA:  I just re-read your post and saw that your car is a 2-door...forget what I said...you DO need a different car before the twins arrive!!!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    If you do go with a subaru, you should go to Planet Subaru in Hanover. We bought our Yaris from them and they were so amazingly nice and chill after the miserable hard sell of every other dealership we visited. And it's worth noting that they were awesome to us even though we were buyijng a cheap little Yaris instead of an awesome expensive Subaru. And when the baby started fussing, one of the salespeople asked if I'd like to nurse by the fireplace. Love them. When we strike it rich, we'll go back to them for a real car.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from purplecow89. Show purplecow89's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Not sure about getting a double stroller in it, but check out the Volvo V70 wagon.  You can easily put two baby/toddler seats in the back, the mileage is pretty good (high teens in city), and it's not a behemoth to drive or park.


    You will also need to consider Plan B to get the kids home in case of car breakdown, emergency, etc.  It would be awkward to get kids into and out of a small two door car on a regular basis but you ought to be able to get the two car seats into the Civic if you have to.  If you prefer seats that just won't go into the Civic, get some spares or make sure the seats you buy will fit into the car of a reliable friend.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from emma143. Show emma143's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Thank you ALL so MUCH!!!

    Daisy, I am having two boys!! I am so beyond excited, because DH and I wanted two kids and now we are getting it done at once. I know this will be a challenge, but I have a lot of support. My mother is a twin, so I had this sneaky suspicion all along ;)

    We are checking out the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander this weekend.

    I have heard amazing things about the minivans, but I don't know if I need that much room, although, Daisy you made me think I may need to check them out.

    Thank you all for everything :) I will keep you posted!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    From other's I've talked to, the Pilot is a better choice than the Odyssey if you're worried about driving in the snow. The Odyssey only comes in 2 wheel drive, and they both have the same amount of cargo room. -Admittedly I haven't tested this out, but that's the word in the circle I run with. But DH really likes the look of the Odyssey.

    You might want to look at a used mazda cx-9; they're reasale isn't that great, hence the suggestion for a used.

    The quality of the Fords are much better, so perhaps an Explorer would be an option.

    We currently have one Toyota, and are stearing away from the brand due to the quality control issues-and DH is super picky about details and doesn't like the quaility of the inside of toyotas.

    Our other car is a CR-V; while it's fine for one child, I think two would be tough, so I would imagine you'll be looking at the full size SUV's.

    Congrats on twin boys!
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from that-guy. Show that-guy's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    father of twins here.  from my experience, forget about anything in the sedan, station wagon, or small suv category. minivan or full-sized suv is the only way to get it all in there.  there is a tremendous amount of gear that you'll wind up carting around at any given time and it takes up a ton of space.  also consider if you travel or go away to places (vacations, grandparents, etc) - you'll be taking even more stuff.

    here's an example of your typical 2 night trip somewhere early on:
    double stroller
    giant diaper bag
    2 portable cribs
    2 travel swings
    maybe 2 high chairs
    bix box of diapers & wipes
    huge bag of clothes for them
    big box for all their food/medicine stuff
    bag full of bibs/burpers/coats/hats/blankets
    big bag of toys & books for them
    maybe a jumper or exersaucer
    at least 3-4 more bags of various stuff
    and if you remember - clothes/personal items for the parents

    it's overwhelming how much stuff you wind up bringing with you.

    i bought a minivan that was over the price range you mentioned, only because it had lots of 'stuff' as extras.  you can do very well getting something under 30k still if you look hard enough. good luck, twins are lots of fun.

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

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    We have a Ford minivan and it blows. Everything on it has broken since we bought it five years ago. The only key lock is on the driver's side, and every other power lock is broken. The remote locks broke. The sliding door handle on one side broke. The power window on the passenger side broke. Even the top of our one key snapped off, so we had to wrap it in duct tape. We've had tons of mechanical problems. It makes weird noises and produces weird smells. It handles poorly in snow and rain. It's nice to be high-up and bouncy, and it's spacious and the seats are more comfortable, but we usually drive the Yaris because we don't have to worry that it will break down and strand us. We only have one more payment on it, and then we'll trade it in for a decent car.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    My friends with twins also had 2 small 2 door cards and the went to a Honda Element and have been really happy with it (looks aside!) for all the reasons mentioned above... their kids are 2.5 now

    We have a Dodge Durange, which is an SUV with the third row, which we've rarely used, though we do love the extra cargo space (room for groceries AND the jogging stroller)  Once we get the 2nd carseat in August, it won't really be practical for adults to get in the third row (or even in the middle seat for that matter.

    Our other car is a Toyoyta Matrix, which will fit the 2 carseats, but the rear facing one needs to go on the passenger side and it's quite uncomfortable for the passenger :)) We have a Radian 65 in that car, which, when forward facing, is awesome, it takes up a lot less space, and at 2, DD can climb up herself!  Which makes me think, the first 1-2 years, when you have LO rear facing will be trickier than once you can turn them around

    Good luck

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    We drive a Subaru Outback and it's been great with only one baby. DH and I love Subaru; he's been driving one since he moved to the US and our next car will definitely be another one. If the space is adequate, I say go for the Forrester.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from emma143. Show emma143's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Kiwi, we looked in the Outback, because I love them, but DH likes the Forrester because it is a little higher up. I really don't want a mini-van, only because we live in a condo in Cambridge, and we only have on deeded parking space which is in the back of the building, and getting in and out could be a pain.

    I am hoping to settle with the Forrester after this weekend after looking at a couple of other cars, but I am so happy that you guys are saying great things about Subarus.

    Oh and Daisy, I am 5'2", but DH is 5'11", so it will be interesting, so say the least!
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from SarahInActon. Show SarahInActon's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    I know the car talk guys RAVE about subarus.  I have a 2009 honda CRV which we really like, in the low $20K range.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Emma--Two boys!  Do you know if they're identical or fraternal?  I know they can't always be sure unless they're sharing sacs or placentas, but I'm just curious if you know yet.  You'll need lots of support initially.  It's REALLY hard at times, but so much fun and so worth it.  I wouldn't trade it for anything!

    I know lots of MOTs who drive small or large SUVS and lots who drive minivans and most are happy with what they have.  We test drove a Rav4 and it would've been ok for the 3 years we were planning to lease it, but I don't know about beyond that.  The double jogging stroller fitting in the back is kind of the basic requirement.  Beyond that you need to figure out what else you're going to want to get in there with it--groceries? a 100 lb. dog?  If you plan on doing any road trips, will the stroller fit along with luggage, 2 pack 'n' plays, 2 booster seats, and anything else you might need for a vacation?  How often do you have another adult--or 2--in the car with you?  Is it going to be a pain to have to take 2 cars if you don't have room for extra adults (if it's just once or twice a year, that's different than if it's once or twice a week)?  How long are you going to keep the car?  If keeping it long-term (4 or 5 years or more), what about when the kids want to invite friends to go places with them?  I'm just throwing these things out b/c they're things we thought about and I know they're things other MOTs have mentioned when talking about choosing a vehicle.

    We got a fantastic lease deal on the Odyssey, so that was a HUGE deciding factor--it was better than the deal for the RAV4 or Highlander (if you're not wanting or needing the 3rd row, the Highlander isn't that much better than the RAV4--we test drove both--and the RAV4 is cheaper).  We didn't even test drive a Sienna b/c the monthly payment--leasing or buying was ridiculous.

    If you can borrow a double jogger from someone when you go on test drives, that should help you envision that actual amount of space.  And if you know anyone who has an extra convertible car seat (in a 2nd car or grandma's car, for instance) that you can borrow for test drives, that should help you too.  Those things are HUGE--even the "small" ones--so it helps to see them actually in the vehicle.

    Keep us posted with what you decide!


     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from amy-lynn. Show amy-lynn's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    DH and I got the 2009 Subaru forrester when I was 7+months pregnant. We love it, and it has been great with one baby. I found that it was really easy to get in and out of, even with a huge belly I could tilt the steering wheel and manage to reach the pedals (I'm 5'0", so I was concerned) and the cargo room is pretty good. Also, the Subabru dealers seem to be so much more low key. We went to Quirk Subaru in Quincy, and they were not hard sell at all. (We went to a Toyata dealership that was so hard sell I wanted to scream!)
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    We just bought a used Ford Freestyle (crossover) fully loaded, seats that go down for super duper storage in the back (we carry an 80 lb lab back there), a 2005 with 35,000 miles on it for $15,000.  The new version of it, the Taurus X, would have been about $32,000.  It gets about 23 mpg.  The hatch opens to a cavernous back with the back seats tucked under.  Plenty of room for a huge stroller, cooler, bikes, whatever.

    We are TTC and bought it with that in mind.  It's a lot like the Forester, actually.




     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Tomorrow I am trading in my Subaru Forrester for a Toyota Sienna minvan.  I am soooo excited.  For us, the Forrester was way too small.  DH is 6'4" and felt that his legs would get chopped off if we were ever in an accident.  We have a Britax Marathon car seat and had to drive with the seat all the way forward to fit it when rear facing.  This essentially made the front passenger seat non-usable.  Also, I don't have a double stroller but my Baby Trend jogger is about the only thing that fits in the trunk when it is in there.  It is nice for 4WD and it went for 112K miles before it needed a transmission.

    During our search we tried really hard not to get the minivan.  For the extra space provided we could not beat it.  We looked at the Pilot and the Freestyle.  One of our criteria was to be able to hold 4 kids in car seats/boosters as I will likely begin caring for my niece and nephew.  The crossovers with the third row seat are not exactly easy to use the third row all the time.  Also the seats limit the cargo space.

    During the process we found Consumer Reports to be our best friend especially since we purchased used.  Best of luck!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Emma, not sure if you mean parking getting in and out or in and out of the car... minvans, with sliding doors are a LOT easier to deal with in close spots (as I am reminded every time that same lady parks soo close to me at daycare pick-up!)    We bought the Durango with #2 in mind, but we also needed it to tow our boat and support our Home Depot addiction
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from emma143. Show emma143's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Canuk, I more mean actually getting in the spot. It is sort of a tight lot in the back.

    Does anyone know anything about the Chevy Triverse?

    Also, once our payments are done with the Civic, which is in 6 months, DH will lease a four door sedan, probably a Ford Fusion, so we have another car for "in case of emergency".
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from emma143. Show emma143's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Daisy, they are not sharing sacs, so they are definitely fraternal. It's exciting to know that there are two boys inside there! We came up with the names a week ago. Ethan and Evan. As you obviously can tell, my name is Emma, and my husbands name is Edward, so we wanted to keep the whole "E" thing going.

    I very much appreciate all the help from you ladies. I will update you all on Monday, as we are buying a car this weekend. I am starting to get too big for our civic, and it is becoming rather uncomfortable!

    Have a great weekend :)
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    My DH is 6'3" and I'm 5'3", and we are both very comfortable in the 6-way adjustable (and programmable) seat of the Freestyle.  They don't make them anymore so you'd have to find a used one, but we got a "limited" edition, and it was only $15k.  I can't find a good picture of the back with the last row of seats down, but it's huge.  I put 10 cases of Poland Springs liter bottles back there and have plenty of room left over for all the groceries.

    Not to vote twice, but man, I love this car!

    Good luck this weekend!  As much as I love our car, I hate car shopping.  UGH. 

    P.S.  Here's a pic I just took of the back (that's a yellow rawhide, by the way):


     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from emma143. Show emma143's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Well, we went with the 2010 Subaru Forester. I LOVE it. We test drove 4 cars today. The Forester, the Highlander, the Pilot, and the Ford Edge, and it was actually nice to be able to test drive them in the rain to see how they handle. The Forester was awesome. We got a fabulous deal from City Side Subaru in Belmont. We were just so impressed with it's handling, 5-star safety report, and overall reputation of the Subaru's.

    Again, thank you all so much for your help! We pick it up on Tuesday, and I can't wait, because my belly gets bigger everyday!
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Congrats!!!  My SIL got one when they first came out, and she (still) LOVES it.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from tafkaltlg. Show tafkaltlg's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    We bought a Subaru Outback for our twins (now 15 mos old) and have found it too small! Even with a Thule on the roof...
    Thinking about trading in for Honda Odyssey...

    We were in Cambridge for 10 years, but moved up to NH for the peace and quiet...
     
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: Safe, Reliable and Affordable Car....

    Enjoy it Emma!  Mine lasted 12 years and almost 119K miles.
     

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