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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reverse advice: a family car

I'm starting to think about a new car. And when I say "new car," I mean used car, or new to me. I'd like to know your opinions, o wise Internet friends.

I currently drive a Honda CRV, which seats five. It's reliable, has good resale value and fuel economy, and has been a good enough size for kids in various car seats over the years -- the back facing, the front facing, and the boosters.

But as kids outgrow car seats, they grow stuff. I used to think of a diaper bag as "stuff," but it was really just a compact tote with cheerios spilling out.

Now "stuff" means two bulging backpacks. Two kid bikes (since the big bikes are hanging off the back). An assortment of just-in-case jackets, hats, sunscreen, socks, and, even now, cheerios. Sure, we no longer buy Costco-sized diapers and wipes; instead we buy family-sized juice, cereal, chicken nuggets, toilet paper. (And, for me, Costco cases of wine.)

The kids have also gained friends. So the next time we get a car, it will need to have a third row of seats.

And, because we had it written into our wedding vows, it cannot be a minivan. Or a van of any type.

With my affinity for Honda, I am leaning toward a Pilot. A Toyota Highlander is also in the running.

But this is such a big decision -- one we make only once a decade -- that I wanted to check in with you savvy peoples.

Talk to me.


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9 chiming in:

My name is Andy. said...

sorry my dear friend, but I haven't owned a car in 15 years! We are a hoofin' it/bus pass family only.

Good luck!

Tina said...

MIL likes the Odyssey. I have a CRV and it better fit 2 kids because I'm determined to own this car!

ICLW and regular pest.

MrsSpock said...

I have a friend that has a Pilot, but deeply regrets not getting the Odyssey instead. We are planning on getting an Odyssey for our next car, and then a Hybrid Camry. Minivans are grotesque, I know, but the conveniences are many when you have children.

chicklet said...

The husband and I love our Acura MDX. We bought an older one with low mileage that seems new as it was well kept. Only problem is it's not great on gas, but the roominess and resale value are well worth it.

Wordgirl said...

G and I thought and, in fact, ordered a hybrid Highlander and waited for nine months when we hadn't even seen it and they couldn't even give us a true quote on price because it was the first year -- (this was a few years ago now) and it turned out to be SO outrageously expensive we backed out.

It was a great car and I liked the idea of space and hybrid...if the price went down I'd totally do it.



holly said...

oh you made me smile so - no van w/kids & stuff - cram ticks ME off. contemplated the toyota rav forever but had to succumb to the odyssey. off e bay from the states - great deal, rep & resale, enough power to pull a trailer & poshest vehicle i've ever had. oh yeah, safe too, which was the first motivation. love that it was in your vows!

Kaci said...

I had to chime in here, but I'll add a disclaimer that hubby works for Ford. But I promise I wouldn't recommend something if I didn't really like it! I LOVE my Ford Freestyle. It's a 7 passenger crossover. You can also get it as a 6 passenger, with captain chairs in the 2nd row but we opted for a bench. Wonderful! Gets better gas mileage than a lot of SUVs and is a little 'sportier' than a minivan. They stopped making Freestyles but basically made some changes and call it a Taurus X and the styling of it is a lot better. If you want used, I'd look at both of them. (Ford has also recently come out with the Flex, which has a nice interior but I think it's ugly.)

Happy shopping!

Lori said...

Andy -- That's so cool. Is your city well suited for such a lifestyle?

Tina and Mrs Spock and Holly -- I'll put the Odyssey into the mix. I have a friend who loves hers, too. Will I break my marriage vows?

Chicklet -- I've always thought those looked HOT, but I've also thought they were out of my league. Rethinking.

Wordgirl -- I like the idea (but not the price) of a hybrid. I'll have to figure out the payback period.

Kaci -- off to check out the Taurus X now...

Denise said...

We also have an Acura MDX and we LOVE it. Definitely on the pricier side and we haven't seen yet how it works with kids. But it works great with our dogs and all the crap we seem to take when we travel with them. I also love how the third row folds completely flat, so you don't even know it is there until you need it.

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