New car for when baby is born...thoughts? — The Bump
May 2016 Moms

New car for when baby is born...thoughts?

My husband and I will be moving to a larger city just before baby is born, and public transportation there is not so good. We want to get a second car...and he really wanted a snazzy sports car of some kind. However, we have also been thinking about when baby it necessary for us to have a LARGE car, like some sort of SUV? I currently drive a 2015 Kia Cadenza which is a full size Sedan.

This will be our first baby, so I don't know if there will be an imminent need for an SUV right away...but I wanted your opinions on the matter!

Re: New car for when baby is born...thoughts?

  • I hear that with all the stuff that babies require, having an SUV makes things easier; however, I don't feel like you HAVE to get one. I know a few couples who didn't buy a larger car until they were on baby #3. From what I can tell, the proponents of the SUV with are of the "once you go big, you won't want to go back" camp. In May of this year I traded in my barely-running car for a Honda CRV specifically with kids on the horizon in mind. I also have 2 labs that I'd be toting around so I opted for a larger but still small SUV. Good luck!
  • kbrands7kbrands7
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited October 2015
    There is a very early thread about cars that may help you out. I know many people who have had children in car seats in a sedan, but I personally have no experience with it. I got an Outback a little before having our son, and I will say that one thing I like about having the hatchback is that I have lots of trunk room. For instance, I can have a jogging stroller in there and still have plenty of room for groceries, etc. if I forget to take the stroller out.

    ETA like @jesse835235 mentioned, AWD was a must for snow for me too. I wanted to be as safe as possible with LO in the car.

  • I live in the upper midwest and we get a lot of snow, so I need an SUV or at least a car with AWD in order to have a reliable vehicle in the winter.  Other things to consider are how much you travel (think luggage, plus baby stuff), do you travel with a pet, and whether or not you're planning on having more children soon.  I don't think it's necessary to have an SUV if your needs don't justify it.  I would at least want the car to be four door.  I can't imagine it would be too fun getting a car seat in the back of a two-door car.  Right now I have a crossover (Lincoln MKX) and I love it. I used to drive a Ford Fusion and the crossover feels just like driving a car, just a little higher off the ground and it's more spacious in the back.
    Me: 27    DH: 30
    Married in 2011
    Baby 1: Stillborn at 27 weeks (April 2014)
    Baby 2: Due May 2016

  • DH bought me a Maxda CX5 for my bday this year. I love it!! Top of its class, as well.
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  • We have a larger dog as well so we opted for an SUV. We go to the park a lot with the dog and anticipate that to continue when LO is here. With a sedan there just wasn't enough room for everyone. Plus the goal for us is to grow into that extra space... We plan on keeping the car for awhile so it made sense.
  • Keep in mind the gear, specifically strollers! I already have a small SUV and am considering going bigger because wow double strollers take up a lot of space (in addition to two giant dogs, luggage, car seats, etc.).
    Me 27 | DH 28
    DS October 2014
    #2 May 2016
  • I agree with PP's about needing room for lots of stuff. I have a Nissan Rogue and I'm considering upgrading to a larger SUV simply for more space. For baby #2, I'll need two car seats, a double stroller, a pack and play (I use it all the time and bring it everywhere), room for groceries, and occasionally my dog. You can always upgrade after baby, but honestly, the more room the better IMO.
  • I have a nissan altima and its been fine with DD. I've had plenty of room and no problems. Now that we have another one coming we are going to upgrade to a Ford Explorer or Dodge Durango bc of the third row options. We had an Avalanche when DD was born and to be honest it was too bulky for me. I really didn't enjoy climbing in and out of the truck.
    Been married since 2009.
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  • We've had this talk too and we're sticking with what we have (as seen in the announcement pic thread). We're not SUV people in the slightest, we're sort of hipstery. SUV = do not want, but a wagon or something vintage would be awesome.

    I'm in luck because the Mercedes seats only two, but we still have our old car in the garage, an early 1990s Volvo in nearly new condition. If I have to do anything kids-related I can drive that one. Our other car is a VW CC (sedan) so we're set!

    Growing up we had a Caprice wagon and mom's 2 door Sentra so we should be OK. I would totally rock those cars if they were still around.
  • @schicksal I am totally going the wagon route!  Its what i grew up in and i like the gas mileage better than the SUVs.
  • mhc13mhc13
    100 Love Its 10 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    edited October 2015
    The only advantage that my crossover suv (Equinox) has over my former Camry is it is a bit easier to get my daughter in and out of her car seat. I actually ended up with less trunk space (and a lot of small suvs have smaller cargo space than my Equinox). So, yes, I think you'll be totally fine in a sedan.

    Regardless of car type I do recommend a lightweight stroller for the car. It just makes life easier not lugging a large stroller out of a trunk. I use a Chicco Liteway for the car and my Britax B Ready (large and heavy!) for long walks around our community.
    #1 Claire 12.17.13 & #2 EDD 5.11.16

  • After I got into a pretty bad car accident a year and a half ago, we bought a new car with the idea that we were likely going to have a kid in the next few years in mind. We ended up with a 2011 Volkswagon Tiguan. It's similar in size to a CR-V. While we don't have a child yet, I anticipate it working out relatively well. We definitely needed something with cargo space instead of a trunk since we have an 80 pound dog who regularly gets taken to the dog park/daycare.

  • mrstmoose said:

    I have a 2014 Kia Sorento and love it. However, I don't think you HAVE to get a SUV. Get what you can afford and what your family needs. 

    That being said, I would be strongly against getting a sports car. I would honestly tell me husband, "sorry that ship has sailed. Nice try."
    @mrstmoose I've been eyeing up the sorento. Does it have 3rd row seats?
  • @Jenly17 some of them do. We have it and if we aren't using it (which we hardly do at this point), it folds down and we have extra storage space. I would honestly recommend it. I've had it for over 2 years and haven't had any issues. 
  • Awesome, thanks for the info @mrstmoose. I'm really hoping for 3rd row seating in our next vehicle and I like how affordable the Kia's are too :D
  • You can definitely do a single child in a sedan without a problem. When my daughter was born I was driving a Civic, and getting her in the back seat was not a problem. We're planning to stick with our sedan for #2 (I'm a fan of slim-line car seats that can be paired in a backseat, though not all car seats handle that well), but if we make it to #3 probably we'd need something bigger. I've squeezed 3 car seats into my back row for school field trips and it's impossible with some seats, and squished in every case.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thanks for the replies everyone!
    I first of all wanted to make it clear that my husband isn't pushing a sports car at all ;) It was his original idea (before baby), but then HE brought up to ME the fact that we might need a bigger car~~ Didn't want anyone getting the wrong idea!

    That being said, we plan to have two cars, and we already have a sedan (Kia Cadenza) which is pretty sizable and can fit quite a decent amount in the trunk and is roomy in back.

    We will probably not upgrade to a larger car just yet as we will be in the middle of a city (and from experience, the larger a car you have, the easier it is to get dinged and bumped in a city). If we end up going for baby #2 or so down the line, then maybe we'll upgrade.
    It helped to hear that many of you made it with a sedan~
  • My husband drives a G6 and I drive a jeep liberty. It is so much easier to get my 32 lb, 34 inch, 18 month old toddler into his car seat in my jeep. It's not so much trouble when they're little, but it really is a massive pain now. My husband can't even get DS in the G6 anymore, he can't bend down and lean in while holding DS without hitting DS's head on the ceiling.
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  • I live in the upper midwest and we get a lot of snow, so I need an SUV or at least a car with AWD in order to have a reliable vehicle in the winter.  Other things to consider are how much you travel (think luggage, plus baby stuff), do you travel with a pet, and whether or not you're planning on having more children soon.  I don't think it's necessary to have an SUV if your needs don't justify it.  I would at least want the car to be four door.  I can't imagine it would be too fun getting a car seat in the back of a two-door car.  Right now I have a crossover (Lincoln MKX) and I love it. I used to drive a Ford Fusion and the crossover feels just like driving a car, just a little higher off the ground and it's more spacious in the back.

    This. I've been driving a minivan since before we had a child. My husband does lumberjack competitions which means we travel with a lot of gear. What size car you need depends on how much traveling, etc. you will do. If you have a large trunk, it may not be an issue. Do know that strollers take up a lot of space. Some trunks are only big enough for a stroller and nothing else.

    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
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  • I'll be putting 3 kids under 3 in my Dodge Avenger. Everything fits just fine. It's all about what you want and how much you travel. We don't go too far too often and when we do, we have no trouble fitting suitcases and all of our baby supplies in my trunk while the kids fit comfortably and safely in the back seat. I've had 3 seats in the back for awhile because I babysit and we have no problems at all :) and to be honest, I love my car and thinking about replacing it makes me want to cry lol
  • I would say if you plan on having 3 or more kids then a larger car would be an investment... It will be hard to fit 3 car seats into a compact car, but that doesn't mean you have to go sub, there are lots of other suv/compact hybrids that'll do fine especially since New baby + new city + new car = lots of expenses. So try to keep the costs down if possible. Living unde your means will give you lots of wiggle room
  • We have a Toyota Camry. It will be just fine for one kid. Once we have two, it might be time to upgrade to something bigger. But in no way are we in a hurry to run out an buy another car.

    cat fail animated GIF

  • We don't have a car or plans to get one! In NYC you can get away without one.

    My husband was born and raised here and doesn't even have a license, yet. I'm really pushing him to get one before the LO is born.

  • We are upgrading to a bigger car. I  have a Lexus IS250 which was been great, but the trunk is so small I don't think it will fit a stroller, let alone groceries, etc with it. And the car is already six years old so it's time to trade it in while it still has some value. We are getting the Ford Escape tonight.  We rented one on our last vacation and it drove well on difficult terrain and had a lot of storage space. However,  if I had a relatively new car I'd probably try and manage one baby with my current vehicle as long as possible. 
  • One thing I was warned about is how much bending over you have to do to get kids buckled into car seats. I have a small SUV because I think I will have less strainin my back with the a higher vehicle. I'm an older mom and don't want to deal with a back injury.
  • Oh and if you have a stroller take it along with you to the dealership and see what kind of space you'll be looking at. Even in bigger suvs a stroller can destroy your space. The in laws have a Chevy Traverse and if they have the 3rd row seat up (which is always) the stroller is the only thing that will fit in the back without causing an avalanche when opened. But honestly, the only place we take our stroller is to the zoo or park. We don't take it on long trips or to the grocery store. It's just in the way for us.
  • That reminds me of someone we know with a Murano. Nothing fits in there - I have more storage space in the Celica with the seats folded down than they do in there! They should have brought a few items with them when they were checking the car out before signing paperwork on the thing.
  • I have 3 kids under 5 years. This will be my fourth child so I'll definitely be upgrading. I have a Jetta right now and that works pretty good for me and the kids. I can fit my jogger stroller and groceries just fine. But we also have a f-250 so we use that when taking bikes and toys out. I had a Honda ridgeline for awhile and I loved that truck. It had a trunk in the bed of it. Perfect for everything! I'm looking at the Kia Sorento with 3rd row seating and plan to get one by the end of the year.
    Since this is your first baby I think a sedan works perfectly fine just definitely get a 4 door. It sucks pulling kids in and out of a 2 door car plus they tend to be smaller cars so carseats don't fit too well.
    DS #1 2010
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  • A word of advice for those not familiar with smaller SUVs with third row seating - sit in the back seat before buying. Sit in the third row before buying. I bought an Acura MDX a little over a year ago that I love, except for the back seat. There is absolutely not leg room, mainly because the squeezed third row seating in on an "SUV" that sits on a car frame. We have tons of trunk space because we always have the third row folded down, but it's always a pain when we have people riding in the back seat since my husband is 6'4 and has to push the drivers seat all the way back. It's sporty, has good get up and go, and I love it, but that dang back seat leg room. I researched similar smaller SUVs, and they all have similar leg room. If you're looking for third row seating for practical purposes, I highly recommend going for an SUV on a truck frame. You will have so much more room. The third row seating on a car frame is nice in theory, but if you want your kids to sit back there, you're going to have to fold down seats or have them climb over it. The best was when we had a full grown man sit in our third row seating. Big man in tiny space.
  • Hubs and I DO NOT have kid friendly cars, i have a 2 door sports car and he has a huge lifted 2 door truck. We are thinking of selling the 2 door car and then try to get a modestly priced SUV. I think it will make our lives a lot easier since both our cars would be a nightmare with car seats. We do want to keep the truck because its nice to have the big bed for moving/transporting stuff.
  • ScottwswifeScottwswife
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Photogenic
    edited October 2015
    We had a bonds accord when thing 1 was born. When it conked out when baby boy was 6 months we replaced it with a Kia Sorento, as we have been planning on more kids. The Honda was working fine for us size wise, except that it was a pain and a half if I wanted to use my jogging stroller. ETA we had rented a Sorento previously on a trip, and I knew it was the one we were getting. We fit me, my MIL, and the car seat in the back seat with plenty of space and legroom. With thing 2 arriving I need to figure out how to arrange the car seats and still be able to fit a grandma in the backseat. Thing 1 in the middle, thing 2 by passenger door, or thing 1 in row 3, thing 2 by passenger door? Need to do some trial runs.
    yes, my baby is a zombie.


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  • Same here, but the sports car is hubby's and the pickup is mine. We're agonizing over which crappy old two sweater to sell so we can get a crappier sedan.
  • I have a hybrid which has been awesome with one kid. I am very in love with my 39 miles/gallon. However the trunk space is just not going to work wifh two kids and their "stuff". I might wait until next summer though, I put so many miles on my car and hopefully the next one is going to be more long term.
    Baby # 1: BFP 10/26/12: Baby girl born 7/1/13
    Baby #2: BFP 9/2/15: EDD 5/15/16
  • We have made do with one car since we left the big city, but will be getting a second soon for the baby. We're looking at a Toyota Sienna. We also have an exuberant pup, so a standard compact would be difficult to have him and the new born sharing the back seat.

    As a note, Kias have a horrible reputation out here for being poorly made and falling apart early. The trade in value is supposedly next to nothing. If you're planning to keep the car a long time or want good resale value, you may want to consider something else.
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