Help me with some car thinkin' please — The Bump
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Help me with some car thinkin' please

We're trying to decide car life. We just can't be a one-car family right now with our work/school schedules and childcare needs.

 Currently, MH's car has the car seat. It's a Prius, so it gets 45+MPG. We have a year left before it's paid off. We are keeping this thing until it dies. LOVE IT.

My car doesn't have a car seat (we just didn't think we'd need two). It's a 2000 Toyota Celica that I flipping love. But it's a two door.

FIL is looking to get rid of a four-door 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix. He's willing to trade us that car for whatever we get from selling the Celica.

I can see how it would be nice to have a four-door car. I appreciate the offer.

Here are my concerns:

The Toyota has 63,000 miles on it.The Pontiac has 74,000. At least in my experience, Toyotas tend to last forever, whereas Pontiacs...not so much. And we really, really don't want to do another car we're paying for anytime in the next three years.

KBB on the Toyota is about $500 more than on the Pontiac. Probably not a lot in the world of car prices, but that's two of our Prius payments.

The Toyota has averaged 30MPG for the last 6 years. The EPA estimate for the Grand Prix is 21MPG average. BUT the Toyota requires the most expensive sort of gas, and the Pontiac just eats normal gas.

The Toyota is due for about $1000 worth of work over the next year. We don't know how much maintenance the Pontiac needs, and the ILs don't either. 

I really PPH my car. But if it's not practical, I know I need to be a grownup and trade it in. I don't want to do anything on a whim or out of feeling pressured, however. What else should we be considering as we try to figure out whether we should take up FIL on this offer? Any other thoughts?

Mother's Day, 2011

Re: Help me with some car thinkin' please

  • Step 1. Put the carseat in the 2door car.

    Step 2. Attempt to put baby in car and go on mini trip.

    Step 3. Decide if it was to annoying to repeat steps 1 and 2 on a regular basis.


    If it was just fine keep the car you already love.

  • CABunnyCABunny member

    If it makes you feel any better, I have a friend who had her 2-door Celica through three kids, ages (at the time) 4, 2 and newborn.  Once she had baby #4 she had to drive something else, but until that time it totally worked for her.  She had that thing for a while before the kids were born too.

    I personally love Toyotas and have found them to be built to last & also retain their value.

    If it were me, I'd keep the cars you have, even with the upcoming $1k expense. 

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  • Um, because I'm a huge Toyota fan (we - as in my parents - had an '85 Camary that I used when I came home from college until it was rusting out so much they didn't want to fix the minor issues it was having and I don't think we ever replaced the clutch on it, either) I'd be reticent to trade it for the Pontiac, especially with the mileage on the car and gas mileage. Have they had issues with the car in the past? Has it been really hard to deal with the one carseat only thing?  Is it impossible to get M in the 2 door?  I can imagine it'd be quite a challenge.  Do you really need the best gas?  I'd always heard that was usually pretty pointless (don't go by me, obviously). 

    If nothing else, I'd get the Pontiac looked over by someone you trust before you made a decision to get it.  

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  • first, what's PPH? i've seen that on here and google tells me nothing.

    second, i also heart my prius to the ends of the earth. we want it to last forEVer.

    third, i don't love the grand prix option. i don't know what your trade-in value for the celica would be, but i'd look around and see what you could find at carmax, or local used dealerships.

    the other option is just to try to make the celica work. i honestly have zero experience with car seats, but i've known people with 2 doors and car seats who made it work. could the one of you who has the kids the most get the prius and the other one get the celica?

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  • imageInfamousQBert:

    first, what's PPH? i've seen that on here and google tells me nothing.



    aka: love to the ends of the earth, like you said! :)

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  • Thanks women. I was leaning toward "keep the Celica" but I wasn't sure if that was reasonable, or just because I don't like the idea of taking anything from the ILs.

    We haven't even tried to put a car seat in it. It hasn't been a necessity yet, but we'll need to do so soon. I don't know how much of a pain it will be, but it does certainly seem like something we need to test before even thinking about whether we need to make something else work.

    And Papa, unfortunately it does need the spendy gas if I want my precious 30ish-mpg. I'll get almost 25 without it, but I really love only having to fill up 2-3 times a month instead of 4-5.

    Mother's Day, 2011
  • We have a 4D and a 2D in our family, and it works fine. DD has no problem getting in and out of either one.

    DH didn't love driving the 2D when she was still rear-facing, but he is really tall and I think it was hard for him to get her back there that way. Now that she is FF, he hasn't been complaining about it. 

  • I think if there are more children in your future then the 4 door car would make more sense. Overall I think domestic cars aren't as nice as imports but my roommate in college had a GrandPrix and it was a pretty awesome car. It drove great, had lots of fun toys and she never had any issues with it.  It was probably close in year to the one you are thinking about getting.  Your current car is older and you know it needs $1000 in the near future so IMHO a trade might be a good idea, especially if you are planning on more kids. 
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