Parenting after 35

tell me about your car/suv, no minivans!

Hi ladies -

Long time lurker here needing car/suv help.  Long story short, I was rear-ended at a stop light last Friday on my lunch break.  I was the first vehicle at the light and got hit by a DUI driver.  She didn't see me, didn't even brake, and she hit me going 40+ mph and pushed me into the middle of the intersection.  I am ok, whip-lash injury and thank GOD my girls were not with me.

To spare you all the insurance drama, my BELOVED 2001 Acura MDX is likely totalled and we cannot afford to replace it with another MDX at this time.

So I am in the market for a newer-used vehicle.  I absolutely REFUSE to drive a Mini-van (sorry to all you mini-van mommas out there, it just isn't my style!) and am limited on the size of the vehicle due to our garage - my MDX was a tight fit (lenght-wise).

I've got a 3.5 year old using a Britax Frontier  and a 16 month old in a Britax Marathon 70.  And yes, my carseats are NEW since the ones in my car were considered damaged because of the accident.

Tell me about your car/suv and why you love it!

Thanks so much ladies. 

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Re: tell me about your car/suv, no minivans!

  • Hi there,

    I am also anti-minvan.  I have three children, and drive a Toyota Corolla S.  I bought it brand new in 2005.  I love it because #1 it was affordable, and #2  I have never had a problem with it.  At all. #3 It's reliable and #4 it has excellent gas mileage, oh, and living in NY, #5 I can park it anywhere in a tight spot.  It is a tight fit, but it works for us, and I do not have any debt, paying for a car I can't afford.   I have two Sunshine Radians and one Snugride 35 for my infant.  For extra storage, we have a Thule roof rack and cargo box when necessary.   

  • I drive a 2005 Corolla (4 door) also and I love it for the same reasons the PP said (except for the NY thing). The trunk in the Corolla is pretty roomy and I can fit a lot of groceries along with a stroller in there. There is also adequate room in the back seat even if an adult or two sits back there. DH has a new Toyota Tacoma double cab which is extremely nice but pricey as it was in the $30K range . Unfortunately, I think the used ones might be in the same price range as they have high resale value.

    I only have one child but even if we had 2 children either of those vehicles would be perfectly adequate for us. I also like that we are not spending a fortune on gas.

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  • Chevy Equinox is awesome. It drives like a car, but has better visibility and more room than a car. It also gets decent mileage. Not sure how it compares size wise to what you had, but I hate driving minivans and suvs, and I don't have any problem driving the Equinox.

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  • We have a 2007 Honda Pilot... LOVE it.   Three rows, seats 8 uncomfortably especially way in the back.. we rarely use that third row, but it's nice to have for family visiting in town.  Gas mileage is 18-20 mpg range.. not great but I've had worse.

    This is probably in the same size category as your MDX, which we also considered.  But it's built on a car chassis so it drives more like a car than an SUV or truck.

    If you want smaller, look at a Honda CRV... they're nice but felt much smaller than the Pilot.

    Added:   And if you can, pay cash.. don't finance!  Buy what you can afford.  Yes, I listen to Dave Ramsey!  :)


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  • I'm not much help, I'm in minivan hell. And my next upgrade won't work for you. I'm going from a Caravan to a Sprinter. However, because DH's Mini has a bit of kms on it (270,000) we're looking at replacing it with a truck or SUV. I'll have to grab my list, but dh is pushing for a Jeep.
  • mwdmwd member

    I drove a Subaru Forester prior to my 2007 Toyota highlander. The Subaru was uncomfortable for long drives, but was awesome for mileage, safety, and parking. I just wanted a 6 cylinder, and couldn't find one in a Subaru.  I do really like my highlander, but I think it's too big for your garage.  

    Glad to read you're OK!   

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  • Yep...I, too, refuse a minivan.  I am on my second Jeep Grand Cherokee (had an '08 for several years and then went to a '12 in August) and am in total vehicle love.  Not optimal for great gas mileage, but otherwise I love it.  My new one is bigger, roomier than my old one is, and even with the stripped down model, it's like luxury.  More room in the back, leg room in the backseat.  Honestly, I just love everything about it (except, of course, the gas mileage, but as I said...I got it in August and just this past week hit 4000 miles on it).  My daughter is in a Britax Roundabout.  However, may be too big for your garage.
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  • First, thank goodness you weren't more seriously hurt!!!

    Second... DH just leased a Jeep Grand Cherokee and LOVES it. It's too big for me, but the Britax Frontier works well in it.

    I have a midsized car (a 2007 Saturn Aura) and DS's Britax Marathon is in my car. Also fits well. No issues, and DS (also 3.5) climbs in easily by himself.

    Maybe look at Hyundai Tucson or Santa Fe for a more affordable SUV? Or I've heard that the Mazda crossovers are good? I think you'll find something that works well.  


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  • We are on our second Jeep Grand Cherokee.  DH had one when we met and I really liked it.  We sold it just before we got pregnant and we both missed it.  Two years ago, we went from two cars down to one.  We sold both of the vehicles we had and got a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  It is a great vehicle.  So comfortable and easy to handle.  My only complaint is that, since our move to Germany (courtesy of Uncle Sam), it feels like a bigger SUV.  But, back in the States, it's, IMO, a great size.  We have used both a Marathon and a Frontier (not at the same time) and both fit well.

    I'm glad you are okay after the accident.  Good luck finding a new vehicle. 

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  • We're currently shopping for a similar vehicle.  We currently have a '05 Subaru Forester that fits a Chicco Keyfit 30 and Recaro ProRide both rear facing.  We love the Forester for many reasons.

    Our next purchase will likely be a Mazda CX-9 (best of the three row crossovers supposedly) or a Kia Sorrento (more affordable than the CX-9 also w/ 3 rows.)  Came down to these two after our research. 

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  • We have a Pilot and an Acura TSX Wagon.  I drive the wagon and it is great - plenty of room without being gigantic (I hate driving something like the Pilot), and it's got all the little niceties of an Acura.
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  • I have a 2012 RAV4 that's an absolute dream. We haven't had to put any carseats in it (c'mon June) but my stepson loves how much room is in the backseat and the boy has some long legs for an 11 year old. It drives really nicely.
  • I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee and I love it.  Good fuel economy, handles nicely, good options.  I like driving it.

    We'll be taking my vehicle to FLA next month: 24 hours of family togetherness in the car.  Must be a good one!

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  • I have a 2007 Jeep Compass.  I love it.  Decent gas mileage, smooth ride.  I have a Britax Marathon in the back and it fits just fine.  It is currently RF since DS is 16 months.

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  • I drive a 2006 Ford Escape (4 Cyl.)  I am up to about 130k on mileage and have had very limited issues with the vehicle.  It gets decent gas mileage and I have been quite surprised by how well it has held up.  (I have always heard horrible things about Fords once they hit 100K)  The back seat is roomy enough that I won't run into any issues with carseats.

  • A little late to this - but I have a '11 Subaru Outback - I love it - I used to drive a Tuscon but I find the Outback has more room in it.  We have put a few car seats in it with no issues (Diono Radian, Maxi Cosi pria, and a Graco snug ride 35).  

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  • I am all about my Jetta Sportwagon. It runs on diesel and gets 41 mpg, and drives like a dream. We got it because we needed room for two dogs and a baby (the baby is currently in progress). Good luck with your car search!
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  • I am no help, because I was going to recommend MDX. We got it last year and it looks practical with the baby.
  • I had a Nissan murano and it was the bomb!  Loved it...only reason I traded it in was I had put 120k miles on it and it was still running awesome but I was afraid I would start having issues so now I have an Altima which I love.  However after going from SUV to a car I would rather have a SUV.  Our next SUV will likely be the Toyota venza. 
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  • I used to be anti-minivan, but I crossed over to the darkside a few years ago. I love my Honda.

     We also have a Toyota Highlander and it is also has served as a fantastic car for our family. Great room, rides on a Camry chassis, and turns on a dime.

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  • imageGracieBlue:
    A little late to this - but I have a '11 Subaru Outback - I love it - I used to drive a Tuscon but I find the Outback has more room in it.  We have put a few car seats in it with no issues (Diono Radian, Maxi Cosi pria, and a Graco snug ride 35).  

    We have the same car and we love it, too.  We looked at a coouple of hevy cross-overs, and at the Forester, but the Outback was so much nicer than the Forester. 

    We have room for the car seats int he back seat, and room for our 2 collies in the way back.  And, if we aren't bringing the dogs, plenty of room for a stroller, a baby carrier-backpack and any things we might buy out shopping.  DH has also folded down the back seats to bring home stuff from Home Depot of furniture.

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