Getting the right car, and doing without losing your cool mom cred
You're in a quandary. Your family is growing at the same time your vehicles are getting older. Stuck between that rock and hard place is the lack of funds required to get a vehicle which can comfortably fit your family and last until at least college. Sure, you can perform a car insurance comparison to lower payments on one of the autos; however, the question still remains if there are family cars out there which aren't shaped like mini-vans. Good news, there are.
In the end, you're in the market for an anti-minivan. It needs to have some of the same features -- seating, storage, comfort, safety -- but it shouldn't be shaped like a painted box on four wheels. Here are a few examples to examine when making the decision to go vanless.
First off, this is not a seven-seater like other SUVs on the market. This compact version only has two rows to sit a maximum of five. But what it lacks in passenger capacity it makes up for with an impressive 24 city/32 highway mileage and a sticker price well under $25,000. And when it comes to safety the Subaru Forester comes standard with rearview camera and pre-collision braking. Features that definitely amp up the protection of your family.
Acura TSX Sport Wagon
The station wagon still exists, albeit in a modern, streamlined format. Like the Forester, the Sport Wagon is for smaller families, and yet it still has 32 cubic feet of storage space. And that's without the rear seats flat-folded. Double the storage space when that happens. Unlike some other larger vehicle models, the TSX offers a 2.4 liter, 4 cylinder engine which packs a good deal of horsepower. It won't compete in NASCAR, but the TSX Sport Wagon can certainly get you to your children's events with time to spare.
This American vehicle is on the higher side of pricing -- around $32,000. For the price you get an 8-seat capacity! This is not an error. Utilizing their patented Smart Slide second row seat, a third row is revealed for additional capacity. It also packs a V6 engine with almost 300 horsepower. This can help you or your partner to get across those mountain passes during vacation with barely an extra rev from the engine.
Yes, ford makes large vehicles which aren't SUVs or gigantic pick-up trucks. In addition to the classic Explorer, the newer Flex traverses the gap between minivans and SUVs with length instead of height. A carrier of up to 7 passengers, the Flex is right for parents. Remote start allows for a quick getaway in bad weather or between appointments while the rearview camera offers extra security. Those who are willing to pay extra can get Ford's touchscreen infotainment system that controls pretty much everything in the vehicle. Car critics are speculating Ford will begin to compete with one of it's top competitors, Dodge, by putting in satellite enabled internet in its family sized cars.
The 7-passenger capacity of this compact SUV isn't the main selling point for your family. Instead it's two others. The first is a set of 4 cameras which provide a 360-degree view of the area surrounding the car. This prevents some of the most common accidents in parking lots and the road. The other selling point is the ability to purchase the Pathfinder as a Hybrid, thus upping mileage to 25 city/30 highway and saving you a good deal of money at the pumps. Though the price for the Hybrid version of the vehicle is around $36,000 it may be worth it.
Which one is for you? Do you research to find the best car and deal in your area.