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Thread: car or minivan?

  1. #1
    CPS Technician bobandjess99's Avatar
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    car or minivan?

    I want a new vehicle, but can't decide to get a car or minivan.
    I have 1 child and 1 coming in January, so I'm thinking that a car is going to be the way to go...WAY better gas mileage.....and with only 2 kids, i don't *need* a minivan. Yet.

    But...we do hope to have more kids, so a couple years after the new babe, we'll likely (hopefully) have another...plus, dh has 3 kids that are here sometimes and it is also nice to sometimes have a few extra seats for extras, grandkids, friends, etc.....but I can't get over the WRETCHED gas mileage of minivans!! AGH! (95% of my driving is city) I mean, with gas being $3 per gallon, I can get a civic and get 30 mpg in town, or an Odyssey and get 18. That's 40% less!! (**happily visualizing a 40% less gas bill at the pump....**) Also, i do work part time, and it is as a visiting social worker (i go out to peoples homes to talk to them) so, I use my car a LOT for driving around town for work purposes.....which makes the better gas mileage so much more important!!


    I'm also concerned about safety...especially after going through tech class, I'm terrified of the vehicles we currently have...all are death traps!!!
    Also, I am a VERY short person, barely 5 feet, and most of that is TORSO..i have REALLY short legs, so ia have to move the seat all the way up to reach the pedals......which makes driving most cars VERY difficult...I have never been in ANY vehicle where i can get the required 10 inches away from the steering wheel in order for the air bag to be safe for me, and even adjustable height seat belts tend to cut me in the neck....

    so i was looking, and it seems like for a car with good gas mileage and good crash ratings, I want a Civic. The others lack in one or the other.....
    As far as a minivan..most are getting good crash ratings these days...but there's the wretched mileage.....

    All i want is a freaking car that gets good gas mileage, has good safety/crash ratings, is decent for installing carseats, and will fit me so i can drive with extreme contorsions and risking death from an airbag.

    Is that too much to ask?

    WWYD? Car or minivan? any recommendations?

    We can spend up to about $10K, and the vehicle will have to have less than 80K or so miles.....

    disgruntled here.

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  3. #2
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    Re: car or minivan?

    if $10k is your limit, i don't think you can find a recent (06 or newer) civic. the generation before (01-05) didn't do as well, crash-wise). i also doubt $10k can get a used prius, which would have been another car to consider, as it has more useable trunk space than a civic since it is a 5-door hatch. you may be able to pick up a previous generation accord (something older than 04) for under $10k. that will give you even more room, relatively good crash ratings, and decent, if not terrific, gas mileage.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  4. #3
    CPS Technician bobandjess99's Avatar
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    Re: car or minivan?

    Can you clarify about the civic? When i went to the NHTSA site to check, it said the 2001-2005 Civic also had the highest crash ratings, it was the older ones, pre-2001, that did not get the highest marks....maybe I overlooked something?

    About the prius...i was looking at hybrids, but was getting worried about the batteries needing replaced after the warranty was up...actually, I ws loving the civic hybrid, the prius, etc.....but the prius had low crash ratings and the civic's only come with an 8 yr warranty, and i can only afford a 4+ yr old one....so that worries me

    why is this so hard?

    Can someone just tell me which car is perfect for me?
    I'm tired.

  5. #4
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: car or minivan?

    If you do not currently have a vehicle that will hold all the kids, I would suggest getting a van. And remember that "death trap" is not really an accurate term for the average vehicle manufacturered in the last 10 years.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  6. #5
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    Re: car or minivan?

    Quote Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
    Can you clarify about the civic? When i went to the NHTSA site to check, it said the 2001-2005 Civic also had the highest crash ratings, it was the older ones, pre-2001, that did not get the highest marks....maybe I overlooked something?

    About the prius...i was looking at hybrids, but was getting worried about the batteries needing replaced after the warranty was up...actually, I ws loving the civic hybrid, the prius, etc.....but the prius had low crash ratings and the civic's only come with an 8 yr warranty, and i can only afford a 4+ yr old one....so that worries me

    why is this so hard?

    Can someone just tell me which car is perfect for me?
    I'm tired.
    well the second generation priuses (04+) have the highest crash rating, but you won't find one for less than $10k.

    the 2001-2005 civic does not get the highest ratings overall. it does get highest ratings for frontal and frontal offset crashes, but not for side impact. it is not available with side curtain airbags like the 06's are and the 04+ priuses are.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  7. #6
    CPS Technician bobandjess99's Avatar
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    Re: car or minivan?

    Quote Originally Posted by skaterbabscpst View Post
    If you do not currently have a vehicle that will hold all the kids, I would suggest getting a van. And remember that "death trap" is not really an accurate term for the average vehicle manufacturered in the last 10 years.


    Our newest vehicle is 11 years old...it is my husbands, and it is the tiny little tin can Metro...anything larger than a gnat hits it and we're all goners.

    My current temporary vehicle is over 15 years old, and the one i have that needs work to run that we are considering fixing instead of getting a new one is over 20.

    Deathtraps.

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member R&J'sMom's Avatar
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    Re: car or minivan?

    I would say to get a van. You have 4 kids (even though 3 don't live with you, if you have them even occasionally you still need to provide transportation for them) and a 5th in January, a van will be the most accommodating for 5 kids plus you and your DH.

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: car or minivan?

    A wagon might provide the versatility you need. There's larger versions such as the HUGE Caprice or the small Golf wagon. Subarus also have decent gas mileage in some of their models even though they have dedicated all wheel drive. Volvos have the flip up rear seats that can provide space in a pinch.
    The one thing I really miss about my old Passat wagon, was having space in the back to change diapers & clothes next to the stroller. It was great and a Toyota Camry just does not match up to it. I'm glad I didn't own it when dd was champion of blow out diapers.

    How often do you really need the extra seats for the other kids & visitors? It might help if you chart it out. If it's less than 3-4 times a year, renting or leasing a larger vehicle will be less expensive in the long run vs the higher cost of owning something that's driven in stop/go traffic.

    good luck. It's not easy trying to find the right car for budget & purpose.
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
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