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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    192

    Need New Car Suggestion

    Husband's car does NOT handle well in snow/wet weather. We don't get much snow (DC area), but still need something that can drive in the flurries

    Must haves:
    4 door
    safe (we have 2 RFing toddlers)
    around $15K (or less)

    Ideally, something that can fit a Radian RFing -- but that's not a deal breaker - we have 2 Britax that can also be used.

    He might be okay with an SUV, but prefers not to ride as high above the road.

    His current car is a Mazda3. It is WAY too low to the road (in my opinion) and I don't feel comfortable with our girls in the backseat (just seems like there's nothing to the car and if there were an accident...).

    Any suggestions? Obviously for our price point, we're completely fine with used.

    Thanks!
    A: 1/2010, 45#, 45"
    M: 10/2011, 35#, 41"
    Both riding in a Britax Frontier 90

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy Mercuria's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    495

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    How far are you willing to travel to buy the car? Used car prices kinda suck around this area =/

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    192
    We don't mind traveling into PA or WV or a used car. We're northwest of DC (on outskirts of DC metro area).
    A: 1/2010, 45#, 45"
    M: 10/2011, 35#, 41"
    Both riding in a Britax Frontier 90

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Salmon Arm, BC
    Posts
    2,976

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    You'll need to give more specifics as to what you want/need/like. Sounds like you want a bigger sedan if you want a bit more vehicle between your back end and your back seat.

    As for driving in snow, do you have good snow tires? Have you driven other vehicles in the snow?

    In the last couple years I've driven in the snow in:
    - Mazda Protege
    - Mazda 3
    - GMC Safari
    - Chevy Express 15-passenger
    - Toyota Tundra

    My favourite in the snow is the Mazda Protege. 2nd favourite is the Mazda 3. Those might be reversed if the 3 was mine and not my parents' LOL. I would far rather drive something low to the ground. The low centre of gravity actually helps with control. The lighter weight means shorter stopping distance. I actually preferred the little cars to the 4x4 truck because while the 4x4 helps with driving, it doesn't make a big difference to the slipping & sliding on our hideously icy roads.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  6. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    30

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    informed for life
    The rankings on this site *might* help you narrow down your options. Or, the info here might make you a little nuts. I found it through this forum. This guy is an engineer, all about safety. He used to analyze & combine results of federal and insurance industry safety testing, and rank cars accordingly. For used cars he says that actual fatality rates are decent, not ideal, indicators of relative safety.

    He says data shows that side air bags and electronic stability control make a significant difference in safety. Re weight, he says not all heavy cars are safe, but recommends avoiding cars lighter than 3200lbs. FWIW.

    http://informedforlife.org/viewartcl.php?index=75

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SoFL
    Posts
    1,241

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    Toyota Matrix? It's larger than the 3, sits a little higher than your average sedan, nice cargo room. It has had side airbags and stability control standard for the past few years, and while it may be tough to find, they did have the option of AWD.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    5

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    Did you end up finding a new car ... I drive a Toyota Matrix and it handles great in the snow. I would also recommend a Mazda 5. If we get another car, that's what we'll get!
    DS born 3/2003, chomping at the bit to sit in the front
    DD born 7/2012, Chicco Keyfit 30


  9. #8
    CPS Technician luckyclov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Who wants to know?
    Posts
    2,507

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    Are the tires on your Mazda factory tires? Mazda has a history of selling their vehicles with sucky tires, then once replaced/upgraded, you (may) notice quite a bit of handling difference in the vehicle. Several vehicles ago, I had a Mazda 5. I loved it, but it handled so sloppily on wet roads (I live in the south, so I need a vehicle that handles well in downpours and drenched roads). Once we replaced the tires, it handled beautifully.

    Just a thought.
    CPST & Mom to:
    Keep (11 yrs old, 57", 80 lbs), in an Olli, Ozzi & BB
    Sass (10 yrs old, 54", 76 lbs), in Santa Fe, Monterey & Olli
    Zilla (4 yrs old, 38", 36 lbs), FF in a PS, RXT & FR85
    Rollin' in a 2014 Ody, 2012 F-150 SuperCrew & Luigi, a peppy little 2012 Fiat 500

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    192

    Re: Need New Car Suggestion

    DH had a Protege and 'upgraded' to the Mazda 3 when his Protege died. Honestly, I hated both cars. They were so loud. I couldn't sit in the rear seats and participate in the conversations had by those in the front. I'll admit to steering him away from another Mazda (I'm sure they're not all like that, but the noise really bothered me).

    As for new tires. That's all he needed. His factory tires were crap! I'm shocked (and slightly disturbed) he wasn't paying attention to the lack of tread left on them. They were smooth. It was bad. All this aside, he finally agreed the noise was bothering him too as he couldn't carry on a conversation with DD. And the dealership offered us an amazing deal when we traded in the Mazda 3 (over 2K above Kelly Blue Book!).

    We got a slightly-used Subaru Legacy. The smooth and quiet ride is awesome. I'm still struggling to get our Radian RXT properly installed RFing so we're using our backup Britax seats right now. I'll need to figure out something soon as I think my 37mo old is coming close to outgrowing the Marathon RFing and I'm not ready to turn her FFing.
    A: 1/2010, 45#, 45"
    M: 10/2011, 35#, 41"
    Both riding in a Britax Frontier 90

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