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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Need help with purchasing a new car!!!

    Hey guys I normally post over on the carseat part of this board but I need some suggestions on new cars.

    Right now we have a Honda Pilot 2004 and an Audi A4 2005.

    DH drives the Pilot and I drive the Audi. The lease on my Audi is coming up at the beginning of next year. I really love this car but with Ryan's BV in it - it can really only seat 2 adults. For example, if Ryan is outboard behind the passenger there is no room for a grown adult to sit because the seat is pushed so far forward, so we have him center rf in the back and the base of the BV covers the buckles so someone in the backseat can't use a seatbelt.

    I don't want to switch cars with DH (and neither does he....he likes his car).

    So I need suggestions on new cars/small SUV's for me. I am convertable with our payment on our Audi but we can afford a little more.

    Here have been my thoughts

    Honda CRV (drives like a car)

    Lexus RX 350

    Audi A6 wagon (not sure how I feel about a wagon and we are getting pricey)

    Audi Q7 (getting pricey)


    Oh and I do not want a minivan.

    I really like the Honda CRV and although the Insurance Institute for Highway safety rates it in the top (here is the article)
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061121/...e/us_safe_cars

    the Informed for life website doesn't give it good ratings putting it high on the medium risk scale.

    So I guess my question is how do I know this car is safe? And what cars do you guys recommend?

    I'm kinda picky....hopefully from what I have posted as the cars we are considering you can kinda tell my taste - I prefer Honda, Acura, Lexus, Audi, Infiniti......I'm just wondering if I have missed a car/small SUV/sylish wagon somewhere in my search.

    TIA - I just don't want to go from a really safe car (the A4) to something that isn't quite as good but in reality the A4 isn't going to be good when we have our second baby.
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    I was just doing a little more research and wanted to know how you guys feel about the Acura RDX?

    It is in the top 10% in informed for life.

    And it has 5 LATCH anchors in the back so you could put a seat in the center with LATCH!
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  4. #3
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    FWIW, the Hyundai SUV was listed as one of the IIHS top ten, and Hyundai doesn't have a maximum weight for the LATCH system (lower or upper anchors - they defer to the child restraint.)
    The payments would likely be significantly LESS than your current vehicle as well.
    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

  5. #4
    CPS Technician
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    I don't know what informed for life says about my car but I really love it.

    I have an 05 Chevy Malibu Maxx---probably not your taste based on the name but look it over. It is "euro" looking---kinda like a Saab. It has 5 Latch anchors in the back---so you can use LATCH in the center position too. The only thing I wish my car had is Side Impact Airbags. The car does really well in side imacts WITH them--but not without. Had I known about the benefits of them, I would have gotten them.

    Also if you have a book fold stroller---then it will take up almost all of your trunk space. My BFF has a Graco Passage stroller---and it takes up most of the trunk when we go in my car.

    Other than that I really LOVE it. I have a base model--but you can add on stuff or get the higher end model. I'm sure there are some great deals on the 06's now too.

    Susan
    Mommy to my angel, Ethan Daniel (8/5/07-8/6/07)
    Mommy to Nicholas (12-29-08) RF'ed to 2.75 yrs in Graco MyRide(crashed) and a True Fit Primier. FF in the TFP and a Graco Nautilus Elite. Nicholas is 2.75 yrs old, 32 lbs and 36" tall.
    Child Passenger Safety Tech

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    I have a few suggestions for you:

    Acura TL - DH has one and we both LOVE it. I always call it the glorified Honda Accord! lol

    Mazda CX-7 or CX-9 - I know you said you're picky and you most likely wouldn't think of a Mazda, but I test drove the CX-7 and it is actually a pretty nice vehicle.

    Subaru Legacy Wagon - I looked at these also (because I used to have a Subaru WRX STi), and they are very nice and safe, plus they're not too pricey and you automatically get AWD. Not everyone likes the looks a Subaru, though.

    Infiniti FX35/45 - It's basically a Nissan Murano, but it's got more interior features, and I noticed that it drives much more smoothly than the Murano, almost as if it has a completely different suspension.

    Acura MDX - One of my friend's has a 2006 model she bought this time last year. However, for the money she spent on it, I'm not too impressed. The RDX might be a better alternative since it's less expensive than the MDX, but should still have alot of the same features.

    HTH!
    Colleen

  7. #6
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saa2006 View Post
    Hey guys I normally post over on the carseat part of this board but I need some suggestions on new cars.

    Right now we have a Honda Pilot 2004 and an Audi A4 2005.

    DH drives the Pilot and I drive the Audi. The lease on my Audi is coming up at the beginning of next year. I really love this car but with Ryan's BV in it - it can really only seat 2 adults. For example, if Ryan is outboard behind the passenger there is no room for a grown adult to sit because the seat is pushed so far forward, so we have him center rf in the back and the base of the BV covers the buckles so someone in the backseat can't use a seatbelt.

    I don't want to switch cars with DH (and neither does he....he likes his car).

    So I need suggestions on new cars/small SUV's for me. I am convertable with our payment on our Audi but we can afford a little more.

    Here have been my thoughts

    Honda CRV (drives like a car)

    Lexus RX 350

    Audi A6 wagon (not sure how I feel about a wagon and we are getting pricey)

    Audi Q7 (getting pricey)


    Oh and I do not want a minivan.

    I really like the Honda CRV and although the Insurance Institute for Highway safety rates it in the top (here is the article)
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061121/...e/us_safe_cars

    the Informed for life website doesn't give it good ratings putting it high on the medium risk scale.

    So I guess my question is how do I know this car is safe? And what cars do you guys recommend?

    I'm kinda picky....hopefully from what I have posted as the cars we are considering you can kinda tell my taste - I prefer Honda, Acura, Lexus, Audi, Infiniti......I'm just wondering if I have missed a car/small SUV/sylish wagon somewhere in my search.

    TIA - I just don't want to go from a really safe car (the A4) to something that isn't quite as good but in reality the A4 isn't going to be good when we have our second baby.

    If you like the A4 and A6, I'm thinking a VW Passat Wagon would be a very good choice for you. Safe and also similar to the Audi models.

    The CR-V is a very good choice for a small SUV and is one of the safest models in its class. The only drawback is that it is somewhat top-heavy like many SUVs and scores a bit lower in that area. In regard to crash test results and safety features it's a great choice and standard stability control should offset the rollover risk to some degree.

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    If you like the A4 and A6, I'm thinking a VW Passat Wagon would be a very good choice for you. Safe and also similar to the Audi models.

    The CR-V is a very good choice for a small SUV and is one of the safest models in its class. The only drawback is that it is somewhat top-heavy like many SUVs and scores a bit lower in that area. In regard to crash test results and safety features it's a great choice and standard stability control should offset the rollover risk to some degree.
    I was thinking about the Passat but DH isn't crazy about them and although it is my car he will be driving it at times.

    I am actually really leaning towards the RDX - of course I have to go test drive it!!

    Darren - have you seen it in person or heard good or bad things about it. Also you do feel the CRV is safe? It just scored lower because of rollover?

    Thanks
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  9. #8
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    I forgot to ask how important is it to take into consideration the LATCH limits of the car?

    Of course with Honda or Acura it is 40 pounds but the Audi and VW are 48...

    Just wondering

    Thanks
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  10. #9
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    I think both are safe choices. In fact, I believe they are based on the same chassis, though I don't know how much else they have in common.

    The RDX is new and I've never seen one or heard anything about it except for reviews. I've recommended the CR-V to many people looking for a small SUV. I wonder if it really is all that much more roomy than the A4?

  11. #10
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    For me, it wouldn't really be a deal breaker compared to various other factors in comparing vehicles. Maybe if it really came down to being a draw that would affect my decision. Ultimately, you can always use the seat belts for installation, too.

  12. #11
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Oh I forgot to mention-

    The 2007 Informed For Life Ratings are not completely up-to-date, yet. For example, they have not included the NHTSA ratings for the Honda CR-V, yet. That is why it has a "98" medium risk rating. If you use their calculator you can enter the NHTSA 5-star ratings and the CR-V would be somewhere around 63 and in the top 10%. The RDX will also move up slightly, probably from 66 to around 60, higher than the CR-V only because it weighs slightly more.

    Any time you see a blank entry at the Informed For Life charts means that the test result is not completed or is not yet updated. They then use an "average" result for the vehicle class. Once tests are completed and the results entered, the rating will move up or down. In the mean time, they provide a Microsoft Excel calculator to let you calculate the actual score.

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Thanks Darren -

    When I went to Edmunds.com the CRV had rear leg room of 38.5 inches, the RDX is 37.7 inches and the A4 is 34.3 so I'm hoping they are right.

    I am going to check out the RDX and CRV - I have til the end of Jan. so definately some time to research stuff and maybe by then the Informed for Life will have the 2007 ratings complete.

    How come the Lexus RX350 isn't rated for any of the years? Are some cars not rated?
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  14. #13
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    There is no real need to wait for Informed For Life to complete their ratings if the results are already available from both the IIHS and NHTSA. Informed For Life doesn't actually create any ratings themselves. They simply compile the ratings and information from other sources and combine them into a single, comparable risk value.

    In the case of the CR-V and RDX, the ratings are already available. It's just that Informed For Life has not yet added them to their list. If you plug the missing numbers into their calculator, you find that both score under 70 and among the top 10% or so of all vehicles.

    As for the RX350, it's down at the bottom of the chart because it has no information input at all. Some vehicles are never tested by the IIHS and NHTSA. Others have a considerable time from when they are released until they are tested. These agencies will not usually tell you when a test will be made if it has not yet been completed. Informed For Life can't really do anything until the tests are done. The best you can do for these vehicles is to keep checking the IIHS and NHTSA websites. If the tests are completed, you can plug as much information as you have into the Informed For Life Excel calculator to see what the overall risk number will be.

  15. #14
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Thanks for all you help Darren!

    I will keep my eye out for the ratings on the Lexus RX350 so I can plug it into the calculator but I am really liking the CRV and RDX and now that I know the ratings for the CRV will be better than 98 I am more comfortable with it!

    I'll keep you guys posted on what car and how the seat fits, etc.

    Steph
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Lys's Avatar
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    I LOVE the newly redesigned CR-V. It is so cool looking. If we didn't have such a large family, I'd love to have one.
    But for now I am in LOVE with my 2006 Pilot!
    Lysandra
    CPST, LLLL and SAHM
    Mia 13, Ian 10, Clek Olli x2, TB and BubbleBum

  17. #16
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    I bought on 06 Legacy wagon over the summer, after looking at the A4 wagon, Volvo V50 and V70 wagons, and the VW Passat wagon. I was already biased toward Subarus, having owned a Forester, but after driving the Legacy, it was an easy decision. The Passat and V70 were lovely cars, but weren't sporty enough for me. The V50 was a blast to drive, and I almost bought one. But if the A4 is feeling tight, the V50 will likely be too small for you. Still, definitely try out the Legacy. It's a bargain for what you get, and has unbeatable crash tests ratings. Only downside is no electronic stability control available on the wagon. And of course, check out the Volvos, though there's not very much crash test info on Volvo wagons.

    Happy shopping.
    Last edited by twokidstwodogs; 11-27-2006 at 12:11 PM. Reason: Typo

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