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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Looking for a new family car, input please?

    Well, new to me that is. We always buy used cars but my 2001 Taurus is starting to sound a bit rickety and I'd love to upgrade before something goes wrong with the Taurus, thus lowering its resell value. I've been doing some online research but would love to hear some IRL input from you mamas

    Here is what it needs to have:
    * AWD or 4WD, as my driveway is a hill and pretty near impossible for me to get up in the PA snow/ice storms, plus the road to my house is not maintained/plowed by the township.
    * Fits two car seats (DD1 is in a Graco Nautilus, DD2 is currently in a Graco Snugride but will move up to a Graco Comfort Sport, rear-facing)
    * Good safety ratings
    * Reliable, don't want something that will be in the shop for repairs often or that is expensive to maintain or fix. (I realize that buying a used vehicle always has that risk, but I'd like to stick to a brand that is known for reliability - Honda, Toyota, etc.)
    * Ample storage space (love the large trunk on my Taurus for when we travel, and I also have a Graco DuoGlider I tend to keep in the trunk in case I need it while out shopping, etc.)
    * The heater and AC have to work well! I freeze in the winter and sweat in the summer and have been spoiled by how well these work in my Taurus (the heating systems in my DH's truck and car on the other hand stink!)
    * Decent MPG, the higher the better of course. This is the car that I will mainly drive in the kids with to playdates, appointments, shopping, etc., and is also used as the travel car when we visit family 3 hours away of go on vacation.

    Other than those things I'm not too picky. I don't want a super huge SUV and am not too keen on a minivan yet (though if we have more kids I definately see one of those in my future). DH thinks a Suburu Outback Wagon or Jeep Liberty/Ford Escape would be good and I've been reading good reviews of the Pontiac Vibe AWD. My MIL has a Toyota Highlander she loves. Any thoughts on any of these or ideas of others to look at? I've been scouring the classifieds and dealer posting online for used cars and want a better idea of what to look for.


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    Join Date
    April, 2001

  3. #2
    Senior Community Member BudgieStew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Quebec, Canada

    Re: Looking for a new family car, input please?

    Not sure if this meets your price range but what about a Ford Freestyle.

    I think they started making them in 2005 and ended production this year under the name Taurus X. Ford said they stopped production to push the Flex...which is too bad as they are a nice option for those that don't want to drive a car but don't want a van/SUV either.
    It is a 6 or 7 seater depending on if you have buckets or bench in the second row. It is built on the Volvo platform so has that family wagon look. AWD is an option. And even the 2005 models have great safety features. Not sure about MPG, sorry. Truck space is not going to be as big as a van but if you lay the third row down it should be enough for what you need.

    I think a few members here own Freestyles and tend to say nice things about them.

    I have considered one for the last two car purchases but never ended up with one. DH always convinced me to get something else. But I am still pushing DH to get one as his next car. We have owned a few Fords and car seats tend to install well.

    If you are considering an Escape go and see one first, the back seat is tiny and the truck space is not that spacious either.
    *DD N 5 Years 46 inches/44 lbs FF in a Marathon/Parkway SG/Turbo Booster/ and Harnessed Nautilus
    *DS H 7 Years 49 inches/51 lbs in a Monterey and Turbo Booster
    and a Harmony and Radian as back up seats

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Re: Looking for a new family car, input please?

    I just got a brand new 2010 Subaru Forester and really really it!
    I got the base model automatic, but it still comes nicely equipped with the power features, awd, etc etc.

    Installing my daughters rear facing boulevard on the passenger side was a breeze...the front passenger seat had to be moved up just slightly, but there is still plenty of room...I don't see where putting a seat behind the driver seat would be a problem either - so long as you aren't too tall (I'm 5'3" and sit back pretty far from the pedals as I have a lead foot - and could easily put my daughters seat behind me) - lol! There is a nice amount of cargo room in the rear - including in floor storage - which I wasn't expecting, but was happy to have.

    I must say that I had never had any experience with Subaru until now - and I am very very impressed. The ride and handling are great, the fuel economy has been great so far, fit and finish in the interior is wonderful.

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

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: Looking for a new family car, input please?

    I can say the Escape is a nice vehicle and has as much or more cargo space than the Taurus, which as you said is great. My mom had one until dd was about a year old. It drove great, and we had no problems installing carseats. I had a Baby Trend FlexLoc, and EFTA, and a Como in there at different times, and never had trouble with installs. The driver's seat would go all the way back with a slightly upright installed Como behind it. I would also recommend looking at the Freestyle. I don't have one yet, but I adore that car. I will have either a Freestyle/Taurus X or Flex for my next vehicle. I like the styling of the Flex better, but the prices on the Freestyle & Taurus X are awesome. Like as cheap as a similar mileage Taurus. The Freestyle would allow you to have tons of cargo space with the third row folded, and three across should be doable if you want to keep the cargo space after you have another child.
    Mama to Josie (4/08, 47lbs & 49"), retriever-cat Hotrod, munchkin-cat Gizmo, and hell-cat Leggs.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Re: Looking for a new family car, input please?

    Thanks for the input ladies! The Freestyle looks interesting. It would be nice to have the option of more seating in case we had an extra friend or family member to ride with us. Am also interested in the Mazda5 (think that's it).

    Just found out that DH's truck needs a bunch of repairs to pass inspection and we weren't expecting to pay that much for it, so now a new car for me is on hold Hopefully we'll have funds before winter weather!

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