Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

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kjvmartin
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Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:18 pm

On lease expiration I'm returning my Equinox AWD and deciding on a commuter vehicle to drive to work 450 roundtrip miles a week.

The Equinox was a short term lease and now I'm going to finance a long term purchase. Our family car is a 2018 Odyssey which we plan to keep until the wheels fall off. We have 3 small kids and I consider the Honda Odyssey to be a truly remarkable family appliance. The best at what it does.

For my commuter vehicle, I'm stuck between a 2019 Mazda3 AWD or a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD (snow belt). A third thought is the Hyundai Tucson, but it lacks adaptive cruise control (ACC) at mid-trim, so it's at the bottom of my list. I can buy either comparably equipped for similar cost. I had originally planned for an Accord or Insight Hybrid due to my mileage, but I got hooked on AWD these past winters with the Equinox. I am ruling out any Honda with the 1.5T due to oil issues and the CX-5 with ACC is over budget.

The question: I am racking my brain trying to think of situations where I'd regret the smaller car. It gets better MPG and is more enjoyable to drive. It's quite comfortable for it's small size. Wife says: "What if the van goes in the shop?" That is a valid concern, as we could never hope to cram 3 car seats in the Mazda3, but the Santa Fe/Tucson are much bigger and could fill in the gap as a family hauler if needed as well. I just haven't had a kid in my Equinox in the 2 years I've leased it, so it has seemed like wasted space.

Do you all with 3+ kids have multiple family haulers or do you still commute in a more modest size car?

Mike Scott
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by Mike Scott » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:23 pm

You can get a loaner or rental if the van goes in the shop. For the miles you plan to drive, get the commuter car that works best for commuting.

invest4
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by invest4 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:28 pm

We always rode with one minivan and simply dealt with the situation of being in the shop when it arose. It could be a pain if extended time, but unlikely to the level you will regret it. Of course, having options is helpful (borrow grandparents car in a pinch).

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by mmmodem » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:29 pm

I used to have a 500 mile weekly commute. Prius all the way. 50 mpg. There is an AWD version now. Three cars seats fit in a row just fine. The middle seat is a slim Diono Radian. It worked so well for us that it became the travel car as well and we frequently took it on 1000 mile round trips to San Diego. When all your kids are in car seats, rear leg room becomes additional luggage space for travel.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by andrew1976 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:38 pm

I have 5 kids ages 3, 6, 8, 13, 15. We had 2 minivans for several years (2001 and 2007 odyssey). We've owned the 2001 odyssey since 2005 and then it had transmission trouble in 2017 at around 150k miles so we got rid of it. I enjoyed having the 2 minivans since one vehicle (2007) had the 3 car seats. The other vehicle (2001) was used to haul dirty stuff from Lowe's / Home Depot. In 2017, we bought 2 certified used 2014 Honda's (CR-V and Odyssey). I can fit one of my older kids in the front passenger seat of the CR-V and my 3 younger ones can fit in a row since my 8 year old doesn't legally need a booster seat anymore. He doesn't like being squeezed between his sisters but he can deal with it for short car rides. I thought about buying a second minivan but then realized it was overkill and unnecessary. I like having the AWD when it rains with the CR-V.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by SilverGirl » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:44 pm

We have six kids ages 6 to 15. We have a minivan and a Chevy Bolt. This works out great for us. We rarely all need to go anywhere together and we have a car do to so when we do. When we only need four of us to go somewhere, the Bolt works great. Not even considering getting two bigger cars.

megabad
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by megabad » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:48 pm

Well none of the vehicles mentioned gets very impressive gas mileage honestly. The Sante Fe will get worse mileage than Odyssey. The CX3 maybe 10% better mileage. So gas mileage isn't really a consideration.

However, you state you want AWD and have a limited budget and apparently want to buy new. With all of those constraints, I think your two suggested vehicle options are pretty decent.

If kids are close in age and young, personally, I would buy an SUV in your case with 4WD. However, this likely means you would have to buy used to stay in budget. If you believe you need AWD in the snow, then you need a bigger vehicle for when it snows and you need to take the kids and it is hard to fit them in a small car.

If you have ever tried to cram 3 kids close in age into a sedan (CX3 is this size), you will never want to do it again. If one is older, than he/she can sit in front and it is much easier and a smaller vehicle can work fine. I suppose a pessimist would state that smaller vehicles are slightly less safe, but this wouldn't impact my decision much (the difference is tiny on modern vehicles).

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:50 pm

megabad wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:48 pm
The CX3 maybe 10% better mileage. So gas mileage isn't really a consideration.
I am not referring to the CX-3, but rather the Mazda3. It has AWD available now. Edit to add - I would welcome suggestions, but I'm having a hard time finding used with CarPlay and a full suite of safety features (ACC,LKAS,BLS, etc).

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:00 pm

Mike Scott wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:23 pm
You can get a loaner or rental if the van goes in the shop. For the miles you plan to drive, get the commuter car that works best for commuting.
+1 You still need two cars no matter which one goes into the shop (one for commuting, one for family while you're at work). Just get a renter or loaner for whichever one is laid up.
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:02 pm

> wife says: "What if the van goes in the shop?"

That's the thing. If you have a reasonable option or options if that happens you are OK with the smaller car.

Loaners, rental, do without.. in any case it's a Honda and is unlikely to spend much time in the shop.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by m@ver1ck » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:13 pm

Life's too short. Get a VW GTI.

megabad
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by megabad » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:17 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:50 pm
megabad wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:48 pm
The CX3 maybe 10% better mileage. So gas mileage isn't really a consideration.
I am not referring to the CX-3, but rather the Mazda3. It has AWD available now. Edit to add - I would welcome suggestions, but I'm having a hard time finding used with CarPlay and a full suite of safety features (ACC,LKAS,BLS, etc).
My mistake I didn't read carefully. Didn't even know there was a Mazda 3 w/AWD. Doesn't really change my comment about mpg (4 mpg more is not significant in my book). I still think your choices are reasonable. I drove a Subaru Impreza AWD while traveling for business once. It was fine, but I didn't spend enough time in it to comment intelligently. If you like it, you might be able to get cheaper than your stated options.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by celia » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:28 pm

adamthesmythe wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:02 pm
> wife says: "What if the van goes in the shop?"
Find people who go to the same schools/work and learn to car pool temporarily when one of your cars (new friend’s or yours) is being worked on. A co-worker who lived further from work than I did would take a bus to my place, then we’d ride together. I could also get to work on the bus. There are other options if you stop and think about it.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by chicagoan23 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:46 am

Get the bigger car. The concern is not if the van goes into the shop; the much bigger concern is taking multiple kids (including your kids’ friends) in each vehicle. You will need to have the ability to do that over the next 10 years.

I have four kids between ages 12 and 6. We just got a CX-9 to go with our minivan. We would not even consider anything that didn’t have third row seating. The CX-9 is a great vehicle and not all that much more than the Mazda 3.....look for a lightly used 2019 and it will be cheaper than a brand new 3.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by mass_biker » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:52 am

3 kids.

Family car/school hauler = minivan w AWD (Sienna) -> 3 rows
My car/daily driver = station wagon w AWD -> 2 rows

Kids are 15/9/6 - all 5 of us can ride in it pretty easily. Even the bigger kid can sit in the second row between the two others (in boosters).

When I got my car, a criteria was being able to have 3 kids in that second row reasonably comfortably.

Considered an SUV for my daily driver, but I just like the ride of the wagon much better. I'm on kid runs maybe ~ 25% of the time, so don't need that extra utility all the time.

For road trips though, nothing beats the Sienna...

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by High Income Parent » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:44 am

We have five kids and we’ve had an odyssey and a Prius for the last 6 years. It’s been a perfect combination. Never had a need for a second large car except the couple times the van was in the shop.

We just borrowed the grandparents van but if that option wasn’t available the few days of renting a van would still be cheaper than servicing two large vehicles.
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by nepats » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:02 am

Standard Range Tesla Model 3 if it's in your budget. Your total miles will probably pay for half of the lease of the car in gas savings

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by shorty313 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:13 am

How many in boosters/car seats? We have an older mazda3. Only have two kids but end up with a kids friend at least weekly. I have done two boosters and a bigger kid and it’s tight but doable. Not sure if you have three car seats, though they do have narrow seats on the market these days. One booster and two bigger kids is totally fine.

Love the Mazda3.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by onourway » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:15 am

I would lean towards something that can carry 3 kids in reasonable comfort. This does not mean 3 rows, but if you are going to own this for the next 10 years, it's worth buying something that will fit your needs that entire time. We have 3 kids. One 3 row SUV, one wagon. There are frequent times when both cars need to hold all 3 because both of us work, and either may need to pick up all 3 kids on any given day.

Note that many smaller cars will fit 3 slim seats like a Diono without too much trouble, but will not readily fit 3 booster seats as they move out of them as boosters are nearly always wider than the Diono's and you need to keep enough space between them to access the seatbelts.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by Wings5 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:30 am

We have a Sienna, a Corolla, and three kids.

The car seats won't be there forever. It's a little bit cozier but everyone fits just fine. I drive the Corolla 300-500 miles per week and we hope to pass it on to the oldest in four years when he starts driving.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by naclt » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:17 am

Three kids 9 and under. We have an Odyssey and I have a Hyundai sedan that I use for commuting. I have two booster seats in mine, very very rarely is it that I have all three kids in my car.

There are some occasions where we have to plan ahead and switch cars depending on what we have going on. But it’s never been a problem.

It’s more likely that I get good gas mileage in my car vs being in a situation of needing room for all three kids.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by crg11 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:17 am

I've heard great things (both safety and fit) about the Dino radian car seats. https://us.diono.com/product-category/a ... vertibles/.

They are designed for narrow back seats and there are pictures/videos online of them fitting in some rather cramped scenarios. For example, I've seen a video of them fitting 3 of these in a Tesla Model 3 backseat and even in a Chevy Cobalt!

I wished we bought these for our Subaru Forester, as the back middle seat is very cramped for an adult with two car seats on either side of them. Forget about trying our current car seats and an adult in the backseat of our Subaru Crosstrek.

When my youngest upgrades from the baby car seat to a convertible car seat, we will probably get at least one of these.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by soccerrules » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:56 am

as a family with 3 kids we had one family car (SUV) and then one sedan. I personally think 3 is the cutoff to determine a need for 2 "family" cars.

I would go with the commuter and higher MPG.

Most of the time when we needed more than the Family car- it was few and far between and we just drove 2 cars. They tended to be something local for a kids party, extra friends/family to dinner or event.

If you were taking a long road trip and had a need for 2 family cars, then you just rent for that trip.
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by ohai » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:01 am

Given that you drive for quite a long distance commuting by yourself, a midsize sedan is probably the most suitable option for you. This class of car is designed for the driving that you seem to do for 95% of the time, which is long miles on presumably highway. You already have a minivan for when you need to carry lots of stuff or people.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am

AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me.

Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by DarthSage » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:01 am

4 kids (one launched--she's not home much), ages 23, 22, 16, and 13, so they're all adult-sized.

We have a Sienna (me) and a Chevy Equinox (DH). Dh doesn't have near the commute that you do. His vehicle only seats 5. He has expressed regret at not getting something bigger for himself, more so he could haul things. Sure, he can use my van, but it's very new.

IMO, it's not such a big deal to have one vehicle that can't haul everybody. We've managed for years, just fine. I'd worry more about comfort and gas mileage on that long commute--plus 4WD/AWD, if you commute in nasty weather.

Once the kids are launched, I'd be willing to go down to 1 small car (likely a sedan--not SUPER tiny!), and probably a minivan, still. I really love my Sienna!

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by stoptothink » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:19 am

celia wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:28 pm
adamthesmythe wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:02 pm
> wife says: "What if the van goes in the shop?"
Find people who go to the same schools/work and learn to car pool temporarily when one of your cars (new friend’s or yours) is being worked on. A co-worker who lived further from work than I did would take a bus to my place, then we’d ride together. I could also get to work on the bus. There are other options if you stop and think about it.
Family of 4 and we share a single car. Yes, our car goes in the shop; you figure it out and it generally isn't that big of a deal. We should all be driving suburbans and living in 10 bedroom homes, because someday, maybe, you might have to transport a whole bunch of extra people or your entire family may decide to visit at the same time and refuse to sleep on couches. Why pay a premium every day because of the minute risk that it may eliminate a minor inconvenience for a short period of time in the future?

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by randomguy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:39 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:18 pm

The question: I am racking my brain trying to think of situations where I'd regret the smaller car. It gets better MPG and is more enjoyable to drive. It's quite comfortable for it's small size. Wife says: "What if the van goes in the shop?" That is a valid concern, as we could never hope to cram 3 car seats in the Mazda3, but the Santa Fe/Tucson are much bigger and could fill in the gap as a family hauler if needed as well. I just haven't had a kid in my Equinox in the 2 years I've leased it, so it has seemed like wasted space.

Do you all with 3+ kids have multiple family haulers or do you still commute in a more modest size car?
You will regret it every time stuff doesn't fit in your car. Imagine your spouse takes 2 kids to go somewhere and you need to take the 3rd and the upright bass to orchestra. :) You would have to decide how often things like this will every come up. To some extent you can always work around problems and it is just a matter of if you want to avoid the inconvenience.

Buy the RAV4 hybrid and get more space and better MPG. Probably make up the price difference in 5 years.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by jminv » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:44 am

That's why they have rental cars and they're not all that expensive (or loaner car if dealer offers it). Wouldn't you be getting a rental car anyway if you only had one car available since you have commute to work? Get the car you want to drive.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by Afty » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:03 pm

Do you ever need to drive all 3 children anywhere? Would you switch cars in that case? That's kind of annoying, but not the end of the world.

We have 2 kids, and we have one midsize SUV (Kia Sorento) and one compact sedan (Tesla Model 3). Both are large enough to carry both kids, though only the SUV is large enough for their friends to ride with us. I'm usually for smaller cars, but with 3 kids I'd probably go with the Santa Fe for added convenience and flexibility.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by marty18 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:34 pm

Does your current car have adaptive cruise control? It was a feature that I thought would be so much more useful than it actually is. I find it to be way too sensitive.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by onourway » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:53 pm

marty18 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:34 pm
Does your current car have adaptive cruise control? It was a feature that I thought would be so much more useful than it actually is. I find it to be way too sensitive.
By far my favorite feature on my newer Volvo. Yes, you have to learn to trust how it works, but I'd never want another primary vehicle without it - and I don't even commute in traffic. Just makes long drives so much more relaxing.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by ThatGuy » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:26 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:19 am
We should all be driving suburbans and living in 10 bedroom homes, because someday, maybe, you might have to transport a whole bunch of extra people or your entire family may decide to visit at the same time and refuse to sleep on couches. Why pay a premium every day because of the minute risk that it may eliminate a minor inconvenience for a short period of time in the future?
+1,000,000
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:54 pm

marty18 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:34 pm
Does your current car have adaptive cruise control? It was a feature that I thought would be so much more useful than it actually is. I find it to be way too sensitive.
Not the op, but i LOVE mine in my Subaru. We're replacing my husband's car and trying to decide if we want it to be our road trip car. If it is, adaptive cruise control is an absolute REQUIREMENT.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:09 pm

marty18 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:34 pm
Does your current car have adaptive cruise control? It was a feature that I thought would be so much more useful than it actually is. I find it to be way too sensitive.
Yes, the Honda Odyssey has ACC and the full suite of "Sensing" features. I can't speak for other manufacturers, but I find myself enjoying my commute far more when I take the Odyssey compared to the Equinox. The Equinox has no Sensing features at all until the upper trims, outside of my budget.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:19 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am
AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me.

Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?
They get expensive very fast when you add the tech package and CarPlay.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by Hockey10 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:54 pm

We have 3 kids (now adults) and always had 1 big car and 1 small car. I can't ever remember a situation when we needed 2 big cars.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:24 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:19 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am
AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me.

Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?
They get expensive very fast when you add the tech package and CarPlay.
I always considered Subarus to be one of the most reasonably priced cars with active safety measures, but i suppose you might have a different opinion.

And it's been standard on several models for several years now.

Did i miss what your budget was as well?

unstartable
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by unstartable » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:29 pm

At the rate you will wear out a car I would get an inexpensive small front wheel drive sedan: Civic, Corolla, etc. Are you really going to make this drive when the weather is bad enough to require AWD to make the trip?

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:43 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (car).
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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by iamlucky13 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:34 pm

This sounds like a concern that can wait until you have a big family. :D

I mean that light-heartedly, not mockingly. I grew up in a family of 9 kids. We had a minivan and a compact car. There's always compromises, but it works.

Also, have you heard of Parkinson's Law? One of the commonly mentioned corollaries is "expenditures rise to meet income."

A similar one could be "necessities increase to fill the space to keep them." When we upgraded from a sedan to a larger crossover, we seemed to have just as little room to spare when packing for long drives as we did before, but we spent more of our time packing all of our stuff, and corralling it at our destination.

I like having a small car in part because it helps maintain the habit of keeping my life simpler. This is one of the differences of personalities between my wife and I, however. I think if she could, she'd drive an entire guest house on wheels in order to be able to be prepared for every possible contingency while out, from a first aid kit for skinned needs to place settings for the in-laws for holiday dinner.

Full disclosure: my own family is only 2 kids.
crg11 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:17 am
I've heard great things (both safety and fit) about the Dino radian car seats. https://us.diono.com/product-category/a ... vertibles/.
They are narrower than most others, which is good, and as far as I can tell comfortable for the child, but make poor use of space when rear-facing - I'm not unusually tall at 5'11", but I am currently not able to sit properly in the passenger seat of our Outback, which is a relatively large car, because the seat is as far back as it can go, and my knees are jammed against glovebox if I try.

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Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:39 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:24 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:19 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am
AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me.

Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?
They get expensive very fast when you add the tech package and CarPlay.
I always considered Subarus to be one of the most reasonably priced cars with active safety measures, but i suppose you might have a different opinion.

And it's been standard on several models for several years now.

Did i miss what your budget was as well?
Looking in the $24k range.

Topic Author
kjvmartin
Posts: 1352
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:44 pm

unstartable wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:29 pm
At the rate you will wear out a car I would get an inexpensive small front wheel drive sedan: Civic, Corolla, etc. Are you really going to make this drive when the weather is bad enough to require AWD to make the trip?
I am a product of the "if you want to promote, you'll be willing to go anywhere" mentality at my workplace. Thus, I'm commuting for the foreseeable future. As someone in leadership of a public safety organization that almost never closes (twice in a decade) due to weather, yes. As a comparison - Schools close about 7-10 days a year in my area. The Equinox was a stalwart at getting me home comfortably during/after snowstorms last year.

To update - I am leaning hard toward the AWD Mazda3 at $24k+tax. It's small and fun to drive. I can't shake the notion that there are either real or perceived quality concerns with Hyundai. I'm going to give them each another test drive and decide this weekend.

unstartable
Posts: 96
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:19 pm

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by unstartable » Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:48 pm

Mazda 3 seems like a good choice then.

BuckyBadger
Posts: 951
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:28 am

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:05 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:39 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:24 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:19 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am
AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me.

Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?
They get expensive very fast when you add the tech package and CarPlay.
I always considered Subarus to be one of the most reasonably priced cars with active safety measures, but i suppose you might have a different opinion.

And it's been standard on several models for several years now.

Did i miss what your budget was as well?
Looking in the $24k range.
That's what i paid for my 2015 Outback with eye sight. I'm assuming a pre-owned legacy or Forrester could be found under 24k easily.

If you decide you don't want a huge car but want AWD and adaptive cruise control you could definitely consider a Subaru of some sort.

If you don't like them that's fine, but I've never heard people accuse them off being particularly expensive cars.

Topic Author
kjvmartin
Posts: 1352
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:57 am

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by kjvmartin » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:24 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:05 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:39 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:24 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:19 pm
BuckyBadger wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:03 am
AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me.

Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?
They get expensive very fast when you add the tech package and CarPlay.
I always considered Subarus to be one of the most reasonably priced cars with active safety measures, but i suppose you might have a different opinion.

And it's been standard on several models for several years now.

Did i miss what your budget was as well?
Looking in the $24k range.
That's what i paid for my 2015 Outback with eye sight. I'm assuming a pre-owned legacy or Forrester could be found under 24k easily.

If you decide you don't want a huge car but want AWD and adaptive cruise control you could definitely consider a Subaru of some sort.

If you don't like them that's fine, but I've never heard people accuse them off being particularly expensive cars.
Subaru doesn't offer CarPlay until the 2018 Outback or 2019 Forester. They seem like great cars, but to get them with CarPlay AND EyeSight is not a budget friendly purchase. I think they're moving up in price over time. The Forester is close to my budget, starting $24,200 MSRP for the base but lacks some really convenient stuff that other base models have - keyless entry, heated seats, remote start. It seems most of the companies have put their "decent" spec trims at $28,000-$29,000. This includes the Forester, CR-V, CX-5 and probably others. For $28,000 the Equinox has a terrible engine/trans combo and zero active safety. I'm convinced no one is buying those, but they are practically giving away leases.

Hyundai has some very aggressive pricing in my zip code, but I fear "getting what I pay for" on such a long term purchase.

onourway
Posts: 1940
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:39 pm

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by onourway » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:15 am

I’ve suggested it in some other threads, but the Buick Regal TourX is an excellent deal right now. AWD. All the bells and whistles on the higher trims including CarPlay, adaptive cruise, and so on. Widely advertised for $7-10k off MSRP, putting even those upper trims in the $25k or less range.

BuckyBadger
Posts: 951
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:28 am

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:00 am

Sorry, missed where CarPlay was required!

researcher
Posts: 979
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by researcher » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:08 am

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:18 pm
For my commuter vehicle, I'm stuck between a 2019 Mazda3 AWD or a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe AWD (snow belt).
Wife says: "What if the van goes in the shop?"
I just haven't had a kid in my Equinox in the 2 years I've leased it, so it has seemed like wasted space.
You've answered your own question...get the Mazda 3. It is a great car.
Life's too short. Get a VW GTI
Standard Range Tesla Model 3
AWD and adaptive cruise control SCREAMS Subaru to me. Did i miss that you've ruled a Subaru out?
the Buick Regal TourX
Do posters even care about the questions being asked in the OP?
He has two very specific vehicles picked out, yet gets recommendations for...
- A VW GTI, that doesn't even come with AWD
- A Tesla Model 3, which is way outside his budget
- A crappy Subaru
- A full size Buick

furiouschads
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:01 pm

Re: Does a big family need 2 big cars? Question for 3 kid+ families

Post by furiouschads » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:20 am

Test drive a Chevy Bolt on 10-20 miles of your commute. You will buy that car. The experience in traffic or at speed is a revelation.

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