New family car and safety considerations

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charley
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New family car and safety considerations

Post by charley » Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:32 am

Our family of 4 is in the market for a new car and would like to hear opinions on interpreting car safety data and choosing our next vehicle.

Our current vehicles are a late model Ford Bronco and an 11 year old Toyota Yaris. Both cars have served us well, but as a result of some life changes our family will spend some more time in a car each week. While the Bronco offers a certain level of safety based on it's weight, we're starting to have reliability issues. The Yaris is newer, but smaller and not the safest car on the road based on weight. I drive ~2000 miles per year and will likely keep the Yaris, while the family vehicle will be the newer car.

Based on the informedforlife.org recommendation, we're looking at cars with high safety ratings and >= 3500 lb vehicle weight, including:

2019 Rav4: automatic emergency braking (AEB) and similar modern safety features; first year of updated model, but hopefully has Toyota reliability, ~$26k

2019 Honda Odyssey: We're only a family of 4, but the boglehead community is split on this, and we do lots of house projects and camping trips, where extra space would be nice but not necessary. I have some concerns with their 9 speed transmission. Modern safety as above, with extra vehicle weight, ~$32k. I'd prefer a Toyota, but the new Sienna with improved safety ratings isn't expected until next year.


Used Honda Odyssey or midsize SUV: Vehicle weight and good safety ratings, but lacks the safety tech of newer cars. Cheaper than new car - ~$15-22k.

A heavier vehicle with modern safety technology should be the safest bet. Does the difference in vehicle weight between a new Odyssey and Rav4 make the former substantially safer? We're can afford the new Odyssey, but we're Bogleheads and it seems extravagant given our family size. I've seen some related threads and am curious what others think. Thanks.

02nz
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by 02nz » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 am

My guess is that for used you’d be looking at 3- to 5-year old minivans or SUVs. These are generally quite safe. Cars engineered in the last decade or so have had to meet pretty stringent safety requirements. These cars will all have airbags (front, side, and curtain), ABS, stability control, and generally good structures for absorbing crash impact. All else being the same, a heavier car is safer, but it’s only one factor among many, and heavier vehicles generally have poorer handling, which can also be a safety risk. Get the space you need, but I would not make weight the main consideration.

The newest cars may have things like blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergencies braking, lane keep assist, etc. These don’t add all that much safety for drivers who pay attention to driving. And you’d an get at least some of these features on some newer used vehicles as well, and not all new vehicles have all of them. So it’s not necessarily the case that buying a ‘19 Odyssey will automatically get you more safety features than a ‘16 Odyssey (or RAV4, or whatever). The one safety feature I would consider essential is a backup camera - these became required around 2017 I believe. Bottom line, you can get a used car that is very safe, on which someone else has taken the biggest depreciation hit.

For crash safety tests, check the IIHS results, which are more rigorous than the NHTSA tests.

As far as specific models - decide whether you need a three-row van/SUV. If you don’t (and you probably don’t), go with a smaller two-row vehicle like the RAV4, CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, or Hyundai Tucson. The Kia Niro is another good choice - it’s a hybrid that is a bit taller, somewhat like a crossover.

GmanJeff
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by GmanJeff » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:12 am

02nz wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 am

The newest cars may have things like blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergencies braking, lane keep assist, etc. These don’t add all that much safety for drivers who pay attention to driving.
The notion that advanced safety features like automated emergency braking are superfluous if one simply drives safely may have merit in the case of accidents which are attributable only to the accident victim's own behavior, but in the real world there are other vehicles on the road, piloted by other drivers who sometimes behave in ways which are not reasonably predictable even by normally attentive drivers. Further, the assumption that careful driving can obviate the need for any safety feature requires an implausible belief that a normally attentive driver will always be 100% careful, and is adequately skilled in all conditions and circumstances, will never be distracted while driving by external factors outside their control, and so on.

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vineviz
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by vineviz » Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:29 am

GmanJeff wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:12 am
Further, the assumption that careful driving can obviate the need for any safety feature requires an implausible belief that a normally attentive driver will always be 100% careful, and is adequately skilled in all conditions and circumstances, will never be distracted while driving by external factors outside their control, and so on.
I think this overstates the power of the original claim, which I read as "the marginal benefit of the newest safety features isn't significant".

Given the safety profile of a 2014 Honday Odyssey EX-L, I think any claim that a 2019 Honday Odsyssey EX-L is significantly safer would be difficult to substantiate in a quantifiable way.
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Watty
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by Watty » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:02 am

charley wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 7:32 am
Based on the informedforlife.org recommendation, we're looking at cars with high safety ratings and >= 3500 lb vehicle weight, including:
I would be cautious about that website since it is hard to figure out if they are really unbiased and why they like big cars so much. It would be good to verify its car choices on other websites.

I looked at it and it seems to be run by Michael D. Dulberger who had written several books that seem to have strong political leanings.

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-D.-Dulbe ... B00F15B7VU

One thing that you also need to consider if you buy a huge car just so that you will do better in a crash with some other car that also makes it more likely that you will kill someone one else in a crash that they could have survived if you were drive a car that was a bit smaller and the right size for your needs. Just because avoiding driving a very small car for safety reasons might make sense that does not mean that driving a much larger than needed car is the right choice.

Here are the top safety picks for 2019 from a better known source.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/top-safety-picks


Here is a post I did a while back about safety features.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=261403&p=4167788#p4167788
Watty wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:36 pm
4th and Inches wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:24 pm
Does anybody have reliable information that really quantifies how much safer newer cars are compared to older cars? I hear newer vehicles are safer and believe it, but how much safer are they?

For example we have a 2000 Honda Civic. How would you quantify how much safer a 2019 Civic is compared to a 2000?

It takes a while for real world statistics to become available but a 2002 Civic has a driver death rate of 62 per million registered years.

A 2014 had a rate of 39.

39/62= 60.9% so there is over a 39% reduction in the chance of being killed when driving a Civic.

There are lots of details on how they come up with that number that you can read about here. You can also look up the statistics for other models.

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/driver-death-rates

One thing to keep in mind is that is over the life of the car and driving a brand new 2002 Civic in 2002 was likely safer than driving a 16 year old one in 2018.

The advanced safety features are reported to reduce accidents by these percentages in the PDF on the right side of this web page.

https://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/auto ... icoverview
Forward collision warning
27% Front-to-rear crashes
20% Front-to-rear crashes with injuries
9% Claim rates for damage to other vehicles
16% Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles

Forward collision warning plus autobrake
50% Front-to-rear crashes
56% Front-to-rear crashes with injuries
13% Claim rates for damage to other vehicles
23% Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles

Lane departure warning
11% Single-vehicle, sideswipe and head-on crashes
21% Injury crashes of the same types

Blind spot detection
14% Lane-change crashes
23% Lane-change crashes with injuries
7% Claim rates for damage to other vehicles
8% Claim rates for injuries to people in other vehicles

Rear automatic braking
62% Backing crashes
12% Claim rates for damage to the insured vehicle
30% Claim rates for damage to other vehicles

Rearview cameras
17% Backing crash

Rear cross-traffic alert
22% Backing crashes

In setting insurance rates this is somewhat offset by cars with advanced safety features being more expensive to repair when they are in an accident.
Last edited by Watty on Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenkat
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by Kenkat » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:05 am

We have a 2014 Odyssey that we purchased new and if you don’t get hung up on the perceived minivan stigma, it is the most versatile vehicle I have ever owned. Great to travel in for our family of four, drives like a car, can haul large quantities of stuff, etc. It has never felt too big for us.

dbr
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by dbr » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:01 pm

If you want to quantify a weight effect all other factors being equal a good approximation is letting chances of fatality or injury vary as the inverse of vehicle weight. So 1/3500 = .00029 and 1/4000 = .00025. I wouldn't say that is a decision making difference other factors not being equal.

ohai
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by ohai » Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:28 pm

I really doubt that there will be a tangible difference in safety between a new RAV4 or Odyssey. You'd be better off just getting the vehicle that suits you from a utility perspective. Either of them will be far safer than an old Bronco or Yaris.

health teacher
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by health teacher » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:05 am

Kenkat wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:05 am
We have a 2014 Odyssey that we purchased new and if you don’t get hung up on the perceived minivan stigma, it is the most versatile vehicle I have ever owned. Great to travel in for our family of four, drives like a car, can haul large quantities of stuff, etc. It has never felt too big for us.
We have a 2016 and I totally agree with this. We have 3 kids now and the minivan is great for us. Best purchase we've made.

We we're in a crash the 3rd day of ownerhip. At the time, My pregnant wife was driving, my 18 month old year old and 3 year old, and mother in-law who'd just had neck disc surgery a few days earlier all were in the car with me. 20k in damage with a 25 mph crash, but everyone turned out to be ok. Completely anecdotal, but I'm sure glad we were in the minivan and not our 2009 Pontiac g3 we just traded in.

student
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by student » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:24 am

GmanJeff wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:12 am
02nz wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 am

The newest cars may have things like blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergencies braking, lane keep assist, etc. These don’t add all that much safety for drivers who pay attention to driving.
The notion that advanced safety features like automated emergency braking are superfluous if one simply drives safely may have merit in the case of accidents which are attributable only to the accident victim's own behavior, but in the real world there are other vehicles on the road, piloted by other drivers who sometimes behave in ways which are not reasonably predictable even by normally attentive drivers. Further, the assumption that careful driving can obviate the need for any safety feature requires an implausible belief that a normally attentive driver will always be 100% careful, and is adequately skilled in all conditions and circumstances, will never be distracted while driving by external factors outside their control, and so on.
I agree that these safety features are helpful since sometimes accidents are caused by others. I think blind spot monitor and automatic braking are useful but lane keep assist not so much. Nevertheless, I keep lane keep assist on and I do not find it intrusive. For the two 2019 car models that you are considering, I think they have most of the modern safety features. However, I think Honda may have something different rather than blind spot monitoring.

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charley
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by charley » Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:22 pm

02nz wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 am
RAV4, CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, or Hyundai Tucson
I've looked at some others in this class and I'm drawn to the Toyota because of their reputation for reliability. The 2019 Rav4 is a new model, so reliability is unknown. They've used a similar engine in the Camry for a year or two and I haven't heard reports of problems. I'm wary of the CR-V given the reported oil dilution problems. Subaru says consuming 1 quart of oil every 1200 miles is OK, but I disagree and am concerned by reports of oil consumption with the 2.5L engine. The Mazda looks great, and we'll certainly take a look. Thanks for the suggestion.


vineviz wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:29 am
Given the safety profile of a 2014 Honday Odyssey EX-L, I think any claim that a 2019 Honday Odsyssey EX-L is significantly safer would be difficult to substantiate in a quantifiable way.
Given Watty's statistics above, it seems like a car with advanced safety features will be somewhat safer. But the a 2014 Odyssey sets a high bar, so I agree that significant will be hard to quantify.

Watty wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:02 am
Here are the top safety picks for 2019 from a better known source.

https://www.iihs.org/ratings/top-safety-picks


Here is a post I did a while back about safety features.
Thanks, Watty. I agree that IIHS is a better source. They also discuss the importance of vehicle weight, but not with a quantitative measure. Informedfor life puts a number to it, which is helpful if not perfect. I do think informedforlife puts too much importance on weight, but coming from a Yaris it's a point I'm thinking about. I'm not sure I understand his ratings, where cars that are ~4500 lbs cars are twice as safe as 3500 lb cars.

dbr wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:01 pm
If you want to quantify a weight effect all other factors being equal a good approximation is letting chances of fatality or injury vary as the inverse of vehicle weight. So 1/3500 = .00029 and 1/4000 = .00025. I wouldn't say that is a decision making difference other factors not being equal.
This is a much more intuitive way to think about the effect of vehicle weight (compared to informedforlife).


We looked at the Rav4 this weekend and were impressed by the amount of cargo room. With a roof box it would rival the Bronco, and would be much more sensible for our normal uses. We'll likely end up with one of the compact SUV's. I noticed that the Mazda CX5 offers adaptive headlights. Does anyone have experience with these? Do you find they make a big difference on windy roads?

02nz
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by 02nz » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:38 pm

charley wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:22 pm
The 2019 Rav4 is a new model, so reliability is unknown.
If the RAV4 works for you, I wouldn't let the fact it's a redesign stop you. In addition to Toyota's very good reliability track record overall, the new RAV4 is based on a platform (Toyota New Global Architecture) that has been in use since 2015 on the Prius, CH-R, and more recently Camry and Corolla, plus some Lexus models. Much of it is thus already pretty proven. BTW take a look at the hybrid option - Toyota's not charging much for it (the hybrid is AWD and costs just $800 over the regular AWD version) and it will pay off quickly in gas savings.

phxjcc
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by phxjcc » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:16 am

"Late model Ford Brono". ????

They were last made in 1996.

Buy the Odyssey.
Get over the minivan thing.
It's one big BOX with an engine and seats.
Maximum versatility, vs say a box with two seats and no usable trunk like a (insert name of sports car here).
Or an SUV, which is a smaller box.
Phase of life dictates which choices are best.

Personally I like the Chrysler minivans for their floor storage sets, but if you like the Toyota/Honda just buy it.
It will probably last until they are out of high school.

Then when the kids are gone, you can buy the stylish Whizbangmobile.

And if it is a 1996 Bronco, PM me. NOW!

ssquared87
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by ssquared87 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:02 am

charley wrote:
Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:22 pm
I noticed that the Mazda CX5 offers adaptive headlights. Does anyone have experience with these? Do you find they make a big difference on windy roads?
I haven’t tried them on the Mazda, but I have 2 BMWs, one with non-adaptive lights and the other has adaptive lights. The adaptive is significantly better. When turning a corner the lights turn with the wheel and give you much more visibility. There’s also a cornering light that comes on when you turn the turn signal on, so you can see around the curves before you initiate the turn.

I wouldn’t say it’s a deal breaker getting a car that doesn’t have it, but if it were an option on a car I was planning to purchase I’d definitely go for it.

lazydavid
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by lazydavid » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:13 am

If you still like the Bronco, there's a new one coming next year, and the initial spy shots and renders look pretty awesome. Also, due to their popularity, you'll get a LOT more for selling yours than you would think. Do not trade it in--find a private buyer. You may have already found one in this thread. :)

Deblog
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by Deblog » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:40 am

With 2 children I would definitely get a 3rd row suv or minivan. We had 2 kids and had a Honda Pilot with 3rd row seat. Each child was able to bring a friend if we went somewhere with no issues. We even had it awhile after they got married and we could all go together in one car. We used that 3 rd row a lot. We camped and had 2 golden retrievers so liked the larger suv even when kid gone. Finally after 15 years of being left out in rain it was time to say goodbye when rust started having an impact.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am

I don't know that I buy the "more weight is better" argument. If you are in a head on crash, ok, the heavier vehicle will do more damage to the lighter vehicle. How is that better for the people in the heavy vehicle? With that argument, I'd think a heavy vehicle with a body on frame design like the Jeep Wrangler would be a good choice. I have one of those. They handle like garbage, stop like garbage, are not at all comfortable to drive on the road. The up sides? They have real 4 wheel drive and ground clearance to get through snow or to do what I do and drive offroad. With my all steel front bumper, in a head on, the front end is going to go right through your safe mini van. Crash into a bridge abutment and I don't care if you're driving a dump truck.....you're toast.

A safer vehicle? Back to the old Audi vs Volvo commercial where the Volvo is shown crashing into the test barrier.....then the Audi is shown going around it. Learn how to drive (take some HPDE schools.....yes, really). Pay attention. No, really......ignore the phone and the kids and the apple car play and just drive with both hands on the steering wheel, watching all around you, anticipating what is going to happen ahead of you.
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by tibbitts » Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:47 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am
I don't know that I buy the "more weight is better" argument. If you are in a head on crash, ok, the heavier vehicle will do more damage to the lighter vehicle. How is that better for the people in the heavy vehicle? With that argument, I'd think a heavy vehicle with a body on frame design like the Jeep Wrangler would be a good choice. I have one of those. They handle like garbage, stop like garbage, are not at all comfortable to drive on the road. The up sides? They have real 4 wheel drive and ground clearance to get through snow or to do what I do and drive offroad. With my all steel front bumper, in a head on, the front end is going to go right through your safe mini van. Crash into a bridge abutment and I don't care if you're driving a dump truck.....you're toast.

A safer vehicle? Back to the old Audi vs Volvo commercial where the Volvo is shown crashing into the test barrier.....then the Audi is shown going around it. Learn how to drive (take some HPDE schools.....yes, really). Pay attention. No, really......ignore the phone and the kids and the apple car play and just drive with both hands on the steering wheel, watching all around you, anticipating what is going to happen ahead of you.
I think the last vehicle I'd consider for safety would be a body-on-frame Jeep.

ohai
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by ohai » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:38 am

Jeep has possibly the worst crash rating of all modern cars in its size.

https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a2541 ... rash-test/

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vineviz
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by vineviz » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:45 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am
Crash into a bridge abutment and I don't care if you're driving a dump truck.....you're toast.
At high enough speeds maybe, but you've got a much better chance of surviving a crash like this in a modern Volvo than in a modern Jeep or a dump truck.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

dbr
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:48 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am
I don't know that I buy the "more weight is better" argument. If you are in a head on crash, ok, the heavier vehicle will do more damage to the lighter vehicle. How is that better for the people in the heavy vehicle?
That isn't the physics. The physics is that by conservation of momentum the change in velocity before to after the collision is less for the more massive vehicle. Vehicle velocity change in the collision is one of the significant factors in injury and fatality probability for the occupants at any given effectiveness of restraint systems or vehicle crush characteristics.

dbr
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:50 am

vineviz wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:45 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am
Crash into a bridge abutment and I don't care if you're driving a dump truck.....you're toast.
At high enough speeds maybe, but you've got a much better chance of surviving a crash like this in a modern Volvo than in a modern Jeep or a dump truck.
Correct. That is why the barrier collision is used for testing restraint systems and crush characteristics. In that case vehicle velocity change is equal to initial velocity at impact and they test at the same velocities for all vehicles. When the collision is not with a fixed barrier there are differences that are not reflected in the test.

siker
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by siker » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:03 am

Safercar.gov is good for checking vehicle safety.

https://www.safercar.gov/Safety+Ratings


One advice about the new safety features such as blind spot monitoring is that you become dependent on them, this becomes a issue when you drive a car without those advanced features.

For example one of my cars has rear view camera and I notice that when I occasionally drive our other car without rear view camera , I first look at dashboard when reversing rather than looking back.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by randomguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:39 am

dbr wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:50 am
vineviz wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:45 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am
Crash into a bridge abutment and I don't care if you're driving a dump truck.....you're toast.
At high enough speeds maybe, but you've got a much better chance of surviving a crash like this in a modern Volvo than in a modern Jeep or a dump truck.
Correct. That is why the barrier collision is used for testing restraint systems and crush characteristics. In that case vehicle velocity change is equal to initial velocity at impact and they test at the same velocities for all vehicles. When the collision is not with a fixed barrier there are differences that are not reflected in the test.
If you look at IIHS death rates, Cars <3000lbs have a trend towards higher death rates. Especially the subcompacts down at 2500lbs. Above that the value of weight drops a lot and how the cars are engineered starts to matter. Compare a 3500lb TSX at 10 (10/0/0) to a 6000 lb f250 super cab with a death rate of 31 (20/12/0). One is designed to deal with collisions. The other isn't. One also has some handling to avoid collisions:).



Compact and midsized SUVs are a pretty good sweet spot of safety. You are big enough (3500-4000lbs), high enough (don't get a bumper to the head), but you can also still handle well enough to avoid some accidents. The number of accidents where you die in a Volvo XC60 but live in another car is pretty minimal. There is no need to tank it up to some 5500+ Suburban in the name of safety.


A ford bronco is going to be a very unsafe car these days. Yes it is big. It also doesn't have VSC (see the rollover death rates in SUVs before then). It doesn't have modern crush zones and the rest. If you had to drive 200k miles, you would be much safer in a 2019 honda civic. The Yaris might be worse than the bronco:) Either a Rav4 or the minivan are fine options for safe transportation. I wouldn't pick one based on safety. They are both good enough. I would pick it on if you wanted that minivan space and if you want to pay the price for that space (poor gas mileage, pain to park).

dbr
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:48 am

randomguy wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:39 am
dbr wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:50 am
vineviz wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:45 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:41 am
Crash into a bridge abutment and I don't care if you're driving a dump truck.....you're toast.
At high enough speeds maybe, but you've got a much better chance of surviving a crash like this in a modern Volvo than in a modern Jeep or a dump truck.
Correct. That is why the barrier collision is used for testing restraint systems and crush characteristics. In that case vehicle velocity change is equal to initial velocity at impact and they test at the same velocities for all vehicles. When the collision is not with a fixed barrier there are differences that are not reflected in the test.
If you look at IIHS death rates, Cars <3000lbs have a trend towards higher death rates. Especially the subcompacts down at 2500lbs. Above that the value of weight drops a lot and how the cars are engineered starts to matter. Compare a 3500lb TSX at 10 (10/0/0) to a 6000 lb f250 super cab with a death rate of 31 (20/12/0). One is designed to deal with collisions. The other isn't. One also has some handling to avoid collisions:).



Compact and midsized SUVs are a pretty good sweet spot of safety. You are big enough (3500-4000lbs), high enough (don't get a bumper to the head), but you can also still handle well enough to avoid some accidents. The number of accidents where you die in a Volvo XC60 but live in another car is pretty minimal. There is no need to tank it up to some 5500+ Suburban in the name of safety.


A ford bronco is going to be a very unsafe car these days. Yes it is big. It also doesn't have VSC (see the rollover death rates in SUVs before then). It doesn't have modern crush zones and the rest. If you had to drive 200k miles, you would be much safer in a 2019 honda civic. The Yaris might be worse than the bronco:) Either a Rav4 or the minivan are fine options for safe transportation. I wouldn't pick one based on safety. They are both good enough. I would pick it on if you wanted that minivan space and if you want to pay the price for that space (poor gas mileage, pain to park).
To this can be added that there are correlations between vehicle models and driver behavior that explain additional variation from basic physics and vehicle design. Back in my day when we studied these things the clear cut outliers were the massively high fatality rates in Camaros and Firebirds.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:53 am

With 2 growing kids, a Rav4 (and similar size SUV) are not going to have the space for a family vehicle.

A minivan or 3 row SUV have room for people and stuff/bags.

I wouldn't get stuck on the Odyssey. There are a number of good vehicles in the same range.

Toyota Sienna
Kia Sedona - Good warranty if you buy new
Toyota Highlander
Ford Flex
Ford Explorer
Honda PIlot
Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia
etc
etc

4 people with bags/luggage and all the other stuff you bring with need some space. I would buy slightly used with room for expansion. Drive some different vehicles. If you want all the latest safety tech, you will have to go 2019/2020 and make sure you get the trim level that has all the bells/whistles.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by surfstar » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:30 am

I agree, the Rav4 with a large (18cuft) rooftop box would be the minimal size likely needed for a family camping trip, with efficient packing.
The CX5 is simply too small. Our "compact" VW Golf Sportwagen has 10% more cargo space than a CX5, cost less, gets better mpg and is more fun to drive. We still fill it up with gear as a no kids couple, when camping (we take inflatable SUPs and climbing gear, though, which most people don't)

If you don't usually need the cargo space, there are always cheap utility trailers that you can use for hauling home improvement stuff, camping gear, etc.

researcher
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by researcher » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:42 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:53 am
With 2 growing kids, a Rav4 (and similar size SUV) are not going to have the space for a family vehicle.
This is a ridiculous statement.
The Rav4, or any compact SUV for that matter, is a perfectly adequate vehicle for any normal family of 4.

I'm constantly amazed at people who think they must purchase an enormous van or 3-row SUV as soon as they have a second kid.

My kids are currently 6 and 8 years old. We've owned nothing but an older midsize sedan and a compact SUV since they've been born.
We've taken numerous long road trips (hauling beach/cabin stuff) since they've been born and have never required more room.

dbr
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:47 am

researcher wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:42 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:53 am
With 2 growing kids, a Rav4 (and similar size SUV) are not going to have the space for a family vehicle.
This is a ridiculous statement.
The Rav4, or any compact SUV for that matter, is a perfectly adequate vehicle for any normal family of 4.

I'm constantly amazed at people who think they must purchase an enormous van or 3-row SUV as soon as they have a second kid.

My kids are currently 6 and 8 years old. We've owned nothing but an older midsize sedan and a compact SUV since they've been born.
We've taken numerous long road trips (hauling beach/cabin stuff) since they've been born and have never required more room.
In any case the need depends on how that family travels and where they go. You are correct there is no given.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:00 am

researcher wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:42 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:53 am
With 2 growing kids, a Rav4 (and similar size SUV) are not going to have the space for a family vehicle.
This is a ridiculous statement.
The Rav4, or any compact SUV for that matter, is a perfectly adequate vehicle for any normal family of 4.

I'm constantly amazed at people who think they must purchase an enormous van or 3-row SUV as soon as they have a second kid.

My kids are currently 6 and 8 years old. We've owned nothing but an older midsize sedan and a compact SUV since they've been born.
We've taken numerous long road trips (hauling beach/cabin stuff) since they've been born and have never required more room.
Sure. Fine. Camping trips and house projects. If it doesn't fit, don't take it. A compact SUV is fine for you. To say my statement is ridiculous is ridiculous. :wink: :!: :mrgreen: :| :idea: :arrow: :D 8-) :? :happy :oops: :shock: :confused :dollar :moneybag :greedy :sharebeer
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by H-Town » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:08 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:00 am
researcher wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:42 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:53 am
With 2 growing kids, a Rav4 (and similar size SUV) are not going to have the space for a family vehicle.
This is a ridiculous statement.
The Rav4, or any compact SUV for that matter, is a perfectly adequate vehicle for any normal family of 4.

I'm constantly amazed at people who think they must purchase an enormous van or 3-row SUV as soon as they have a second kid.

My kids are currently 6 and 8 years old. We've owned nothing but an older midsize sedan and a compact SUV since they've been born.
We've taken numerous long road trips (hauling beach/cabin stuff) since they've been born and have never required more room.
Sure. Fine. Camping trips and house projects. If it doesn't fit, don't take it. A compact SUV is fine for you. To say my statement is ridiculous is ridiculous. :wink: :!: :mrgreen: :| :idea: :arrow: :D 8-) :? :happy :oops: :shock: :confused :dollar :moneybag :greedy :sharebeer
My Camaro works just fine. You'll learn to work with small space. Minimalist, sort of.

We live in a consuming country. Take what you want. Be it a RAV 4 or a tank.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:19 am

H-Town wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:08 am
My Camaro works just fine. You'll learn to work with small space. Minimalist, sort of.

We live in a consuming country. Take what you want. Be it a RAV 4 or a tank.
4 people camping your camaro? Or just you?

4 duffle bags, 4 pillows, 4 sleeping bags, 1 tent, 4 bag chairs, 1 camp stove, 1 cooler, food

That would be pretty tight in the back of a Rav4. With 2 people you could fold the middle seats down and have more space.

I'm fine with "get as much car as you need, no more". It is funny how the short list was a Rav4 and a Honda Odyssey. Yin and Yang.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

dbr
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by dbr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:02 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:19 am
H-Town wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:08 am
My Camaro works just fine. You'll learn to work with small space. Minimalist, sort of.

We live in a consuming country. Take what you want. Be it a RAV 4 or a tank.
4 people camping your camaro? Or just you?

4 duffle bags, 4 pillows, 4 sleeping bags, 1 tent, 4 bag chairs, 1 camp stove, 1 cooler, food

That would be pretty tight in the back of a Rav4. With 2 people you could fold the middle seats down and have more space.

I'm fine with "get as much car as you need, no more". It is funny how the short list was a Rav4 and a Honda Odyssey. Yin and Yang.
Personally I want a vehicle that will store my bicycle inside with no more that taking the front wheel off. I could do that in my Buick LeSabre more easily than in the Outback I have now because the load-in height to the back seat was less. People may not know that that Buick had a knock out in the trunk that allowed skis to be loaded inside the car and still seat four people.

It is all about your own use and not a general statement.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by researcher » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:27 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:00 am
Sure. Fine. Camping trips and house projects. If it doesn't fit, don't take it. A compact SUV is fine for you. To say my statement is ridiculous is ridiculous.
You stated that a compact SUV is "not going to have the space for a family vehicle."
That is absolutely a ridiculous statement.

You can flip the seats down in any compact SUV, creating enough space for virtually any "house project."
If they intend to do lots of camping, all they need to do is spend a few hundred on a hitch-mounted cargo carrier to transport the big/bulky items.

Besides, the vehicles you recommend don't have all that much more cargo capacity than a Rav4.
The Highlander only has 42 cu ft behind the second row, compared with 38 for the Rav4.

decapod10
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by decapod10 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:57 pm

We have 2 kids, I personally really like the minivan in terms of practical uses (we have an Odyssey, but it doesn't have to be an Odyssey in particular) for us personally for a couple reasons:

Minivans are way better than mini-SUVs or even most full size SUVs at carrying people. My parents and in-laws are getting older, so they don't like to drive. It's great to be able to have everyone just pile into our car and drive together. It's nice to have extra space if we need to drive with kids' friends or for field trips, especially because booster seats and car seats take up so much room.

We take a lot of trips to visit the inlaws or other road trips, on average once per month or more. There's lots of space in the back if you fold down the 3rd row. I don't have to waste much energy trying to pack with a lot of space efficiency or doing luggage tetris. If there's some last minute stuff we need to pack, just put it in a bag or a laundry basket or something and throw it in the back.

Also, it's just roomier and more comfortable. It's nice for those 6-7 hour drives.

One of our other cars is a Nissan Rogue, leg room is definitely less. Storage capacity is probably sufficient most of the time, but definitely takes some thought. Even just 2 large luggage bags and the trunk starts getting pretty tight. In the Odyssey, we could probably put like 12 or more large luggage bags in there (not that we would ever need that, lol). Also, oddly shaped stuff fits way better in the Odyssey than the Rogue, like stuff from Ikea or basketball hoops from Target or whatever.

Overall, I don't think a minivan is a necessity, but I really like them, even with only 2 kids.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:06 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:27 pm
You stated that a compact SUV is "not going to have the space for a family vehicle."
That is absolutely a ridiculous statement.
You use the word "ridiculous" too much. Ridiculous overuse of a ridiculous word. :wink:

Your ridiculous is my semi-ridiculous. It is ridiculous to argue over ridiculousness.

If he said "we have a family of 4, like to camp and do home improvement projects". That would lead someone to a Rav4 as the perfect vehicle? Very interesting. :arrow:
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by H-Town » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:33 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:19 am
H-Town wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:08 am
My Camaro works just fine. You'll learn to work with small space. Minimalist, sort of.

We live in a consuming country. Take what you want. Be it a RAV 4 or a tank.
4 people camping your camaro? Or just you?

4 duffle bags, 4 pillows, 4 sleeping bags, 1 tent, 4 bag chairs, 1 camp stove, 1 cooler, food

That would be pretty tight in the back of a Rav4. With 2 people you could fold the middle seats down and have more space.

I'm fine with "get as much car as you need, no more". It is funny how the short list was a Rav4 and a Honda Odyssey. Yin and Yang.
2 people on cross country road trips in a Camaro. I was surprised that how we managed to make it work. Same thing with tiny house. You just learn utilize things for different purposes.

But yeah, in the future, I want to try a full size RV for a long camping trips. I don't like the idea of getting a SUV for camping for a few times a year, but you use it for commuting every day...

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by vineviz » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:38 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:06 pm
researcher wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:27 pm
You stated that a compact SUV is "not going to have the space for a family vehicle."
That is absolutely a ridiculous statement.
You use the word "ridiculous" too much. Ridiculous overuse of a ridiculous word. :wink:

Your ridiculous is my semi-ridiculous. It is ridiculous to argue over ridiculousness.

If he said "we have a family of 4, like to camp and do home improvement projects". That would lead someone to a Rav4 as the perfect vehicle? Very interesting. :arrow:
I can fit a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and a pile of 10' long 2x4 boards inside my Honda Odyssey. I don't do it often, but I have done it several times.

A RAV4 can do neither of those things.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

researcher
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by researcher » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:33 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:06 pm
If he said "we have a family of 4, like to camp and do home improvement projects". That would lead someone to a Rav4 as the perfect vehicle? Very interesting. :arrow:
It was the OP himself who identified the Rav4 as vehicle that would work for his family, not me!

He has it narrowed down to the Rav4 and Honda Odyssey. Of the Odyssey, he said...
- The extra space would be nice but not necessary.
- We're can afford the new Odyssey, but we're Bogleheads and it seems extravagant given our family size.


If the OP himself feels the Rav4 will work for his family, then who am I go argue.
And I agree with both of his points I noted above regarding the larger vehicle.
Which is why I said it is ridiculous to say the OP's selected car was "not going to have the space for a family vehicle."

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by researcher » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:36 pm

vineviz wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:38 pm
I can fit a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and a pile of 10' long 2x4 boards inside my Honda Odyssey. I don't do it often, but I have done it several times.
A RAV4 can do neither of those things.
The one time every 5-10 years that the OP needs to haul 4x8 sheets of plywood/drywall, he can rent a truck at Home Depot for $19.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by ohai » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:45 pm

More importantly, Odyssey is a larger, more spacious, more comfortable vehicle than the RAV4. It has an intercom for back seat passengers and its own vaccum in the trunk. The captain chairs in the second row are like airline seats. These are the every day features that you consider when justifying the higher cost; amenities matter, in addition to space.

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vineviz
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by vineviz » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:52 pm

researcher wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:36 pm
vineviz wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:38 pm
I can fit a 4'x8' sheet of plywood and a pile of 10' long 2x4 boards inside my Honda Odyssey. I don't do it often, but I have done it several times.
A RAV4 can do neither of those things.
The one time every 5-10 years that the OP needs to haul 4x8 sheets of plywood/drywall, he can rent a truck at Home Depot for $19.
Of course! I totally forgot that everyone has exactly the same preferences that you do! Silly me.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch

researcher
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by researcher » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:56 pm

ohai wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:45 pm
More importantly, Odyssey is a larger, more spacious, more comfortable vehicle than the RAV4. It has an intercom for back seat passengers and its own vaccum in the trunk. The captain chairs in the second row are like airline seats. These are the every day features that you consider when justifying the higher cost; amenities matter, in addition to space.
But in the OP, he's already stated that these features (as you call them) are "not necessary" and "seem extravagant".

He only has 2 kids, who will be sitting about a foot behind him in the second row, so there is no need for an intercom!
The vacuum in the trunk is a redundant gimmick for those who already have vacuums/shop vac at home/in the garage.
His young kids aren't going to know or care that their seats are "like airline seats".

It seems like the OP views these "amenities" as unnecessary extravagances.

researcher
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by researcher » Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:00 pm

vineviz wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:52 pm
Of course! I totally forgot that everyone has exactly the same preferences that you do! Silly me.
Did you read the OP?

He is the one who picked the Rav4!
I assume he would not have selected it if he plans to make regular trips hauling loads of lumber or manure.

randomguy
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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by randomguy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:31 pm

ohai wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:45 pm
More importantly, Odyssey is a larger, more spacious, more comfortable vehicle than the RAV4. It has an intercom for back seat passengers and its own vaccum in the trunk. The captain chairs in the second row are like airline seats. These are the every day features that you consider when justifying the higher cost; amenities matter, in addition to space.
It has an intercom cause the NVH is so bad you can't hear people in the back seat😀 and if you want a vacumn in the cat dust buster can help you out.

Seriously nobody can tell the OP what the right car is for their usage case. Maybe they use the extra space 2 days/year. Maybe 200. Maybe the sliding doors make you smile. Maybe you hate how you only have 6" behind your car when you park in the garage. Maybe they enjoy getting 35+mpg instead of like 20. Maybe the AWD is just enough for their "off roading". They are both really nice cars that fit a lot of people's needs. And yes you can get by with less, but struggling for the sake of struggling isn't a virtue.

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by 02nz » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:43 pm

ohai wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:45 pm
The captain chairs in the second row are like airline seats.
"Ooh, let's get a car where the seats remind us of airline seats!" - No one ever.

(To be sure: The Odyssey is a perfectly capable and comfortable vehicle. But the seats are nothing like airline seats (not even premium cabin seats, and that's probably a good thing.)

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Re: New family car and safety considerations

Post by H-Town » Tue Jul 16, 2019 4:55 pm

ohai wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:45 pm
More importantly, Odyssey is a larger, more spacious, more comfortable vehicle than the RAV4. It has an intercom for back seat passengers and its own vaccum in the trunk. The captain chairs in the second row are like airline seats. These are the every day features that you consider when justifying the higher cost; amenities matter, in addition to space.
Or this could work too...

Image

Imagine if the stuffs you have now were to be taken away, would you be able to function? No A/C, no water pressure, no car?

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