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Cars for Moms - comments, concerns and wants!

Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
edited October 27 in General
Calling all moms! What are you looking for in a vehicle?

Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

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Comments

  • I wanted to rank the following needs but couldn't. They're all important to me:

    Reliability
    Decent gas mileage
    Manual transmission
    Sporty good looks
    Smooth, road-hugging ride
    Front wheel drive
    Pep for highway merging
    Comfortable seating for 4-5
    Cargo room/room for dogs
    Excellent sound system

    I found all these (and more) in my 2004 Mazda6 Sport Wagon. It's a terrific car.

    C. C.
  • After having my first child I realized how much I need out of a car..
    I need baby in a safe but close position.
    I need space for all her stuff.. stroller, car seat.. with room for other passengers too.
    I would like a minivan, because the doors slide to the side instead of opening out, I take a while buckling and unbuckling her out of the seat in parking lots and I do not want to ding other cars or mine with the door wide open.
    I want some sort of distraction for her, like for her to watch her Wiggles DVD.
    I love the idea of power doors/back door on a mini van, so when I have my hands full with her and purchases I can open car very easily..
    MOM's really need alot out of their vehicles...
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...what would we do without the Wiggles? ;-)
  • I am looking for a wagon or sedan that will hold three baby seats. My Crown Vic works but not the Protege5. Has anyone tried to fit three into the Mazda 6 wagon? Also, in a three row vehicle like the Freestyle or XC90, can one put two baby seats in the second row and still reach the third row? The both have nifty slide/fold second rows but I don't see how it could work with a baby seat installed! Thanks for any feedback.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    THREE baby seats? Wow, what a challenge! I don't know of any vehicle that currently perfectly fits your situation. Many of the vehicles that have slide/fold down 2nd row seating won't work with the seats installed. Your best bet seems to be to get a vehicle that has 2nd-row split seats so that there's at least a "center aisle" to the 3rd row. Minivan is an obvious choice, but not everyone wants a minivan.

    You might check out these discussions:
    Mazda6 Wagon (2004)
    Malibu MAXX vs Mazda 6 hatch/wagon vs Outback

    The comparsion topic might give you ideas about other vehicles to suit your needs.

    kirstie_h
    Roving Host & Future Vehicles Host

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    The only vehicles I can think of that would match the seat space of your Crown Vic would be trucks of similar width... Ford Expedition/F150 SuperCrew, Chevy Tahoe/Avalanche.

    Most 3-row crossovers require that the second seat tilt, fold, or slide to get to the third row. Even if a child seat fits in the third robew, the issue of getting back there may be too large a hurdle unless you want to load/unload that child in from the rear hatch over the seatback.

    Most car specification listings will tell you how many LATCH fittings they have, and I would probably use that as a guide, regardless of how many passengers the car says it can seat. The Mazda6 seats 3 in the rear, but only has 2 LATCH positions.

    kcram
    Host - Wagons
  • I would not use LATCH as a guide to judge baby seat capability. The goverment only requires LATCH in two rear seats, not three. Usually, the middle seat doesn't have LATCH attachments, but can sometimes still fit a baby seat.

     

    A really good bet is the Volvo XC90. You shouldn't have a problem there, and the middle seat has a built-in booster seat, meaning you wont have to try to cram three huge pieces of plastic across. It's also a great car in general.

     

    A friend of mine also got three across in the Acura MDX, but honestly, I don't see how she did it. A lot depends on the width of your child seat, which can vary more often than you'd think.

     

    Let us know what you decided!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Moms\Women love the Lexus RX. My wife isnt even a mom and she loves it. Another good choice is the Acura MDX, but get a used one.
  • racer63racer63 Posts: 123
    My wife is currently using our '04 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab as her family truckster. She says she likes it :-) It replaced a '99 Explorer XLT AWD, which did alot of things, just nothing particularly well. That in turn had replaced a '95 Jetta GLX, which was the family car around when we had our two kids.

     

    With two off-spring now 7 and 8, we didn't need the third seat, and wanted "dirty" cargo space, which the pick-up provides with a cap on the bed. Incrementally longer than a Burb/Yukon, but less money for a heavier duty truck. Only beef is sometimes parking can be a pain, but that's life with a full-size truck.
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    Those cars ("10 Coolest Cars for Soccer Moms") are the most pitiful recommendations I've ever seen. ALL of them are overweight and thirsty; the majority of them have less-than-average (some MUCH worse-than-average) reliability, and 90% of them handle like pigs.

     

    Cmon now -- how about setting up some criteria here, like:

     

    - How many people do you need to carry

    - What is your budget, car payment-wise, insurance-wise and fuel-wise

    - What do you ask of your car other than pure physical space (like handling and fun, f'rinstance)

    - Is reliability and resale value of any consequence to you at all

     

    Once you have answered these questions honestly, I think you'll find that the choices offered are average, poor and worse. May I suggest some alternatives?

     

    How about ANY station wagon other than a German one? (They are usually Mercedes or Audis, which have abysmal reliability, astronomic maintenance costs and terrible resale value.) A Subaru Forester (or its Saab equivalent) would be a great choice. Sparkling performance and handling with reliability to match.

     

    You MUST have a large SUV, you say? How about a Sequoia? Nice and large, with Toyota quality and resale value into the bargain.

     

    Only need room for five? How about the ultra-cutting-edge Scion xB? You will ALWAYS be noticed (especially if it's in hot tangerine), you will only sip gasoline, and your kids will think you're the coolest thing since (well, whatever they think is cool nowadays). Another good choice is the Honda Element, although it only has seating for four, which probably won't do.

     

    There are many good choices out there -- I just don't think American dinosaurs are it. Sorry....
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Well said. The E500 wagon that they recommend can cost as much as 80 THOUSAND dollars. 80. For a wagon. You can buy TWO RX330s or Acura MDXs for that. Is it really that much better? No. How many moms seriously care about the extra few ounces of sport you may get with a German car? My wife hated the ML500's rough ride. Oh and ask a Mom to use COMAND or iDrive. Hah!

     

    For small families I think a Forester (btw, there is no Saab version. The new Saab SUV is based on the Chevy Trailblazer, like a million other SUVs), or Pilot would do very well.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    WRX wagon.

     

    mad tite JDM yo!
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    plus, would anyone seriously put their little kids with their crayons and their slobbery dog in the back of an E500 wagon? Why not just take em to an art museum and have em just "run wild".
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    I didn't write the article, just posted the link. But I think you raise valid points! While you are free to post your comments about it in this discussion, you should also click on the Help link at the top of the page and submit your comments to the Editors to let them know how you feel and your thoughts on what should be considered as a Car for Moms!

     

    PS - I have two slobbery dogs and 2 kids in car seats. When all go somewhere our drive of choice is the old Volvo wagon, otherwise known as the "Roving land of Barbie doll and action figure body parts" which I find in every nook and cranny.
  • Which E wagon, I haven't seen one of those in eons old or new. They actually can afford to produce this thing for such dismal sales? The upscale SUV'S have rendered MB and BMW wagons a thing of the past.

     

    The new Mazda 6 wagon looks real sharp with the sport package and big wheels all for around mid to upper 20's and handles great also. Subies new wagons look real nice and have upgraded interior materials and great high safety marks..

     

    I have to laugh seeing these maybe 5'-3 women coming out or sitting behind the wheel of a land barge Landcruiser or Hummer.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Mom's come in all different shapes and sizes. Please remember this discussion is primarily for women ("Mom") to state what she wants in a vehicle - not a place to discuss women and cars.

     

    Thanks!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,338
    As far as I know expensive MB and BMW wagons are still a hot ticket in upscale urban and affluent suburban areas.

     

    The new E wagon, although painfully pricey, is a real beauty, better looking than any SUV could dream, and unlike a SUV, it isn't pretending to be something that it isn't. If I found I was a Halliburton heir or otherwise came into a fortune, I could see myself in one.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Thats news to me. Im pretty sure the M class and X5 were made just for us because E wagons and 5 wagons dont sell here. BMW also gave us X3 instead of 3 wagon.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,338
    The M and X exist to cash in on fads. The E wagon has sold here for 25 years. I don't think the BMWs have been nearly as popular, but they do have their fans.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    25 years ago, companies could sell station wagons. In Europe, they still can. This is the reason why the Germans (and Volvo) still make wagons and nobody else does. There used to be Camry and Accord wagons as well, you'll notice they are long gone. People would much rather have a Highlander or Pilot.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,338
    Or an Exploder or something else that is really just a pretend wagon.

     

    Accord wagon in NA? I know they sell it elsewhere...and it is kind of interesting.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    There are a number of great comparison discussions in the Forums. So we can keep this discussion on-topic of "Cars for Moms..." here are some places to discuss specific vehicles or class comparisons:

     

    Help me select a Wagon

    Upcoming Wagons & Crossovers
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    ...try here:

     

    What Wagon Would You Like To See Offered?

     

    kcram

    Host - Wagons
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    Today I saw a Mercedes E-Class wagon with three child seats (not baby seats...belt positioning boosters) across the back. They seemed to fit just fine.

     

    As far as cars for moms; well, it's been four years since our first child; we've now got two, and there is NOTHING I can say or do to get my wife to give up her Honda Accord coupe!

    Actually, the two car seats fit in the back seat of the Accord just fine. For family trips we take my Volvo S70, but we've never wanted for passenger or cargo space in either car (and this includes family trips from Iowa to Massachusetts at least annually.) I'd like to get her a wagon (or get me a wagon and have her drive my car...either way is fine by me) I guess I've always been mystified by people who have one kid and decide they need a Honda Odyssey or Chevy Tahoe.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Or a Suburban or 'slade.
  • My friend has four kids (three are triplets), and she says that what she really wants is a minivan, or any reasonable-looking car, that has a total of four rows of seating. Sure, she could get a passenger van, but those things are WAY ugly. Does anyone else feel the same way?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    For 4 rows of seats to be A) remotely comfortable, and B) relatively accessible, nothing will work except a full-size van. A minivan or SUV would have major entry/exit issues unless they had three doors per side - that huge slider on a full size Econoline-Club Wagon, Express/Savana, or Sprinter allows safe, easy access for all passenger rows. That level of access would also be imperative in an emergency situation - yoiu're never in a seat that requires climbing over or folding down another seat to get to a door.

     

    kcram

    Host - Wagons
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    We have three kids and while the mini-van works excellent, for looks I think the passenger vans are much nicer. My neighbor has 3 kids and he has a Ford as a third vehicle, he's not giving up his Porsche. It has tons of room and looks more manly than a mini-van.

     

    The downside he gets killed at the pumps, 8-9 mpg.

     

    Before we got our mini-van I joked to my wife about buying a used limo. Think how cool the kids would look pulling up to school in that.
  • Guss -- Limo? Only in Beverly Hills! (And I don't doubt that happens.)

    kram -- You're right about the safety issue. But isn't that already an issue in many minivans and SUVs, where you have to fold and flip a seat to get to the third row? I shudder to think of what would happen in an accident... I've never really thought about it before, but it's a serious question.

     

    I have my minivan configured for my convenience -- the second row seats have the space in the middle, which makes it easier for me to load my daughter in her carseat (because it's right next to the open door). The carpool kids have to climb into the second row, and cross to the third row by squeezing between the two second-row seats. I had been thinking about putting the second row seats together to make it easier on the carpool kids (especially now that my daughter is almost 3). Now that I think about the difficulties of exiting the car with my current configuration, I'm even more likely to make that change. Thanks!
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