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Guess we're getting an SUV

I installed the new carseat today. It just BARELY fits behind the passenger seat in our sedan. And then the front passenger's knees hit the glove compartment. And this is one of the shorter, cheaper carseats.

Obviously, once you have kids, it is only possible to get good gas mileage OR leg-room, but not both.

(We've been discussing getting a new car for 6 months, but figured we would hold off until we knew whether we wanted to get a new commuter car for nightskyre, or a bigger "family" car.)
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lil_cherub March 16th, 2009
have you tried putting her in the middle of the back seat? My parents always had sedans and car seats fit pretty well in the middle. Plus, you can easily reach back to her if you have to...

nightskyre March 16th, 2009
That's where we had the first seat. Since we have to actually hook and unhook her into this one, it doesn't seem like that will work quite as well. Plus, it's possible it will actually interfere with our visibility. We may give it a shot, but with the newer Mass restrictions on car seats, it's getting a bit silly.

nightskyre March 16th, 2009
Clarification: The first seat we had was removable with just the base in the car so we could hook her all in and then load the whole thing into the car. This one isn't removable so we have to hook her in while in the car.

anitra March 16th, 2009
This has nothing to do with the Mass. restrictions - we won't bump up against those for a couple years, yet.

They just make it so that if you have MORE than one kid, you end up needing a minivan/SUV.

anitra March 16th, 2009
It wouldn't make a difference, I don't think. This seat is pretty wide at the top, and would hit the seats on either side.

dontcallmemolly March 16th, 2009
Don't jump into buying an SUV just because you need room for a car seat. There are plenty of sedans and small wagons on the market that have more backseat room than your current car. The mileage difference between those and even a small SUV is significant. Even a mini van would get much better mileage. Keep your options open, is all I'm saying.

nightskyre March 16th, 2009
Actually, not true. Many of the minivans I've had (through my parents) and looked at don't get any better gas mileage than a small SUV (both tend to get low to mid twenties), and they're actually not as safe as a lot of people think (that isn't to say they're unsafe, but they aren't the stalwarts of family safety that people think they are). Minivans don't have 4 wheel drive, and most of them have undersized wheels for a full complement of passengers. Every time I've driven a minivan it's been full of kids, and I don't like the boaty/swaying feel they have when there's a lot of people in the car.

For MPG comparison, the 2009 Ford Escape (not Hybrid) rates at 22/28 (city/highway) and the 2009 Honda CR-V rates at 20/27. A 2009 Grand Caravan rates at 17/23. 2009 Honda Odyssey, 17/25. 2009 Toyota Sienna, 17/23, which is even under the 2009 Toyota Highlander at 20/27.

We aren't going to buy a brand new vehicle, but the preponderance of evidence points to the suv size we're looking at being a better mileage vehicle than the minivans. I can't find a "small" minivan to do a true apples to apples comparison, and I know something like the Ford Expedition, which possibly is more comparable in terms of interior space, might be a better comparison for the sake of fairness, but we're looking at our needs at this point, so hey.

I'm opposed to the idea of getting a sedan because we already have one. I don't want to have two of essentially the same car, because part of the benefit of multiple vehicles is multi-use. We've looked at a few wagons already that are okay, but haven't blown me away.

dontcallmemolly March 16th, 2009
Good points. I was thinking more on a size-per-size comparison. Also, I was thinking you were planning on trading in the Focus. If you are getting rid of the truck, then having something with more cargo space makes sense.

Good luck, car buying is not for the faint of heart, I've been finding.

nightskyre March 16th, 2009
I hear you. The advantage we have is that we don't *need* a car so we can be more selective.

We're actually thinking we're going to try to hang on to the truck too. It's just too useful to not have, and the insurance+registration on it is dirt-cheap (around $200 for the year for both)

Since I do yard work and the like and need to dispose of a lot of yard waste (seriously, you should see a before and after picture of my yard from last year/the year before), and I like to help people move (either themselves and their stuff, or just random stuff) it's super handy to have.

inertiacreepies March 16th, 2009
my sisters Ford Escape is painfully cool.

mourninglory March 17th, 2009
I love my Saturn Vue...it's got legroom, it's big on the inside, small on the outside, great leg room, and the gas mileage is pretty decent...I average about 22 a tank with a mix of highway and city mileage. It's also got a safety rating that's really good. Oh, and mine is fully loaded with heated seats, a sunroof, 6 disc CD changer, satellite radio, all the goodies!

Just my $2!

anitra March 17th, 2009
Thanks for the recommendation! We'll see if we can test-drive a 2006 Vue (don't like the styling pre-2005).

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