Author Topic: Car options, too many choices!  (Read 3765 times)

greenmimama

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Car options, too many choices!
« on: June 29, 2016, 07:27:09 AM »
We have 3 children and have driven a Honda Odyssey since 2009 (a 2003 model) our oldest is now 10 and so our needs have changed, I always thought we would just get another Odyssey when it was time to upgrade, but now they all fit in the back of our Vibe.

So, this entire world of vehicles has exploded wide open and now I'm confused. I would like something with a great crash test rating and a bit more room than the vibe.

I've been looking at Honda CR-V it gets pretty great gas mileage.

But please give me suggestions!

Thank you

Miss Piggy

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2016, 07:43:16 AM »
A few people on the forum are quite happy with their Mazda hatchbacks...can't remember the model number/name...and I think the modern Mazda hatchbacks are quite attractive on the road.

tobitonic

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2016, 08:03:16 AM »
The Vibe is basically a Corolla wagon. The CR-V is basically a raised Civic wagon. You're not going to get much more space from the latter than the former. And do keep in mind that teenagers (which your kids eventually will be) will be a bit squeezed three across in the back of a small car/SUV, though it's certainly possible to do.

greenmimama

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2016, 08:11:09 AM »
The Vibe is basically a Corolla wagon. The CR-V is basically a raised Civic wagon. You're not going to get much more space from the latter than the former. And do keep in mind that teenagers (which your kids eventually will be) will be a bit squeezed three across in the back of a small car/SUV, though it's certainly possible to do.

Yes, and if we end up needing more room we can get a different vehicle then, it's not a lifetime commitment😉

Choices

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2016, 08:23:27 AM »
We absolutely love our Toyota Rav4. We test-drove the CRV also, but the Toyota seemed so much nicer. Congrats on being in the post-minivan phase!

catccc

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2016, 08:28:50 AM »
The CR-V is considerably roomier than a vibe, IMO.  We have the vibe's twin, the Matrix.   We have borrowed MIL's CRV for a road trip- it is definitely roomier.  The mileage also sucks compared to our Matrix.

I would look into a Mazda 3 hatchback, or maybe a Honda HRV.  IDK how tall your kids are or might end up being, but if they aren't going to be real big, the Prius might also work.  It has a curve to it so the back seat seems kind of not tall.  But my girls are both petite, and I am only 4'11", so I don't suspect it would be a problem for them in 10 years.   (Our 2005 matrix will probably be replaced in a couple of years, kids are now 5 & 7 and the little one is still rearfacing.)

But I have a thing against SUVs, even smallish ones like the CRV and RAV4.

DeltaBond

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2016, 01:27:32 PM »
I had a CR-V and I will not buy another crossover.  I tried the small version of the CR-V, which is the honda fit, but I was in a wreck and don't feel save in such a small car.  I now have a 2003 Volvo wagon and it is my favorite car... large, safe, not top heavy like the CR-V was.

My second choice would be a dodge grand caravan.

tobitonic

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2016, 01:35:15 PM »
...kids are now 5 & 7 and the little one is still rearfacing.)

You are awesome.

catccc

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2016, 02:27:47 PM »
...kids are now 5 & 7 and the little one is still rearfacing.)

You are awesome.

thanks!  She's about ready to turn around soon, I bet her bones are gettin' good and ossified at this age!

catccc

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2016, 02:32:12 PM »
I had a CR-V and I will not buy another crossover.  I tried the small version of the CR-V, which is the honda fit, but I was in a wreck and don't feel save in such a small car.  I now have a 2003 Volvo wagon and it is my favorite car... large, safe, not top heavy like the CR-V was.

My second choice would be a dodge grand caravan.

The HR-V is in between the Fit and the CRV in size.  I don't see many of them around, which surprises me. 

Also, I was recently in an accident in my small pick up (dodge dakota).  I was fine, my truck needed a bit of body work, but it pretty much destroyed the kia sportage that ran the stop sign causing the collision.  I did definitely think, "If I was in the Matrix, this could have been bad..."  But I really feel like my anti-SUV stance must continue... because it's a slippery slope.  If I feel safer in a bigger vehicle, and we all get them, then I'm going to need a hummer to feel safer.  When does it end?

neo von retorch

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2016, 02:36:28 PM »
I haven't specifically researched the HR-V, but I did research the CX-3. It's supposed to fit between the Mazda 3 and the CX-5. Here's the problem... it's more expensive, heavier and less powerful than the 3 - but it actually has less room in it. (I specifically compared cargo space behind the rear seats, and with those seats folded. It's possible, though I would say unlikely that the head/shoulder/hip room is better in those than their smaller counterparts.) The CX-5 is a few thousand more, if you're buying new, but there are starting to be 2013/2014s with 40-60k on them for about $13-14k. It also has a lot more cargo space than the smaller Mazda siblings.

calimom

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2016, 05:36:34 PM »
I had a CR-V and I will not buy another crossover.  I tried the small version of the CR-V, which is the honda fit, but I was in a wreck and don't feel save in such a small car.  I now have a 2003 Volvo wagon and it is my favorite car... large, safe, not top heavy like the CR-V was.

My second choice would be a dodge grand caravan.

Another Volvo lover here. I have a 2008 V70 and love it for the safety, comfort and room. I have 3 kids and sometimes have an extra one or two, or a dog, or something, and it works well for me. No horrible repair bills, I bought it from the original owner (who bought it in Sweden)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2016, 05:55:01 PM »
Several of us here really like our Ford C-Max Energis. Lots of room in the backseat and used prices are pretty reasonable.

letired

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2016, 06:19:51 PM »
IDK how tall your kids are or might end up being, but if they aren't going to be real big, the Prius might also work. 

When I was doing field work, we used a Prius V for a lot of our driving. We picked it because it had the roomiest back seat and most cargo space of the choices available to us (there were some weird University-imposed restrictions on what cars we could buy). I successfully transported 2 to 3 college kids in the back seat, plus all of our field equipment/coolers in the trunk. We also added a roof box for the really bulky traps :P The Prius does some neat tricks with the sides of the car to give a little more room to people in the back seat.

Additional anecdote: I am the eldest of 3 and my parents transported all 5 of us on long road trips in sub-compact cars (toyota corolla hatchback from the 80s, etc) until my brother hit 6ft. After that he got a bit grouchy about the leg room.

catccc

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2016, 07:47:30 AM »
IDK how tall your kids are or might end up being, but if they aren't going to be real big, the Prius might also work. 

When I was doing field work, we used a Prius V for a lot of our driving. We picked it because it had the roomiest back seat and most cargo space of the choices available to us (there were some weird University-imposed restrictions on what cars we could buy). I successfully transported 2 to 3 college kids in the back seat, plus all of our field equipment/coolers in the trunk. We also added a roof box for the really bulky traps :P The Prius does some neat tricks with the sides of the car to give a little more room to people in the back seat.

Additional anecdote: I am the eldest of 3 and my parents transported all 5 of us on long road trips in sub-compact cars (toyota corolla hatchback from the 80s, etc) until my brother hit 6ft. After that he got a bit grouchy about the leg room.

Thanks for this info.  I only have been inside a prius once, maybe 6 months ago at the dealership.  The back seat seemed wider, but with less headroom than our matrix.  Can you explain the neat trick with the sides of the car?  Are you talking moving parts to adjust as a consumer, or do you just mean the design?  I'd really like to get a prius for our next car, but I just wasn't sure if the size/space was as good as our matrix.  Specs actually show the prius as 21.6 v. the Matrix's 1.8, so it may have just looked like a bigger difference.

DeltaBond

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2016, 12:20:05 PM »
I had a CR-V and I will not buy another crossover.  I tried the small version of the CR-V, which is the honda fit, but I was in a wreck and don't feel save in such a small car.  I now have a 2003 Volvo wagon and it is my favorite car... large, safe, not top heavy like the CR-V was.

My second choice would be a dodge grand caravan.

Another Volvo lover here. I have a 2008 V70 and love it for the safety, comfort and room. I have 3 kids and sometimes have an extra one or two, or a dog, or something, and it works well for me. No horrible repair bills, I bought it from the original owner (who bought it in Sweden)

After seeing a photo of a friend's daughter's prius after a wreck, I'll never consider one.  She had about 30 broken bones, and it was not a high speed collision.

lbmustache

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2016, 07:03:16 PM »
I haven't specifically researched the HR-V, but I did research the CX-3. It's supposed to fit between the Mazda 3 and the CX-5. Here's the problem... it's more expensive, heavier and less powerful than the 3 - but it actually has less room in it. (I specifically compared cargo space behind the rear seats, and with those seats folded. It's possible, though I would say unlikely that the head/shoulder/hip room is better in those than their smaller counterparts.) The CX-5 is a few thousand more, if you're buying new, but there are starting to be 2013/2014s with 40-60k on them for about $13-14k. It also has a lot more cargo space than the smaller Mazda siblings.

CX-3, IMO is useless from a practicality standpoint. It's really just geared towards those who want something more fun to drive but want a more CUV-ish feel. See this image: http://www.caradvice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/mazdacx3-hondahrv-2015-59.jpg

If you want something "small" but with enough room, I would recommend the HR-V. (On the left). Plenty of space BUT I will say 3 across would be a bit tight for longer trips. There's tons of rear legroom. (Source: personal experience, I own one.) On the freeway at 65mph, I can get 39-40mpg.

The CR-V is also a good choice, it will be a step up size-wise and quality-wise. MPG does take a bit of a hit, and it may be a little more expensive to insure (may not matter if it's used). However, the 2012+ models are reliable and spacious and the only reason I didn't get one was because it was a little too big for my needs (no kids, need something small to park in tight spaces). At this point, the average CUV does not suffer much MPG-wise than the average mid-size sedan, while being way more practical.

The Vibe is basically a Corolla wagon. The CR-V is basically a raised Civic wagon. You're not going to get much more space from the latter than the former. And do keep in mind that teenagers (which your kids eventually will be) will be a bit squeezed three across in the back of a small car/SUV, though it's certainly possible to do.

Just to clarify this a bit - a CR-V is built on the same platform as the Civic, but is not a raised Civic. The interior and exterior dimensions are vastly different.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 07:08:23 PM by lbmustache »

letired

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2016, 07:34:45 PM »
IDK how tall your kids are or might end up being, but if they aren't going to be real big, the Prius might also work. 

When I was doing field work, we used a Prius V for a lot of our driving. We picked it because it had the roomiest back seat and most cargo space of the choices available to us (there were some weird University-imposed restrictions on what cars we could buy). I successfully transported 2 to 3 college kids in the back seat, plus all of our field equipment/coolers in the trunk. We also added a roof box for the really bulky traps :P The Prius does some neat tricks with the sides of the car to give a little more room to people in the back seat.

Additional anecdote: I am the eldest of 3 and my parents transported all 5 of us on long road trips in sub-compact cars (toyota corolla hatchback from the 80s, etc) until my brother hit 6ft. After that he got a bit grouchy about the leg room.

Thanks for this info.  I only have been inside a prius once, maybe 6 months ago at the dealership.  The back seat seemed wider, but with less headroom than our matrix.  Can you explain the neat trick with the sides of the car?  Are you talking moving parts to adjust as a consumer, or do you just mean the design?  I'd really like to get a prius for our next car, but I just wasn't sure if the size/space was as good as our matrix.  Specs actually show the prius as 21.6 v. the Matrix's 1.8, so it may have just looked like a bigger difference.

I mean the design. The sides of the car are curved/shaped so that there is more space in the seat/hip area across the width of the car than expected. The seat bench is also designed that people aren't being pushed into each other, which was a problem with some of the other cars we looked at. (I think it can also shift forward and back a little, but we didn't use that feature much.) There is also very decent leg room. We didn't have anyone super tall, but my co-leader was ~5ft9, and she said it was pretty good. I was happy with the head room, but I'm short!

I know with kids you probably don't have a ton of time, but we found it super helpful to go sit in a few back seats. Buckling 3 adults in the backseats of a few cars was a really good comparison tool for us.

One thing I have to say against the Prius is that the seats aren't really made for doing 10+ hours of driving every day for multiple weeks on end. We got a model without lumbar adjustments in the front seats, which was noticeable only after a truly ridiculous amount of driving. :P But you will probably not be sitting in it that much or for that long!

neo von retorch

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Re: Car options, too many choices!
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2016, 07:08:20 AM »
Hmm comparing the HR-V to the CX-5, the only advantage is price (up to $2500 cheaper!) The CX-5 has 40% more cargo space behind the rear seats (though only about 10% more with seats folded), better gas mileage and a bigger gas tank. However, it looking at local inventory (within 150 miles) there are very few 6-speed HR-Vs and most of them are EX, which cuts the price advantage to about $500. (Of course, if you don't care and want a CVT, you are good to go!)

ETA: Fixed price difference including destination charge for each.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 07:16:11 AM by neogodless »