Author Topic: New Baby New Car Question  (Read 2633 times)

Heroes821

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New Baby New Car Question
« on: February 01, 2017, 06:18:05 AM »
Good Morning Fellow Mustacians!

My wife and I are expecting my first child, but number 3 in our household in August.  I am the proud driver of a free 2001 Grand AM coupe, which has sadly failed to return any useful results online regarding holding two car seats and a booster seat in the back seat.  Let alone a rear facing infant seat with a car seat and a booster seat.

I've resigned myself to the need for a new car. I have been a fan of Honda for many years, but I really want a hybrid. I've spent at least a year before this narrowing down my Honda choices because the accord hybrid was my go to "I WANT THIS" car, but this week my research has revealed that the Prius Eco two is knocking the ball out of the park even compared to Honda. More MPG, more trunk space, same bells and whistles. A consumer report I read on battery replacement from 2002 to 2010 on Hybrids has Toyota at 1-5% replacement rates, while Honda is 10-20%.

I did look at the volt and the Honda Prime, but neither helps my three kids in the back seat issue. 

Any suggestions on cars? Years? Arguments against Hybrid?  I'm planning to keep the car 10+ years with 20 being my goal.

Also does anyone know if there are hoops to go through if I buy the car through my LLC/SCorp?  Mostly using the logic from "Rich Dad Poor Dad" of spending the money I'm going to spend anyway, but before paying Taxes on it. Depreciation rules do look interesting as well.

MayDay

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 06:43:01 AM »
As a parent of two kids, who often drives 3+ kids, I think your logic is sound.

Everything I've heard anecdotally backs up the CR reliability rankings, and indicates a Prius is the way to go.  They also get top owner happiness ratings.




Heroes821

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2017, 06:56:39 AM »
That is good to know.  It was definitely not something that I had even thought about until two weekends ago.  I was really trying to avoid buying a car.

MayDay

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2017, 07:21:05 AM »
Some people can arrange schedules so they never need to take all the kids in the smaller car.

We have never been interested in doing that, because it means you can't have one parent drop the kids off and another pick them up.


ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2017, 07:26:52 AM »
Currently successfully putting three in the back of my C-Max Energi, if you're interested in plug-ins and hybrids.

Not buying gas is nice.

catccc

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2017, 07:47:48 AM »
Is the Grand Am a 2 door or 4 door?  I've seen 3 across work (with RF) in this car before, but I think these are all 4 door situations:
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?133334-Anyone-have-a-Pontiac-Grand-Am
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?33226-Successful-Three-Across-thread&p=1368484#post1368484
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?143380-3-across-in-a-Grand-Am&p=1451127#post1451127
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?160577-Three-in-Pontiac-Grand-Am
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?41730-3-seats-in-a-Grand-AM

That said, I don't think it is unreasonable to get a used Prius for your growing family if the Grand Am is a 2 door, or it is getting close to the end of its "easy" life.  By that I mean, hmm, 200K miles or so.  That figure is just based on my limited experience of old-ish cars and the types of headaches they might inflict on a non-engineer like myself.  I know people with 300K+ mile Civics with engines they rebuilt themselves.  Cool, dude, but beyond my abilities at this time, unfortunately.

Heroes821

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2017, 08:23:34 AM »
Is the Grand Am a 2 door or 4 door?  I've seen 3 across work (with RF) in this car before, but I think these are all 4 door situations:
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?133334-Anyone-have-a-Pontiac-Grand-Am
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?33226-Successful-Three-Across-thread&p=1368484#post1368484
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?143380-3-across-in-a-Grand-Am&p=1451127#post1451127
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?160577-Three-in-Pontiac-Grand-Am
https://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?41730-3-seats-in-a-Grand-AM

That said, I don't think it is unreasonable to get a used Prius for your growing family if the Grand Am is a 2 door, or it is getting close to the end of its "easy" life.  By that I mean, hmm, 200K miles or so.  That figure is just based on my limited experience of old-ish cars and the types of headaches they might inflict on a non-engineer like myself.  I know people with 300K+ mile Civics with engines they rebuilt themselves.  Cool, dude, but beyond my abilities at this time, unfortunately.

As a 2001 I finally broke 100k miles last year so extremely low mileage. Mine is a coupe, which is a 2-door.  Two of those links are ones that got me started on this car hunt.  The downside I see to a used Prius is the lack of warranty.  Now I only started looking at the prius yesterday, so I haven't looked at many used prices.  My justification towards new or used 2016/2017 was because the 2014-2017 accords and civics I was pricing before all held their value so well that paying 2-3k for new and getting the full warranty seemed worth the extra price.  I also haven't dug into craigslist yet, but I plan too.

My assumption is that the Prius holds value like the Honda's where a 2012-2017 are probably very close in cost.

NeonPegasus

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2017, 08:43:41 AM »
I have 3 kids. Going from 2 to 3 kids in a car is a different ballgame and it's not the same as occasionally carrying a 3rd kid the same age as your older kids. There are different considerations with the baby. I would enjoy a Prius but ...

I leased a LEAF when the GA tax credit made them essentially free and had 3 across in the backseat, with one rear facing. Here were my two takeaways from that. (1) Not having an air vent positioned in the ceiling in the back made it so the rear facing baby never got cool air. While everyone in the car was freezing from blasting AC in the summer, she, the most vulnerable of them all, was roasting. (2) As the youngest grew, she started kicking the living shit out of her sister next to her. In the face. The two oldest squabbled a little while being wedged fairly tightly together but the littlest caused the most problems. It got to the point where I gave up trying to mediate and told the oldest to whack her sister's leg so she might learn a lesson. When it was time to turn in the LEAF, I was glad.

I currently drive an '08 Highlander (had it for years even during the LEAF lease and it's paid off). It has the vents in the ceiling that make it much more comfortable for my still rear-facing 3 year old. I have looked into the Hybrid Highlander but the gas savings don't make up for the additional cost. Having the kids far enough apart that they don't commit acts of mayhem and violence is worth it. I would recommend that if you look at getting a car with a third row, make sure the third row splits so you can carry groceries while allowing one kid to sit in the back.

Really, I guess it depends on how much you're driving with them, what you're willing to put up with and how hot your climate is. This is probably not what you want to hear but that's my two cents from someone in the trenches.

Heroes821

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2017, 09:41:17 AM »
I have 3 kids. Going from 2 to 3 kids in a car is a different ballgame and it's not the same as occasionally carrying a 3rd kid the same age as your older kids. There are different considerations with the baby. I would enjoy a Prius but ...

I leased a LEAF when the GA tax credit made them essentially free and had 3 across in the backseat, with one rear facing. Here were my two takeaways from that. (1) Not having an air vent positioned in the ceiling in the back made it so the rear facing baby never got cool air. While everyone in the car was freezing from blasting AC in the summer, she, the most vulnerable of them all, was roasting. (2) As the youngest grew, she started kicking the living shit out of her sister next to her. In the face. The two oldest squabbled a little while being wedged fairly tightly together but the littlest caused the most problems. It got to the point where I gave up trying to mediate and told the oldest to whack her sister's leg so she might learn a lesson. When it was time to turn in the LEAF, I was glad.

I currently drive an '08 Highlander (had it for years even during the LEAF lease and it's paid off). It has the vents in the ceiling that make it much more comfortable for my still rear-facing 3 year old. I have looked into the Hybrid Highlander but the gas savings don't make up for the additional cost. Having the kids far enough apart that they don't commit acts of mayhem and violence is worth it. I would recommend that if you look at getting a car with a third row, make sure the third row splits so you can carry groceries while allowing one kid to sit in the back.

Really, I guess it depends on how much you're driving with them, what you're willing to put up with and how hot your climate is. This is probably not what you want to hear but that's my two cents from someone in the trenches.

I really appreciate that perspective.  We have a Chrysler Town and Country Van 2010 that my wife uses for most of the kid hauling.  She's currently SAHM and is a Troop Leader so she occasionally has to haul numerous girl scouts in her car as well. For long trips involving multiple days of driving we would probably take the van, but the new car would be used for 8-10 hour trips for fuel economy and for my work commute. 

I am curious though what is the reason for the 3 year old still being rear facing? I've honestly not heard of that before.

Vents in the ceiling are an interesting comfort idea I had not thought of before, but I am not that worried about that.

KCM5

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2017, 10:10:52 AM »
I am curious though what is the reason for the 3 year old still being rear facing? I've honestly not heard of that before.

Children's spines don't fully ossify until about 4 and they have big heads/little necks, so some parents prioritize rear facing until that time. Basically, it's safer.

I have a Prius that we bought certified used - regardless of certification the battery is under warranty until at least 100,000 miles or 7? years (more in some states like California). It's a great, reliable car. It's not super great for carrying 3 car seats, but if your other car is a minivan, it should work fine.

I'd also consider getting a Nissan Leaf, depending on your daily driving habits. A just off lease one is like $8k right now.

catccc

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2017, 10:15:46 AM »
2 doors, that's tough with a baby.  My family's secondary auto is a 2 door truck with a tiny bench seat.  Getting carseats that fit back there a pain in the ass.  If you have the van, I think the prius is a good second choice.  If the car is really reliable as reviewed, I wouldn't worry too much about the warranty, but you can find some used car places that have some sort of short warranty.  You'll probably pay more for it, though.

I don't believe in getting cars for occasionally hauling around more kids.  It's like getting a house with a guest bedroom, IMO.  Just not necessary.

On rear facing- I just turned my youngest to FF months after she turned 5.  Yes, I had a rear facing kindergartener.  The reason we RF longer is because it is safest for protecting the spinal cord, given the probability of frontal impact crashes.  The shell of a RF seat can absorb much of the impact of the child in a frontal crash, much more than the restraints of  FF seat. 

Kids spinal columns are not completely ossified until much later than toddlerhood.  The spinal cord can rupture with a 1/4 inch stretch- by rupture I mean break, and that means paralysis.  Until the vertebrae of the spinal column are ossified, they vertebrae can give as much as 2 inches in an accident.  Basically, the bones do not protect the cord well enough until ossification is complete.  Yes, you can argue the chances of getting in an accident, getting in an accident that is that bad, etc.  But I'd rather not take chances when it comes to stuff like this. 

To be clear, I am not a helicopter parent.  I let them play and climb and fall and wave sticks around each others' faces.  They need to learn to manage risks.  But my younger brother is paralyzed (winter sport accident at age 17) and being paralyzed is not easy.  Needing an in home care giver can be a hassle.  Not being able to be completely independent is very frustrating.  Living on social security and not being allowed to have any savings sucks. (Assets in excess of something piddly like 2K results in non-payment of SS.)

MayDay

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2017, 10:22:15 AM »
Regarding buying new vs. a couple years old, my experiences have mirrored yours.

We looked to buy a ~2 year old Civic a while back.  The smarmy used car guys all wanted just as much for a 2 year old car of a lower trim line, as the no hassle/no haggle dealership wanted for new.  Would we have eventually gotten the used price down lower with lots of negotiating?  Maybe, but I'll pass.  We got a new one for less, and no time wasted, warranty, and 0% financing. 

That isn't too say deals can't be found on 1 to 4 year old used toyotas and hondas, but they are few and far between from what I have seen.  When we replace one of our current cars, we'll either go 5+ years old or buy a new one. 

Regarding rear facing, its a pretty new recommendation in the US.  Its been common in Europe for longer.  The standard in the US is to rear-face for 2 years.  Many people try to go longer, but you have to balance various factors like how big your kid is, and how well they travel.  If you google extended rear facing you will find tons of info.

NeonPegasus

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2017, 11:18:56 AM »
I really appreciate that perspective.  We have a Chrysler Town and Country Van 2010 that my wife uses for most of the kid hauling.  She's currently SAHM and is a Troop Leader so she occasionally has to haul numerous girl scouts in her car as well. For long trips involving multiple days of driving we would probably take the van, but the new car would be used for 8-10 hour trips for fuel economy and for my work commute. 

If you're not needing it for your main car, go with whatever is fuel efficient and fits everyone. You can buy Diono Radians and Bubblebums to get everyone sitting 3 across if needed.

I am curious though what is the reason for the 3 year old still being rear facing? I've honestly not heard of that before.

Others gave the medical explanation. Further explanation is my 3 year old is still the size of a 2 year old and she's happy and it's safest so why not?

But this is a far more compelling explanation than I could ever provide. Please read. It's a bit long, but it's worth it and it happened to a friend of mine. Her son was 3 at the time - (it will show a pic so be sure to click See More to see the whole story) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=651785575465&set=a.512603806845.2014638.114400265&type=3&theater

catccc

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Re: New Baby New Car Question
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2017, 11:26:15 AM »
But this is a far more compelling explanation than I could ever provide. Please read. It's a bit long, but it's worth it and it happened to a friend of mine. Her son was 3 at the time - (it will show a pic so be sure to click See More to see the whole story) https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=651785575465&set=a.512603806845.2014638.114400265&type=3&theater

Great share.  Thank you!