Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Car Review from the Perspective of a Mom of Two

Every year there is an auto show in town and somehow we have managed to attend a handful of times in the last decade. Just one of those things that Kelly and I enjoy doing together and have found it easy enough to take the kids as well. Like most people, we identify and evaluate cars based on our "dream car" category and the vehicles that would best meet our current needs and desires. Interestingly, my tastes are much less luxurious these days having small children. More on that in a moment, but I thought I would share my top picks from this years car show.

MPG - 22/29 AWD MSRP= $24,295
We've always like this vehicle, but it's interior space isn't really any bigger than our Hyundai Santa Fe.

MPG - 21/29 2WD MSRP= $24,595
I like this one because it's comparable in interior space with what we have but perhaps a bit bigger cargo area that includes 3rd Row seats.

MPG - 17/24 4WD MSRP= $34,325
The thing that I loved about this vehicle is that you have all the space of a minivan, without the minivan look or feel. In fact, it would be my #1 pick, except for it's minivan price tag.

MPG - 21/27 2WD MSRP from 17,995
Interestingly, I didn't take any pictures of this one. I suppose that is because I already knew we liked it. We test drove one in 2006 when we were expecting our first baby. It was roomy and my husband's eyes lit up when he drove it. You know that look men get when they like what they're driving. It handled much like his sporty Honda Civic which we were selling in order to get something more family friendly. This Mazda is supposed to be a minivan, but it's smaller and has a sportier feel. It is also more economical than most minivans. The main reason this car is my #1 pick from the auto show is because it's the most attainable for us. Not a new one so much as a used one. Here is a good review compliments of automoblog.

(I will note that Honda was conspicuously absent. It seems like every time the auto show is held at the fairgrounds they don't participate. Perhaps they prefer the convention center as the venue.)

Thoughts on New vs. Used

I have had the good fortune to have owned 3 new cars in my lifetime (although the second was to replace the first after it was totaled in an accident.) As a result, I was rather spoiled to the supposed reliability of new cars and the warranty you get when you buy new. When we bought our 2002 Santa Fe in 2006 it was only the second "pre-owned car" I had ever actually purchased, but not the first I had ever owned. My first car given to me by my parents was a 1983 Pontiac TransAM with T-tops much like the one seen here: My prejudice toward new cars has changed though since having kids. I am so glad we bought our car used. Not only because of the financial reasons, but also because I would be so stressed out every time a diaper overflowed or the kids dropped food in the car or my drink splashed around. Then there was that incident with the Harris Teeter shopping cart - there is still a dent but at least the green is gone. Oh and I forgot about the ladder in the garage - again not a huge deal, but if it had been a new car it would have been. God really blessed us with this car. It has been good to us and hasn't needed much attention. Praise God! May all of our cars be as reliable.

Then there is the dream car:

Here is Kelly's

I don't know if I really have a dream car. But if I was a movie star and had a car guy to take care of it, this is what I would want to pull up to the red carpet in wearing my red velvet dress, diamonds, 30's retro hair, and a white fur stole.

Here are all of our pictures from Raleigh's 2010 International Auto Show.

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