I have to say, the entire "it's uncomfortable to put kids in sedans" argument is a bit long in the tooth.
I take our daughter to and from daycare, she's two, I have to pick her up to throw her in the car seat and obviously still lift her out. It's no more uncomfortable doing it in my car than it is doing it in the CUV.
Instagram - efrie004
My wife's due in June w/ our first, and we put the car seat (Chicco KeyFit 30 that we got from some friends) in her Mazda3, and nope. My knees were wedged up against the dash (I'm 5'9") and while my wife (5'5") is a little more comfortable than I, we were not gonna have that as our trip car. The fitment is slightly better in the Frontier, but its 17 mpg put the brakes on that as our trip car, at least in my wife's mind (I would have been fine with it).
We flirted with getting the new CUV that we'd planned on replacing her 3 with in a few years time (CX-5 or VW Tig) but in the end we didn't want to jump back into payments while having a daycare payment on top of it. That kind of ruled out other sensible options such as used CamCords, which are worth several thousand over the value of the Mazda, which has 120,000 miles on it already. Enter the '08 Outback, which I just pulled the trigger on as our baby car.
Now, I'm not recommending an 11-year-old Subaru for you AT ALL, but this is to give you a size reference. The amount of space we had in the front seat of the Outback, with the car seat placed behind, was less than I'd like but much more doable than the Mazda. You might be able to get away with a newer Civic Si/Type R as your "compact" but I think that's as small as you're gonna be able to get with a rear facing seat.
Food for thought. And congrats
Wow, exciting times OP!
You list good options for you & your wife.
I like the CTR/Si, Stinger/G70, Giulia, V60 ideas. I also really like the C43 AMG & RS3. I think the Buick Regal TourX is a huge value too.
Let us know what you decide!
Current: '17 Tundra, '16 3 GT
Past/Sold: '13 Evo, '08 Si, '12 Mustang GT, '03 Evo VIII, '01 Golf 1.8T
As some others have stated.....I'd proceed slowly if I were you. First child doesn't disrupt much to be honest (even though it will feel like it!!).
Go spend $15K on a mini van. Drives smooth, EASY to put kids in, plenty of space for in-laws/dog/kids/stroller, easy to park, good mileage. There is a reason they are the ultimate family hauler. Drive it into the ground and don't give a sh*t....that's the beauty.
My wife is still in denial....hence why we have a collection of terrible vehicles. My Tahoe is miserable to drive and miserable to put kids in (and I'm 6'1"). Durango is pretty good, other cars in my sig are clearly useless.
Good luck and congrats!
Cars - E92 M3, 944 Turbo
Jeeps - TJ, XJ
Kid Haulers - 14 Durango, 16 Tahoe
heres my two cents as someone who has 2 children, had 1 child, and owns a golf R.
i went from a jgc to a golf r when i only have 1 child, as others have mentioned, with 1 child, though it may seem it, not much changes. you can probably fit 1 car seat in most cars comfortably and still have over half the backseat to spare. when that child becomes forward facing, its even easier because you're no longer moving up the seat to accommodate. the rear facing is the killer honestly, but you can make it work in a pinch, everyday? yeah it might get old if you're all in the car together.
when the 2nd child comes along, its all goes out the window because every vehicles is now a 2 door, with the 2nd row utilized for goldfish, socks, sippy cups and car seats with the rear dedicated to strollers and cargo.
im ditching the R now that I have 2 car seats, because there's no real circumstance under which its comfortable to have 2 car seats, 1 rear facing, in the R. admittedly im a big framed guy too, so that doesnt help the case either.
having driven thousands of miles in a honda odyssey, everyone is correct that a minivan is by far and away the most comfortable option with children. its not even a competition, the minivan wins. you may not think it has the swag or sex appeal of something else, but one thing you quickly learn as a parent is that you dont give a damn about that, its all about convenience.
you say no to a cuv/suv, so the minivan is the only perceivable option. a station wagon is just gong to be a glorified sedan w/ a bigger cargo space, and im not sure how that solves the space issue pertaining to rear facing seats, etc.
also, every car seat is designed to work w seatbelts or the latch system, so even w/o it you can still make do if need be.
My wife has sat in my Golf in front of the baby (19 months atm) in her seat and while it was do-able, its not the preference. We generally use the Tiguan for baby duty. Unless its just me and the munchkin, in which case she goes on the passenger side and it doesn't matter.
When we have two kids the Golf will be a no-go because I can't drive comfortably (5'-9") that far forward. Honestly not sure what we'll do at that point. Its about a year out for that, and I'll only be 1.5 years into the Golf. We probably just wont use it for the kids at all. Wife is a teacher so she drops off/picks up anyway, me doing it is very rare/unusual.
As for SUVs, what can I say, she gave them ample tries (SRX, XT4, RDX, X5M, Santa Fe) and hated them. People are going to like what they like.
Last edited by unhappymeal; 03-06-2019 at 09:57 AM.
For me, a new F31 has little to do with an E46 M3, and the idea of someone potentially really liking a V60 or V60 CC, but "hating" an XC60 seems a little ridiculous and overdramatic.
I am in a similar situation to The_Real_Stack. Wifey drops off, I pick up. I prefer to drive my car when the family goes out. So overall leg room is paramount, and the only way something like a Miata would work would be as a 3rd car. And for me at least the costs would need to be justified by usage.
Plus what is the right time? Once the kids come time takes on a different value. Might as well get it out of the way now
My thought on it is, if your miata can have the passenger airbag turned off, theres no need to get rid of it just yet. See what works for you. You'll ditch the miata at some point (2 kids maybe), but immediately going out and buying 2 suburbans is not really necessary either. We do fine in Golf + Tiguan, and honestly Tiguan + Miata would be fine as well until number two comes along.
As for BMWs, I acknowledged they've come a long way, but my family has a relatively new X5M and it still has those idiosyncratic (read: annoying) BMW problems. I just do not have patience for that, just like my wife has no patience for the VW breaking down on her twice.
Last edited by unhappymeal; 03-06-2019 at 10:29 AM.
I'm sure this is covered in the 4 pages already, but will share my experience:
For reference we had a Mini R53 (mine) and a Mazda 5 (hers) when my son was born. We now have a Golf Alltrack and the Mazda with kid #2 arriving.
Both served us very well when our son arrived. Mazda was the go to family mobile for 90% of duties. Sliding door is a very helpful in parking situations and getting car seat in and out. Wide opening door with no rake in opening = huge benefit getting car seat in and out. Trunk is more than big enough for stroller, diaper bag and groceries.
Mini was perfect as back up for when son was in a rear facing seat since I could easily put him in from the trunk. Much easier than through a wide door that can never be opened fully in parking lots. Front seat was tight as result but manageable for when I handled pick ups or odd time the three of us were out. When he went into a front facing seat we started to have bigger problems. At that point I had to think hard and upgraded to a larger vehicle which is large enough for 2 kids.
Personally I would stick with the Golf R as it is just about perfect - in fact that was one of the options for when I sold the Mini. You might have trouble fitting the stroller depending how large it is, but for 90% of your trips it will do its job and then some. Bonus for being able to fit MIL or other traveler beside the car seat in the back.
Your second car is where you are filling in the blanks as the family truckster/practical vehicle. Practical being key word. Smashing your head against the raked roof line every time you put the car seat in is not fun. Neither is a awkward door opening or a wide door that makes store visits a pain. A sufficiently large trunk for your daily chores is key: travel systems/strollers are not small, plus you have your diaper bag to worry about and room for whatever you are doing such as groceries. You also need to consider seat height. Are you/your wife short? if so, lifting a 30 pound squirming baby + car seat combo into a Suburban will get old FAST! You also may want to separate the dog from the baby, so a sedan is out!
From your list:
- his: keep your R, all the others dont solve any problem and create practicality issues instead
- hers: look for a van or low sitting SUV if she is really against vans, or a wagon
Bring your stroller+car seat to dealers and try installing, taking in/out etc. That will really show you what you can/cant live with.