Safe, Affordable Family Vehicle?


#1

Any ideas? We’d like to purchase a vehicle in the next month or so, but don’t feel pulled in any particular direction as to what would be best. Our main concerns are that it be safe for the new baby and fairly economical, as well as reliable. In our experience, American cars have not offered reliability. So we would probably prefer foreign car suggestions, just FYI, unless someone has had an amazing experience otherwise.


#2

Just was out today looking at cars…focusing on, among other things, side-curtain air bags to promote safety of backseat passengers (kiddos). From what little looking I have done this is not something commonly available in many vehicles and I am past the mini-van stage of my life (have heard the Honda Odyssey has them). So far Volvo, Land Rover, Infinity and Lexus SUV models are ones I am aware that have them–but they are not cheap. I will be watching for any posts from any one better informed.


#3

[quote=Island Oak]Just was out today looking at cars…focusing on, among other things, side-curtain air bags to promote safety of backseat passengers (kiddos). From what little looking I have done this is not something commonly available in many vehicles and I am past the mini-van stage of my life (have heard the Honda Odyssey has them). So far Volvo, Land Rover, Infinity and Lexus SUV models are ones I am aware that have them–but they are not cheap. I will be watching for any posts from any one better informed.
[/quote]

I was just looking that up today. Here is a link that lists all who have some model or another that include a side-curtain airbag:

delphi.com/consumers_nvo/nvo/ss/sca/

However, I’m not sure it’s entirely inclusive of all possibilities.


#4

We have a VW Jetta TDI…Front and side airbags…best thing is 50 mpg/diesel. We LOVE it!

                    ~ Kathy ~

#5

[quote=Princess_Abby]I was just looking that up today. Here is a link that lists all who have some model or another that include a side-curtain airbag:

delphi.com/consumers_nvo/nvo/ss/sca/

However, I’m not sure it’s entirely inclusive of all possibilities.
[/quote]

THANK YOU!!!


#6

If I could have my dream car it would be a Volvo. That being said I have seven in the family two booster seats and one car seat. This means a van if we ever go out together. The one we have is the Montana averages 20mpg in the city. Have not had it on a trip yet. We saved for two years to purchase it and so no payments.

Air bags are a problem for my family members. We are short and thus they can be as much a danger as a safety measure.


#7

Buy a quality American car. Today that means only Ford or GM.

And before others ‘correct’ me by reminding me that the foreign makes are assembled here, let me point out that all the good jobs as well as the years of replacement parts profits go back overseas. Just because a Honda, Toyota or V-Dubb is made here doesn’t make it American. It’s not.

If you don’t care about shipping bags and bags of money to the Germans, Japanese and Koreans, consider the higher insurance premiums and parts prices on the on the imports. Oh yeah, just break down in the middle of nowhere in an import. Every little town in America has a Ford or GM dealer, but you might have to have your import towed many, many miles to find someone who’ll touch it. What was the last import you ever saw that has ‘cult’ followings you see with the American brands? I’m thinking of '57 Chevys, Corvettes, Mustangs, GTO’s and hundreds more. We’ll see how many rabid Toyota Camry or Honda Accord owners who preserve and show those ‘exciting’, models 40 years from now.

BUY AMERICAN!


#8

[quote=cargopilot]Buy a quality American car. Today that means only Ford or GM.

And before others ‘correct’ me by reminding me that the foreign makes are assembled here, let me point out that all the good jobs as well as the years of replacement parts profits go back overseas. Just because a Honda, Toyota or V-Dubb is made here doesn’t make it American. It’s not.

If you don’t care about shipping bags and bags of money to the Germans, Japanese and Koreans, consider the higher insurance premiums and parts prices on the on the imports. Oh yeah, just break down in the middle of nowhere in an import. Every little town in America has a Ford or GM dealer, but you might have to have your import towed many, many miles to find someone who’ll touch it. What was the last import you ever saw that has ‘cult’ followings you see with the American brands? I’m thinking of '57 Chevys, Corvettes, Mustangs, GTO’s and hundreds more. We’ll see how many rabid Toyota Camry or Honda Accord owners who preserve and show those ‘exciting’, models 40 years from now.
[/quote]

I’m sure you mean well, but I am not interested in this thread turning into a “let’s convince Princess_Abby that she really wants an American car, because purchasing foreign cars is somehow bad/evil/unAmerican, etc and in 40 years she can’t consider it a classic.”

If you have a specific suggestion regarding a safe, reliable and somewhat affordable American car, then that’s fine. I’m willing to consider specific suggestions. Otherwise, start a thread to talk about buying American vs. foreign.

Thanks.


#9

Sure, I can. How much do you want to spend and what body style do you prefer?

[quote=Princess_Abby]I’m sure you mean well, but I am not interested in this thread turning into a “let’s convince Princess_Abby that she really wants an American car, because purchasing foreign cars is somehow bad/evil/unAmerican, etc and in 40 years she can’t consider it a classic.”

If you have a specific suggestion regarding a safe, reliable and somewhat affordable American car, then that’s fine. I’m willing to consider specific suggestions. Otherwise, start a thread to talk about buying American vs. foreign.

Thanks.
[/quote]


#10

Cargo,

I would disagree. Abby dosn’t have the money to keep up an American car. Go with a Honda Civic, or Accord if you can afford it. They get great gas mileage, and have few repair needs. They also have an excellent safety record, and an incredible resale value. (If you find the need for a mini-van in later years :wink: ).

I love American cars, unfortunetly, anything other than a “classic” looses way too much value once it is driven off the lot, and are known for design flaws and poor gas mileage.


#11

[quote=Princess_Abby]Any ideas? We’d like to purchase a vehicle in the next month or so, but don’t feel pulled in any particular direction as to what would be best. Our main concerns are that it be safe for the new baby and fairly economical, as well as reliable. In our experience, American cars have not offered reliability. So we would probably prefer foreign car suggestions, just FYI, unless someone has had an amazing experience otherwise.
[/quote]

Are you thinking new or used?

In general, minivans do not have good safety or mechanical track records (there are some exceptions, but ya know). If you are looking for safety, a midsized sedan (Volvo, Beemer, Benz) is a very safe choice but also pricey. You can get some small/midsized SUVs for reasonable prices that have good safety features (Volvo XC90, BMW X5, and Benz (name is failing me here), and, I think, Ford Explorer) have gyro systems in their computers that help keep them upright.

As for buying most other American cars, well, you are right about reliability. Sorry cargopilot, but I can’t recommend one to her. She isn’t looking for cult classics.

Eamon

Eamon


#12

[quote=cargopilot]Buy a quality American car. Today that means only Ford or GM.

And before others ‘correct’ me by reminding me that the foreign makes are assembled here, let me point out that all the good jobs as well as the years of replacement parts profits go back overseas. Just because a Honda, Toyota or V-Dubb is made here doesn’t make it American. It’s not.

If you don’t care about shipping bags and bags of money to the Germans, Japanese and Koreans, consider the higher insurance premiums and parts prices on the on the imports. Oh yeah, just break down in the middle of nowhere in an import. Every little town in America has a Ford or GM dealer, but you might have to have your import towed many, many miles to find someone who’ll touch it. What was the last import you ever saw that has ‘cult’ followings you see with the American brands? I’m thinking of '57 Chevys, Corvettes, Mustangs, GTO’s and hundreds more. We’ll see how many rabid Toyota Camry or Honda Accord owners who preserve and show those ‘exciting’, models 40 years from now.

BUY AMERICAN!
[/quote]

I would absolutely buy American if they were as reliable and as fuel efficient as Honda or Toyota.

Actually, both of the vehicles that we own are Fords, but we bought both used and they happened to be available and in the right price range when we needed them, but I would not reccommend them to anyone else.

My parents own a Toyota Camry and it is a very nice vehicle. Actually, they are planning on selling it because they ordered on of the new Toyota Hylander Hybrids. But, the Camry is very reliable, drives nice, and has good safety ratings (my dad is an avid Consumer Reports reader, and would not buy anything they deemed unsafe).

My brother and his wife own 2 1994 Honda Accords, and they both have very high (130,000 and 180,000) miles, and they still run great!


#13

[quote=cargopilot]Sure, I can. How much do you want to spend and what body style do you prefer?
[/quote]

Any suggestions are welcome, seriously. I just want the baby to be safe and to avoid a constant stream of repairs. I don’t have huge sentiments about what the car looks like, and our price range is flexible. I wanted a mid-size SUV or double cab truck, but the gas mileage seems to be horrible.

Oh, and I’m tall. 5’10. Hubby is over six feet. We want to make sure we’re not smushed. :slight_smile:


#14

Go to the bookstore and pick up one of the car magazines (I want to say Consumer Reports, but I am not sure of the title) that are currently out. They have safety and reliability ratings (as well as general price range) of the currently produced vehicles.

PF


#15

It almost seems like bigger is better on the road these days. I think I’m overly biased because of accidents I’ve been in, but I shudder even thinking about an accident involving my child in the backseat. A car being t-boned is much different than a higher standing vehicle. But, the gas mileage…


#16

[quote=turboEDvo]Are you thinking new or used?

In general, minivans do not have good safety or mechanical track records (there are some exceptions, but ya know). If you are looking for safety, a midsized sedan (Volvo, Beemer, Benz) is a very safe choice but also pricey. You can get some small/midsized SUVs for reasonable prices that have good safety features (Volvo XC90, BMW X5, and Benz (name is failing me here), and, I think, Ford Explorer) have gyro systems in their computers that help keep them upright.

As for buying most other American cars, well, you are right about reliability. Sorry cargopilot, but I can’t recommend one to her. She isn’t looking for cult classics.

Eamon

Eamon
[/quote]

We are generally thinking new, but if safety features are good enough in the last few years of whatever make or model, and the VIN # checks out, we would buy a used car. Happily!


#17

We had foreign cars until we had kids. The repairs were killers! In the last 15 years, we have only had mid-sized domestic cars–paid cash, and kept them for 10 years and over 100K miles. Great gas mileage, reasonable repair bills and insurance, safe vehicles. But then neither of us have ever had an accident in 25 years of driving. (Knock on wood, and praying that that record will continue.)


#18

OK. If your budget is flexible, I’m gonna throw out a few of my personal favorites in different catagories, in no particular order.

  1. Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport. Big, comfortable, safe, fast and a little sporty. Huge trunk. With the side airbags, this one will really take a hit, and keep you safe. MPG appx 18 city 24 hwy. Proven in millions and millions of police, taxi and fleet use miles. My personal favorite for all-around use. Very durable and dependable car. It has to be the LX Sport.

  2. Ford Mustang GT coupe or convertible. Quite fast and sporty with great handling. Not a family car, but hard to beat for pure fun. I’m waiting for the Cobra convertible. I’ve owned Mustangs for years.

  3. Ford Focus wagon. Good solid cheap car. Great mpg, 100,000 mile warranty. I’ll probably order a loaded '06 wagon in November for a knock-around car.

  4. GMC Envoy Denali. Really nice new design. Outstanding ride for an SUV and looks great. Really nice engine. Beautiful interior.

  5. Chevrolet Cobalt. Another good cheapie. The Eco-Tec engine is really nice and the mpg is GREAT. I was really impressed with a rental.

  6. Chevrolet Impala SS. I havent seen this one, yet, but I think it’ll be a real winner. Displacement on Demand is now a proven technology to give incredible horsepower and mpg. Nice and sporty.

  7. Chevrolet Malibu. I was blown away by the mileage I got with a rental that was very comfortable. This rental I didn’t want to give back.

  8. Chevrolet Corvette. The new C6 is the most amazing Vette, ever. I know it’s no family car, but it’ll run with a Ferrari for $100 grand less. I just had to throw this one in.

9.Ford Explorer V8 2WD. The best Explorer yet, really nice interior, engine and suspension. Be sure to get the V8, the transmission is much better than the one behind the 6 cylinder.

  1. Ford Five-Hundred. World class sedan that has a nice size with appealing looks. I think Eamon may be OK with this one as it rides on a Volvo platform. Another rental I didn’t want to return.

  2. Any Ford F-series or Chevrolet C-series truck. Whether it’s a Ford or a Chevy, we still make the worlds best trucks.

I’ve got more, but in my opinion these represent some truly world class vehicles.

[quote=Princess_Abby]Any suggestions are welcome, seriously. I just want the baby to be safe and to avoid a constant stream of repairs. I don’t have huge sentiments about what the car looks like, and our price range is flexible. I wanted a mid-size SUV or double cab truck, but the gas mileage seems to be horrible.

Oh, and I’m tall. 5’10. Hubby is over six feet. We want to make sure we’re not smushed. :slight_smile:
[/quote]


#19

Check out the Pontiac Vibe. Great fuel mileage

(34 city/45 highway)

Here is the Edmunds.com report:

edmunds.com/new/2005/pontiac/vibe/100389757/review.html

It is one of our top choices right now if we decide to go with new or slightly used. Our other choice would be a Mazda5 but we need to do more research.

Both were chosen for price, fuel economy, and room for our dog AND a passenger.

Malia


#20

[quote=cargopilot]OK. If your budget is flexible, I’m gonna throw out a few of my personal favorites in different catagories, in no particular order.

  1. Ford Crown Victoria LX Sport. Big, comfortable, safe, fast and a little sporty. Huge trunk. With the side airbags, this one will really take a hit, and keep you safe. MPG appx 18 city 24 hwy. Proven in millions and millions of police, taxi and fleet use miles. My personal favorite for all-around use. Very durable and dependable car. It has to be the LX Sport.

  2. Ford Mustang GT coupe or convertible. Quite fast and sporty with great handling. Not a family car, but hard to beat for pure fun. I’m waiting for the Cobra convertible. I’ve owned Mustangs for years.

  3. Ford Focus wagon. Good solid cheap car. Great mpg, 100,000 mile warranty. I’ll probably order a loaded '06 wagon in November for a knock-around car.

  4. GMC Envoy Denali. Really nice new design. Outstanding ride for an SUV and looks great. Really nice engine. Beautiful interior.

  5. Chevrolet Cobalt. Another good cheapie. The Eco-Tec engine is really nice and the mpg is GREAT. I was really impressed with a rental.

  6. Chevrolet Impala SS. I havent seen this one, yet, but I think it’ll be a real winner. Displacement on Demand is now a proven technology to give incredible horsepower and mpg. Nice and sporty.

  7. Chevrolet Malibu. I was blown away by the mileage I got with a rental that was very comfortable. This rental I didn’t want to give back.

  8. Chevrolet Corvette. The new C6 is the most amazing Vette, ever. I know it’s no family car, but it’ll run with a Ferrari for $100 grand less. I just had to throw this one in.

9.Ford Explorer V8 2WD. The best Explorer yet, really nice interior, engine and suspension. Be sure to get the V8, the transmission is much better than the one behind the 6 cylinder.

  1. Ford Five-Hundred. World class sedan that has a nice size with appealing looks. I think Eamon may be OK with this one as it rides on a Volvo platform. Another rental I didn’t want to return.

  2. Any Ford F-series or Chevrolet C-series truck. Whether it’s a Ford or a Chevy, we still make the worlds best trucks.

I’ve got more, but in my opinion these represent some truly world class vehicles.
[/quote]

You are a cutie. Thanks for all the suggestions, especially the Corvette, lol.


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