Tuesday, October 28, 2014

New Wheels

When I got pregnant I was driving a Subaru. It was the first nice car I ever purchased and I did so a few short months after landing my first professional job out of grad school. It was a Subaru Impreza Outback sport. I seriously loved that car.

When we got the car seats at our baby shower we decided to try them in the car. Since my car was a sporty model, the backseat was not large. In order to install both car seats the driver and passenger had to practically hug the dashboard. It wasn't comfortable and it definitely wasn't going to work for long trips. 

It was at that time we started to look at new cars. We were looking mainly at SUV's that had third row seating. I liked the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Since my FiL goes to automobile auctions I had to be somewhat flexible about what I wanted. He found there were lots of Mazda CX9's at the auctions and we looked into that vehicle. For the price, we could get more features than the Honda or Toyota. 

The plan was that W would keep my Subaru, we would sell his Honda Civic Si, and get me a bigger SUV. 

Then I got into the accident that broke my water. My Subaru I loved so much was totalled. 

We brought the girls home from the hospital in my FiL's car. Shortly after we purchased a Mazda CX9. W's parents offered to give W their older Prius with the agreement that he would sell his Honda Civic and give them the money (the Prius was worth more). 

At first I liked the Mazda. Then I started to hate driving something so big. It felt like I was driving a school bus sometimes it was so large. Then one day in July I got into a minor fender bender in a parking lot. The scary part? I had no idea what I hit until after. I didn't see the car at all (it was a tiny Celica). It was then that I realized how large that car I was driving was. I realized how big the blind spots were and I remembered a few other close calls with cars I didn't see until the last minute. After that I was nervous driving the girls in the Mazda. Any time I changed lanes on the highway I worried I didn't see a car that was in my blind spot (despite obsessive checking). I hated merging with traffic and driving around parking lots. I didn't feel safe in the Mazda with the girls. It was that simple. 

When my car was in the shopgetting it's fender replaced we had a rental car. We got a mini van to see if that's something we would like. It was worse than the SUV. It was just as large and the only redeeming qualities were the electric doors. 

We took the girls in the Prius one day and, surprisingly, found it to be more than enough space for us. It was then that I decided I wanted to get rid of the Mazda. We didn't need something that huge, I didn't feel safe with the girls in it, and it guzzled gas at 17 MPG. 

We tried listing it to sell by owner but gave up after a few weeks and traded it in. I got a 2011 Subaru Outback in a really pretty blue color. I love it! It has tons of space, it's super comfortable and fun to drive, I can see and don't worry about blind spots, and it's so much better on gas. Although we didn't get as much as we hoped as a trade in, I'm so glad to no longer be driving the Mazda. 

Because there were some pros to the Mazda I decided to list them. There are a few things I will miss and lots that I won't. 

Pros of Mazda CX9:
Third row seating and large trunk for our dogs
Leather interior 
Great trunk height for diaper changes
Large backseat that's easy to crawl into from the front seat 
Trunk opens and closes with push of a button 

Large blind spots
Drives like a truck (because it is one)
Large back doors (need to open wide enough to climb into third row) 
17 miles per gallon

All in all, I'm so glad to be driving a car I feel safe in. The improved gas mileage balances out the slightly higher payment so we aren't really paying much more a month. Also, I seriously love my new car!!


  1. I LOVE my outback, but because it's the older ('06) model, the back seat is SMALL and with the boys still rear facing we continue to sit snug with the dash in the front- I'm going to have to get something new soon, I think it will be a minivan mostly for the extra seating and the sliding doors.

  2. I love that color! I thought our Lincoln MKX was plenty big for the girls and now I think we really need something with a 3rd row seating. My teenager has to squeeze in between the two car seats when she drives with us.

  3. I drive a '10 Dodge Grand Caravan. I LOVE IT. I like having both boys behind me in the captains chairs and then having the 3rd row for anyone else and enough space behind that for groceries. I probably could be OK in something smaller but I really love it.

  4. I have s Subaru Forrester in the blue color! It's a smaller model than the new ones - a 2006. I love it a lot, but the back seat wouldn't work with two carseats. I would have to upgrade to a new model or get a different car.

  5. It's no fun driving a car you are uncomfortable and don't feel safe in. Converts on the new car! We have a Honda Pilot, but with 2 car seats, you can't access the third row seating unless you climb in the back. We use the back mostly for our large stroller though, and other things. Super convenient for changing diapers back there.

  6. I would love a car with third row seating. Right now we have a Prius and a VW Passat. We fit the car seats and stroller easily, but nothing else. We definitely need a bigger car. I'm procrastinating because my cars are paid off and I really don't want a car payment. Plus, I'm still debating between a minivan and small SUV. Glad you found something you feel safe and comfortable driving.

  7. Our local car dealership was having a sale that they would pay $4000 for any trade in regardless if it ran or not. Rather than give my car, we towed one from my brother's house to the dealer. I was shocked that they actually honored their ad. I got the money off a new car and then sold my used car on Craigslist for $7,000.

    Paige Hollingsworth @ Baldwin Motors Lincoln