Best car for a family???? Help!

Soooooo my wife is pregnant with our first child (just found out it's a girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and as much as I love my Chevy Colorado it isn't the most practical car for us, the baby and our two big dogs. Also, $509 a month in car payments for the truck doesn't help either. Since I tend to switch cars every couple of years we have started looking at leasing and have a few options. Wanted to see if folks here had any advice or suggestions based on what we are looking at! 

- Subaru Impreza 5 door (kinda small for us and the dogs but can get it as low as $320 on the lease fully loaded)
- Volkswagen Tiguan (bigger, plenty of room and we can get the mid-range model for around $360-370, also has a 3rd row that can fit small kids. Its the new model so lot bigger than the old Tiguan)
- Subaru Outback (big enough, comfy and subaru's hold their value. Again around $360-370 but fewer options available for tech and extras)
- Honda CR-V (I hated the way the older ones looked but the new 2018 models look good, has plenty of tech and probably be around the same as the Tiguan and Outback)
- Mazda CX-5 (looks good, leather seats, all the tech I could want and same price wise as the others aside from the Impreza)

Anyone with a thought or experience with these cars, and of course folks with kids, please sound off and help a redneck out!!!!!

Love ya'll,
Anubus21


rustywright4
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Comments

  • Congrats on the daughter! Get a used Subaru Outback or similar for your wife. That way she has a vehicle if you’re away. Also, it gives you a “beater” that you care less about when human secretions start getting into the cracks.  This is just my humble opinion  
    rkcrawf
  • Agree with @KingKobra. I have a Subaru Crosstrek. Good for 2 kids + 1 adult, but no more. Has a decent amount of bells and whistles for the price and was Consumer Reports top rated car in 2015. 

    But don't lease it. Go used. Both kids have thrown up in my car before they were 2. Snacks, scuffs, scratches, etc. 
  • I got a Subaru Forester right before my daughter was born (big upgrade from an early 90s Chevy pickup!). I absolutely love it. The Outback has a little more back end room I think and is slightly longer, so that would probably be better for your dogs. My only complaint with the Outback was that the rear end has worse visibility imo and feels more closed in than the Forester, but otherwise a primo ride. And a car seat fits rear facing no problem
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis

  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    If you can swing it, I'd recommend a 4-Runner. Never met a 4-Runner owner who wasn't satisfied. Also, they hold their value like non other.
    rkcrawf
  • MattyWeavesMattyWeaves Mid-State New York
    I'm just going to add what some have said. Both my sisters bought brand new SUVs when they had kids. Within a couple years the inside looked like a war zone.

    Also my parents love their Subaru Outback.

  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    My wife has a Subaru Outback and it's great.  It's funny - we have about 5 Subaru Outbacks in a half block radius around our house.  

    I wanted a little more space and towing capacity though so I researched 3rd row SUVs, and stayed on Team Hyundai with the Santa Fe Limited.  2014 to present is when Santa Fe's offered the Limited with 3 rows, 2nd row captain chairs & 5000# towing capacity.  I love it dude.  Hyundai throws a lot of tech bells & whistles at you for a really good price.  100K standard powertrain warranty.  But yeah...us with 2 kids and a dog...y'all with your new daughter (congrats!) and 2 big dogs...maybe look to lean towards a 3rd row mid-size SUV.  They're getting really popular lately so it seems like a lot of the brands are now offering them compared to 5-6 years ago.  
    anubus21majjam0770
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited June 20
    cdrive said:
    My wife has a Subaru Outback and it's great.  It's funny - we have about 5 mid-level hippy pot dealers in a half block radius around our house. 
    Fixed it for you!
    cdrivevoodooratNoelA_Ron_Hubbard
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited June 20
    Used to ride around in one of these bad boys when I was a kid:
    True story, my parents bought it new. When they told me that, my jaw dropped. Even at 5 years old I just assumed these things hit the market used. The flip up seats in the back were baller though...




    anubus21cdrivemajjam0770HatorianNoelpodcartfan
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    Who all had or grew up with a friend who had one of those rear-facing 3rd row wagons?  It always made stops at traffic lights awkward or a chance to mess with the driver you were staring at.  


    KingKobra
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    Freddy said:
    cdrive said:
    My wife has a Subaru Outback and it's great.  It's funny - we have about 5 mid-level hippy pot dealers in a half block radius around our house. 
    Fixed it for you!
    You know...I always thought - if you're growing, how do you NOT have one of these!?


  • edited June 20
    I know nothing of the parenting stuff but I know my parents both absolutely love their Subaru Forester.  I know an Outback isn't much different from that and depending on where you live their all wheel drive is one of the better in the business.  The other thing to keep in mind is that kids are extremely messy.  I damn near can't even ride in my brothers Suburban because he's got 3 kids and the amount of mess inside that thing is insane.  But that all comes down to what you do and don't allow in the vehicle as far as food/drink goes with your children. 

    My recommendation is test drive anything and everything you're interested in and when you're just looking at them pay close attention to how you think it would do space wise.  When you say big dogs are you talking like 40lbs, 80lbs, 120lbs.  I'm looking at getting a English Mastiff in the near future which come in the scale around 150+ so the room needed for him vs a 40lb dog is very different.
  • voodooratvoodoorat Atlanta
    edited June 20
    we have 4 kids so my experience is almost-worthless to you, but i drive a mazda5 because it's small and has a hatch but in a pinch can fit all of us in it (very uncomfortably), she drives a toyota sienna.  mine's 90% commuter car, i drive as little as possible otherwise.  cars are also very low on the list of things i care about, a mazda5 probably isn't for everybody for lots of reasons.
  • Congrats!

    We have 2 Subarus (yea we take being stereotypical Coloradans very seriously): an Impreza hatchback and a Forester. We have 1 kid and 1 dog ... for longer trips the Forester works well with the addition of a roof box. And the Impreza has plenty of room for a car seat and luggage for shorter trips, but it's probably too small as your main family car. Not sure where you live but both are awesome in the snow and ice (we do throw snow tires on in the winter since we drive up the mountains often).

    We probably would upgrade to an Outback or something bigger if we had another kid. Subaru also just came out with their 3-row SUV (Ascent) it can tow 5000 lbs and has even more room - meant to compete w/ other "minivans for people who don't want to drive a minivan" like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, etc.

    I also agree w/ @Freddy about the 4Runner - people love them, and they're built on a truck platform so you'd probably like that coming from the Colorado, and they also hold value well. Downside is the gas mileage sucks compared to SUVs on car-based platforms.
  • cdrive said:
    Who all had or grew up with a friend who had one of those rear-facing 3rd row wagons?  It always made stops at traffic lights awkward or a chance to mess with the driver you were staring at.  


    Never seen one of these in my life...i would have caused so much trouble as a kid if I had been in that seat!!!!
  • I know nothing of the parenting stuff but I know my parents both absolutely love their Subaru Forester.  I know an Outback isn't much different from that and depending on where you live their all wheel drive is one of the better in the business.  The other thing to keep in mind is that kids are extremely messy.  I damn near can't even ride in my brothers Suburban because he's got 3 kids and the amount of mess inside that thing is insane.  But that all comes down to what you do and don't allow in the vehicle as far as food/drink goes with your children. 

    My recommendation is test drive anything and everything you're interested in and when you're just looking at them pay close attention to how you think it would do space wise.  When you say big dogs are you talking like 40lbs, 80lbs, 120lbs.  I'm looking at getting a English Mastiff in the near future which come in the scale around 150+ so the room needed for him vs a 40lb dog is very different.
    We have a border collie and a 3 legged pointer. Both weigh about 60lbs

  • MrX said:
    Congrats!

    We have 2 Subarus (yea we take being stereotypical Coloradans very seriously): an Impreza hatchback and a Forester. We have 1 kid and 1 dog ... for longer trips the Forester works well with the addition of a roof box. And the Impreza has plenty of room for a car seat and luggage for shorter trips, but it's probably too small as your main family car. Not sure where you live but both are awesome in the snow and ice (we do throw snow tires on in the winter since we drive up the mountains often).

    We probably would upgrade to an Outback or something bigger if we had another kid. Subaru also just came out with their 3-row SUV (Ascent) it can tow 5000 lbs and has even more room - meant to compete w/ other "minivans for people who don't want to drive a minivan" like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, etc.

    I also agree w/ @Freddy about the 4Runner - people love them, and they're built on a truck platform so you'd probably like that coming from the Colorado, and they also hold value well. Downside is the gas mileage sucks compared to SUVs on car-based platforms.
    My wife has a Toyota Rav 4 so we could use that for longer trips with the baby and the dogs. We don't tend to take the dogs on really long trips because its a pain and we have friends who can watch them for us. So that's one point for the Impreza. I also rock climb and the Impreza would be big enough for all my shit when i go bouldering, big plus! 

    We live in NC so we don't get much in the way of snow, more ice and I don't drive in that crap.Highlander or 4runner would be good but they are outof our ballpark since we are trying to keep below $400 a month and save money from what we currently pay.

    And thanks! I wanted a girl (would have been happy with a boy too, but i was a terror as a child) <span>:smile:</span>
  • Haha Jesus does everyone on BM have a Subaru? I like Subarus but I've never owned one, I really wanted a WRX STi wagon for a while. But anyway I agree that a Forester or Outback would fit the bill perfectly.

    @Freddy 4Runners are really nice but they're so overpriced, it's absurd. And wagons are the shit (though I've never liked wood paneling). My first car was an '86 Volvo 240 wagon, that thing was awesome. If I won the lottery I'd totally buy an AMG E63S wagon as my daily, this monster is so much cooler than any of those stupid boring pleb SUVs on the street. Just listen to that beast open up at 3:25:








    MrX
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited June 20
    I’d recommend against leasing if you can avoid it. Great for neat-freaks who don’t drive much, but if you’re not one of these folks the savings can reverse itself at the end of the period.

    My kids are old now and we only have one dog. We’ve been through Ford Expedition (owned for 12yrs), Chevy Tahoe (4yr lease), and Ford Edge (owned for just over 6yrs now) and for your situation out of those the Expedition was probably the best fit. Really nice to have a paid-off car sometimes, or at least to be able to control when you want to go in on a new one.
  • OliviaDOliviaD Cincinnati, Ohio
    After we had our son, I got a Mazda CX-9 and gave my Jeep Compass to my husband. We were looking at the cx5 but noticed it was similar in size to the compass and we wanted something bigger. It had all the tech I wanted, plenty of space for the car seat (got the graco 4 in 1 seat that changes as he grows) and plenty of room for his stroller, groceries and whatever else I need to lug around. 
  • MrXMrX CO
    edited June 20
    anubus21 said:
    MrX said:
    Congrats!

    We have 2 Subarus (yea we take being stereotypical Coloradans very seriously): an Impreza hatchback and a Forester. We have 1 kid and 1 dog ... for longer trips the Forester works well with the addition of a roof box. And the Impreza has plenty of room for a car seat and luggage for shorter trips, but it's probably too small as your main family car. Not sure where you live but both are awesome in the snow and ice (we do throw snow tires on in the winter since we drive up the mountains often).

    We probably would upgrade to an Outback or something bigger if we had another kid. Subaru also just came out with their 3-row SUV (Ascent) it can tow 5000 lbs and has even more room - meant to compete w/ other "minivans for people who don't want to drive a minivan" like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, etc.

    I also agree w/ @Freddy about the 4Runner - people love them, and they're built on a truck platform so you'd probably like that coming from the Colorado, and they also hold value well. Downside is the gas mileage sucks compared to SUVs on car-based platforms.
    My wife has a Toyota Rav 4 so we could use that for longer trips with the baby and the dogs. We don't tend to take the dogs on really long trips because its a pain and we have friends who can watch them for us. So that's one point for the Impreza. I also rock climb and the Impreza would be big enough for all my shit when i go bouldering, big plus! 

    We live in NC so we don't get much in the way of snow, more ice and I don't drive in that crap.Highlander or 4runner would be good but they are outof our ballpark since we are trying to keep below $400 a month and save money from what we currently pay.

    And thanks! I wanted a girl (would have been happy with a boy too, but i was a terror as a child) <span>:smile:</span>

     You also might want to look into the VW Golf Sportwagen - I looked into it last time we bought a car and there is a lot to like, and I think it'd be in your price range. They also make an Alltrack version that has higher clearance and AWD, but not sure you'd need that in NC.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volkswagen-golf-sportwagen-in-depth-model-review

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-first-drive-review


  • MrX said:
    anubus21 said:
    MrX said:
    Congrats!

    We have 2 Subarus (yea we take being stereotypical Coloradans very seriously): an Impreza hatchback and a Forester. We have 1 kid and 1 dog ... for longer trips the Forester works well with the addition of a roof box. And the Impreza has plenty of room for a car seat and luggage for shorter trips, but it's probably too small as your main family car. Not sure where you live but both are awesome in the snow and ice (we do throw snow tires on in the winter since we drive up the mountains often).

    We probably would upgrade to an Outback or something bigger if we had another kid. Subaru also just came out with their 3-row SUV (Ascent) it can tow 5000 lbs and has even more room - meant to compete w/ other "minivans for people who don't want to drive a minivan" like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, etc.

    I also agree w/ @Freddy about the 4Runner - people love them, and they're built on a truck platform so you'd probably like that coming from the Colorado, and they also hold value well. Downside is the gas mileage sucks compared to SUVs on car-based platforms.
    My wife has a Toyota Rav 4 so we could use that for longer trips with the baby and the dogs. We don't tend to take the dogs on really long trips because its a pain and we have friends who can watch them for us. So that's one point for the Impreza. I also rock climb and the Impreza would be big enough for all my shit when i go bouldering, big plus! 

    We live in NC so we don't get much in the way of snow, more ice and I don't drive in that crap.Highlander or 4runner would be good but they are outof our ballpark since we are trying to keep below $400 a month and save money from what we currently pay.

    And thanks! I wanted a girl (would have been happy with a boy too, but i was a terror as a child) <span>:smile:</span>

     You also might want to look into the VW Golf Sportwagen - I looked into it last time we bought a car and there is a lot to like, and I think it'd be in your price range. They also make an Alltrack version that has higher clearance and AWD, but not sure you'd need that in NC.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volkswagen-golf-sportwagen-in-depth-model-review

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-first-drive-review


    We looked at it and my wife hated it haha. She claimed it was a granny wagon :-p
  • I'd get the Tiguan. Sounds like it fits all your requirements, and Volkswagen builds reliable cars.

    But also, I'd listen to this episode from This American Life, to get an insider view on how car dealers work (and, it's just a really fun story to listen to, even if you're not buying a car).


  • walktheskywalkthesky New York
    We got a Tahoe a year ago. It’s amazing. Sure it burns a little more gas but it’s worth it. Good luck.
  • anubus21 said:
    MrX said:
    anubus21 said:
    MrX said:
    Congrats!

    We have 2 Subarus (yea we take being stereotypical Coloradans very seriously): an Impreza hatchback and a Forester. We have 1 kid and 1 dog ... for longer trips the Forester works well with the addition of a roof box. And the Impreza has plenty of room for a car seat and luggage for shorter trips, but it's probably too small as your main family car. Not sure where you live but both are awesome in the snow and ice (we do throw snow tires on in the winter since we drive up the mountains often).

    We probably would upgrade to an Outback or something bigger if we had another kid. Subaru also just came out with their 3-row SUV (Ascent) it can tow 5000 lbs and has even more room - meant to compete w/ other "minivans for people who don't want to drive a minivan" like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, etc.

    I also agree w/ @Freddy about the 4Runner - people love them, and they're built on a truck platform so you'd probably like that coming from the Colorado, and they also hold value well. Downside is the gas mileage sucks compared to SUVs on car-based platforms.
    My wife has a Toyota Rav 4 so we could use that for longer trips with the baby and the dogs. We don't tend to take the dogs on really long trips because its a pain and we have friends who can watch them for us. So that's one point for the Impreza. I also rock climb and the Impreza would be big enough for all my shit when i go bouldering, big plus! 

    We live in NC so we don't get much in the way of snow, more ice and I don't drive in that crap.Highlander or 4runner would be good but they are outof our ballpark since we are trying to keep below $400 a month and save money from what we currently pay.

    And thanks! I wanted a girl (would have been happy with a boy too, but i was a terror as a child) <span>:smile:</span>

     You also might want to look into the VW Golf Sportwagen - I looked into it last time we bought a car and there is a lot to like, and I think it'd be in your price range. They also make an Alltrack version that has higher clearance and AWD, but not sure you'd need that in NC.

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volkswagen-golf-sportwagen-in-depth-model-review

    https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2017-volkswagen-golf-alltrack-first-drive-review


    We looked at it and my wife hated it haha. She claimed it was a granny wagon :-p

    Pssh doesn't she know wagons are cool again! 
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    Freddy said:
    Used to ride around in one of these bad boys when I was a kid:
    True story, my parents bought it new. When they told me that, my jaw dropped. Even at 5 years old I just assumed these things hit the market used. The flip up seats in the back were baller though...





    dude my dad solely bought station wagons. he wanted the same car so he could work on it himself and have extra parts, etc. 

    I remember asking my mom to drop me off like 3 minutes away from school and id just walk the rest of the way as i didn't want to get seen in it. 
    Freddy
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited June 21
    Hatorian said:
    Freddy said:
    Used to ride around in one of these bad boys when I was a kid:
    True story, my parents bought it new. When they told me that, my jaw dropped. Even at 5 years old I just assumed these things hit the market used. The flip up seats in the back were baller though...





    dude my dad solely bought station wagons. he wanted the same car so he could work on it himself and have extra parts, etc. 

    I remember asking my mom to drop me off like 3 minutes away from school and id just walk the rest of the way as i didn't want to get seen in it. 
    Spoken like a true Patek Philippe wearer.
    Hatorian
  • HatorianHatorian Dagobah
    haha. when you go to a rich school as a poor kid you need to minimize the visibility of your poorness. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    You don't need a new car if you are having a baby. Babies are very small, do not move around on their own and don't try to arm wrestle anyone; you just need room for their carseat, which will fit in any backseat, probably even your truck, if it has one, which it does in all the Google Image results. Don't spend a bunch of money now. You are going to need it later, especially if you are going to have any more kids. Once you have 2-3 kids and they are big enough to torture  each other, that's when you *might* need a new vehicle. 

    Speaking of which, there are about 4000 products on the market for babies that you also do not need. Here's just one example: You do not need a special baby tub. Wash the baby in the kitchen sink. That's me saving you $20-40 and a lot of back pain. You are welcome. Now you can afford a little more of your truck payment and you won't have a piece of plastic in your life for the next 20 years that you used for 6-12 months. 

    p.s. in 12 years please don't try to make her use natural deodorant
    Flukes
  • Can’t fit the baby and 2 dogs in the truck together. One of my dogs is so dumb he would jump out of the bed if I was driving down the highway! The new car will actually save us more than $140-200 a month depending on what we get so it’s all good. 

    How many kids you got? And what the hell is natural deodorant???? Is that when ya rub basil or rosemary in your pits :-p
    OldGriswold
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