Disclosure: This post is underwritten and paid for by cars.com. All text and opinions are my own.
We are a family of six, which means we don’t all fit at the same time in every vehicle. Even though we have an SUV, we’ve had to get creative since our baby was born in December as we barely all fit. Throw in groceries, sports equipment, two diaper bags, luggage if we are traveling, and we have zero room. In fact, we have to hitch a luggage carrier to the back of the SUV just to make a trip to Costco. And, an average grocery trip means groceries strewn all in the middle of the floorboard in the backseat on top of diaper bags since our stroller takes up the entire storage area in the back. Even though we have found ways to make it all work by purchasing the luggage carrier, we’ve ve been keeping our eyes open perusing online car shopping resources in case we happen upon a fantastic deal. Now that we have children and a bunch of them, it’s more important than ever to make sure that our next vehicle fits our family. Here are a couple of the criteria that we are using as we consider a new car for our family that might be helpful to you as well. Of course, there are many other variables you may consider, but these are our top four.
- Seating – Is there enough comfortable seating for all of us? Now that our big kids are older with one being a teenager and another close behind we don’t just need a 3rd seat. We need a 3rd seat that is compatible with older children, who are almost adult sized. Other things to consider are bench or captain’s chairs in the 2nd row. Depending on how many kids, their ages, and seating arrangements between the 2nd and 3rd row one will be a better fit than the other.
- Car Seats – With a 2 yr old and a 6-month-old we will be using car seats for a very very long time. It’s important to look at the measurements of the seats in the vehicle compared to their car seats. Also, foot room between the 2nd row and front seats is necessary as we’ve got big kids that need to climb back to the 3rd seat. Truly, every inch of space matters.
- Set a Budget – Not only is it essential to make sure your family physically fits in your next vehicle, but it’s also important that the asking price fits your budget as well.
- Evaluating Extras – At some point, you’ll invariably have to make some decisions in regards to available additional options. Make sure to make a list of those things that are non-negotiables and those you can live without having. For example, a DVD player in our vehicle is significant to us. However, we can always have an aftermarket one installed if needed. Weigh your choices carefully as typically the more options you add, the more you will pay.