Last post on Jul 07, 2011 at 10:40 AM
You are in the Honda Accord
What is this discussion about?
Honda Accord, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Car Comparisons, Sedan, SUV
#1 of 41 Need a new family car - please help me decide
Dec 26, 2007 (7:01 pm)
My wife and I are in our early 30's and have a 2 year old and 2 month old. Currently own a 2002 Honda Civic EX with two car seats that take up the entire back row. The car was bought new and has 38k miles (to give you an idea of how little we drive it). We are living in DC but may be moving to Boston in a few months. We're looking for a new family car that has room for the two car seats and space for one adult back there. Also need good amount of storage/trunk room for stroller, groceries, etc. Target cost is 25k or so.
I started off looking at the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 V6 but quickly veered over to the sedans where I've been looking at the 2008 Honda Accord EX sedan and the Volvo V50. Not sure that the SUVs offer that much more space than these sedans - am I mistaken? Also, decent gas mileage and a comfortable ride is important thus making me look at the 'family' sedans more carefully. As our current Honda has been the picture of reliability, that is also quite important. As is driveability in snow (paved roads) as well as overall safety.
I would greatly appreciate any thoughts on the global question of SUV vs Family Sedan. Then, any suggestions on cars in either category?
Thanks in advance,
#2 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [eoren1]
Dec 26, 2007 (8:02 pm)
Having raised two kids, go directly for a minivan. Space, sliding doors ease of access and their entry/exit, ability to haul everything under the sun, ability to seat kids and a car full of friends, etc, etc.
#3 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [eoren1]
Dec 26, 2007 (9:09 pm)
I personally vote for the SUV (Explorer) as I am about the same age as you with 2 older kids. A midsize SUV was my choice as the thrid row is key for kid's friends or in laws or parents traveling with us. We take a few extended trips and in the summer it would be impossible to travel with all of the gear (plus dog) without the SUV...an accord would not cut it. I think your decision comes down to mileage vs space. I am probably also a little prejudice as I refuse to drive a mini van...a macho guy thing which I can't kick. Just from previous research I am thinking a Mitsubishi Outlander may be a decent choice based on price, 3rd Row, and better then standard SUV gas mileage...please note I have never drove one but just recommending a car based on your criteria that you may have not considered. Good luck.
#4 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [eoren1]
Dec 26, 2007 (9:33 pm)
An SUV rides like a truck. A Crossover rides more like a car, but still doesn't handle like a car (top heavy). Same with a minivan. If room is the most important aspect, I would go for a minivan (a real man can drive a minivan, while wearing a pink shirt, and has no concern with "image"). I have never owned an SUV, Crossover, or Minivan because a car has always been big enough, and I will always pick a car over anything else for driving. The Accord is a good choice, if it fits your needs for space. I think the 08 Accord has a large enough rear seat to accomodate two car seats, and maybe enough room for another person.
#5 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [eoren1]
Dec 27, 2007 (12:30 pm)
I second (or third?) the decision to look into a minivan. There should be a few GREAT deals on leftover 2007 Odyssey minivans that would be available under $25k. The mileage won't be nearly as good as the Civic, but having Stability Control should be on your list for Boston (the Civic doesn't offer it, the CR-V, Accord, and Odyssey have it standard.
I'd avoid the Explorer - 13/19 City/Hwy with only 210hp - not a good compromise.
Your family sounds suited for a RAV4 or CR-V with AWD in Boston (y'all would actually reap some benefits of it in the snow).
Have you checked out the new Nissan Rogue?
#6 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [thegraduate]
Dec 27, 2007 (1:11 pm)
Please note I did not recommend the Explorer for him based on his criteria...I just recommended the SUV option as the Explorer is just the car I drive. Almost all SUV's get the same crappy gas mileage so I just threw out the option which I think has the best for a 3rd row SUV that he may have not considered...07 Outlander had almost the same MPG as an Odyssey.
For me the Explorer makes sense because it is great in the snow, comfortable, practical 3rd row (power & split), has minimal cabin noise on the highway, and is reasonably priced. I could care less about the pickup as I am not towing anything or planning on racing anybody off the line....I also get 22 on the highway which is decent...just wanted to defend my car:)
I actually test drove the Rogue for a second car a couple of months ago and thought it was just ok. Comfortable and has a nice exterior but was loud in terms of engine and wind noise. Probably offers better space then an Accord as even in smaller SUV's you can creatively pile your travel gear higher in the trunk.
Please a note a co-worker has a 07 Odyssey and claims it is the best minivan she has ever owned.
#7 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [hackd]
Dec 27, 2007 (1:17 pm)
I wasn't trying to knock the Explorer - but its technology is nearly a decade old (that engine is MUCH older and therefore less efficient; in fact, the 292hp V8 matches it for fuel economy). Also, truck-based SUVs have less interior space than car-based SUVs/CUVs.
Almost all SUV's get the same crappy gas mileage so I just threw out the option which I think has the best for a 3rd row SUV that he may have not considered...07 Outlander had almost the same MPG as an Odyssey.
The Outlander is VERY small inside relative to an Odyssey, and their third rows are really not worth comparing to each other. The Odyssey 3rd row is roomy enough for me (6'4"). The Outlander has what amounts to be jump seats.
If fuel economy is a concern, and an SUV-type vehicle is what you want, its hard to beat the CR-V/Rogue/RAV trio. If you don't need an SUV - definitely go with a midsize sedan. In Boston, I can't help but thing the added benefit of 4WD/AWD would be worth taking a look at over a sedan.
I live in Birmingham, Alabama, so I chose the Accord over the CR-V back in Nov. 2005. I get mid-upper 30s on the highway on average, have hit 40 MPG twice (conditions were perfect), and average just under 30 MPG in my commute into Birmingham from the 'burbs every day.
#8 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [thegraduate]
Dec 27, 2007 (2:23 pm)
Also, truck-based SUVs have less interior space than car-based SUVs/CUVs.
What car based CUV has more interior space then an Explorer? I can't imagine any that even come close when strictly looking at useable packing space with the 3rd row down. I even remember looking at the Mazda CX9 which is an SUV and it spec'd out as having more space with the 3rd row down. When I went to look at one it wasn't even close to the eye due to the low height in the trunk area (3rd row down). They also probably measured with 1st and 2nd row seats all the way up which is not practical. I have been packing up SUV's for a long time and at this point I have come to the conclusion that spec dimensions don't always tell the whole story. If you are right, though, I would probably be interested for my second car search.
The one thing I think we both would agree on would be the Explorer's city gas mileage in Boston traffic...it would be scary...probably be lucky to get 10 MPG
He may want to actually take a look at the Subaru sedans/SUV's as I think they have some decent/in-expensive AWD models. My parents love their Tribeca.
#9 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [hackd]
Dec 27, 2007 (2:35 pm)
What car based CUV has more interior space then an Explorer?
Hyundai Veracruz, for example.
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 86.8
Seating Capacity 7
Front Head Room, in. 40.3
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 42.6
Rear Head Room, in. 39.9
Max. Rear Leg Room, in. 38.4
Overall Length, 193.4"
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 85.8
Seating Capacity 7
Front Head Room, in. 39.8
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 42.4
Rear Head Room, in. 38.7
Max. Rear Leg Room, in. 36.9
So, the VeraCruz has about 4 inches more room overall (leg and headroom combined), with an extra cu. ft. of cargo space. All, while weighing less, having more power (unless you opt up for the V8 Explorer) and getting better fuel economy.
The Explorer is a fine vehicle for its purposes, and its recent upgrades make it better, but the Crossovers almost beat the Explorer at its own game, except when towing.
#10 of 41 Re: Need a new family car - please help me decide [thegraduate]
Dec 27, 2007 (3:06 pm)
Good post....as I wasn't aware of that car....I think I would rather drive a mini van then a Hyundai though:)
What about the luggage capacity figure...does that mean anything? Not being sarcastic as it just seems the number for the Explorer is huge when compared with other CUV's.
I thought you were more referencing the RAV4 crowd.
I apologize to the thread starter for high jacking his thread.