Aug 29, 2012

Buying All of The Things: A New Car Part 1

Along with these two new wonderful additions that will be joining our family in 2013 (we hope!) come a lot of things! It's amazing just how much stuff such tiny little people will need. In this series, I am going to walk you through our decisions as we are making them. We will talk cars, cribs, DSLR cameras, strollers, and other registry items.

To bring babies home from the hospital the only things you really truly need are car seats and a car to transport them. We are pretty well set on what car seat we want, but we don't own a car that will fit one car seat, let alone two!

Debs, our sporty little Volkswagen Eos convertible, only has two doors and a tiny little back seat. No rear facing car seat can sit there. Old Betsy, our old but reliable Saturn, has three doors but still a tiny little back seat that can't handle a rear facing seat (although she has held a forward facing convertible seat before). When we first started talking about a new car we were still trying to conceive. Debs was having electrical issues and her warranty was almost up so we started looking to replace her. We decided we wanted a small crossover SUV. We looked at the Infiniti FX, the Cadillac SRX, the Ford Edge, and many others. We briefly looked at a few of the larger crossovers, but felt like a third row was excessive for our little family. That was, until we saw the Infiniti JX which we both loved. Sadly, the JX is brand new this year so no older models or huge dealer incentives to help with pricing.

When we learned we are having twins, our needs list for a car changed. All of a sudden, a third row wasn't excessive. Instead, it is necessary so I can sit in it to be with the babies during longer car trips. Here is a list of what we are looking for in a car:

Car Needs:
  • Third Row Seating
  • Easy Access to Third Row (I'll need to be climbing back there so I can see the babies on longer car rides)
  • Movable Second Row (to ensure rear facers fit well)
  • Ample Cargo Space (for a big double stroller and all of the other THINGS we need)
  • LATCH system
  • Rear View Camera
  • Heated Seats (we were spoiled by Debs and yes this is now a need)
Car Wants:
  • Power Liftgate
  • Remote Entry
  • Push Button Ignition
  • Navigation (I know my phone has this, but I would rather never have to look at my phone with the babies in the car)
  • Air Conditioned Seats (I'm not a fan of the just peed my pants sensation of air conditioned seats, but Casey is)
  • Good Gas Mileage
So we have started making a list of cars we are considering:
  • Infiniti JX -- if price wasn't a consideration this is easily our first choice
  • Buick Enclave -- a close second choice
  • Mazda CX-9 -- we've never seen this in person but it looks like it has everything we want
  • GMC Acadia -- similar to the Enclave but a step down in trim level; might be cheaper?
  • Chevrolet Traverse -- no power liftgate available
  • Hyundai Veracruz
  • Kia Sorrento
  • Toyota Highlander -- This is considered a crossover but Casey and I both think of this as a full SUV. Maybe we need to give it another shot?
  • Honda Pilot -- We like the Pilot, but think the price is high compared to others on our list. Going to contact a dealership and see what types of offers they are running.
Since I am unable to do a huge car shopping day and go look at all 9 of these and really compare them, we need to narrow down this list.  Today, I am going to e-mail dealerships to get features and pricing and hope to fill out this spreadsheet by the end of the week. Then we can buy a new car within the next few weeks!

 Or you can download the full spreadsheet with updates as I add information from dropbox here.

What information am I not collecting that as a first time Mom I should be thinking about?  What information specifc to twins should I be thinking about?  Do you have one of these cars and love it? Hate it?  I really want to hear from you!


  1. Girl, your list of wants completely matched mine when we bought a new car right after Christmas! I thought I wanted a larger SUV, but then I discovered the better gas mileage, the sliding doors, and the ease of getting in/out that a minivan affords. I never thought I'd want a minivan, but we ended up buying a Honda Odyssey and I can honestly say it's my dream car at the moment. I love it so very much, and it has nearly all the needs/wants you mentioned above (less the air conditioned seats and push button ignition). We have our middle row seats slid off to the sides and love the extra room in between them (although there was really plenty to begin with...)

    I know, minivans just come with a stigma. I don't blame you if that's the way you feel. :) But one thing I learned as a mother is that room when getting kiddos in/out of a car is paramount! Sometimes regular doors just get in the way, and can make a hot August day even more frustrating for getting everyone clipped in.

    Just food for thought! You may want to add that to your list of options to consider. May be worth a look, at least. :)

    1. If the decision were solely mine, we would be looking at minivans. My brother and sister BOTH have them and both love them. But, Casey feels like with the (someday, hopefully) addition of child three we won't have a choice but a minivan and so until then we should do the SUV thing for a bit. We always said we would never lease a car because we like owning, but we are really leaning towards leasing the crossover so that three years from now we can trade it in for a minivan! I'm really low mileage on my cars, so the biggest concern folks have with leaseing (going over) won't apply. I worry about parking with an SUV a bit since I will need enough space on BOTH sides of the car to get out infant carriers, but lots of people seem to make it work so we will too!

    2. Understood, and true, you will definitely make it work! I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee before and loved it. It did just fine - I just wanted more room and better gas mileage. Enjoy your hunt! :)

    3. By the way, Sarah and Forrest have the Enclave with their twinnies, and they love it!

  2. My parents have the Acadia, and I really like it. It isn't the easiest to climb into the back seat though, and nearly impossible if you have rear facing carseats on both sides. And, on trips, the back seat is not very comfortable. I would totally second the minivan option, because they are easy to get into the back seat even with carseats. (I see your point though... it's funny, my hubby has wanted a minivan since we got married, just because of all the extra space!)

  3. I just looked at the Infiniti JX...that car is awesome!! Good luck shopping. :)

  4. So what car did you get? I think the Infiniti JX is certainly a good choice. It is one of the seven-passenger SUV, which is considered as one of the good family cars because of its great capacity space. The car also has the up-to-date technology like the navigation system and remote entry that you’ve been looking for. Have you decided on what you would get. Just make sure you are happy with it, and I’m sure whatever your choice is, you won’t regret it in the future.

  5. Have you got the car you wanted? I know that it is not on the list, but a Dodge Grand Caravan is a good choice. It has excellent space capacity, and the second and third rows can be folded flat to give additional space if needed. It also has air conditioned seats that you would want for Casey. Anyway, whatever you choose, you should carefully think about it because buying a car is a big investment.

    @Erwin Calverley

  6. I have to agree with Leisa. Don't get me wrong, I also like the Dodge Grand Caravan but personally, the Infiniti JX would be a better and classier choice, Lexy. Not to mention, the 2013 Infiniti JX ranks 18 out of 20 Luxury Midsize SUVs. Have you seen it? If not, then I suggest you do. If you're fond of sporty driving dynamics, then this one's for you.

    Stelle Courney

  7. Erwin has a point. Deciding on what car to buy should be given careful consideration, and you should also think about your preferences and needs. Think about how you will use it and whether it will suit your budget. Also, once you get the car, make sure to maintain it regularly to keep it in good condition for the years to come.

    Patrick Gauer