Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Choosing a Non-Mini Van Family Vehicle

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I got my first car when I was in high school.  My mom was actually in the market for a car, and I saw a gold Nissan Pathfinder at a local car lot.  I told her about it, but she ended up getting something else.  Well, fast forward a few months and that same car was still sitting up at the car lot.  One of my friends at school worked at the same lot, washing and detailing cars and doing odd jobs for them. He knew I’d had my eye on the car, but I never really said anything to my parents about it.
 
One day I came home from school, and that gold Nissan Pathfinder was sitting in my driveway.  My friend said that his boss told him to drop it off and let us drive it for a while to see what we thought.  These are the kind of things that happen when you live in a small town where everybody knows everybody. Two weeks later, I was still driving it.  About a week after that, it was officially mine.  It was one of those "happy birthday, merry Christmas, happy new year and happy graduation" type of deals.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I drove that car for ten years.  I took me through my senior year of high school and graduation.  I drove it to Clemson and through both undergraduate and graduate school. It took me back and forth from the restaurant where I waited tables.  I drove it to my very first full time job. I drove it through my first few years as a newlywed.  When we adopted Kate and became a family of three, that car was still with me. I would have kept driving it, except that the summer Kate turned one was one of the hottest on record, and my now 11 year old car did not have air in the back seats.  Put that together with a baby who was already hot natured and by law was required to be in a rear facing car seat, and I knew it was time for something new.

Since I’d already driven my first car for 10 years, I wanted to make sure to get something that would last at least that long again.  My only real requirement was that I wanted something with a 3rd row.  We already had Kate, but knew we would want our family to expand again eventually. Originally I thought I wanted a Toyota Highlander.  But after a few months of debating options, I ended up getting….. a 2012 Nissan Pathfinder!  Original, huh? 
 

I've now driven my new Pathfinder for 5 years, and while I still love it, there are a few things that I wish I’d considered sooner.
 
Mainly, I wish that I’d considered what it means to be driving a car that has multiple car seats.  Both Kate and Karsten are in car seats or boosters right now, and I can’t even imagine what it would be like to drive a three car seat car.  I’ve always said I am NOT a mini van driving mom but I can definitely see the convenience.  Never say never, right? Well I’m definitely not to that point, but I do have to say, even having two car seats in my Pathfinder is rough.  My car is one that has a bench seat on the middle row instead of captain chairs.  Essentially, once two car seats are properly installed, my third row is useless because there is no access.    
 
I love so many things about my car that I can't complain too much. There is plenty of room for all of the gear that comes with having kids.  I love that my seat is completely adjustable and that my pedals are also adjustable.  As a pretty petite person (5 foot tall), this is huge!  I can adjust everything so I sit up high enough and can see out well.  So basically, the pros outweigh the cons in this car for me.  But I'm not going to lie, captain chairs would be awesome right about now.  That mini van would also be pretty convenient, but that's just not me.

Hopefully I'm not going to be in the market for another car anytime soon, but when I am, I'll make sure to think through it all just a little bit more.  Do you have any regrets about your car purchase?
 

1 comment:

  1. We bought our first minivan in 2011 when Michael was just 1 year old. And surprisingly enough, I loved it immediately!! We just replaced our Honda Odyssey with a new one! We looked at different suv’s, but the sliding doors are what sold me on sticking with a minivan! They are just so much easier with the boys getting in and out, especially since I’m still buckling the youngest into a car seat. Maybe one day, when my boys are out of car seats/booster seats, I will be able to get a different type of car. But for now, we are a happy minivan family!

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