Monday, May 16, 2011

Car Query

Locked, loaded and ready to roll!

Yes, I know I've been a very bad blogger, but y'all may be unsurprised to hear that being a new mom and blogging regularly aren't exactly simpatico. In any case, while I promise better, design-oriented posts later this week, I wanted to pop in this morning and get folks' thoughts on cars.

2011 Acura RDX

While this isn't exactly a car blog, I thought you, my lovely and smart readers, might have some valuable opinions and insights on purchasing a "mom" car. After swearing up and down I wasn't going to succumb and trade in one of our small sedans for a SUV just because I happened to have a 15-lb. bundle of joy...well, just 10 weeks in, and I'm succumbing and we're going to start looking for a smaller, crossover SUV later this year.

2011 Volvo XC60

So here are my criteria: (1) comfortably fits rear-facing car seat while allowing ample room in the front for 6'-plus parents (something our current cars do not allow); (2) reasonable amount of cargo space for carting gear, groceries and the occasional flea-market score; (3) not so big that I'll detest driving it (I had a 4-runner for exactly a year in law school before trading down to a Matrix -- it was way too big for me then, and still is now); and (4) under $35k. Oh and yeah, I'd like leather seats, too.

2011 Volkswagen Tiguan

Tall order? I certainly hope not! Right now, I'm thinking about the Acura RDX, the Volvo XC60 and the Volkswagen Tiguan. I currently own an Acura TSX (and love it; we'll be trading in Dave's older Pontiac Grand Prix), but I have very little experience with Volvos or Volkswagens personally. There are things that I like and dislike about each of these models, but I'd prefer to hear your opinions uncolored by my own so I won't go into details here. 

Have you owned any of these cars or know of someone who does? If so, would you recommend one (or all of them)? Do you have any other suggestions? Regardless, would very much appreciate your thoughts!

Update (7/4/11): We bought the Tiguan and couldn't be happier! (Though we did test drive the Volvo xc60 and it is a very, very nice car; we just found a deal on the VW we couldn't refuse!)

24 comments:

Karena said...

Averill one of my brothers and sister in law are huge Acura fans, they really believe in this car. I have a Honda CRV which I love because it is just the right size, not too big.

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

Come and enter my New Giveaway from Serena & Lily! You will love it!

Elsa said...

I've got a Volvo XC90 (not a mommy yet) but I love my soccer mom-ish SUV. We tried the XC60 but didn't find the seats to be all that comfortable & I felt like it was a little sportier than what I personally was in search of. We got an amazing deal on the XC90 (brand new)...it was only a couple thousand more than the XC60 and we were fine paying that difference because the XC90 felt more comfortable & had a lot more room. But if you didn't like your 4Runner...not sure you'd like the XC90. I looked at the same VW as well but it was pretty noisy, which I didn't like. I have a friend with two babies who drives an XC60 and she loves it & says she feels like there's plenty of room for all of her needs. Have you looked at the Nissan Murano? It reminded me a lot of the XC60 but I liked it a bit better, it's a really nice car. Good luck on your search!

Becky Ardell Downs said...

It depends on how much flexibility you have to wait on your car being fixed. I recently asked the owner of Master Car Care in the Heights what kind of car he sees most for mechanical repairs (as opposed to body work). Answer? Volkswagen, hands down. I had a Volvo in college which was fun in some ways, and super safe feeling (which I think is why my parents sent me to Pennsylvania in it), but it was not maintenance free either. So I'd vote for the Acura. Second choice, Volvo. Volkswagen has great ads and stuff but I wouldn't take the chance.

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

I just bought a used Volvo XC90 yesterday (yay!) - since it's so new (to me) I can't really say much about it yet but I anticipate it being a great family car. It also has a 3rd row of seats that folds down (so it could be great for future carpools, etc). I don't think it's too big (it's about the same size as my old Isuzu Rodeo) and I think it's really easy to drive.

Anne said...

I've heard great things about the Acura, but I've never actually driven one myself. We have a Hyundai Santa Fe that we LOVE, has third-row seating (that easily tucks away to create a huge trunk), and is VERY car-seat friendly. And it also has heated leather seats. :)

H.G. The Countess said...

My best friend love love loves her RDX!

Cristin @ Simplified Bee said...

I have a Volvo Xc90 and love it.

Your little one is adorable!

xo,
cristin

Shanna said...

Good choices! I have friends who have both the Acura and the Volvo and they all love their cars. I don't think you can go wrong. As for the VW, I had one and while I loved zipping around in that car, I would never buy one again for the reason one of your commenters listed: the maintenance. I ran into a ton of mechanical glitches that only a dealer could fix. :( Good luck with the decision. Let us know which one you choose!

Nichole@40daysof said...

Some friends just found some studies done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that tell you whether the car you want/have will: a)kill someone else in a crash, depending on the other person's car, b)Kill either the driver or passenger in your car, also depending on the size of the other car. I haven't gone to the site yet to look, but it completely changed our friends' minds about what to buy. They got rid of their Honda Insight, bought an Accord and the wife is going to drive the kid to school in the Tahoe, no matter what the gas prices are. Very interesting.

stacy said...

love love love my XC90 and plan on buying another in a year or so.

liza said...

i usually never comment but since i work in the auto industry, i must speak! you are looking at really nice cars but i think the VW is a tough comparison because both the volvo and acura are "near luxury/luxury" vehicles, the VW is a nice car but is not in that category. i think that the acura could very easily be the best "value" in this comparison and will likely be the lowest maintanance. are you thinking of purchasing or leasing? i think that acura has more friendly terms (such as no turn in fee, limited options because vehicles come loaded, i think navi is the only option). i also agree with the post above, the murano is great. i thought it felt very big when i drove it, but it is a nice car with a lot of value for the cost. good luck! and tell us what you ended up with!

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

I just bought a 2011 Toyota Highlander and love it. Handles like a car but has the space for kids and bigger items. Being an interior designer, I am constantly hauling furniture and samples around and I have no problem fitting everything in. Fell into the perfect price range too...a little under 35K. Definitely recommend!

Bayloretta said...

I have a 4 month old son, and a 2 month old XC60. I never thought I would say that I love a car, but I am head-over-heels in love with my Volvo! We're tall (5-9 and 6-3), wanted something taller, with 4 wheel drive and something really safe. Originally we looked at the XC90 because we don't have a vehicle with a 3rd row, but after looking at it we determined that we don't have any family members who would fit back there, and our little guy won't be big enough to sit back there for quite a few years. Also, we couldn't see buying a new XC90 when the styling literally has not changed since 2003. If we had gone that route, we would have just found a really high quality used one. I would recommend checking out the forums at SwedeSpeed. There are some great posts comparing all the different crossover size luxury SUVs. It was really helpful for us when we were researching.
Good luck!

http://forums.swedespeed.com/forumdisplay.php?106-XC60-%282010-%29

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

I have an Acura TL and LOVE IT!!! Okay, it wasn't on your list, but I say that to say go with the Acura. It really holds it's value and it a SUPER reliable brand, plus you get the legroom. Have you looked into a used MDX? The new ones a HUGE inside and not too big on the outside. They always give me one when I'm having my car serviced and I love it. That will definitely be my next ride. So my vote is for the RDX or MDX. The VW is great, but really small, and I hear it's not that reliable. Someone mentioned a CRV--those are nice too. Good luck! :)

Angie said...

I recently purchased an SUV (Lexus GX460) and it's huge because I have two growing kids that aren't going to stop soon. So not only is my new car roomy, it also has a 3rd row that fits my 6'4" husband comfortably and takes care of carpool of 6 giggling girls.. But I digress. What I wanted to say is that you should check out the Lexus RX350H. Not only is it luxurious and roomy, the hybrid model gets 38 miles to the gallon. Can't beat that!

Christy said...

Averill, stentor planning on having more kids? And always having a dog? I say cave in a buy a minivan now - they are so much more practical than SUVs when hauling kids and stuff around. Get the new odyssey - it's the best! I love mine so much. Were on vacation right now and rented an sic and I so miss my odyssey this week. That said, when Fi wa born, we got a RAV 4 - and kept it for only a year and a half before upgrading to the odyssey... I know nothing about any of the cars you've chosen - but they all look fabulous!

The Carranza Family said...

We are an Acura family!!! I have a 2004 TL & just took it in for its 105,000 mile service & it had NO problems (nor has it since we have had it). Last year (in anticipation of our on-the-way-baby-girl) we broke down and got an Acura MDX too. We love, love, love it! It drives like a dream & has NO problems. My mom is going to get the RDX soon too!

The Carranza Family said...

We are an Acura family!!!! We own a 2004 TL, just had it in for its 105,000 mile service, & it runs like a dream - not one single problem, ever. So when we were anticpating starting our family, we got the MDX for our second car. We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! Can't say enough good things about it. I just can't wait to bring our baby girl home in it come September!!!!

pam@pixelimpress said...

i have an acura. not the suv model, but a tsx. absolutely love it! not one problem in 6 years of owning it. i've had friends with a volvo suv and it's been in the shop several times with issues... they eventually got a new car. pam

Anonymous said...

I'm planning on buying the Tiguan next month. Granted, If I had the money, I would buy a BMW X3. We've had two VW Jettas and have had a great experience. I have a friend who has had a Tiguan for about a year and loves it. They are a newer vehicle, so it is a gamble, but I love my dealership and am willing to take the risk.

A Loopy Life said...

Husband and I did a lot of test-driving prior to giving birth. We looked at 2-row and 3-row SUVs and have favorites in each category. Husband absolutely loves the Subaru Outback (2-row) and likes the Hyundai Vera Cruz if we decide to go for a 3-row. The Mazda CX9 is surprisingly roomy inside (with a 3rd row) and the price is pretty reasonable. I liked the Volvo CX90 myself but we've decided to hold off on buying for now. We're managing fine with our sedans so far, although with visitors coming soon, we're either going to have to drive 2 cars or rent an SUV temporarily. :) I'm excited to see which you end up getting!

Averill said...

Thanks y'all for all the wonderful input! I must say I'm surprised how many of y'all drive Volvos as I don't see many around here in Houston.

Sarah Klassen said...

Hmm, that's a tough one, Averill. Friends of the family have an Acura and it has served them very well. (for maybe 3 years) I do like the Volvo and VW for certain, but don't know a great deal about either one of these models. Hope this helps!

Wishing you a wonderful day,
xo

wordpress developers for hire said...

beautiful designs. VW is just the love of my life. I love all the designs.

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