November 3, 2005

Beacon Hill Parents [Heart] Their Audi Wagons

Went to a/the laundromat on Charles St. in Boston's Beacon Hill this morning to wash all the kid's puke-covered gear, and other than the near total Bugaboo hegemony [seriously, except for two Quinny Zapps and a Phil & Ted's, and a Mountain Buggy double, every other stroller was a Bug. I love me some Bugaboo, but this is a bit overwhelming.] what caught my eye was the number of Audi wagons around: too many to count.

They seemed pretty evenly split between the A6 and the A3. I like the A3 a lot--from the outside--but it also seems kind of small. Any drivers out there to vouch on its car-seat-ability? What I didn't see a lot of: Scions. What I did see a lot of: parking tickets.


The A3 is enormous on the inside. It's a hot car.

Don't bother. Wait for the Golf V. It's the same car underneath, only with even more space.

Our A4 is the family car, with two car seats in the back and room enough in the trunk for a double-wide Mac. Of course, the person in the front can't be too tall (the infant bucket pushes up against the back of the seat), but since there are no basketball players in the family, we're OK.

Wild about the Bug, though. Two years ago (with Sophie), the Bug was a rarity. Now, it's the plurality. I blame rising real estate values. We'll stick with our Zooper.

Has anyone heard/seen anything about the Ford Freestyle? We're still looking.

"My A3 is soooo sweet! The girls from the sorority and I love taking it to the mall or to the beach. Isn't my car so cute? It's zippy too! I'm so glad Daddy got it for me. He's the best!"

Ahem...Greg? I will forgive your obsession with the Mercedes minivan (Yes, let's face facts here. It's a minivan.) But the A3 is not any car for a manly father to drive. It's cute. But really? (1) You're going to break your back getting the kid in/out of the backseat. (2) It's a little underpowered. And (3) people are going to wonder why you're borrowing your daughter's car.

Speaking of the Mercedes "mini-van"...we took a look at the R-350 this past weekend. I have to say that I love it! Has a nice, solid look to it. Although we will wait until next year before we get "serious" about it.

remember when vw golfs weren't ford excursion size? (sad face)

We had an A3 for two years (it has been around for quite a while here in England). By the time our little one was... er... not so little, she kept pushing the back of my (driver's) seat with her legs. A bit disconcerting for me (and presumably not too comfortable for her).

Then came the minivan...

Audis and Bugaboos but still going to the laundromat? 'Nuf said.

Yeah, I keep it real like that, going to the laundromat and get the kid's puke-soaked clothes clean in 1.5h, or pay $35 to have her onesies delivered the next day on a hanger.

I never picked up on the chick car factor with the A3, but I guess it's like the M3 (aka the BMW RAV4), which is square in chick car territory.

Also, when some Masshole in an Allroad cut me off on the turnpike this morning, I realized I hadn't seen one Allroad all day. Must've all been in the shop.

X3 a chick car? I get them as loaners occasionally when the wagon is in for a massage and aromatherapy and I have to say it never struck me as a chick car. I'm even thinking of trading the wagon in for an X3. Does this mean I can enter the Febreeze contest?

What's wrong with a 1982 Volvo 240DL?

(Mustard Yellow of course)

[nothing at all, I think they rock. But then I don't live in Beacon Hill. in? on? -ed.]

X3 is definitely in RAV4 territory. The X3 also fits into the "I want to pay more for my car that isn't as useful nor drive as well as the wagon variant." Oh, but I'm cooler--or not. The SUV thing was played long ago.

The A3 rocks. We didn't get it or the A4 for the back-seat issues. I'm 6'3", which means I will need to recline m seat at times. My brother has an A3, but no kids. He has given our kid a try...

I realize that in buying an X3 I would be jumping off the wagon bandwagon and onto the SUV bw at a most unfashionable point.

As awesome as my little 3-series wagon is, however, it has a ground clearance issue. I keep getting stuck - lots of "my" roads are those two ruts with the high center, and that's not home court for a 3-series.

[But the X3 is a more responsible class of SUV--don't they actually call it an SAV instead? Forget what I said about the chick car thing; that was just me trying to be popular with Metrodad. (Well, except that the RAV4 IS seriously a chick car.) If a giant SUV signals a guy's need to compensate for other size challenges, why shouldn't the inverse also be true? Besides, if you have actual off-roads to drive on, you get a pass anyway. -ed.]

I hope the R350 comes with a diesel engine in the future.

Okay, I'm guilty: audi, bugaboo, and even the parking ticket! BUT, we live in Cambridge...

Gotta say that 'the Bun' loves our Subaru Forester XS. Comfy for her seat and she can check out Annie 'The' Dog who hangs out in the back behind her gate in the special dog area. Handles well, all wheel drive and gets great gas milage and it was only 20K! We recommend it to anybody with a baby and a dog.

We have a Forester, too. Only thing I noticed is that when the wee one was rear-facing, the front passenger seat needed to be waaaaay forward to accomodate the seat. Much more so than my wife's Prius.

Not so much a problem now that she is forward-facing.

How tall are you, Kaz? We had the Triumph car seat rear facing in the middle in the Forester and I'm 5'9" with long legs. I was totally okay in the front passenger seat.

It could very well have been our seat. I was narrowly okay in the front seat (at 5'8"). On long trips, though, one of us would sit in the back. We had the Baby Trend Latch-Loc seat. Maybe it reclines more because it had the solid-arm Latch system instead of the strap-based system...?

I'll bet that's it. We had a problem with rear facing a car seat (don't know the brand) in a rental once for that very reason.

It would be great if SOMEONE (Greg?) did a matrix of carseats and cars and how they fit. Get industry loaners. It would be a must-read.

There is a site with this info. I don't know the address off-hand, but I think we saw it in the Baby Bargains book.

Chris, soneone already made a database like that. You can even add to it:

We finally figured out why people buy American cars when we bought our newest car. It's a Buick. I can fit 3 strollers, $50 worth of groceries and some toys in the trunk, and 3 car seats across in the back seat.

Of course, it isn't cool. I'd rather have an Audi or a Volvo XC. Hey, it was cheap, low mileage and well maintained.

You can find out which seat fits which car model /year and help by adding your own data at this site:

Interesting. I've live here for 8 years and have always thought of Boston and metro-west as Subaru Outback land, with a significant Forrester influx too.

We have the volvo V50, and love it--have the gate for the dog and everything...expecting our first, so I'm hoping the car seat and stroller (bug, buzz or mountain buggy) will fit too...but we are in the berkshires...

[yeah, it's really popular in our neighborhood in dc, too. -ed.]

A3 is perfect. And inside it's big enough. Yeah...I haven't been using laundromat for years!

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