June 26, 2007

Jalopnikers Discuss The Ideal $16k Babymobile

Subaru: new Impreza or a slightly used Forrester?
VW: Rabbit or Jetta?
Mazda: M3 or slightly used M6?
Volvo: used V50? V70?
'02 Saab 9-2, Scion xB, '02-04 Audi A4, '98-00 Mercedes E-Class wagon, an Impala, and a smattering of Hondas and Camrys

That's what passes for consensus among the 100+ comments on Jalopnik's Question Of The [Other] Day: what's the best, small, inexpensive, efficient new family ride that isn't a minivan?

Obviously there's no single answer, but it's an interesting and informative discussion with a lot of firsthand experiences to learn from. If you see any winners or duds worth a mention, go ahead and mention them.

Question of The Day: What's The Best Inexpensive Baby Car? [jalopnik]


I have been really happy with my Forester XT (the turbo model), but I paid way more than $16K. It's been great through the second kid, but I also have found that I could use a little more space. It was difficult to install a large Britax backwards while leaving any legroom for tall passengers in the front seat. I've also had to resort to a roof-top luggage carrier to accommodate everything we need for a week-long trip. Other than that, the Forester XT is the bomb.

Partner and I got the Honda Fit and love it. It feels like it has more power and punch than any of the scions (not to mention the other subcompacts) and it has the airbags and safety accoutrement that almost all the others lack. It has more room than the Jetta and just feels nice. (Plus, it was south of $16k fully loaded)

The scion XB is wonderful. You can get two grown adults comfortably in the back with a carseat.

My 2003 golf is horrible. Getting my daughter out of the carseat is a circus contortion routine. I have to actually get into the backseat with her to even unclip her harness.

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