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Baby coming, Changing cars...

My wife and I have a baby coming, so I'm considering changing cars.  I currently have a '95 Miata, which I love, but it can't hold all 3 of us, and there isn't a deactivation switch for the passenger airbag, so I'm considering selling it.  Anyone have good suggestions for a replacement?  I enjoy having a convertible, but there aren't that many convertibles that also work as family cars.  My dad is selling a Contour SVT, which is a high performance version of the Ford Contour.  It is in great shape, fast, seats 5 and is decent looking, but it doesn't excite me.  I'm tempted to buy a 3-series BMW, but it will be close to $25k for a recent convertible in nice shape.  Anyone have good experiences with a convertible that seats 4?  I'm also considering getting a newer Miata that has a switch for the passenger airbag, but that doesn't solve the 2 seats issue. 

If I don't get a convertible, I'll be looking at the 3-series BMWs, the Audi A4, and maybe the Subaru WRX.  Suggestions on other cars to consider? 

Hockey Player
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The classic answer:  Minivan?  The Toyota Sienna is very nice...

AllanL5
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

As parent, I highly recommend getting 4-doors.  Of course, I suppose if you have a convertable you could just open the roof -- it's probably not ideal. 

You want to have lots of room to squeeze the kid in and out.  And you want to have a minimal of fuss.

Almost Anonymous
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

5-Series Bimmer.

Sassy
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

http://www.hubcapcafe.com/ocs/pages01/buic4105.htm

genius
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Why not keep the Miata for your own commuting and fun?  Than buy something that is really suitable for the whole family. I have been trying to find a vehicle that will be fun to drive and at the same time practical - without much success.

RX-8 is a sports car that has (almost) 4 doors however I would be really concerned about the posibility of flooding the engine and getting stuck somewhere with a small baby

blah
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

If it were me, I'd go for something German. Either an A4 Avant Quattro or a 3 Series Touring would fit the bill.

Ask yourself whether you really want a 2 door car for transporting your newborn child around? I suspect the answer would be no. :-)

TheGeezer
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

If your budget accomodates a 3 series Bimmer, I'd check out the Saab 9-3 and new Volvo S40. Mmmm, meatballs.

Caveat
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Medium size SUV's are what you want. You need four doors so you can easily place your child in his seat in the back. Also, SUV's are big enough to change your child's nappy and things like that in the back.


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

"I'm tempted to buy a 3-series BMW"

If you're over 6' 1" then be prepared to eat your knees.  My wife has a 325i and every time I drive it it's like I'm in a go-kart it's so tight in there (I'm 6' 4").


Wednesday, September 01, 2004

+1 for get over it and buy a minivan.

YouWillEventuallyAnyway
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I traded in my 2000 Miata two months ago for a Saturn VUE for similar reasons, been happy with it so far though I miss having a fun to drive car from time to time.

Gerald
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

You wouldn't believe the amount of paraphenalia that travels with a baby. You'll curse a 3 door body inside 3 months or do yourself a hernia.

If you're not ready to be a Mr Suburban, have a look at a Merc or BMW station wagon, or a Subaru, something with a rear hatch yet accessable from the inside. Fetching needed items from the boot (trunk?) at night in the rain beside the road is no fun.

Then there's the second child to consider ... life becomes so much simpler with a van.  Keep the current car to remind you of the day the world changed forever (and the very best of luck).

trollop
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I'm thinking a minivan is the next vehicle of choice for us.  No SUVs allowed here.

Aaron F Stanton
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

How about an Audi S4? Four doors and fast.

Don't give in and get a minivan!

sid
Wednesday, September 01, 2004


One of my coworkers has a wife with a baby on the way (T-6 months) and has a 3 series BMW which is a 4-door.

He's seriously considering going for the 5 series for the extra space.

KC
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Toyota KIJANG !!!
the best car in the world.

Budi Saputro
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Minivan.

You can speed and smoke weed, and the cops won't ever notice you.

lrig
Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I suggest GAZ or ZIL (made in USSR) ;)

cuzi
Thursday, September 02, 2004

SAAB 9-3 Ragtop.  Swedish bathtub will keep you safe AND let you drop the top.  Highly recommended.  Don't know how far back you want to go, but if you stay away from about 94-97/8 model years and you'll be happy.

<sigh/>
Thursday, September 02, 2004

5-series wagon.... or a Yukon

Yo
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Almost Anonymous says it best: 4 doors. It is a royal pain in the ass to have a 2-door vehicle when putting in and taking out your child from his car seat in the back.

Yoey
Thursday, September 02, 2004

especially when they outgrow the seats that snap into the holder in the car.....

Yo
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Get an accord.  The trunk is cavernous, you can't beat the reliability, and it gets good mileage.

As for keeping the miata for yourself--don't forget that your main vehicle will occasionally need service.  Consider that you'll want both vehicles to be able to transport the bambino in a pinch.

And congrats!

Roysker
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Get a Volkswagen Jetta or Passat.  The trunk is cavernous, you can't beat the reliability, and they get good mileage.

As for keeping the miata for yourself--don't forget that your main vehicle will occasionally need service.  Consider that trying to maintain two vehicles needlessly will probably drive you bankrupt, and dealers have loaner cars for a reason.

And congrats!

muppet
Thursday, September 02, 2004

I have four small kids and been through a couple of cars.  Your car choices are all good for one or two kids.  Volvo's are also very well suited for kid mobiles, I would vote for a V70.  Look for cars that have the ISOFIX and will make your life easier with putting in car seats.

Bill Rushmore
Thursday, September 02, 2004

V70 T5 or R. Fast, safe, and absolutely bloody enormous.

Muppet, a Miata isn't really a Ferrari - if he only does a few thousand miles a year in it, it shouldn't cost much money to maintain.

Hey, here's an idea: Sell the Miata, buy a big car and a Lotus 7 replica for the weekend.

Flasher T
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Thanks for all the suggestions.  We live in Denver, and go to the mountains frequently.  My wife has a CRV, which is our mountain car and will be our usual family car.  I'm inclined to agree with the 4 door advice, my current theory is that anything with more than 2 seats should have more than 2 doors.  I commute to my current client on bike, so the Miata is current getting only 4k/year (I drive it to hockey once a week and some summer time trips to the mountains).  As for fitting into a 325, I'm short enough to fit in the Miata comfortably, so I'd have no problem with the BMW (except for the price tag). 

Flasher, I'd love to have a Lotus 7, but I don't want 3 cars until I can add another bay to my garage.  You're right about not spending much on the Miata, I've had it 5 years and 35k miles with zero trouble!

I think I'm going to buy the Contour SVT from my dad and sell the Miata.  The Contour is in great shape, has 4 doors, and handles well enough to enjoy the mountain roads or take it autocrossing.  If I'm dying for a convertible in a year or two, I'll buy something else then. 

Anyone interested in a '95 Miata in Colorado?  Black paint, top and interior, and snow tires on separate rims.  A great car to enjoy Colorado's 300 days of sunshine. 

Hockey Player
Thursday, September 02, 2004

convert it to RHD, ship it out  and I'll consider it - my kids have grown up and I've always wanted a Maz.

trollop
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Buy American!

Joe Autoworker
Thursday, September 02, 2004

Dodge Magnum

Data Miner
Thursday, September 02, 2004

pt cruiser is now in a convertable

zekaric
Thursday, September 02, 2004

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