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What is your favorite family car?

I took the first steps and committed to selling my car [1]. I’m ready to move from a “car I love” to a family car. Now I’m moving to the planning and research phases. I revisited my old criteria [2] that I set in the fall and updated it to reflect our needs instead of wants. Here’s my new and improved criteria:

  • Excellent safety ratings. Toting around precious cargo (my kids) makes this my number one priority.
  • Reliable. The last thing we need is a car that needs a lot of work or will spend a lot of time at the shop. We aren’t very savvy when it comes to fixing cars.
  • Inexpensive. Cheaper than my current car (a 2005 Mercedes Benz C230) which was $22,000 in the fall; it’s probably closer to $18,000 now.
  • Good gas mileage. My commute is roughly a half hour through the city each way.
  • Handles well in the snow. It doesn’t have to be four-wheel drive, but a rear-wheel drive car here just doesn’t cut it.
  • Bigger, but not too big. Seats two adults, two car seats and stuff comfortably. Could expand to add another car seat in the future.

For the record here’s some of my old criteria that I’m willing to eliminate:

  • Low mileage. Reasonable mileage would be OK.
  • Big enough for an expanding family. Let’s face it, buying a car for four kids now probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Besides our other car is a Dodge Durango so we don’t need two huge cars!
  • Looks “cute”… I’m trying really hard to meet my financial goals, so I want to leave our options open.
  • Not a minivan. I’m a mom of two boys, so if I drive a mom car, I’m OK with it.

We’re brainstorming all the cars that fit the new criteria. Stay tuned for more articles in the car series! 

What kind of car do you drive?