That really opens up a can of worms doesn’t it? Fortunately, I’ll winnow it down a bit.
Last June, I finally decided that my beloved eleven year old car was due to be replaced. The a/c was going, it wouldn’t start after having been driven in the heat (fortunately only a problem for a short time in Chicago!), and the tires needed replacing. I refused to put more money into my car than it was worth.
It had obviously been awhile since I shopped for a car, but I did my homework. Not surprisingly to anyone who knows me, I made both a list and created a model in a spreadsheet. I figured out exactly what I wanted in a car, and then I looked for one that was as close to what I needed as possible.
Safety was key. I have two wee ones who I need to feel comfortable driving around. There are plenty of bad drivers here, and I have heard and seen some real horror stories.
With the wee ones getting slightly older, I also needed to be sure I could fit friends and family in the car. Our carseats are wide, and my old five passenger car meant that any trip with my parents either meant renting a minivan or taking two cars. Even trying to carpool becomes a challenge with multiple booster seats and the like. I’m really glad I thought ahead and bought what will be an eight seat car (with a third row) when we complete the space hogging device usage but in the meantime easily fits four carseats and boosters to drive to and from school each day.
I also want a car that has decent mileage. When I bought it, gas was going up, up, up. My previous car got fifteen miles per gallon. My new one (remember, SUV with a third row seating up to eight) averages around twenty-two. Yes, I’m a conservative driver with regards to fuel and that’s above the stated city driving MPG. While I wanted relatively fuel efficient for my needs, I wasn’t willing to pay too large a premium for a hybrid of the like.
It’s also critical for me to be able to cool everyone in the car from from to all the way in the back. And to be able to see around everyone from front to back so I can avoid those crazy drivers! And to have fabric that won’t tear or stain easily. And still be able to have sufficient storage.
I couldn’t do a minivan, so the third row became more critical, but I was nervous about the row being so close to the back door of the car in many brands. I was afraid of being rear-ended and injuring people back there. I am happy that I found something that fits my comfort level.
Then there are all the things I didn’t think of that I really like from the controls for speed and the radio on my steering wheel (that didn’t exist back in 1997) to the XM radio that I really miss when I’m in my husband’s car. The super easy method of putting up and down the third row — and the fact that it lies truly flat — are things I hadn’t thought about either. I can do it with one hand, an even better bonus.
So why am I thinking about this now? Well, on Thursday I’ll be at the Ford assembly plant in Chicago getting a really cool tour of the facility. They’ve invited several mom bloggers in to learn about some of the innovations that they’ve made — including the Active Park Assist technology that parks your car for you. Having lived in the city, I can park into just about any spot, but that would be so cool for ohhh say my husband who doesn’t quite have that knack.
There will also be a roundtable where we talk through what women want in a car. That’s where you come in. Even if you usually just read without commenting, let me know what you car about most when you are looking for a new vehicle. What would you love to see more of, and what turns you away from purchasing a vehicle?
C’mon, help a girl out! And if you’re going to be at BlogHer — I’ll see you on Thursday night! I need to get to sleep… and then start figuring out what I’m bringing.