18 answers

Recommendations on Family Car with Good Gas Mileage

Hi, My husband and I currently drive a 1999 Jetta. It is too small for us now that we have a car seat in the back - my husband is tall, so the car seat can't go in the middle like ti should because then my husband wouldn't fit in the front seat. We are looking for a new car ... any recommendations? We want a car that is big enough for two car seats (or at least for one to fit in the middle and still have room for my husband in the front), and one that gets good gas mileage. I've also heard there are great 0% financing deals out there, has anyone gotten any good deals lately and care to share? Thanks!

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B.,
We are also in the same boat... we have a 2000 Jetta. If you find time, please shoot me some of the suggestions you receive. Thanks!

Hi B., we bought a Toyota Highlander from GO Toyota last year. We got 0% interest financing, and it's a great family car. It's 4 wheel drive and it has a third row, so you can seat about 7 people. We get about 21-24 miles per gallon depending if it's highway or city driving. I love my highlander. It's not huge, so it's still easy to drive and park.. We also liked the Honda Pilot, but they didnt' have 0% interest financing, so that was a deal breaker. We also own a Toyota Camry and we love it!! Good luck!

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B.,
We are also in the same boat... we have a 2000 Jetta. If you find time, please shoot me some of the suggestions you receive. Thanks!

Hi B.,
We have an 03 Camry and we love it. My husband is 6'2" with really long legs. We have 2 carseats in the back (one rear facing, and one front facing) and the driver's seat is still sitting all the way back. It gets 28-31 around town, and on road trips, we've gotten as good as 36. The trunk is big enough for my rather large stroller, and it can still fit all our groceries!

Mark Miller Toyota in SLC has always treated us really well. Good Luck!

-S.

We really liked our Camry. It can do 3 seats across the back, so I would think it would work for your husband. Have fun shopping!

If your looking for a car, I really like the Toyota Camry. It's reliable and good gas mileage.
I currently own a Sienna and the gas mileage is about 24. It is an 8 passenger and has a good get up and go, but also a great turn ratio. I like it better than any of my cars we have owned. And my husband loves it also, he is trying to convince himself to NOT by a mini van to replace his current vehicle. My husband is also tall. The Camry wasn't bad, but like I said. I lean towards the mini van. With the 8 passenger, my baby sits in the middle of the middle. Then I can tend to him and he has plenty of feet room and it doesn't effect how close my husband sits to the steering column.

When my husband and I decided to have a child we went through the same dillema we were driving a Saturn Sl2 and we knew from experience that we could not fit a booster seat in the back comfortably.
We upgraded to a Ford Taurus and we both love it. It is long enough for both of us which are tall (5'10" and 6' respectively) and roomy enough that we have fit 6 adults in it (squishy but legal with a taurus). The real test though because I am not due until Aug was when we watched my nephew who is still in a backwards facing seat. We were able to put his car seat in with out squishing him or having to move our seat forward ( which are currently as far back as they will go) making everyone fit comfortably, and when we had another passenger sitting in the back seat with him (my husband) he was not squished at all either. So if you are looking for a car with room the taurus is a great car and we love ours. Some other features of a taurus are safety. We own a 2004 which like all new cars has the links in the backseat to strap your baby to the frame of the car and make them super snug in the car seat. I also like the length because in a head on collision there is more space between me and the other car.
As far as gas milage I have not done the exact testing. Driving around town we fill up every week to week and a half and I like to fill it up when it gets down to about a quarter. And currently in my are where gas is about $2 a gallon we fill up for about $25-$30. Hope this is helpful.

I had the same problem with a little hatchback honda and then bought the Toyota Matrix. I LOVE this car. It fits two car seats (my kids are 1 month and 2 years), has a large trunk that is accessible from the inside and gets 34 miles per gallon. I've had it for a year and a half and have had no mechanical problems at all, even though I bought it used. It is roomy enough for our family of four, yet compact and not a gas hog. I would recommend this car in a heart beat.

We purchased a chevy malibu hatchback last fall and it is awesome! We have 3 kids ages 1, 4 and 6 so we have 2 booster seats and 1 infant far seat back there. Its a little car and yet it doesnt feel little on the inside. In fact, it is almost as roomy as our SUV.
The back seat can move forward and backward much like most front seats so the passengers in the back have more leg room and arent't kicking the seats- that would solve the problem you are having with fitting the car seat in. Also there is a lot of trunk space. It gets 33-35 miles per gallon, and I believe costs about 20 bucks at this point to fill up the tank. The car wasnt very expensive eitherand I think it has a cute sporty look. Anyway, there is my recommendaion, it has been great for our family.

Up grade to a Passat...its the same car and roomier. I tried going from a VW Golf to a Mitsubishi Outlander and gave up after a year. Driving Japanese cars just feels so much different than German cars. Its not a knock on Japanese engineering, its just a very different road feel. Japanese cars are designed to be very disconnected from the road and therefor harder to drive for people that are used to the road feel of a German car.

I've tried a bunch on a short term basis: Prius (love the idea of it, but ick, it drives terribly!!), Corolla, Outlander, GMC, etc. The only other one that was decent were the Chrysler cars: Pacifica (adored it!!) and Dodge's Magnum and Calibur. Chrysler was owned by Mercedes for a period of time and it shows.

I also have a Chevy Malabu Maxx and love it, although I think 2006 was the the last year they made it. My husband was reciently looking for a new car and did a lot of compairsons and found Hyundi to be some of the better deals. You can purchase a 100,000 mile Bumber to Bumber warranty for fairly cheep, they get good gas mileage, have a good crash rating (our Azera has 8 air bags), and cost of maitance is relativly low. You can get them fully loaded (leather seats, bells and wistles) or stay basic. I think he got most of his inforamtion off the Denver Post website along with Kelly's Blue book. All I can say is test drive them more then once, all cars seem to feel different the second time around.

J.

The old stand-by Honda Accord is a fantastic family car. The Honda CR-V and Pilot are also great and have a little more room.

Hi B., we bought a Toyota Highlander from GO Toyota last year. We got 0% interest financing, and it's a great family car. It's 4 wheel drive and it has a third row, so you can seat about 7 people. We get about 21-24 miles per gallon depending if it's highway or city driving. I love my highlander. It's not huge, so it's still easy to drive and park.. We also liked the Honda Pilot, but they didnt' have 0% interest financing, so that was a deal breaker. We also own a Toyota Camry and we love it!! Good luck!

Hi B.,

I would HIGHLY recommend using a car broker!!!!! We had such and awesome experience AND got an awesome deal and we didn't have to do any negotiation. They search for the best deal in town, pick up the car, get you new plates, etc. There is a fee, but well worth every penny! I can't beleive I have never used this service before. The best part, we didn't have to drag a toddler around town spending endless hours searching and negotiating!

AUTOSEARCH
Ask for George Pierce!!!

Good Luck!
L.

GET A SUBARU!!!!!!!!!!!!

can't recommend it enough - I had a Jetta once but now I am a Subaru convert!

We bought a 2008 Ford Fusion and absolutely love it. It's roomy enough in back to fit 3 car seats if you need to or want to go somewhere with a friend and her kiddos. It has the Sync technology so you can safely send or receive phone calls completely hands free. We get about 30 mpg highway, 24 city and it's a terrific midsize car we've really enjoyed it.

We LOVE our Honda Piolet. It's spacey but not too large to drive, great for space, kids, gas milage etc. Love it!

I would highly recommend the Toyota Prius! You won't get better gas mileage--I get 50 mpg in the summer and 45 in the winter! It's very spacious and with the hatchback there is more room than I had in my Honda Accord. I easily fit two car seats in the back. My husband is 6 ft tall and fits easily in the car (front and back seats). The dealerships are doing incentives right now to sell the current models because there's a new model coming out in '10. I've had mine for 18 months and LOVE IT!!!

We love our Prius. It is actually quite roomy in the back seat (although you wouldn't know it by looking at it from the outside). I would at least take a look at them, and check if the carseat will fit. Both our kids are now in boosters, so it's not an issue for us at all. Clearly, this car gets good gas mileage too - 43-45 mpg on a bad day (with snow tires or when we use the A/C a lot), and we've gotten up to 55 before, but 48 is about normal.

Oh, and we love Mark Miller Toyota downtown. We also bought our Minivan from them - another great recommendation (we have the Sienna), but it only gets about 20-25 mpg.

B.,

I just purchased a Saturn Outlook. I did a TON of research on safety and how all the vehicles feel/reviews/etc... and this one came out tops in every category. It is roomy, drives like a car and we had a wonderful, non-pushy sales guy at Saturn of Denver Named Chris H. He was fantastic, really listened to what I was looking for and gave us an amazing deal on my trade in ($1600 OVER what I owed on it!!)

If you contact them, let them know Mike and C. Edwards referred you so he knows that YOU know what a great deal we got! (There 6 cylinder Vue is a wonderful car also -if you are looking for something a little smaller than an Outlook)

Good luck!
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
C.

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