Currently we have a van – yep I’m that mom with a bunch of kids that has a van full. BUT we have a huge range in kids age and my house is about to clear out. I do love my van! It has DVD with 5 disc changer, heated leather seats, a button to open the back and two side doors, captains chairs and the whole back can fold into the floor! Pretty cool. It even has low miles for the years, despite me driving it all over town, especially for the last year when our local high school refused to let our exchange student attend school at their school. (This year then we ended up with kids at two different high schools, one that had to be driven, plus the Kindergartener and a college student that we had to move at the beginning of the year). Of course one of the best parts is the van is paid off. No car payment. We frequently this year found ourselves using 6 to 7 of the seats in the van (A couple times we had to make two trips since it wasn’t big enough!) Our older boys are 6’+ so the space definitely is needed….
The issue that has me debating a new vehicle, and drooling is my van only gets about 18 mpg. The new small SUVs get 28 mpg and with just the little one and I planning to be at home next fall, we really don’t need to be driving the equivalence of a bus for the year! I can get a backup camera and bluetooth, things I have been wanting for a long time. As a mom, most may know that car line and in the car driving are popular times to suddenly remember phone calls. Those dr appointments that you have been needing to make for a year, there is really never time at home. It’s hard to imagine the crazy that creates a memory block at home, but you sit down to drive and you are just focusing on one thing and suddenly those to do tasks that are critical come back to you. Phone calls being one! Some may say you are dividing your attention, but if you have ever driven with a toddler screaming bloody murder in the back seat for 1/2 hour because they dropped a toy then you know what is really distracting.
In looking I also saw a backup camera that let you turn it on when you weren’t backing up! It showed not only behind you, but around you. Dropping off kids at car line, I have had that experience where the teacher was distracted and said child didn’t move away from the car. As I slowly started to move, I see the very tiptop of a head by the door and slam on the brakes in a panic. – Teacher still not looking. I do understand teachers get distracted, and I also understand I have blind spots, but this camera was so cool! Having a camera like that would really help prevent moving with a child still near the car… I’m not even going to discuss the bus driver that caught the child in the bus door and dragged her. It’s just too scary.
So now I’m debating whether to pass up the navigation I really want and go with one of the newer vehicles that has a few more of the safety features instead? Lane departure warnings, obstacle avoidance, even remote start? Or do I wait? Every year new safety equipment becomes standard?????