If I wasn’t a legit mom before I totally am now. I’m the proud owner of my first “mom mobile”.
Last year, my husband and I decided we’d be getting a new car in 2016. We wanted something bigger but not too big–Probably a crossover. We definitely didn’t want a mini van. Nothing against minivan drivers, I totally get the hype. They’re way convenient with those sliding doors, and comfortable and everything, but just… Not my style.
When I told Lil’ J we were going to get a new car I said, “We’re getting a new car and it’s going to be–”
“Pink?!” she interjected.
“No, but it’s going to be able to play Disney songs.” USB audio was a feature I was looking forward to in an upgrade from our older model cars. We had a Honda Accord (‘04) and a Toyota Corolla (‘08). The Accord’s air conditioner was less than reliable so we decided to trade it in before this summer.
When it came to getting help choosing a new car, these four tips for picking a family car got us started. Our budget was $20k, we wanted a car that would last, and be safe. I tried really hard to be open minded to many different models.
We’d always driven Hondas and Toyotas, so I initially really wanted to check out the Rav4 and the CR-V. Then after talking to friends and reading reviews I decided to look into the Hyundai Santa Fe and a last minute curveball was the Kia Sorento. At some point, I decided we needed a third row and only wanted to look at 3rd row options.
I went to Carmax to test drive a few makes and models, but by that time I knew I really wanted a Sorento. I mainly just wanted to decide between a powerful v6 or a v4 with better gas mileage. After driving both, and testing out the bass (that was super important), I decided I liked the v4, but I still really wanted to drive another brand just to compare and be sure.
I walked up to a 2013 Toyota Highlander and fell in love. It came out of nowhere. She was pearly white, big and beautiful. Plus, I was familiar with Toyota. There was a Hybrid option with leather seats and navigation but, I opted to try the regular version with less miles.
When we got in my heart started to race. It was NICE. Everything on the inside was beautiful. It was extremely roomy, had rear air control, but when I looked up a “SOLD sign was glaring at me. I was crushed. I didn’t want to get excited about a car I couldn’t have. Josh (my neighbor and awesome car salesman) said he’d check and see if it was available since the sold sticker on it had expired. I called my husband and told him I was about to drive a Highlander and that I really liked it and was probably going to get it if it was available. It was a bit over our budget of $20,000, but I thought it could be worth it if I really liked it.
As soon as I got in the driver’s seat and pulled out onto the access road the honeymoon ended.
It felt like a truck, more hearty and gas-guzzling feeling. Not nearly as smooth a ride as the Sorento. I looked at the back seats and it seemed to go on forever, as if I was driving an 18 passenger van. We didn’t need a car this big. I definitely wanted something smaller. And even though the car was BEAUTIFUL and for a solid 10 minutes I thought she may be mine, in the end it didn’t feel right.
By the time we swung back into the dealership I knew a Sorento was the car for me.
I climbed in each row to be sure. I have the longest legs in the family and I wanted to make sure I could fit in the middle and the back with ease, and know most others would be able to as well, especially my kids and their friends. Yes, did I mention we plan to drive this baby into the ground? We tend to drive our cars about a decade. That’s why I wanted to be sure we got something with great reviews, and the least amount of miles and still within our budget.
We looked into getting a new one, mostly to compare prices. I remember reading in a financial book years ago that buying a car brand new car would immediately lose value once you drive it off the lot. We decided to get close to new, but not brand new.
This dealership didn’t have the exact car we wanted so we searched and found a 2015 white Sorrento with less than seven thousand miles to be transferred from another location. It was about $22,000. Our trade in was $2,000, so we were right at our budget. A brand new Sorrento with all of the same features we priced to be $30,000. Talk about a deal!
It took about a week and a half and when she came she was even better than I imagined! We paid cash to save on interest and now she’s all ours. We’ve named her Pixie and she’s been great to us so far. I feel so much safer with the kids in a bigger car and we now have really cool features we’d never had before like bluetooth (I can talk in the car again!), a backup camera, anti-lock brakes, rear air vents and side airbags.
The trunk space is HUGE with the third row down–Which it is all of the time right now. We finally have our first family car and we all love it. I just feel like a different kind of mom now.—A mom with a mom mobile and space for tons of kids (or two kids and tons of stuff).
According to this infographic my car buying personality is “budget buyer” but that’s just because I procrastinated on my finals in college and I don’t buy expensive clothes. I definitely would classify myself as a “Shop-’til-you-dropper”.
What kind of car shopper are you? What’s your family car?
I was so excited to find our first family car and share a few tips with you, which is why I partnered with Allstate on this post. This post was written as part of the Allstate Influencer Program and sponsored by Allstate. All opinions are mine. As the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, Allstate is dedicated not only to protecting what matters most–but to help protect your firsts and the moments in between. Share your firsts with #HeresToFirsts