Backseats and Babies - Jonathan {p}
Hi all

As most of you know, my family has recently been expanded.

Our current fleet consist of a '94 mx6 (108k) and an '89 polo (99.8k)

I reckon that the mazda is worth around 3k and the polo is worth around 400.

we are happy with these cars as they have suited our needs perfectly over the last few years, but now, things have to change.

For the next few months we are ok, but as soon as we have to travel ensemble, then it is likely to get a little iffy. The baby seat will fit into the back of the polo, so both adults can get in the front. There is limited room in the boot for prams etc.

The baby seat will fit in the front of the mazda, so one adult (not me!) will have to get in the back. There is more room for prams etc in this car, and this is the one that we go long distances in. The polo is a shopping car and any travel with all 3 of us will only be short.

So, should I keep my car and replace the polo with something slightly larger and reliable enough to travel the country in and keep my p&j, or should we keep the very cheap polo and replace mine with a larger family type car.

I am tending towards getting rid of mine and spending around 1k extra (around the 3750 - 4250 mark) on a replacement. If I do this, I want a good, solid reliable car, would prefer a hatch or estate, but would accept a saloon, as long as it has back doors and plenty of room. I am thinking of old shape Audi A6 (pre 97), honda accord, toyota avensis, mazda 626. Ideally with air, and full elecs.

I would go for a trade in, if I got a good deal, but wouldn't be afraid of private sale and auction purchase.

Am I being reasonable?

Many Thanks

Jonathan
Backseats and Babies - Morris Ox
don't do the baby in the front, Jonathan.

First of all, they're in a more exposed position upfront, second they're a potentially huge distraction for the driver. From personal exeprience it's a combo that doesn't work.

You don't need to look beyond the usual suspects for a practical buy. All the Japanese cars pass muster, but there are loads of 1.8/2.0 Mondeos out there with al the toys and a practical, hard-wearing boot.

If you can find one/stretch to it, the current Passat is worth a look for the simple reason that the boot's so deep you can fit a pram in lengthways.

seats come up a treat after a you-know-what as well!
Backseats and Babies - Mark (RLBS)
I don\'t carry my daughter in the front because of the potential issues with airbags and child seats - not that I am convinced there is an issue, but better safe than sorry.

However, statistically the rear is the safer seat, adult or child, especially in smaller cars (Rear middle is safest, then rear left, then rear right - apparantly).

I think you\'ll also find it impractical to have one of you sitting in the back for extended journeys - it gets pretty tedious for both.

So I reckon you need to get a new car. That was where we were.

We bought an Omega estate. Its brilliant. Loads of room, all the electric bits, quiet and comfortable. One of the best, and cheapest, cars I\'ve bought in a long time.

I would def. get an estate. You\'ll carry loads more stuff than you think you will, and its nice to have somewhere that not only can you put all the stuff, but you can reach from inside the car.
Backseats and Babies - Nsar
Estate definitely. Kids = Billy Smart's Circus rolling into town, the amount of stuff is eye-popping, plus you'll always be much later than you planned leaving the house (trust me on this)so the ability to just fling everything in the back in a trice is v. appealing.
Backseats and Babies - mal
The back of an estate is also an excellent platform for changing nappies.Changed hundreds in ours and that was in the days when you didn't throw them away, you took them home to wash!.

Backseats and Babies - No Do$h
I agree with all of the above. Rear left is where Abigail sits in her daddy's car, despite her protests that she wants to be in the front. Although I can switch the passenger airbags off, I would still rather she were in the rear as this part of the car statistically suffers least damage in an impact.

Also have to agree with the choice of an Omega. For the money available, you can't get a better combination of equipment and functionality in an estate car, although a 2.0 Mondeo estate should also be considered.

Volvo owners please note reference to "for the money" before you wade in here. I like Volvos, but unfortunately so do many others, keeping their prices high relative to similarly talented but less sought-after vehicles.

Oh my goodness, I just recommended a Vauxhall.....

ps. If you should see a cheap V40, the general idea is that you run a very long way in the opposite direction.
Backseats and Babies - Hairy Hat Man
"seats come up a treat after a you-know-what as well!

I dont-know-what. Can someone please enlighten me?
Backseats and Babies - nick
A mate of mine had the same decision to make. Result? Subaru Legacy Estate. Super safe handling, gold standard reliability. He got a good one for £3.5k.
He rates them so highly that I got a saloon Legacy when I needed another car. So far I'm very happy with it.
Backseats and Babies - Mark (RLBS)
The only thing I woudl say about a Legacy is that I hit one once. Completely my fault, and I ran into the back of it. I wasn't going that much faster than the car I hit. 15mph maybe ?

Anyway, the front of mine got all the way to the back of the back seats. Fortunately no-one injured, but I couldn't believe the damage considering I hit it with a thing a bit like a Nissan X-Trail and suffered a new bumper & grill.
Backseats and Babies - No Do$h
"seats come up a treat after a you-know-what as well!
I dont-know-what. Can someone please enlighten me?

I expect it has something to do with the digestive system
Backseats and Babies - Morris Ox
Spoken like a true father...

Bet they never had this problem when vinyl seats were standard.
Backseats and Babies - Jonathan {p}
Spoken like a true father...
Bet they never had this problem when vinyl seats were standard.


No, just third degree burns.

Backseats and Babies - Bromptonaut
Aside from air bags you need to take the baby in front thing kid by kid. If it just makes eyes at you and wants re assurance but squeals all the time alone in the back then you have a different problem from the kid who sleeps engine on to engine off.

Go for the estate car. We took the pram with us on test drives, if it would not stow fore and aft the test went no further. The BX is still with us now, the "baby" is 10!!
Backseats and Babies - puntoo
Also are you going to have any more ? If you are make sure that it can take two prams + shopping or two prams + highchairs + luggage. I made a Big mistake buying a focus with only one and then when the second came along realised just how small the car is (now driving scenic diesel, perfect).

I personally would never let my children in the front seat. If the baby requires attention then you should always pull over and attend to it. Having seen a few head on collisons the safest place appears to the middle of the car.

And one other thing make sure that the seatbelts are long enough to fit around the car seat.
Backseats and Babies - HF
Sorry to go a bit off-topic here - but the general consensus here is that rear middle seat is safest. Am I right in assuming that this is only the case where a rear middle full shoulder/lap belt rather than just a lap-belt is fitted?
HF
Backseats and Babies - Mark (RLBS)
Dunno I have 7 lap/shoulder belts in the Landcruiser and 5 in the Omega, so its never arisen.
Backseats and Babies - Robin
Yes, you should only fit a car seat in the middle of the back seat if the seat belt is the full shoulder/lap belt variety. (so say Britax, the manufacturer of the car seat my P&J sits in. Otherwise you could end up with a nicely pivoting car seat in the result of a collision - not a happy thought.

On all the cars we have put seats in (4 so far) we have always placed the car seat on the back seat behind the passenger seat (we lived abroad when P&J was born so I cannot just say on the left or right) but I cannot remember why we do this. In an earlier post on this thread Mark gave the prefered saftey order as rear middle, rear left, rear right. This made me wonder why is behind the passneger seat safer than behind the driver? When we were fitting the seat it just seemed obvious it should go behind the passenger.

A comment on Passats: the boot is great for putting pushchairs and travel cots in - we took the travel system with us when test driving cars - but the seats are not that easy to clean after a bout of projectile vomiting. Poor thing was poorly on a trip to Scotland and it took ages to remove the pong.
Backseats and Babies - Jonathan {p}
Also are you going to have any more ? If you
are make sure that it can take two prams + shopping
or two prams + highchairs + luggage. I made a Big
mistake buying a focus with only one and then when the
second came along realised just how small the car is (now
driving scenic diesel, perfect).


We've only just got this one ;-)

I appreciate the fact that the safest place in the car is in the rear, I was asking more for what car people would suggest, although I appreciate the input regarding seating arrangements.

The A6 estate should be big enough for 2 children. Any more and we will need a bigger house, never mind a car.
And one other thing make sure that the seatbelts are long
enough to fit around the car seat.
Steady on puntoo!


That's part of the problem with the cars, the belts aren't long enough. The seat fits in the polo rear seat, but I struggle getting the belt on, so SWMBO may struggle (she isn't built like a prop forward like I am).


Thanks

Jonathan
Backseats and Babies - joe
Why not go for a Primera? You could get a nice one for your budget, aand I can testify that they will hold all the clobber you need when travelling with 2 children. Oh, and I would also pick up a rear seat cover at Halfords, otherwise you will be forever cleaning and hoovering the rear seat.

 

Value my car