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Forever Car

I am a very young 71 year old grandmother. I need a new probably for the rest of my life car. It has to have 4 doors, 4 wheel drive, and room in the back for a toddler car seat, a booster seat and a 9 year old. I have a 2006 Civic coupe for trade in that just doesn’t work for my life anymore. Very good car though. Any suggestions? Don’t need tons of bells and whistles. Don’t have major money to spend.

You’ll need to be a bit more specific. What is your budget? And how many people, other than you, will be in the car at one time? 3? (toddler seat + booster seat + 9 year old)

Budget will have a big impact on what you can buy, if the $ allows consider a Toyota Rav4. It will handle the people you list with a little room in the back for stuff.

@The Tonkster–you are too young to be talking about “for the rest of my life car”. I am 73 and I hope that I don’t have to drive my 2011 Toyota Sienna for the rest of my life. I assume you are taking grandchildren with you. I will agree that a 2006 Civic coupe is difficult to have to put a toddler car seat and a booster seat in the back seat of the csr. A Toyota RAV4 would be a good choice. However, a Honda Civic Sedan should be more suited to your needs than your present Honda Coupe.

Consider future service.
Buy a car that fits well in the service spectrum in twenty years.
Dealer ? warranty early on and maybe future routine mantainence ( depends on your dealer )
Independent shop ?
Which brands are easy a cost effective to service in your area ?

My dad bought his ‘forever’ car in 2007…he is currently 86 .
He cosidered a Honda Fit but bought the Ford Focus because of the long term service needs and local service possibilities.
His a four door hatch back ( not AWD for New Braunfels near San Antonio ) but he can tote the great grand kids when he visits and can tote his bass viol or bass guitar and amp when needed.

And remember , those grand kids are not getting any smaller. plan for the long haul if the kids are a constant.

If you want a car as opposed the an SUV, there are not many with 4WD. If you don’t want to spend $35,000 or more, the list becomes very short.

Get a Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore, choose a few with excellent reliability ratings that looks interesting to you, and spend a weekend or two doing test drives.

Nobody can do a better job selecting the right car for you than you can. All we can do is suggest a process.

Good luck.

A Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4 would fit the bill. If you don’t go overboard on extras the price will be reasonable.

If you do not have major money to spend reconsider the All Wheel Drive or 4 wheel drive feature. I would recommend going to manufacture websites and use the build it yourself feature and you will know if you can afford it and if it might meet your needs before you even step on the dealers lot.

Get a Fit and put studded mud and snows on it-Kevin

Another vote for a Honda CRV or Toyota RAV4.

You don’t say whether you want a sedan or a crossover/SUV. I really don’t see how you can fit a car seat, booster seat, and 9 yo across one seat, no matter how wide. Between properly mounted booster and car seats will only be a very narrow space, not big enough for another kid. If they all sit in back you may need a 3-row SUV or minivan. You can try fitting all your stuff across the back seat of a largish car, but I’m not optimistic there will be room for the 9 yo if the other seats are mounted correctly.

Unfortunately, 3-row vehicles are big. The smallest of them are hard to recommend because the third row is tiny, too small for even a 9 yo, and much too small for an older kid. Once they grow out of the car seats and booster seats they will all fit in the back seat of a mid-sized car, but if they’re big, they’ll eventually reach the size where it is very cramped back there.

It looks to me like you may have to make some compromises. If you want to drive a normal sedan you may have to accept that all three will not fit until they grow up a bit. If you really need to carry all of them right now you’ll need a big SUV or minivan. There are reasons people with families drive those.

You probably don’t need AWD unless you drive on unplowed or unpaved roads. On plowed city streets and dry paved roads an AWD vehicle is not significantly safer than any other. There are AWD sedans, but they are usually quite a bit more than the FWD versions. The Subaru Legacy is a reasonable choice if you really do need AWD. If you don’t, the current Honda Accord is a lovely car. The Toyota Camry has just been redesigned, but is still bland and seemingly indestructible. The Mazda6 is also a great car with similar amenities. The Hyundai Sonata has elegant styling and offers a lot of features for a reasonable price. There are plenty of others, but these are some of the best. The Toyota Venza is another possibility. It is sort of like a Camry station wagon. It has lots of room and the driver’s seat is at a great height, just right for getting in easily. For aging drivers this is a very good car.

Well, if you are 71 years young and wanna live a little, there’s the VW Golf R. But it would cost a pretty penny. A more sensible choice would be the Subaru Imprezza.

And yet another vote for the CRV or RAV 4.

+1 to Triedaq, think forever young not forever car :wink:

I can relate to that. Heck, lifetime roofing is now 20 years. We are really talking about our driving lives and though many drive at much older ages, it becomes a gift and is unexpected when it happens. I too would recommend a Toyota or Honda or Subaru.

The Subaru Forester is the top recomendation by CR for compact SUVs. It seems to drive and handle better then the rest. So, even though you want something that will last a lifetime, the journey should be pleasurable. So try any of these three out in all the models they have available to meet your needs and you can’t go wrong.

A BIG consideration is the reputation of the dealership you may decide to have it serviced at. Even the best of cars can be a thorn if the service is less then ideal or seems to be taking advantage of you. The service after the purchase may be just as important.

One last thought. I would never get AWD as a replacement for winter tires. They NEED them just as much. With winter tires on AWD, you have the ideal combination for maximum winter safety potential; the best you can do. Without winter tires on AWD, you can create more hazardous situations then 2wd alone by going too fast for non winter tires.

The Forester might meet your needs, and it’s a very sensible vehicle at a reasonable price. Another small crossover/SUV, the Mazda CX-5, has been getting glowing reviews since it was introduced a year ago. It is a bit more stylish than most of the competition.

Stick with fwd instead of 4wd. You shouldn’t be driving your kids when the weather is so severe that fwd cannot get the job done. Buy a used 6 year old grand caravan and be done with it.

@gdawgs Yes, Forget the “forever” car, since you can get by with a 4 passenger, 2 row car as soon as the oldest child can ride in the front seat. Then buy your forever car.

I have a friend in Houston whose neighbor is a senior and just bought a Ford Expediditon to take the little tykes to Macdonalds !!

“I have a friend in Houston whose neighbor is a senior and just bought a Ford Expediditon to take the little tykes to Macdonalds !!”

Any excuse will do. We are all very good at rationalizing what we want to do or believe.