Good car for new parents

Would you rather buy a car that fits your car seat or a car seat that fits your car? The car seat costs less, doesn’t it?

I dunno, you don’t have any car now and you’re going to buy a house too and think the Corolla will do the job? You always have to haul stuff with a house. Maybe OK for a second car but not the only one with a house coming.

Thank you all so much for the suggestions! While I think we may definitely have more than one kid in our future, right now it seems wise to stay away from a minivan. For one thing, I’ve never liked them much but my preference may give in to convenience when all the children we’re having arrived. My thought is that for the time being will be a one-car family. In 5+ years we will in all likelihood be thinking about a move to the suburbs, with 2 kids, but by that point I think we will at least be thinking about adding a second car - we can definitely make that second car one that’s bigger and has the transportation of kids as its primary function.

One question - is at least possible (if not ideal) to have 2 car seats/kids in some of the smaller cars that have been mentioned in this thread? (e.g., the Accord, Corolla, Honda Fit, Sentra, Civic, etc?)

Look up car seat reviews t see if any are easier to fit into a car’s back seat. Surely CR reviewed that. Consumer Reports is at the public library.

Keep an open mind concerning minivans. We are on our second, and the entire family thinks it’s great. We are all adults now, and we can visit my BIL 4.5 hours away and everyone is comfortable. Even when there are 7 of us. One of the things you will like most is how difficult it is for the kids to fight in the van when they are separated. What… kids fight? Surely you remember rides with your siblings. You just can’t get that space and luggage capacity in anything else. But that’s down the road. Enjoy a small sedan or 4-door hatchback for now.

How tall are you and your wife, Greff? If you’re tall and will want the front seats pushed well back, then the rear seat space could be pretty tight in a small car for the bigger car seats. But I live in a city full of small cars and see car seats in them, so it is possible. They vary in size/complexity. And you can definitely fit two in, no problem. They each take up one side only. I’d be paying attention to the size and shape of the rear doors and roofline. So many cars now have rooflines that swoop down at the back, and often the window top slopes down even more. Some squarish hatchbacks and small crossovers have much taller doors. Those will make your life easier.

Thanks Mark. I’m 6’2", so that’s a potential issue. My wife is 5’2", so no issue there. When we are test driving, I will definitely take note of how much extra room there is in the back when I have my chair back to the comfortable position.

One suggestion would be to take the car seat you’re planning on using with you when you look at cars. Put it in and take it out and see how well it fits

If you only have the one kid, put the car seat behind your wife and you should all fit easily enough.

My older brother is 6’2" or a little taller and he can take two car seats in the back of the '09 Golf that he normally drives, The accord/camry size cars would have more room for two seats but try out a few of the compacts if that’s what works best for your needs

Would you rather buy a car that fits your car seat or a car seat that fits your car? The car seat costs less, doesn’t it?

Would you choose a car seat based on it fitting your car or buy one with the most protection for your most precious cargo?

You should always put the car seat behind the front seat with the least heavy occupant. Some years back, they were highlighting the danger of being rear-ended and the front seat collapses backward onto the rear seat. Kids in forward facing seats have been crushed by the front seat occupant when this happens. In our cars, the kid seat always goes behind where the wife is sitting…:wink:

@TT, I would use both criteria. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

That’s a poorly engineered seat that collapses when rear-ended. They’re supposed to be a lot sturdier than that. I’m always amazed at crash test results. They have done a pretty great job of keeping the passenger space intact, though weird things do sometimes happen. I’d still put the kid behind the smaller person, just for the room, but I bet most passengers would rather have the baby behind the driver, as it’s easier then to look back and check the kid out. Of course, the person not driving could also ride in back with the child. Leave dad alone in front. Or mom.

If you frequently park on the street, you will always want the car seat on the passenger side, so you are not unloading a baby or toddler into the traffic lane.