Do you remember what car you drove before you had kids? I bet it was different to the car you drive now. When I was pregnant with my first baby, I was driving a Saab convertible. We leased it through my hubby’s work. I loved it. It was perfect for zipping around the inner city where we lived. We joked about keeping it when bubba was born, but having only two doors made it slightly impractical. “Couldn’t we lift the baby in an out via the sunroof?” my hubby joked!
Fast-forward eight years and our car couldn’t be more different. We are now the proud owners of a 7-seater!!! How things have changed. But then again, our needs have changed, too. The addition of each child has seen us go from a coupe, to a station wagon, to a bus (well almost!) Last year when we found out bubba no. 4 was coming we knew it was time to upgrade our family car.
Initially I was reluctant to go down the people-mover path. They seemed so enormous. But I test-drove a Kia carnival for a week, and I was easily converted. It became a hot contender for our new car, along with the Honda Odyssey. We narrowed it down to these two cars as they ticked most of the boxes.
Ultimately we chose the Odyssey for two reasons: price (it was cheaper by about $10K) and size (it was slightly smaller/sleeker than the Kia). We bought it second hand (it was 3 years old) from someone we knew and trusted. It is important to do your homework if you are buying a car second hand. Our car hadn’t done many kilometres, which was another bonus.
The Honda Odyssey is powerful, spacious and stylish. But as any frustrated parent trying to wrangle their kids will tell you, when it comes to people movers it’s what’s inside that counts.
Here are 4 features I love about the Odyssey:
Remote sliding doors are a game-changer when you spend half your life getting kids in and out of the car. I flippin’ LOVE the sliding doors. Not to mention the ease of getting the kids in and out of the car at busy, crowded car parks. Even if you don’t have four kids, sliding doors make life infinitely easier. When I am dropping my kids off at school (gotta love the drop and go zone) I don’t even have to get out of the car. I just push a button, the doors open and the kids jump. A quick air kiss and we’re off!
The Odyssey, like many 7-seaters, is spacious. In our previous car, the kids were virtually on top of each other. The three car seats were squashed together so tightly, making it hard for them to buckle themselves in. In the Odyssey we are spread out. There is also heaps of legroom, which is another bonus.
The car boasts some important safety features, including X Airbags. The view from the big, wide driver’s seat is very good, too. It feels more like an SUV with its elevated driving position, providing a good view of the road. The windows are large, offering good visibility front and sides.
Comfort is King and the Odyssey is a stylish people mover. Being a taxi driver has benefits when you’re driving in style and safety. The leather seats are so comfy and I adore the seat warmers in winter.
Really, the only feature missing is boot space. There is not a lot of it. The Kia had LOADS more space. This is something you need to consider if you are a family that goes away a lot, or simply for lugging around footy bags, shopping, prams, etc. We decided we could live without it, but there will be times it’s a nuisance.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your family car, there are a few things you need to consider.
This is the most precious cargo you will ever carry around. Some safety features to think about are airbags, reverse parking sensors or camera, tyres, bull bars, brakes and child locks. Safety is number one priority so spend time assessing the safety features.
Buying a new car is a big investment. Do your homework and set yourself a realistic budget (and stick to it). You can pick up a great second hand car at a reduced price, like we did, if you are happy to spend some time shopping around.
Did you know NRMA offer car loans? Their rates are actually really competitive, especially if you are an NRMA Member where you get up to a 1% discount. Plus, if you aren’t sure about car finance, they’ve got some decent advice on their site.
Most cars will have 3-5 child seat anchorage points for the child seat to be installed securely. You can have your car seat professionally fitted at most hospitals and baby shops from $30.
It is vital that your child is in the correct child restraint for each and every car journey.
Raising kids is physical work and can strain the body. If you have young children who need help getting in and out of a car seat, make sure to check the height of the car and test bending in and out of the car before committing. Your back will thank you for it in the long run.
What car did you drive before kids? What car are you driving now? Are you thinking of upgrading the car anytime soon?
*This post was brought to you by The NRMA.