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Old 06-16-2017, 08:15 PM
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Post-Fit Family Car?

Hi all,

I drive a 2009 Fit MT with about 51,000 miles. I love it but am starting to wonder, with a wife and a nine-month old, whether it will continue to be the perfect car for me. I'm 6'0" and no one really enjoys sitting behind me, and it can be a tight squeeze in the back for the baby in her carseat and my wife who will continue to sit next to her for the next year at least.

I'd like a small, affordable wagon, with more cargo room and a bigger back seat than the Fit. As you probably know, the market for such a car is very small. I'm open to new or used. Here's what I've identified so far, in rough order of preference (with downsides):

- Golf Sportwagen (not sure there's much more passenger room, and I had to get rid of my 2002 Jetta wagon for reliability issues);
- Impreza hatchback (not sure there's much more cargo room);
- Acura TSX wagon (not making them anymore);
- Mazda5 (would prefer 3 seats in second row);
- V60 wagon (new is way too expensive but maybe used);
- CRV (I hate SUVs but maybe I should get past that bias given that almost nothing else will combine the size and affordability I'm looking for);
- Outback (a little SUV-like for my taste, don't like cladding);
- Accord Crosstour (I think it's ugly);
- Prius V (sleepy ride);
- Mazda6 wagon (it's been many years since they made these);
- the ~2006 Odyssey my father-in-law wants to give me and my wife wants me to take (really not good for the small Washington, DC, streets where we live).

What do you think? Have I thought this through right? Anything major I'm overlooking? (A coworker today suggested I consider a Mini, but I don't think I will.) Should I stick with the Fit unless/until we have a second child?

Would be grateful for your thoughts.

Thanks!
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Old 06-16-2017, 10:34 PM
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impreza hatch
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:17 PM
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For what you're describing, I think the CR-V would be your best bet. It covers all the bases for you and is highly rated - at least the 2006-2015 models. Also descent mpg for a small suv. More importantly, good crash-test results. It's a safe vehicle for you and your family.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:14 AM
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I personally would probably go for the minivan, small streets notwithstanding. Sliding doors are very practical particularly with little ones in car seats. Besides that, a happy wife makes for a pleasanter life in general.

Some of the Prius models do have surprisingly large amounts of space inside. The CR-V would not be a bad choice either.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:54 AM
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i can tell u from experience that the Fit did just fine while raising my family... but then again im not a giraffe so not sure.

this is why my blog started from GD then GE then GK then.. while owning other cars including a 2 seater, etc. Fits are just super
versatile..unless u got 3 kids or more, no need for minivan.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:01 PM
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Brian, yeh, the Fit is an urban commuter, not a family car. At 6'1'' I won't drive mine and have given it to a much shorter family member. I don't recall you putting a price limit on your search but if funds are an issue, the best value for the buck is to get a used Hyundai Elantra Touring. The space inside is unparalleled, with almost luxurious backseat room. The doors open extra wide, visibility is excellent, brakes are outstanding. Some of them come with hands free phone. We love ours, but you may have to expect an automatic transmission replacement with the original factory tranny at some point. Hyundai has since gone to an all synthetic fluid which is much better. However, if you do shop for one of these and opt for the automatic, make sure you ask the owner if they ever had it replaced and/or make sure they show you that frequent tranny fluid changes were done. I don't believe there have been any major issues with the 5 speed manual transmission. That's it. The rest of the car is outstanding. If funds are not an issue, then selecting ANYTHING in the smaller SUV lineup is a no brainer. The current CX5, Forester, RAV4, CRV, and Hyundai/Kia small SUVs are all fantastic.

Last edited by BurntZ; 06-17-2017 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 06-17-2017, 01:45 PM
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No order of preference, just listing the first few that came to mind in several categories:

SUV's offering full-time all-wheel-drive (though not every one is equipped that way): Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4

Slightly smaller SUV's: Subaru Forester (full-time AWD), Honda HR-V, Toyota C-RV (excessively bleeding-edge styling!)

Tall small Wagons - front-wheel-drive only: Toyota iM (a/k/a Scion iM); Hyundai Elantra Sport as previously mentioned; Mazda 5 (has dual sliding rear doors, 2015 was the final model year)

C-Class Hybrids: Ford C-MAX Hybrid (FWD only); Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (Available in all-wheel-drive)

Sedans: Toyota Camry; Ford Fusion; Chevy Malibu; Honda Accord

"US" brand dealers (Ford, Chevy, Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep) offer discounts, incentives, and cut-rate financing for most new vehicles almost every day; Japanese and German brands, not so much. (Never bought a Korean vehicle, so I don't know about them.) The best prices (not always the best overall 'values') on used Hondas are rarely found at Honda dealers. Honda dealers prefer Certified Used at premium prices, and send most trade-ins that don't qualify to auction.

Once you narrow it down to specific models, CarGurus.com offer views and price comparison charts showing comparable vehicles, Either New, or Used, ranked by 'great deal' to 'overpriced'. Cargurus also displays how long individual cars have been listed on their site, and chart the price changes if any. In general, the longer a car has been in inventory, the better the deal you can negotiate.

Select distance from your locale, years, price range, mileage range, one-owner, opt-out of displaying cars with rental or fleet history, reported salvage title or crash damage. ISeeCars.com provides hot-links in their comparable chart to see the actual listings of comparable cars, not just prices.

Yes, dealers ARE ABSOLUTELY entitled to make a profit! They don't stay in business long if they aren't profitable. But they don't have to soak YOU, an informed consumer, with charges for things you don't want, and aren't willing to pay for.

Just because you've agreed to what YOU THINK is the final price, new-car and used-car dealerships are not done trying to boost their profit margin and your 'out-the-door' price. Beware of unwanted high-profit optional add-ons like pin striping, ETCH, nitrogen in the tires, and extended warranties. (If you WANT those items, fine. Just realize you're paying handsomely for them.) Some dealers add extraordinary 'document fees' and ADM (Additional Dealer Markup). These are among the challenges you will encounter when you meet with the dealership F&I (finance & insurance) representative.

Last edited by kostby; 06-17-2017 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 06-17-2017, 02:42 PM
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Credit Union Auto Brokers,,, never looked at a dealer again..

FWIW my tall 16 year old daughter (5.6) likes the fit back seat better than my wifes 330XI bmw 4door.. I'm 6 foot and my daughter and friends sit behind me and claim its OK.. ??
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:00 AM
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I'm 6' and my 6'5" brother can fit behind me in my GE.

I can't imagine you & your wife form a taller duo. With a new baby, you may want to put off any additional expenses for awhile.
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Old 06-18-2017, 09:25 PM
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Thanks all for the insights!

I'm struck by how many people are recommending SUVs. I've always thought of SUVs as taller, heavier, less stable and less safe than a vehicle should be. A two-box design is the most space-efficient (the Fit being a great example), and I'm not sure why those two boxes need to be so high off the ground. The rest of the world seems to prefer wagons (along with U.S. automotive journalists), but I suppose the U.S. market has spoken, and the resounding response is "SUV!" (And the Hondas of the world don't really care if one or two people like me would jump at a Civic wagon, or an Accord wagon.)

I see that no one has addressed the Golf Sportwagen. Any reason? Too small? Dieselgate? Reliability issues? It's one of the only affordable wagons still in production actually on my list, and had been my number one pick.

I appreciate everyone's consideration.

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there!
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Old 06-19-2017, 02:42 PM
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hey, happy belated father's day!


Golf sportswagon... what is it? hahaha im a GTI and R owner but dont know what a Golf wagon looks like. lol
im not brand oriented and not a VW fanboy either.
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Old 06-19-2017, 04:34 PM
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If the minivan is free, I'd go with that but I'm a cheapskate

My wife has been angling for a minivan, but we've come to an agreement that we'd wait till having a second to really look into it. They have some really good qualities for kids. The sliding doors are nice when cars park near you. It's easier to get a carrier car seat in an out with those big door openings. They can carry a ton of luggage.

Not sure about previous generations, but I was surprised the GK has more leg rooms than bigger vehicles. It may not have the hip room, but the leg rooms is really good. For example, there is actually more rear leg room on my GK than my 2004 4Runner SUV

I have to ask why your wife is going to be sitting in the rear for that long? I have a 13 month old and my wife sits up front with me. She has sat in the back with her of course, but only when the baby is really fussy. In fact, at 2 months we drove from VA to Mississippi with a stop in Alabama. When she was 3 months, we drove from VA to upstate NY. Both trips my wife rode up front for the most part.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:19 PM
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We have driven our Fit with the kid 0-3 and still going. No issues. You will free up a lot of cabin space when you turn that car seat around.

My wife rides in the back a lot, no issues however I'm 4 inches shorter than you.

You left the Honda HRV off the list. I like it better than the CRV, but without automated emergency braking, I won't consider it. An Outback will be our next car if we had to choose one today. I generally don't prefer SUVs, personally, and you are talking to someone who has owned a 2nd gen CRV in the past. Hence, I will accept an Outback but not a Forester.

An Impreza drives like a larger car, and the AWD is tops for winter weather - much more sophisticated than Honda's simple system. But, don't fool yourself - the trunk space is a few cubes larger, but the overall cargo room (seats down) is less than a Fit. Heck at nearly 60 cubes, the 09-13 Fit is the size of some small SUVs. Worth thinking about.

What you want is this:
Fit shuttle
Good luck!
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Rismo2 View Post

Not sure about previous generations, but I was surprised the GK has more leg rooms than bigger vehicles.
the GD's foot well was good, GE even better, the GK is even better then the GE's.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fujisawa View Post
An Impreza drives like a larger car, and the AWD is tops for winter weather - much more sophisticated than Honda's simple system. But, don't fool yourself - the trunk space is a few cubes larger, but the overall cargo room (seats down) is less than a Fit. Heck at nearly 60 cubes, the 09-13 Fit is the size of some small SUVs. Worth thinking about.
hey there fujisawa.

yah, but remember though that when u have a family on board, you dont really get to fold down the seats cause you need the rear seats for your kids. but then again, i didnt have much of an issue with the Fits' trunk spaces with seats up so shouldnt be a problem.

if i was to do it all over again from back 10yrs ago, id still get the GD, GE, and GK.
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Old 06-22-2017, 07:21 AM
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I'd only consider models that are still being sold.

You mentioned that a second child might be in the cards. In that case, you have to maximize rear passenger space and cargo room. That said, out of your list, it looks like the Sportswagen, CRV, the Volvo and the Outback.

Have you seen the latest JD Powers initial quality survey (yes, yes, take it with a grain of salt)? Volkswagen's reliability has been creeping up while the Japanese brands have been going down. Also, Volvo is one of the worst.

Of the four, Id take the Volkswagen because I enjoy the brand's ride and handling. CRVs are boring (tho they do their job very well) and I have yet to come around to CVTs. If you do like CVTs, then someone mentioned the Forrester which is capacious and less expensive the Outbook.
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Old 06-27-2017, 09:06 AM
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so op, did you decide on a car yet?
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Old 07-11-2017, 08:37 AM
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My wife drives a 2008 Pontiac Vibe and I drive a 2004 Pontiac Vibe. I'm in my seventies. I feel the Vibe is the best car I have ever owned. I have never used snow tires in the winter months and both cars get around fine in the snow. In time parts may be hard to get for the Vibes. The reason I am buying my wife a new Honda Fit EX Auto is because she has another 15 to 20 years to drive and I want to put her into the best new car I can afford to drive those miles in. The Honda Fit may be the perfect car for her. She loves it. When there is snow on the ground she will leave the Fit in the garage and drive the Vibe. I feel the Vibe is a safer car to drive on snow. I put 244,000 miles on a 2002 Vibe. Hope this helps you my friend.
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:36 AM
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I agree with you buddy. Owning both of them, I think the Vibe is better from an end to end drive-ability perspective (ie: combining long AND short driving, all types of weather conditions, driver comfort). The Fit beats the Vibe in city only driving and in no-brainer reliability. However, I am surprised that given your age that you still are willing to drive these smaller cars. I'm only in my 50s and I refuse to "shoehorn" myself into the cockpit of these cars any longer. Like most aging drivers, I intend to slightly upsize to a CRV sized vehicle so the thousands of times I will get in and out of the vehicle will not become a "pain in the neck." My Vibe, now my second, will be my last of that size.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:17 AM
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You know I wrote a long piece with observations and recommendations.
But then I thought....
You're being offered a FREE Honda Odyssey? And your wife wants it?

DC streets be damned! Take it, and keep the Fit as well.
You might then own two vehicles, both that might not be "perfect" in all situations, but the two together would certainly offer you a lot of diversity in applicable choice.

And even if it's not a choice that last forever? Free is a great, great price.

No, In my lifetime, I had ONE vehicle given to me for free, by my Father. It wasn't exactly what I wanted either, BUT you know what I said?
Thanks Dad.

I don't think you pass up a choice that is free, that will meet a lot of your needs. Even if it isn't the perfect choice or as singularly adaptable as a wagon.

After all the analysis? I'm saying keep The Fit and add the Honda Odyssey.
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