Change of Lifestyle, Change of Car
I recently became a dad. As you can imagine I’ve developed professional level skill in sterilising, nappy changing and multi-tasking, however one of the perils of parenthood includes worry. The consistent evaluation of one’s surroundings and possessions is part and parcel of the job, asking yourself is this right for the baby?
One of the biggest decisions and talking points with my wife has been around our car situation, specifically what type of car would suit us best?
I have had the luxury of driving executive vehicles over the last few years and it seems I may have become a bit of a car snob. My wife on the other hand is convinced there isn’t a great deal of difference between a Nissan Qashqai and a Mercedes GLS! We have a put a few to the test of late and are still undecided.
I know many other new families have similar dilemmas in what ultimately is a difficult decision – this vehicle needs to be able to do it all, and do it well, its carrying our precious baby after all.
Check out our wish list based on our preferences;
Not only does it need to comfortably fit a buggy and have room for shopping bags but the ease of access is important too. I am 6ft 4 and prefer a ‘sit up’ driving position, my wife is 5ft 4 so a higher driving position gives her the view of the road she needs It is well documented that higher driving positions increase driver confidence and feelings of safety.
- Fuel Consumption
A gas guzzler isn’t going to work, April’s CO2 emissions hike is a push enough to make anyone look at alternative options. Our mileage is average and we do more than enough motorway journeys to warrant a diesel if necessary. Electric isn’t going to work, we don’t have time to find plug in charge facilities.
Purely individual preference, but why would I want to mess around with a gear stick and clutch? Auto all the way!
Bluetooth is a must, I talk on the phone a lot and with the heftier penalties for mobile phone related driving convictions you don’t want to get caught slipping. I use sat nav frequently and find this to be a benefit to avoid traffic even when I know where I’m going. As a family, we love our music so we need an Entertainment and Infotainment system that is easy and simple.
Here’s the car snobby bit – switching from an executive vehicle you analyse everything - ‘the drive doesn’t quite feel as sturdy’, ‘the steering feels frumpy’, ‘the suspension is shoddy’. Now these could all be in my head, maybe I’m not ready to embrace what hundreds of thousands of families all across the world have done, maybe I really am a car snob!
Nowadays we tend to assume that all new vehicles will have every safety feature possible, it is wise to consider which ones are relevant to you and your baby, for example can you switch off airbags and do seats have isofix points for car seats? We noticed new born car seats take up loads of space, meaning the front passenger may not have much leg room!
We are not quite at the ‘kiddy crap’ stage yet but we know it’s coming! With babies comes mess, a leather interior could really help make it easy to clean any spillages that are bound to occur. Interior storage can be really useful for those emergency wipes, bottles and dummies, not to mention mummies emergency chocolate stash when it all gets too much!
Tinted windows can help reduce sun glare and heat, parking sensors help manoeuvre bigger vehicles into parking spaces and panoramic sun roofs really help you see your baby clearly.
I’m interested to hear from you – what have you found to be must have’s on your wish list? How did you find the perfect vehicle for your family and lifestyle.
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The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.
31 March 2017
Written by Bud