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Upgrading to first family car - help

27 replies

bells2810 · 29/07/2022 15:50

I currently drive a Fiat 500 which I’m very aware is basically a go kart, it’s tiny, but the main perks of it for me are that it’s nippy and easy to park anywhere being so small. I’m expecting my first baby in spring next year and need to upgrade to a bigger car, preferably a 5 door with a decent sized boot for storing pram etc.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable, affordable family car, preferably a hatchback and not too big as I’m so used to driving a small car? Thank you in advance!

OP posts:
MercuryOnTheRise · 29/07/2022 16:01

Don't do what we did 30 years ago and switch a two seater for a 4 door family saloon thinking it was huge. It was not big enough. We struggled on into toddlerhood but could not fit in the big pram, travel cot and and all the other gubbins required for a family holiday in the UK. Sent DH ahead on the train!

As a minimum you need a small estate. Do not be fooled by SUVs or small Cross overs. I looked at the Nissan Quashqai a few years ago and the boot was minute.

After the 4 seater saloon we worked our way through a Vauxhall Zafira, a Citroën Picasso and then a Ford S Max. You will need at least three proper seats in the back.

Don't forget that as children grow so does their stuff: cricket bags, cellos, surf boards, bike racks, etc.

With parking sensors and cameras size shouldn't matter. People at work are raving about Skodas as being a good bet in terms of bang for their buck and reliability.

bombombo · 29/07/2022 16:28

I used to drive a Mini and now have a Honda CRV, big size difference!

I was worried at first but honestly it's really easy and comfortable to drive, never had a problem parking (it does have a reverse camera and parking sensors to help on that front). The boot is enormous! I could probably get 2 prams in there Grin

DappledThings · 29/07/2022 20:29

We bought a Honda CR-V specifically for the boot size. It's huge. Had it 5 years now and I still enjoy driving it. It fits all our camping stuff; large tent, 3 airbeds, a campbed, stove, stove stand, table, benches, 4 camping chairs, bags of clothes and blankets and food.

Speedweed · 29/07/2022 20:58

I had a fiat500, had a baby and it's just too small. Like you didn't want something too big, so went for a ford fiesta - bit bigger, bit nippier, decent sized boot, all good. Maybe I'll go for a huge car in future, but I didn't want a huge size jump straightaway.

MGee123 · 29/07/2022 21:34

Second hand Skoda Yeti - you can get a decent one for £5000 ish. Boot is huge, as is internal space of car but actual size of the car isn't much more than a standard hatchback. Great to drive, economical and very reliable.

YerAWizardHarry · 29/07/2022 21:37

What? I have brought up two children driving a Vauxhall Astra with zero problems with space. Unless you plan on having 3 children in car seats at the same time then a normal estate will be absolutely fine

Muchtoomuchtodo · 29/07/2022 21:39

Look at the Skoda fabia estate. Small cars with a big boot!

TunnelOfGoats · 29/07/2022 21:43

I've just bought a Hyundai IX20 and it is so practical and spacious. They are the shape of a cute hatchback but just bigger if that makes sense. The steering is really light and it's lovely to drive

Alarae · 29/07/2022 21:43

I went from a Fiat 500 to a Honda Civic (a 2015 model which has the magic seats).

Ah the boot. The boot! I sing its praises to everyone. I must come across as an absolute nutter but I do love that boot.

DistrictCommissioner · 29/07/2022 21:44

We got our first car when we had our 2nd child, it was a Nissan Almera. Did us fine! When we had the 3rd is when we got a VW Touran, followed by a Ford Mondeo Estate, followed by a Renault Grand Scenic…

Mummyme87 · 29/07/2022 21:58

We have had a Honda Civic with two kids, they have decent boots. Last two cars have been VW Tiguan, but now want to upgrade to a bigger suv. I really want a Volvo XC90 but they are mega bucks

FarmersWife2019 · 29/07/2022 22:06

I am going through the same dilemma OP. I’ve made the sad decision to sell my beloved Mini Cooper for a sensible sized family car. I’ve done 6 months of lifting the car seat in and out of a tiny 3 door car (as it doesn’t have iso fix points) but DS is getting heavy. The pushchair frame barely fits in the boot! We’ve been looking at 5 door Ford Fiestas.

OutdoorExplorer · 29/07/2022 22:17

We are giving in and just buying a pickup.
I found we needed soooo much more room than i ever expected. Even having an Audi A5 (which has a big boot) still meant we had no space for anything in the boot but the pushchair

LimboLass · 29/07/2022 22:19

Bentley Arnage

RandomMess · 29/07/2022 22:25

I had 3 DC in Fiat Seicento 🤷🏽‍♀️

OneCup · 29/07/2022 23:11

Well I used to be able to fit a pushchair, a small bike and shopping in a c3 with one DC. My husband has had a few of these crosses over the years and I always disliked driving them. I'd advise to defo do a test drive before making up your mind. You can also bring pushchairs and you name it to the dealership to see what fits. They are used to do it!

ForestDad · 29/07/2022 23:16

Ford Bmax or Mazda 5.

Arthursmom · 29/07/2022 23:18

Skoda kodiaq

CLeighannHxo · 30/07/2022 10:04

Before having DS I had a small 3 door, Ford KA. Like you with your fiat 500 I loved how nippy it was and how quick and easy it was to park.
While pregnant I was looking at getting a bigger family car. I ended up getting a Renault captur and it is amazing!!!
It's like a compact 4x4, there is soo much room, comes with all sat navigation, Bluetooth, reverse sensors, auto lights (love having not to keep remembering to put on/off lights) and windscreen wipers etc as standard, has isofix, a big boot and you can also make it bigger and deeper by moving the whole of the backseat forwards and backwards and removing the boot base (which makes it deeper). In my boot atm I have got a pram/pushchair, a potty (was given for future so been left in the boot haha) and one of those mamas and papas booster seat things with the tray, and still ample more room for shopping, bags etc. I am really glad I went for this car as it will be used for many years to come, and would easily be able to last with more children 😀.

CLeighannHxo · 30/07/2022 10:05

Also Renault capturs are just beautiful aren't they?! 😍 haha

underneaththeash · 30/07/2022 10:08

RandomMess · 29/07/2022 22:25

I had 3 DC in Fiat Seicento 🤷🏽‍♀️

How did you get three car seats across the back without them resting on the seatbelt release points?

CLeighannHxo · 30/07/2022 10:09

Also!... sorry about posting again but another reason I went for the Renault captur is that you can remove all of the seat covers and wash them. Good for when the kids have got food and whatever else all over it 😂

RandomMess · 30/07/2022 10:13

@underneaththeash with difficulty and tiny car seats and it was 16 years ago.

It was more the point you don't need a massive car for 1 or even 2 DC you just find other ways to deal with things.

Use a sling, have a pushchair frame for the baby car seat or just buggy. Had a pop up travel cot then an Arc one.

Fashiontatts · 30/07/2022 10:15

I've had a Honda Civic, a Honda CR-V, a Volvo V40 and now have a Mercedes B Class. The civic and CRV were the best for the boot space by an absolute country mile! The v40 was sooo awkward shape wise to get in/out of car seats and the boot wasn't great. The B class is good height wise for getting the kids in/out of the car seats (like a taller, wider A Class, same kind of idea as a zafira etc so access is really good) and it has a decent big boot space... but I must admit I still miss my CRV! 🤣

Treabrea · 30/07/2022 10:22

Like a PP, I've got an Astra, fits our regular size buggy in the boot, we use a roof box for holiday. Bonus: I can always squeeze it into the church hall car park for playgroup or nursery car park whereas all the parents with SUV and people carriers end up parked on the road.

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