View Full Version : Totally OT: New car discussion

04-17-2006, 10:19 AM
We are looking to replace our Honda hatchback with a different car having driven the same tiny car for 10 years now. We have 2 sons ages 4 & 2. One thought was to get a convertible(used or new). But my main concern there was the safety of the 2 boys. Does anyone know if it is wise to even consider a convertible with 2 kids this age ?
Thanks in advance for your views on this !

04-17-2006, 02:25 PM
I drive a Chrysler Sebring Convertible every day. Just as a general rule, they are not as safe as other vehicles, mainly because they are not as big, and would not be as safe in rollover situations. (However, it would take a lot to roll my car.)
I think the real disadvantage for convertibles and small children would be convenience. There aren't many convertibles with back seats that would accomodate car seats, and in the ones that would, getting the seats and the children in and out would be extremely difficult. The doors are very long, and the front seat is not easy to move out of the way to get to the back seat.
The other thing is that there is a long of wind in the back seat. Probably too much for small children to deal with on a daily basis. And the children would also have to wear sunscreen every day.

I waited until my youngest was in middle school before I got my convertible. (I had gone through 3 minivans, and was tired of "mommy" vehicles.) Now that she's in high school, and the others are gone, I'll never drive anything else. But unless you can afford to have a weekend only car, they are just not practical for younger kids.

04-17-2006, 02:40 PM
I would kept the small car.... unless something is wrong with it... the gas prices are NOT going down.

a big car or van is going to cost you more in gas unless you go for one of the hydrid...

besides do you have any idea how expensive car insurance would be for a convertible?????

consider everrything - gas prices, car insurance, new car taxes before you replace what you have....

04-17-2006, 04:34 PM
Actually, insuring my convertible is less than my DH's jeep. As long as the car has a back seat, the insurance is comparable to any other car in its price range. It's not considered a "sports car." As far as the gas mileage, mine gets around 20mpg in town. I don't take it on the road much, so I don't know how it would do on the highway.

I've had several people tell me that they couldn't "afford" a convertible. My car cost me much less than the mommy vans I was driving before, and gets much better gas mileage. With the top up, it's just like any other car. With the top down, it's more fun.

The best thing to do is to decide what type of vehicle you need or want, then compare everything in that class to see what is the best deal for you.

04-17-2006, 05:24 PM
The beauty of the internet!

This is so funny. I bought a convertible (a sebring in fact) and a minivan about 2 months ago from the same dealer AND I have 2 boys (4 and 6)

I already checked the mileage on the sebring- 22 MPG (not too bad)

As to the kids in the back seat? Honestly it's a little too windy for them on the highway, but otherwise they LOVE it! Taking them in and out is not an issue. With the top down its REALLY easy! If the top is up I don't think it's terrible, but I don't really know because if it's it's not nice out we usually take the minivan.

Safety? Insurance is about the same so that's a pretty good indicator of "safety" but "grandma" (my mom) is concerned about the lack of a roof. It's a big car at least (our second car used to be a little saturn 2 door and we would almost never put the kids in the back seat of that... only if we had to) The roll over is a concern but really if I'm rolling over in a car it's not going to matter a lot if there's a roof on it or not we are going to be in bad shape regardless. Obviously wear your seat belts, ALWAYS.

Affordability?... I think as little as 4 to 8 thousand will get you a nice convertible. (just to brag... It is the budget board) I got a Sebring and a "matching" Town and Country minivan for $10,000 plus a beat up minivan which I had just collected a $2200 hail damage check (same day, drove from the adjuster to the dealer). And then sold the saturn to a friend for $1000 (shoulda got more, but it was a friend in need) By far the best I've ever felt leaving a used car dealership. They were both a little older 2000 (and both with plenty of miles on them) but both were in good to great shape and for a total net cost of $6800 huge upgrades from what we had.

Which is amazing because our first "family" car was a 2000 NEW Grand Caravan which (other than color) is IDENTICLE to our T & C and we paid nearly $25,000 for it. I've said I will never buy a new car again.

04-17-2006, 05:33 PM
This is really going to be a personal decision for you.

I don't like convertibles but that's because my high school girlfriend (many years ago) got killed in her convertible on her way to our Senior picnic. She probably would have survived if she was in a regular car.

Also, on our last trip to Disney we were driving and a truck in front of us hit a piece of lumber in the road and it flew up and hit the front of our car and popped over the roof of our van. I remember saying to my husband how thankful we were not to be in a convertible.

I do remember though being a kid and riding in my aunt's Mustang Convertible with a scarf around my head. I thought that was sooooo cool. That's way before car seats, seatbelts and other safety issues.

Deb & Bill
04-17-2006, 09:54 PM
Don't forget about the increase in your insurance. It could go way up with a convertible.

04-18-2006, 08:35 AM
Thanks all for your opinions !!!! I guess I have some more thinking to do..Safety is the first and foremost concern. So I think we will probably not go with a convertible after all(maybe in another 3-4 years !!). We are going to test drive a bunch of cars this week so I will test drive 1 convertible just to get the feel !