I am hoping to ditch my gas-glugging Jeep Cherokee and buy a smaller, used car this summer. Initially, I thought I wanted a Honda Fit, Pontiac Vibe or Toyota Matrix (which is basically The Vibe), but after doing a bunch of research, I'm starting to reconsider these tiny cars.
Sure, the gas mileage is amazing, but because I have two kids who would ride in the backseat, I am questioning the safety of driving something with so little junk in the trunk. (Even though I joke with friends that my mothering motto is "safety last," I am hyperactive when it comes to their well bring.)
If I didn't have kids, I would be all over these small cars, because they make sense on so many levels, and they are affordable, too. However, although the safety rating for the driver and front passenger are excellent -- especially in the Fit -- the rear ratings for most of these small fry rides received a "poor."
For me, it's difficult to gage how much of a risk it really is to drive a very compact car. Are Americans brainwashed by the belief that mammoth cars mean safety? Could it be that some of the warnings against driving small cars are so we'll consume more fuel? Europeans drive much smaller cars, but then again, I have not researched their death rates compared to ours.
Despite my posed questions, I am actually feeling very solid in my thoughts. It boils down to the fact that, as a parent, you do what you can do to keep kids safe. Common sense tells me that if one of these clown cars got rear-ended by an SUV, it wouldn't be pretty.
Sure, saving on gas is important, especially for families like mine who feel the impact of the rising costs of food and fuel, but, obviously, sparing a few bucks at the pump isn't worth it if something happens to one of my kids. It would be just another example of trading blood for oil.
I am not exactly going to buy a mini van, but now, I'm researching the slightly larger vehiceles, like the Subaru Impreza. Any thoughts on …Read more...