Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ask me why

Ask me why I have chosen to drive what I drive.

A year ago, we purchased my dream car. A Chevy Tahoe. It had almost everything I wanted, minus the DVD player.

Or I thought it had everything. Except good gas mileage.

Well, duh! But when you have 3 kids you HAVE to get a big SUV to carry them and all of their stuff, right? Ummmm, wrong!

With all three seats in use in my Tahoe, I have about 18 inches to put my double stroller and my groceries, so the groceries end up in the front seat with me.

Then I get the pleasure of climbing to that third row seat to buckle and unbuckle Daniel's carseat. (Yes, he's 4 years old and Mommy is still buckling and unbuckling...that's a whole 'nother story.)

Still, that aside, I loved my Tahoe. But as the school year started, Seth and I quickly realized that I was burning up gas way too quickly. Just taking the kids to daycare and going to work I was using a tank of gas or more a week at $70 every time at the pump. It was time to rethink my dream car.

After researching until my head hurt, we decided to look at cars. Not crossovers, not minivans. Minivans' gas mileage wasn't much better than my Tahoe. And the problem with crossovers was that they are small and narrow and the gas wasn't too impressive on most models.

I finally came to this conclusion: If the kids are going to have to sit right next to each other, I'd better be getting not good, but great gas mileage.

So on Monday, we came home in this:

A Toyota Avalon.

Enough room for the three biggest carseats ever made in the backseat (2 Britaxs and 1 Graco Nautilus). A monstrous size trunk that fits my double stroller and all of the groceries easily. (And it's loaded just for fun!:) Of course, there is the concern about backseat fighting, but the great news is that my little monsters are within my reach! (And putting Emma Jo in the middle helps out as well.)

Why do we feel we have to drive SUVs? Do we feel they are safer? Car and Driver said that if "Toyota Avalon had another airbag, the entire car could be used as a floatation device." SUVs are far more likely to roll in a crash. And yes, I have to bend over to put my kids in and out, but at least I am not climbing in and out of the backseat to make sure everyone is secure.

No, I am not some kind of "Go Green" lunatic, (although I have used and loved cloth diapers, but we can talk about that another day:) but why aren't we thinking about how much gas we are putting into these large vehicles and how much pollution they are emitting into the environment? It's kind of ironic to think that these gas guzzlers are known as "Mommy mobiles" but the children riding in them are going to inherit an Earth that could be running short on oil.

I understand that some people must own a large automobile for one reason or another. But do you really HAVE to?

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.


  1. Sounds like a wise choice, and Avalons are very nice! I will be selecting a new vehicle next month and somewhat torn between continuing with an SUV or selecting a sedan. I like the elevation of my SUV. That is what makes it difficult for me to switch to a sedan that sits lower to the road. Enjoy your new ride and the money saved!

  2. I thought I wouldn't like being close to the ground either, but I am really loving driving a car again. I had a Camry for awhile and loved it, so picking the Avalon was an easy choice for me. They are very dependable and safe.

  3. Why do guys HAVE to have trucks? Especially ones that their wives haven't really mastered driving? Oh wait, I just answered my own question :)

  4. Haha, Meredith. Seth says he has to have his truck to haul his cows, however he still hasn't had a gooseneck hitch installed on it. Interesting!