Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Avalon Update

Many people have asked me if I am still loving my new car. For those of you who might not know, I traded in my Chevy Tahoe for a Toyota Avalon a couple of months ago.

YES, I am still loving it. The single thing I love the most is the extra $150 in my pocket a month that we are saving in gas money. It is about $40 to fill up my tank in the Avalon, while it was around $70 for the Tahoe. I still fill up once a week, just like the Tahoe, but that $30 a week difference stacks up to be quite a chunk of change by the end of the month!

Many have wondered about the space for three carseats and fighting between siblings. Yes, it's tight, but we have not had many issues with squabbling. I can easily reach every child from the front seat, so I can usually handle whatever problem is arising in the back!

My father (and probably some others who are not quite as vocal) was concerned about the safety of my children. Direct quote from Papa John: "You are saving gas, while putting my grandchildren at risk!"

In response to these concerns, no one wants to think about an accident, especially one involving small children. Every auto crash is different. The Tahoe is large so one might assume that it is safer, but it will roll in a crash. The front and side impact ratings for the Tahoe were "adequate" while the Avalons were "good." Yes, the Avalon weighs less, but it can hold the weight of another equal sized vehicle on it's roof before starting to crush.

The single thing that keeps my children safe is their carseats. I have chosen to keep all of my children in 5 point harness seats until they are over 65 pounds. Emma Jo and Mann are in the safest seats on the market (Britax) and when I can afford one for Daniel, he will be as well, although his Graco Nautilus is also a great carseat.

I also really like that I can hide things in the trunk. It is something you may not think about with a sports utility vehicle, but your purse or valuables are in plain view. I really like that I can just throw my bag in the trunk and not worry about it.

There are too main drawbacks for me about driving a car. The first is having to bend over to get the kids in and out. It's not a huge deal getting them out because I just turn around and unbuckle all of them and they just hop out of their seats. Getting Emma Jo in and buckled is the tricky part because she is in the middle. She is finally big enough that she can climb into her own seat and she likes to "help" with her buckle, so it should get easier as she gets bigger.

The other drawback is that I tend to blend. My Tahoe was blue and there aren't that many blue Tahoes around our area. It had a big Brownsboro Bear sticker on the back too. I was recognizable! Now, with my little gray car, my friends will drive by and not see me waving like a dummy at them! Perhaps in time this will get better as well, and I guess I do need some sort of sticker to make my car more one-of-a-kind!

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