The Hunt

Finding your perfect family car is not an easy task. Most people schlep from dealership to dealership, usually over a weekend or two. My favorite car salesmen are the ones that are truly helpful, give me all of the information I need and do not hound me for my phone number so they can call me a thousand times to ask if I am still interested in their cars.

Since buying a car is not a daily, monthly or for the most part, even an annual event.  I’d rather go to an Auto Show where all the car manufacturers are in one place and there are no salesmen, just people who will answer any question you have about the cars. Make a day out it. Grab the family and see who likes what kind of car.  It narrows down your selection all in one afternoon.

 

The Year of the Family Car

I have always been about the family car as I’ve been the proud chauffeur of three super active kids and two dogs.  But here I am today, the kids drive themselves and I am an almost empty-nester still in the family car state-of-mind.  We’ve owned three Chevy Suburbans, all named Bertha. Yes, the Suburban is huge but it is engineered in such a way that when driving, you do not get that sense of being the biggest car on the road.  It is super easy to handle, the turning radius is awesome and it makes backing up and parking a breeze. Besides that, it drives and handles beautifully.

Suburban

image: courtesy of Chevrolet

The biggest plus is that you are up high and can see everything around you. The downside of driving a car the size of a tank is that the blind side is tricky.  I am one of those drivers that actually turns and looks over my shoulders when switching lanes – I’ve had too many close calls (do NOT tell my husband I said that). Thankfully, in recent years, auto engineers have addressed the blind side. The Chevy Suburban is no exception and it comes equipped with the blind side alert, the lane keep assist and they’ve added other safety perks include front parking assist and the rear vision camera. This year’s Suburban is luxury personified with every extra you can think of available from 13 charging ports, Wi-fi with *Onstar, Apple Carplay and too many features to mention, so check them out here.

What do you buy after driving a Suburban for 25 years?

There is no way I need a new Suburban.  So I set out to find the car that would make me feel as if I weren’t losing all of things I loved so much about my cars.

Must Haves

  • Must be high, okay not as high as Bertha.
  • Must be good in the snow; four wheel/all wheel drive
  • Must have really cool and easy-to-use electronic on the dash
  • Must have hands free command system
  • Wi-fi would be nice
  • Spacious storage for grocery shopping
  • All the safety bells and whistles

3 Top Contenders for 2016

Please go the to the links below to get the full picture of what these cars offer

UNDER $30,000
The Chevy Trax Cross Over

34 mph on the highway

2016-chevrolet-trax-crossover

image courtesy of Chevrolet

I kind of fell in love with the Chevy Trax Cross Over. Cute as a button and PERFECT for bopping and city driving.

Amazingly, it priced out pretty well loaded in the $25,000 range with 34 highway and 26 city. Even in this cheap gas economy, why spend more on fuel? I am also a proponent of the little black dress, so yes, the Special Edition Midnight Black is the color for me. In saying that, it’s about time the car companies started coming out with some zippy colors, and their orange version (see above)is definitely adorable.

 

Between $30,000 – $50,000
NX or RX Lexus
Lexus-RX-350-

image courtesy of Lexus

28 mpg on the highway

I LUV Lexus.  They make a super lovely luxury vehicle and their electronics are intuitive and state of the art. Yes, if you want the top of the line in this, their smaller sized SUV, you can reach well over $50,000, but how about taking a look at the NX 200t or Nx200t F Sport.  With starting prices at around $35,000 and up, I promise, Lexus does not disappoint. The F Sport offers a more controlled, race car like experience – if you so choose, but both cars handle like dream machines.  Perfect for a family of 4 and a dog or for us almost empty nesters.

 

Over $50,000
The Chevy Tahoe

23 mph on the highway

tahoe

image courtesy of Chevrolet

Okay, the Tahoe is an almost Suburban, but if you still need the space to go out as a family sometimes or want a super comfy car for long trips, this is my top choice.  Sure there are other fabulous SUV’s of this size out there, such as Land and Range Rover and the Cadallac Escalade and they are in the $70,000 range and above.  The Tahoe comes in between $48,000 to their top model at $63,000.  All in all, it’s a lot of money, but you get a lot of bang for your buck here.

 

 

 

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