No, Our Family Of Five Doesn’t Own An SUV. Here’s Why.

That’s right, I have a family of five and I don’t own an SUV. This family of five includes two adults, one teenage boy the size of an adult, a soon-to-be eleven year old, and a three year old in a carseat.

Apparently car companies are counting on younger families buying ever-larger SUV’s. Why? Because “When families shift into the large SUVs, they can pay from $50,000 to $90,000 with extras.” according to this USA Today article. They are apparently even designing vehicles, like Ford’s new Expedition SUV, with space for extra large purses!

$8 Consignment Shop Purse
My $8 consignment shop London Fog purse is so happy there’s a car company finally considering its needs.

My fellow ladies – this is what you really want, right? At least Ford thinks so. Be sure to let them know how thoughtful they are!

What I love is that the USA Today article linked above considers 37 year olds millennial. We’ve seen this definition before in their famous article about how one in six millennials have$100k saved. So, according to this, I’m a millennial, which means this SUV strategy is targeted right at me. Hooray!

Sometimes, living in my own bubble, I forget how unusual our choices can seem to other people. I’ve seen this before when writing about why my kids don’t have cell phones, or all about kids birthday parties at home.

So yes, it’s true. I have three kids (one adult sized, one in a carseat), a largeish dog, and a cat. We go camping for a week once a year, and haul all our gear for the trip in our vehicles. We drive two cars – a 2009 Honda Accord and a 2012 Ford Focus hatchback – and make it just fine. How do we do it – and why? Let’s discuss.

But First – A Brief Sidebar

Where I live, almost every family seems to own an SUV. I know this isn’t the case everywhere in the US, or around the world, so perhaps it’s not common where you live. If so, not owning an SUV or minivan wouldn’t seem like a big deal. If that’s the case for you, I’d love you to leave a comment on what’s common in your region or country!

Also, I don’t want to play a game of frugal one-upmanship. Long time readers know that I’m big on supporting others no matter what their circumstances. Personal finance is personal – meaning you have to do what works for you. If you own an SUV or minivan, I’m not passing judgement on you. Also, maybe you have a family of ten and all ride bikes everywhere, not owning a car at all. I think that’s awesome.

My families decisions are ours alone. They may not be yours.

As long as you’ve made a careful decision based not on what everyone around you does, but on your own goals, dreams, and priorities, then you’re good.

When you want what other people don’t have, you need to do things other people won’t do ~ CMO

Why We Don’t Own An SUV – Or A Minivan

Neither my husband nor I want an SUV or minivan. Why not?

There are a number of reasons.

I’m going to go through all the different aspects of my decision – both to share with you (because it’s fun!), and to hopefully help you think through your own decision process. If you know someone struggling with a car decision, be sure to share to lend them a hand.

So without further ado, here are all the different aspects we’ve considered when making this decision.

Gas Prices

I first got my license back in 1998, and my husband in 1992 (or so). We remember pretty low gas prices from our childhood, and from when we were first licensed. In 1998, gas was $1.06 per gallon. In 1992? $1.13.

Side note – typing this makes me feel old. “Back in my day, I could get a movie ticket for a quarter and a candy bar for a nickel…”

When we were growing up, pretty much everyone drove a car. Some folks drove trucks – my father had a truck for his painting side hustle. Large families like my husbands (four kids) drove vans.

Both my husband and I remember the first rush to SUV’s back in the early 2000’s. At first they were no where, and by the mid-2000’s they were absolutely everywhere. When parking at the grocery store, it sometimes felt like we were the only ones in a car. Back then, we just had one little child in a carseat, so a car had plenty of room for our small family. Even after our middle son was born in 2007, since both boys were small, we were good.

Before they could get much larger, we went through the gas price increase of the Great Recession, where gas spiked above $4 per gallon. That price increase was a painful addition to the budget for us, and I can’t imagine how much worse it was for owners of large vehicles.

Interestingly, after that we saw a very marked decrease in the number of SUV’s on the road. Our observations were confirmed by news reports that people were fleeing SUV’s and trucks. Cars had come back in fashion, and this would continue for the better part of the last decade.

But, as always, people don’t learn the lessons of the past. Gas prices went down, and stayed down for a long time. Eventually the financial crisis was over, and more SUV’s crept onto the road.

We didn’t forget, though. Gas prices were $4 per gallon once, and they’ll reach that price again. History shows that gas prices fluctuate a lot. I like the flexibility of not needing a large amount of gas to drive my vehicles around. In fact, I’d love to get an electric or hybrid car once the cost makes sense.

Maintaining and Insuring More Expensive Vehicles…Is More Expensive

This sounds obvious, but I believe most people don’t give enough thought to the costs after they purchase. Not only are SUV’s more expensive to buy (more on that in a minute), but they’re also more expensive to maintain.

Luckily AAA has done some research on this, and their findings aren’t that surprising. Check out the real cost of owning different types of vehicles, assuming you drive 15k miles per year (for other mileages, go to their report and find the details):

  • Small sedan: $6,354
  • Small SUV: $7,606
  • Hybrid: $7,687
  • Medium sedan: $8,171
  • Electric vehicle: $8,439
  • Minivan: $9,146
  • Large sedan: $9,399
  • Medium SUV: $9,451
  • Pickup truck: $10,054

The smaller the vehicle, the less expensive it is to repair. Interestingly, the small SUV is less expensive to repair than a medium sedan. My Honda Accord is a mid-sized sedan, although my husbands Focus would be considered a “small sedan”. I think. I’m not a car person.

I always highly encourage people to check the source of quoted facts, and be an educated consumer. When you read the report, you’ll see that the cost above includes not just maintenance and insurance. It also includes gas (already covered above), depreciation, and financing.

Yes, car loans are so standard that they assume you’ve taken out a 5 year loan to buy this car.

I want to note that costs also vary a lot based on two other factors not addressed in the report:

Taxes On More Expensive Vehicles…Is More Expensive

I didn’t see the reports mentioning taxes, but I did want to make a (likely obvious) point about taxes. Where I live, car taxes are pretty high. Just like owning a more expensive house means more expensive taxes – forever – owning a more expensive vehicle does the same thing.

Luckily, the taxes go down over time as your vehicles get older.

Purchase Price

The smaller, and older, the vehicle is, the less it will cost.

See, I promised I would talk about it later, and now it’s later. Hooray!

Also, I know this is super obvious. But it’s still something I want to mention.

Original purchase price shouldn’t be your only consideration when picking a vehicle. Maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc. can add up over the years to multiples of the original price of the car. It’s still a large consideration, especially if you have to finance the purchase.

Small SUV’s seem to cost about the same as mid-size sedan. Small compact cars have the lowest price. Hybrids and electric cars are more expensive at smaller sizes, of course, but generally this rule holds true.

It’s Too Much Car – Most Of The Time

This is a tip I picked up a long time ago from The Tightwad Gazette, one of the OG books on frugality that I still re-read from time to time.

I’ve known people with two kids who “need” large SUV’s, and then proceed to mostly use the SUV to drive back and forth to work. Alone. For over an hour a day. Probably not the best use of a vehicle of that size.

Are there times I wish we had a larger vehicle? Sure! When we go camping once a year, we actually fill up both cars with equipment and people. It would be nice to just head out in one vehicle. When we head out on our road trips, the car can get a bit cramped.

But deciding on a vehicle size based on one or two weeks per year, rather than our needs 50 weeks of the year, isn’t ideal. My car is mostly driven back and forth to work – by myself – so I get my car with that in mind. My husbands car is mostly used to drive the kids around, with their backpacks. So we don’t want to buy a huge car for two weeks per year.

If we ran out of room in our cars, I would rather buy a trailer for the extra stuff. Or we might rent a larger vehicle. Renting a large vehicle for a week or two would still be more cost effective for us than buying an SUV or minivan.

How We Manage

It’s really not hard to manage five people in cars.

Most weekdays, we’re driving around separately, so it’s not an issue at all. I drive back and forth to work (1.5 hours per day), and my husband drives the boys around. The oldest, 14 and adult sized, will drive in the front seat with my husband while the two younger boys are in the back.

And then, on the weekends, we’ll usually take my car (the Accord) because it has more room in the backseat. Sometimes we will drive the Focus with all five of us together, but it’s less comfortable for the teenager. He still fits, but it’s a bit cramped.

As I mentioned above, when we go camping we’ll take both cars with us.

If we need to transport something large, my cars backseats will fold down. If it’s something very large, we’ll have it delivered or we might rent a truck.

What about the dog? All five of us plus a dog can actually fit in the Focus, since it’s a hatchback. We don’t often need to do that, though. Thor doesn’t like to go camping with us, so he usually hangs out with Grandma and Grandpa while we’re gone. My husband will typically drop him off with the boys while I’m at work.

What about friends? If a friend needs a ride, there’s room for them. If we need to transport more friends, then we need to split up the kids (two cars, again) and remove the carseat from one of the cars. We’ve done that before when our oldest son had a birthday party where we drove everyone to see a movie. He had five friends over, and everyone made it just fine.

The Accord has a pretty large trunk, and since the Focus is a hatchback, it’s pretty easy to pack a large amount of stuff. We can easily fit luggage for all of us for a week into the trunk of my car.

We don’t have a frequent need to give other people rides, but if we did, we would use the same strategies.

It’s Not That Hard

From some of the reactions I get, you would think this is some sort of huge sacrifice. It’s really not. Sometimes it’s mildly inconvenient, but 99% of the time it works just fine. And that other 1% of the time, it just takes a bit of work and creativity to get things to work out.

What kind of car arrangement do you have – and more importantly, what was your decision process? And if you have an “untraditional” or unusual arrangement compared with the people you know, what kinds of reactions have you gotten?

Let me know in the comments. You’ll be part of helping others make the best of these kinds of decisions for themselves.

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34 thoughts on “No, Our Family Of Five Doesn’t Own An SUV. Here’s Why.”

  1. I don’t know how you do it, this life of deprivation that you’re leading. Please send me your address so I can donate money to you and your family, to make your lives better and more convenient.


    First off thank you very much for the highlight! You are correct, everything about owning an SUV is more expensive than a regular car. Just tires alone on those things are hugely expensive and when it comes time to replace four of them your bill is like twice as much.

    Most people that have SUV’s obviously don’t need them, and if they do legitimately need the space they would be much better off buying a minivan. They don’t need the four-wheel-drive which kills their gas mileage and creates all sorts of other expenses. But because of vanity they won’t own a minivan. Too bad for them. As your quote says, when you want things other people don’t have you have to do things they won’t do.

    1. chiefmomofficer

      I will accept any and all donations-especially if it’s enough to cover the cost of an SUV plus maintenance! 😃 I think if we had four kids instead of three (meaning we would actually run out of space), we would probably get a minivan. And a car for my commute or when only a few people needed to drive.

  2. timeformoneymd

    We had three of kids in a Honda Accord for two years and it worked great! Easier to hand them snacks and toys during road trips in the Accord than in a minivan. We finally bought a minivan a month after our fourth kid was born, and it was a painful purchase. The good news is that the minivan actually gets better mileage than the 10 year old car we traded in.

    1. chiefmomofficer

      Love my Accord! And I hear you-I haven’t figured out how to get four kids into a car with two adults.

  3. My wife and I were just having this conversation over the weekend. What a timely blog post!

    We have a four year old and 3 month old baby and currently have two small/mid-sized sedans. We aren’t planning to have more children, but if somehow that happened we were talking about how we would HAVE to get a minivan or SUV. Thanks for the reminder that if we ever have a third child that we could be creative with our options.

  4. Cooper @ Two Corporate Millennials

    Great perspective CMO!

    We did settle for a minivan, and I will say out of “need” but maybe that isn’t completely accurate. We currently have 4 kids under the age of 10, but for a time we had 3 kids in car seats. Certainly the easy answer was getting an SUV (not really an option for us based on desire) or a minivan that can fit 3 car seats. We eventually had all 4 kids in either a booster seat or a car seat and I don’t think we could have done that in any other type of vehicle.

    I think once our oldest is able to drive, we can downgrade in car and get rid of a minivan, but I think for our family makeup we are going to have to keep the larger vehicle in the mix (with all the negative financial burdens).

    With all that being said though, we do like the van and have enjoyed numerous years of family vacations driving around the country in it!

  5. I have a Toyota Corolla and my husband drives a truck. We live in a winter-y climate and I hear the 4-wheel-drive argument often in favor of SUVs, but I’ve never gotten stuck in my little car yet 😉 Most of my friends with kids had SUVs in preparation for kids long before they were born. I’m pretty sure my toddler gives zero cares about the type of vehicle she is being transported in though.

    I will admit I’ve been tempted to get an SUV, but I plan to keep my little car as long as possible. It just feels like overkill to get an SUV with a truck already. It’s helpful to hear how you manage transporting people with your two cars!

    1. chiefmomofficer

      Oh I hear the winter argument too-I live in CT and we get quite a bit of snow. There have been a few times four wheel drive might have been helpful in the snow, but you can certainly manage just fine in a car with good tires.

  6. We recently traded in both of our vehicles for a Jeep Grand Cherokee. We traded with a family member, so we received an insane deal, which is why we made the decision. Also, we traded in vehicles so we could move across the country to a large city, so the SUV was very useful. The larger car is nice to have sometimes – we can haul furniture, and anything else we desire. There are some drawbacks though – fuel efficiency and the mere size, especially since we are just a family of two. I can’t park it in the city for the life of me!

    1. Your comment about parking is right on! We just helped my now independent son trade the Jeep Grand for an older RAV-4 because he lives and works downtown. Also, the gas mileage is much better! (Remember, I’m the guy who created an excel spreadsheet during the Great Recession to figure out how high gas prices would have to get before I could trade our Jeep for a more fuel efficient car)

      I live in the South and I still hear the snow argument, though we only get one to two events a year. In typical Southern fashion, I just wait it out for the 2 days before it melts.

      Owning an SUV is one of our financial mistakes early on. But once “we” were pregnant, the car seat and the 2-door hatchback became impractical. Moving from that to the SUV though… not smart.

      Wishing you the best with the Grand Cherokee. I’m out of the Jeep business now. Downsizing

  7. We’ve always had mid size SUV’s and once a mini-van but we generally only needed one car since work gave me another one free (plus free gas!). We pulled a boat and a utility trailer frequently and small cars cannot do that safely plus only having to have one car allowed us some latitude. Now that we are early retired and money is truly no object I still buy used cars, last month I bought a 2008 model for $7,000, so we are fairly frugal in spite of being able to buy a Porsche Cayenne if we wanted to. We hike some extreme territory and often the trail heads are not accessible to something like a Focus so we still like having an SUV and since my part time consulting involves some 200 mile or more trips I like having a sports car for road trips because driving an SUV or family sedan is just too boring for me on extended drives. As far as typical in Arkansas I’d say 50% of the people drive pick up’s, 40% drive midsize or large SUV’s and maybe 10% drive just plain old cars.

    1. chiefmomofficer

      Wow, only 10% drive cars? Here in CT I’d say closer to 40-50% of people are in cars. But most of the vehicles at the school parking lots are SUVs.

  8. A family of 4 here, soon to be 5. Plus a medium sized dog. We’ll have all 3 children in car seats for a period so are currently looking at purchasing 2 x slim car seats for the two older children so we can fit 3 car seats across the back of the car.

    We have an 18yo stationwagon (not sure if you call it the same thing over there in the US) that has travelled from the top to the bottom of Australia and is still kicking. Easy for husband to fix, parts readily and cheaply available.

    We are very intentional about only having one car, we purchased our house to be in close proximity to a large shopping centre, kids school/childcare and in biking distance to the train station (how I get to work).

    When we announced baby #3 was on the way my partners parents immediately started sending us links to vans. They can’t really understand why we wouldn’t want one.

    I’m sure we’ll end up with more than one car in the future, but for now we’re saving all those $$ from being spent on insurance, registration, fuel etc. Plus I get a bit of exercise most days riding to the train station 🙂

  9. I have 3 kids in car seats (2 rear facing, 1 forward facing) and have them all in the back of a Subaru Outback. We did have to make sure to buy narrow seats, but they all fit just fine. We also have a large trunk. If we have a 4th, we will likely get a van, but we really have no need for a larger vehicle right now. EVERYONE told me I needed a van once I announced I was pregnant with my 3rd, but the baby is almost 1 now and we are managing just fine… 🙂 It seems to irritate people that we didn’t get a bigger vehicle.

    For super long road-trips in the future, we will likely just rent a bigger vehicle if we feel like we need it. I’d rather pay $500 once a year than $50,000 for a new car.

  10. Great points and the good approach for solving problems 🙂 You need more logical thinking folks there, over the pond. I can happily report that in my area (northern Serbia) regular cars are still dominating and most of them are hatchbacks. However, in recent years the SUVs started to spread and you can see a truck every now and then. Also there are folks who just buy too much car for themselves. What troubles me is that I don’t know how many of these people who are using rational cars have their decisions based on logic and how many because that is what they can afford.
    In our single car household we have an 8 year old small hatchback and it is perfect for our family of four (2 adults + 2 kids in seats). I have to admit that I was tempted to look for a bigger car, but my wife vetoed my plans and she was totally right.

  11. In Germany very few people have minivans and only very (very) rich people have SUVs. Most families have a station wagon. Our only car is a Suzuki Wagon R, it is 3,5m long and we inherited from my mother. Our family of 4 fits in perfectly but it becomes tricky when a fifth person wants to join because of the big car seats of the children. Since we live in a city (Germany has in comparison to the US good public transport, the tiniest village has to has a bus station) it is all we need. Sometimes when we need something from the hardware store only one goes there so we can fold the backseats and put the passenger-side seat to the front. The supermarket is 200m away, the school 800m. We don’t even have to walk al lot.

  12. My parents finally got rid of our minivan in the last year. Back when we were a family of five all living under the same roof with relatively frequent roadtrips it made more sense. Plus my parents used the old minivan as more or less a pickup truck to haul water, tools, and the dog the few miles out to their veggie garden (in someone else’s yard, not ours, since we don’t have the space or sun for it). Once we kids left the house though, it was making less and less sense for them to have the van for the increasingly rare times the five of us were in one vehicle together for an extended period of time.

    Now they’ve got a used Subaru that dad attached a trailer hitch to so we can use it like we did the minivan (and the first test will be when my parents pack it up to drive to the beach in two weeks. We’re closest to the beach of all my extended family so we’ve always brought the food/linens/etc). Success!

    Having kids is YEARS in the future if it ever happens for me, and even then the Corolla I drive now would be plenty big enough, I’d imagine. Small cars for the win.

    1. chiefmomofficer

      I’ve thought of getting a trailer-that’s something we might do in the future to make camping easier. 95% of the time, small cars are perfect! Especially if you have a commute, like I do.

  13. Pradeep Choudhary

    Here in India, people prefer SUVs over sedan, since they have high ground clearance and big tyres and also has feel of sitting *high* over others you know. Sedan feels like you’ve sat on the ground or like driving while laying down.
    Ground clearance factor cause there will be off road patches here in diverse regions when you drive and of course path holes you dont want bumps in sedan which can’t absorb it efficiently like an SUV does.
    Fuel efficiency is one bad factor but then the type of sedans people buy are usually mid to large and have more or less same fuel efficiency as an SUV. Most of the people would buy mid size SUV like that of jeep compass or Hyundai Creta or ford EcoSports like that so they’ve more or less same fuel efficiency to that of mid to large size sedan.

    But the most popular is hatchback since they’re cheap and has great fuel efficiency. Has more ground clearance than your average sedan and of course like you said cheap to maintain with low taxes and all.

    Van isn’t popular at all. Nobody buys them unless they’ve a family of 10.
    Trucks isn’t popular as well since well India doesn’t have truck culture, where you’d use a truck as a main commute vehicle. Nor that there are many trucks available which looks *cool* they all look like the one you use in construction job.
    So it’s hatchback > SUV > Sedan > Van > Truck.

  14. Chris McCammon

    We have a family of five as well. No SUV to be found. Although I did enjoy borrowing my folks CRV for a week of camping. I will also say our oldest is 19 and never rides with us anymore as a family. She’s out doing her thang.

    We own one car right now, the wife walks to work. And our only car is a Nissan leaf. Your figures for annual cost are way off. We spend 25-35 dollars a month on charging the car. There are no other costs. I did get tires at 62k. The answer for us really is either account for more time to charge the car when traveling or rent a car for the trip, which is a lot of fun.

    Also we never buy new… Our 2015 Leaf was 8,000 with 32k miles in 2017. We now have 64k.

    Good info and thanks for sharing!

    Chris – CDO

  15. Patrick Hoffman

    I thought I’d mention something on the note of electric cars. They are actually much cheaper to maintain and operate than even the small cars on your list.

    The reason that list of costs seemed so high in that category, is because it counts depreciation. They have all been getting ~$10,000 off in rebates from the government for the past 5-10 years, so they instantly depreciate that much once they drive off the lot. If a $40,000 car new gets 10k in rebates, why would you buy it used for 30,001?

    Buying EVs is by far the superior choice from a financial perspective, especially if you go into the used market(all that depreciation now benefits you.) The only 2 remaining downsides are:

    1) the road trips you mentioned. Only a Tesla can accomplish these if they are over 150 miles away. While the cost of these cars is coming down slowly over time(and you can find a used Model S around $30k) they hold value much better than other EVs, so it’s longer to wait for price reductions. Another note on the used Tesla market – old Model S vehicles have free supercharging for life of the car. Your road trip expenses for fuel would become 0 in that vehicle.

    2) charging at home if you don’t have a garage. This is getting better extremely slowly for apartment dwellers in cities, but everyone else is completely hosed if your landlord is a pain to deal with.

    Just wanted to add some info in case anyone came along and got the wrong idea from some of those numbers. Devil is always in the details.

    1. Patrick Hoffman

      I should also mention for the road trips, EVs have a ton more storage space, because you don’t have to account for engines/driveshafts/radiators/God knows what.

      So they will usually have fantastic trunk space along with a frunk(front trunk) as well.

  16. Great article, thanks for writing my thoughts so eloquently. For weeks my co-workers have been talking on and off about their upcoming car purchases and how they all NEED SUVs for their kids (all 2 of them). I cannot help but get insanely frustrated having to listen to it. Why? Why do kids=SUV??? Are these children the size of giants? Do they all take cello lessons? I just don’t get it. Somehow I managed to survive my whole childhood in a sedan despite the fact that I was ~a child~ Really though, I think people are just babies to having any sort of inconvenience in their lives. From 5th grade all the way through high school my family had one car, an 03 Toyota Camry. Yes that’s two adults and one child all sharing one car even when I got my driver’s license. Sure sometimes people needed to be dropped off or picked up but was it really that big a deal? No. It was as unmemorable as any other errand. (For the record my parents are still driving that same car) I’m sorry but this country is just ass backwards when it comes to making wise investments, especially with cars. I’m not saying every owner of an SUV is an idiot, just a lot of them.

  17. Great article. We love our sedan life. We enjoyed our Accord and now enjoy our Camry. Practical, reliable and low cost of ownership. We bought a car for our 99% needs. We rent a minivan once a year for a family trip.

  18. I’m sure someone will be upset over this but long story short, people are sheep. They follow someone’s lead, often someone with a low IQ that is on TV. I bought a Chevy spark to drive to work. I’m a construction worker too, i paid $10,200 out the door for a new 2014 (back in 2014) 2 days into ownership my wife and I drove it to Nashville from elmhurst il. I became more and more upset as we drove the hours away because I was positive my gas gauge didn’t work properly. Every time she needed to use a washroom I’d force 3 whole dollars into the tank and then drive with anxiety waiting for the car to run out of gas on some smokey mountain highway. I even considered turning around and returning to the Chevy dealer. We got to Nashville 8 hours later and a little mental math showed me that I spent 17 dollars on gas, driving with the air conditioning on and still had half a tank as we arrived in Nashville. Turns out the gauge works, it just moves so much more slowly than I’d ever imagined. I still have the car, it has 100k on it and I still put a handful of dollar bills into it for an entire weeks driving. 8 to 10 hours a day it sits in the sun just cooking or freezing (often in chicagoland both occur in the same week) and then it takes me home safely and on roughly 60 cents worth of fuel. It’s actually so cheap to run that I always fill it with 93 octane which burns even more slowly than that low octane stuff people are taking loans out for now a days. In the garage is a Volvo xc 40, new and rarely driven since she still prefers to take her saturn to work just 6 minutes away from home. Her parents still have Tahoe xl and a Silverado, 2 jeeps etc. All their kids are grown and rarely is more than one person in the cars at any given time. We save thousands of dollars on fuel, insurance and maintenance, so much so that we use the money to fund a yearly European trip for us. Italy, Greece, turkey etc. To be clear, we’re not poor, we don’t struggle but we do laugh alot, often at the sheeple that pretend to be wealthy with their low end bmws with expired warranties and MK purses. That’s the truth when you don’t sugar coat it. People don’t like to hear the truth though, they just wanna watch football, or whatever else is on prime time now. (we have a TV, it’s rarely turned on. I actually bought it because she thought it would be weird for guests if they came and they couldn’t stare at a box hung on my wall lol)

  19. Boyan Tzvetkov

    Nice article. I believe that the car choice would really depend on where you are living and the family size. From your article I would suggest you live in a place where there is no adequate public transportation and two cars seems like a need. We are a family of 6 (four kids) and therefore when you cross the line of three kids you cannot still use a regular compact sedan anymore (like we used to). Therefore we had to upgrade and we bought a minivan. It is tiny compared to the minivans in the US but we decided that at this point we can use one car. My wife is a stay at home mum and if she needs the car on a particular day, I use the public transportation or use a short-rent service that would bring me to work (could be cheaper than a taxi, faster than public transport). But for our situation – we would not be doing two cars. It doesn’t make sense at all. And we cannot do compact sedans either. Having also in mind that the gas prices in the US and in Europe are very different (you complain the gas prices are high there, well, come to Europe where the price is at least double or more to what you pay).
    As a outcome – families need to think things through before purchasing a vehicle. A vehicle should serve you, not burden you. Thanks a lot! Keep up the good work!

  20. I’m single. Never married. No kids. I drive a 99’ Honda Accord, 2Dr Coupe & a 2019 Honda CiVic Sport hatchback, for most of the reasons you’ve expressed. Plus, SUV’s just don’t make any sense to me, I’d rather have a Subaru or Golf wagon, if I needed a bigger car.

  21. I need some ideas on how to maneuver elimination communication (EC) (to read more go to and diaper changes in the car with 2 kids in a compact sedan. We want to keep our 2 corolla’s but it’s looking more and more like we will need to spring for a bigger vehicle soon. With 2 carseats taking up the entire backseat, the front seat is all I am left with and baby is looking like it’s hurting him to be changed on the front seat. So he’s 5 months, 20 lbs and he’s either got a kinked neck when laid down or his butts hanging off of it or he kicks his feet pushing his head up into the seatbelt buckle. Not enough room to use the pottette potty in front seat either. The trunk is an option but needed for stroller and carrying groceries, taking our recycling to the center (no pickup available), etc. It’s important to figure out how to do it inside the vehicle as sometimes there are no facilities diaper changing friendly much less EC friendly and we have some harsh winters. Nursing is also getting awkward in the front seat but I can still do it ok in the passenger side, driverside is too tight with the steering wheel.

    Hubby wants a bigger vehicle for transporting large stuff but usually we just get things delivered or ask a friend with a truck or trailer to help. But I’m not convinced a Minivan or SUV will solve this issue and then it will be more expensive and we don’t have the cash to purchase it right now.

    Open to any ideas that will help us keep our small cars.

  22. Thanks for this article. We just bought a used Prius wagon to replace my 20 yr old Camry in preparation for babies, and it occurred to me that this car (which is HUGE on the inside with its massive hatchback trunk) may end up being the “bigger” of our cars when my husband’s Jeep dies. I thought we’d get a van at some point, but part of me wants to pay full cash for a used reliable sedan instead, maybe even a smaller one like my grandma’s 09 Corolla. We don’t plan on having more than two kids and no big dogs, so this makes sense as a possible solution. We felt the same way when we bought our home. We don’t pay for space we don’t use, even if it’s a little snug one day when we have temporary guests and two kids.

  23. Lily Campbell

    This article speaks to my soul! I cannot stand SUVs or Crossover SUVs. I’ve nearly been hit by one almost on a daily basis. I live in Baltimore and commute often to the DC area. There are so many SUVs! I got a picture last week of my car in a parking lot with 9 other cars and it was the only sedan. Two large pickup trucks and the rest all SUVs. I currently have the same as you a Gen 8 Honda Accord 2.4l vtec. They are incredibly solid vehicles, the maintenance is so affordable and so is the insurance. I’ve also had two Focus (13/14 year) hatchbacks of the same model. I have gotten rid of both for reasons beyond my control, one was the turbo one that my ex-husband mainly drove and the other was the automatic transmission one. Yes, we had matching cars. It was great. I have many friends with the same Focus who have kids, they manage to survive SUVless. I have one and I’m very tall. I have never had the desire to get an SUV, if anything I want an even smaller car than I have now. My daughter is still in a car seat but once she’s able to drive in a two seater up front, we’re getting a race car. Thank you for posting this! It makes car enthusiast moms so happy and I feel validated in my choice to stay with my sedan.

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