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      08-02-2013, 06:47 AM   #1
Shoney41
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Need Car Advice for Father-to-be

Hey everyone, I figured I'd approach the forum members for some advice (it's not 100% M3-related so hopefully not too off-topic). My wife and I are expecting our first child, and I am thinking of adding a vehicle to the stable. Here's my current setup:

- I drive E92 as my daily.
- She drives our old Land Rover Discovery II (2002 model, 90k miles)...pretty good shape but definitely likes to have warning lights go off from time to time.


What I'd like to do (in order to keep the M3, of course!!!) is to get a third car as the main family mobile. I would then be able to split my driving between the POS-edition Land Rover and M3. That would keep miles lower on the M, and allow me not to expose it to the Northeast winters (no need for winter tires, less exposure to salt, etc). The budget should allow for that without too much pain, as long as I don't go completely overboard.

I am a little stuck on what cars to consider given that I know there's a lot of stuff I'm not thinking of simply because I haven't had a kid in a car, ever (i.e. car seats don't fit well in certain cars, larger SUV's are tough for mother to lift child up into seat, etc -- I know, all first-world problems).

What did some of you choose as your "familymobile"? Any specific things/features I should be focused on? So far, my wife and I have tried the X5, Grand Cherokee, and Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited -- just to illustrate how scatter-brained we are!

Many thanks in advance!
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      08-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #2
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Honestly bro keep them safe. Having gotten tboned about 3 months ago and wakling away smiling making jokes with the cops and beyond having a stomach ache for 2 days and neck pain for 1 [from my head going from upright down to the shifter and back to the side air bag] go for best saftey and work from there.

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      08-02-2013, 07:20 AM   #3
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find an 09 E90 M3 with DCT. 08 E90 M3 DCT even if you can stand the old i-drive. honey i found a nice 4-dr sedan with an automatic. can't lose
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      08-02-2013, 07:26 AM   #4
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From the cars you posted...I would get the Outback...great safety and great for winter. I am not a fan of the BMW SUVs. You could look into a Forester as well (my opinion is that they are ugly though). If you don't need something that big, plenty of cars to choose form as well.
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      08-02-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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Cars you mentioned all sound good. Def stick with an SUV. So much easier to store stroller and other things in the back and also use it as a changing area when needed.

My family mobile is an Acura RDX. Great bang for your buck car.
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      08-02-2013, 07:36 AM   #6
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This is an easy one. For a family vehicle, in my mind there are few options:

SUV:
Range Rover (HSE if you like going fast)

Auto:
F10 M5

Need AWD? SUV it is.

Both of the above cars stand head and shoulders above all other competition. Range Rover is the most versatile/safe off-road luxury SUV made, and the F10 M5 has received such lavish praise as to be called by Top Gear: "Currently the best all-around car in the world." Can't say I disagree, for a 4-door, the M5 is about as good as it gets.

My 5-year old son rides around with me in the M3, but I'm a single dad, so no real "family" to cart around other than him. Couple that with the fact that we have no snow here and the M3 was an obvious choice for me, however if I had more people to move, would definitely pick an M5 here.
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      08-02-2013, 07:56 AM   #7
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My wife and I checked out some prospective replacements for her X5 this past weekend. I was impressed by the VW Touareg (0% financing being offered currently), the Subaru Forester and Outback, Acura RDX, and MB GLK350. I'd say the "cheapiest" feeling one is the Forester but it has a lot of space inside and has done quite well in crash testing; it's also the least expensive. I found the BMW's (X1, X3, and X5) too expensive relative to the others and the whole "lifetime" fluid mantra does not rest well with me as far as keeping the cars long-term.
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      08-02-2013, 08:46 AM   #8
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My wife and I have a little one too.
We ended up getting a 2012 X3 new and love it. It's the perfect size for one child. We can fit her safety seat in the back and still sit two adults in the back with her. The reason we went with the X3 is my wife prefers the way a car drives and handles and nothing else out there felt as "car like" as the X3 to us.
So, I'd suggest something similar in size as the X3. It's not too big and not too small. Go for the safest vehicle you can find in that size range and you'll be happy.
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      08-02-2013, 08:57 AM   #9
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      08-02-2013, 08:59 AM   #10
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Those Subie powertrains are absolute dogsh*t, I drove a crosstek and it was laughable how slow it felt with the CVT. The interior quality was also pretty low. I'd lean towards a wagon over an SUV, not a fan of all that body roll. Personally, I'd be looking at an allroad or 3 series xdrive wagon if I was in your shoes.
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      08-02-2013, 09:50 AM   #11
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Allroad? careful

Quote:
Originally Posted by drob23 View Post
Those Subie powertrains are absolute dogsh*t, I drove a crosstek and it was laughable how slow it felt with the CVT. The interior quality was also pretty low. I'd lean towards a wagon over an SUV, not a fan of all that body roll. Personally, I'd be looking at an allroad or 3 series xdrive wagon if I was in your shoes.
I faced the same story with our first. I had a modified E36 325i, and my wife drove a 4 dr E36M (long story). We found an Allroad that was in factory warranty with a CPO warranty as a hedge, sold my 325, and I took over the M.

After 8 months, we took the Allroad in for service...still in its factory period. We were charged for a new turbo and replacement CV joints. apparently those were considered "wear items" and excluded from the warranty...$2,500.

We sold the AR and bought an Odyssey minivan. I'm not going to start Minivan wars, but my wife loves her van with two young kids, and I appreciate the ability to walk to the back seat on longer drives to dole out meals, etc.

I keep offering to move her to something practical, like a 535xit (My top choice for a family hauler), but she insists on staying with the van.
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      08-02-2013, 10:02 AM   #12
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Honda Pilot, Volvo XC90, or VW Touareg. Not necessarily in that order.
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      08-02-2013, 10:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcva View Post
I faced the same story with our first. I had a modified E36 325i, and my wife drove a 4 dr E36M (long story). We found an Allroad that was in factory warranty with a CPO warranty as a hedge, sold my 325, and I took over the M.

After 8 months, we took the Allroad in for service...still in its factory period. We were charged for a new turbo and replacement CV joints. apparently those were considered "wear items" and excluded from the warranty...$2,500.

We sold the AR and bought an Odyssey minivan. I'm not going to start Minivan wars, but my wife loves her van with two young kids, and I appreciate the ability to walk to the back seat on longer drives to dole out meals, etc.

I keep offering to move her to something practical, like a 535xit (My top choice for a family hauler), but she insists on staying with the van.
It's hard to argue against the practicality of a minivan. My parents always rocked a Toyota van, pretty hard to beat the interior space and cargo hauling for a larger family. Thing that gets me about SUV's, especially the crossovers, is how little cargo volume there is compared to a wagon. Then the high center of gravity makes it roll city, seems to me it's all about a perceived "safety" factor. A volvo wagon has got to be as durable as anything on the road (those hilarious youtube vids where people try to wreck them).

Regarding the allroad, pretty surprising they'd consider a turbo a "wear/tear" item. Other than concerns with carbon buildup, I thought the 2.0T VAG engine was pretty reliable. I can see suspension pieces or bushings being wear/tear, not sure where CV joints fit in. CPO warranties are kind of fuzzy anyways, probably depends on your relationship with the dealership. But 8 months seems way too early to start milking someone. A mechanical AWD system will definitely be worse to maintain over the lifetime of the car, cost will be more if German for obvious reasons.
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      08-02-2013, 11:35 AM   #14
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Subaru Forester. I just picked up a 2014 Forester XT and it is actually fun to drive. Right out of the box the handling and acceleration have exceeded my expectations.
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      08-02-2013, 11:14 PM   #15
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I picked up an E350 wagon a little over a year ago when my son was born. Never thought I'd buy a merc, but it's been a great car. Love the wagon over an SUV. I can fit a lot more in it than in my wife's X5 and much prefer driving a car to an SUV.
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      08-03-2013, 12:48 AM   #16
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This is why I don't want kids . But anyway, if the Land Rover is giving you that many problems, you could consider selling it for a new(er) Range Rover like some have suggested (we have the Sport SC), though I can vouch for it being a gas guzzler if that's something you would be concerned about.
If you're ok with sedans and you have the budget, Merc S classes are nice. Those two are primarily are "familymobiles".
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      08-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attbimmer View Post
I picked up an E350 wagon a little over a year ago when my son was born. Never thought I'd buy a merc, but it's been a great car.
I like the E350 wagon. Looks so majestic of a wagon. With rims and lowered, it looks like a smooth criminal.
Shame on BMW not offering 5 series wagon in the US.
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      08-04-2013, 06:57 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions. We are still all over the map but will be driving some cars we hadn't thought of thanks to all of you.
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      08-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #19
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get rid of the land rover and get a 3-series sports wagon or an Audi avant.

don't need anything bigger.....unless you want to be like american TV commercials brainwashing people into buying SUVs and Minivans.
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      08-04-2013, 11:38 PM   #20
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We've always wanted our family mobiles to be no-nonsense and reliable, so we went Japanese.

I think the best compromise of reliability and fun is probably something like an Infiniti FX50.
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      08-05-2013, 06:22 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IEDEI View Post
get rid of the land rover and get a 3-series sports wagon or an Audi avant.

don't need anything bigger.....unless you want to be like american TV commercials brainwashing people into buying SUVs and Minivans.
I don't disagree. Have to look into the used BMW's and Audi's as I don't think they currently offer any wagons in the US for new models (The Avant was replaced by the costlier Allroad, and BMW offers no wagons at all, at least right now in the US). Given that I don't want to drive the M3 every day, the LR is staying -- it's been a great utility car and is worth a lot more to me than someone looking to buy it.
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      08-05-2013, 08:47 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shoney41 View Post
I don't disagree. Have to look into the used BMW's and Audi's as I don't think they currently offer any wagons in the US for new models (The Avant was replaced by the costlier Allroad, and BMW offers no wagons at all, at least right now in the US). Given that I don't want to drive the M3 every day, the LR is staying -- it's been a great utility car and is worth a lot more to me than someone looking to buy it.
BMW definitely offers the NEW 3-series sports wagon...i know because i tested them before ordering my 1er. 328xi Sports Wagon and a diesel version as well. It's pretty nice for what it is. The Allroad is also a really nice package. Furthermore, there are tons of pre-owned Avants out there from Audi.....likely CPO as well.
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