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Last year I decided that it was time to replace my car. It was a larger sedan and wasn’t that old, but was starting to have a lot of mechanical issues. When I started looking at cars I was thinking of a minivan, or another large sedan, but ended up buying one of the smallest cars on the lot.
We have 3 kids, a 12 year old daughter and 5 year old twin boys, not to mention our two dogs who are really the babies of the family. The car I was trading in had a convertible bench seat in the front, so could actually seat 6 people, a large trunk, and plenty of leg room. What I didn’t like about it was that I barely got 20 miles per gallon for gas mileage while motoring around our city, and the seemingly constant mechanical breakdowns. After I sank almost $2,000 into repairs and it was back in the shop less than a month later, I knew it was time to cut it loose and get a different car.
When we started looking we knew we wanted to buy a fairly new, used car. There was one used car lot in particular that we wanted to purchase from, because of their excellent service, but we had no idea exactly what we were looking for as far as a specific make or model. I started by browsing their inventory online, and narrowed it down to about 4 different choices that my husband went to the lot to look at. One was a minivan that had a lot of great features, including a DVD player, but fairly high miles for the price and year. Another was a mid-sized SUV, that was also higher mileage, but very nice and would be a great choice in the Midwestern winters. Another was a mid-sized sedan that had some nice features, and wasn’t bad for mileage. The last one was a Honda Civic, one of the smallest, most compact cars on the lot, but it had low miles and the reputation of reliability that Honda has was attractive to me.
My husband went and test drove the vehicles and talked it over with the salesman. For various reasons we ended up narrowing it down to the minivan and the Honda. After lots of thought and discussion, we ended up going with the Honda. While that might seem like an odd choice considering the size of our family, there were a lot of logical reasons to buy it.
One of the biggest pros of the Honda is the amazing gas mileage. I get 30 mpg in the city, and 36 on the highway. I spend almost half the amount on gas that I did with my old sedan. Another big factor was the time-tested reliability of Hondas. Several of my friends and family have older Hondas that have upwards of 200,000 and 300,000 miles on them, and are still going strong.
So how do we all fit in the Civic? The backseat comfortably fits two car seats, and my daughter can slide in between them and still safely buckle up. If she was a large child it might be a tight squeeze, but her petite little frame fits. We have taken trips of up to 14 hours with 3 kids, my husband and I and 2 dogs and were just fine. The savings we see in gas mileage, and the much smaller environmental footprint we leave has been a worthwhile trade-off for a little extra leg room.