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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to get some feedback from you guys. My wife and I will be having a child in the next 7 months or so :D Right now my wife drives a '99 Accord coupe. I don't see that being too practical with a baby and a car seat. I was considering getting her a sedan to make her life easier.
I was looking to spend 30-33K so I was naturally looking at a '99-'00 528i (auto, she can't drive manual and doesn't really want to learn :rolleyes: ). I haven't driven an auto 528i so I also don't know how the car would get up and go. But then I found a 99 C280 sport for $26,000 with 36k miles on it hmmmmm.....then I started comparing dimensions on the MB and the 5 series and they are pretty close. I guess the e46 3 would be close too, size wise. What would you all consider for the price range? I need something that can fit a car seat in the back pretty easily. Maybe even the G35? I'd love to hear what you guys would suggest. I don't want to get an auto that is a total dog in terms of performance. TIA
 
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JD said:
I wanted to get some feedback from you guys. My wife and I will be having a child in the next 7 months or so :D Right now my wife drives a '99 Accord coupe. I don't see that being too practical with a baby and a car seat. I was considering getting her a sedan to make her life easier.
I was looking to spend 30-33K so I was naturally looking at a '99-'00 528i (auto, she can't drive manual and doesn't really want to learn :rolleyes: ). I haven't driven an auto 528i so I also don't know how the car would get up and go. But then I found a 99 C280 sport for $26,000 with 36k miles on it hmmmmm.....then I started comparing dimensions on the MB and the 5 series and they are pretty close. I guess the e46 3 would be close too, size wise. What would you all consider for the price range? I need something that can fit a car seat in the back pretty easily. Maybe even the G35? I'd love to hear what you guys would suggest. I don't want to get an auto that is a total dog in terms of performance. TIA
Justin-

We have a 2 year old. The largest car we have is the E36 M3/4. It's been more than big enough for our needs.

My wife drives an E36 convertible and she fits just fine in there too.

I understand the stick thing. But don't assume you need to get a LARGE car just to haul around one small human.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Re: Car opinions (especially those with kids)

TD said:


Justin-

We have a 3 year old. The largest car we have is the E36 M3/4. It's been more than big enough for our needs.

My wife drives an E36 convertible and she fits just fine in there too.

I understand the stick thing. But don't assume you need to get a LARGE car just to haul around one small human.
Good point Tom.

No problems fitting a car seat in the back? Sometimes when I look in the back seat an imagine these HUGE car seats that everyone has these days, it looks like it might be a tight fit :dunno: More so with a coupe, but what do I know? I am new to this.
 

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The rear-facing car seats (especially the Britax Roundabout) takes up a fair amount of space. It's ok in the middle of the back seat of my 330i, and you can still get two adults on either side for short trips.

Since the car is for your wife, and I'm assuming she's not a serious enthusiast, I'd give serious consideration to a G35 sedan if I were in your shoes. Excellent performance (gobs of torque throughout the range), great brakes, cavernous (5-series-ish) back seat, and not too dear.

Best of luck,

hts
 

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Re: Re: Car opinions (especially those with kids)

TD said:

don't assume you need to get a LARGE car just to haul around one small human.
pfft... if it were MY wife and MY kid, i'd want to wrap them inside of one of the safest sedans in the world (E39), and NOT anywhere near one of the relatively unsafe sedans in the world (E36)...

when every other car is a 4000lb SUV, an old M3 is the LAST place i'd want to put my wife and kid. :rolleyes:

an off-lease 2000 528i/Sport step is a fine choice, and a very capable ride. :thumbup:
 

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Time for a 740iL.... Now there's plenty of room from the whole family in the back of that one!

In all seriousness, I agree with the recommendations about the E39. It is a great all around car. The only problem is rear seat room. While the car is bigger on the outside, the rear seat room is very close to that of the E46. The only area it clearly has an advantage in is width. Otherwise, it is a relatively reliable, well built and attractive car, and it is one of the safest in its class.
 

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It is a very commom misconception that the E39 is larger than the E46 inside. As the Dr. said, it is only larger in width, and even that is miniscule.

Still, I say go for a G35. Larger, more powerful, and undoubtedly more reliable. :)
 

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I'd say go for an E39 or an E46. LK made a very good point. How's the G35 safety-wise? Anybody knows? :dunno:
 

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How about a Passat V6 or if you want even more room a Passat station wagon. They have plenty of room and are really decent cars. I know that this will be one of the strong candidates when my wife will be shopping for a new car in about a year. I think nice looking station wagons from BMW, Passat/Audi are really a great alternative to SUVs. If you want something more upscale but bigger then E46, definitely take a look at used 528 auto. My wife doesn't even want to hear about any Japanese cars (she has a 10 year old civic now) so no Infinitis, Acuras, Hondas etc here. Hmmm. America is so different. I remember that for almost all my girlfriends in Europe the peak of dreams was VW Golf or a nice little Renault. I actually knew some people who easily had two babies in them. They were happy they didn't have to squeeze them in a Fiat! Here, scale really changes...
 

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Mystikal said:
Still, I say go for a G35. Larger, more powerful, and undoubtedly more reliable. :)
But... Its just so "unattractive" :bawling: It really isn't that pleasing to the eye... the headlights are way too narrow and the tail lights are way to big, just to name a few flaws. I see them parked next to BMWs all day long, and they just don't compare.
 

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DrBimmer said:
Time for a 740iL.... Now there's plenty of room from the whole family in the back of that one!

In all seriousness, I agree with the recommendations about the E39. It is a great all around car. The only problem is rear seat room. While the car is bigger on the outside, the rear seat room is very close to that of the E46. The only area it clearly has an advantage in is width. Otherwise, it is a relatively reliable, well built and attractive car, and it is one of the safest in its class.
Well, the E39 certainly feels quite a bit larger than the E46 on the inside. It is smaller than you would expect considering how large the car is.

I hear that you can get E38s for cheap now :bigpimp:
 

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Well...I don't know that I qualify as "having" kids, but I'm due the end of September and was faced with the exact same problem. I drove a '95 Ponitac Grand Am 2dr. My husband drives a '99 323 sedan. We decided that we needed to increase our hauling capacity, especially since both our parents live about 350 miles away and we'd be travelling with the baby plus all the "stuff".

We looked at the G35 and drove one just after it came out. It was a nice enough car, but what killed it for me was the lack of split folding rear seat. We were looking for a vehicle that we could use to carry odd shaped things, even without the baby in the car.

We seriously considered a Passat wagon. But, I just couldn't bring myself to pay over $30k for a new GLX when it would SERIOUSLY depreciate. (yes, looking used was an option, but you'll understand when you find out what we found!)

We decided to look at 5 series wagons. It turns out that around May '99, there was a SWEET lease deal (around $500/month, nothing down!) Now, 3 years later those vehicles are all coming off lease. We found a '99 TiAg/black sport package, sport seats!!, premium package, xenon, cell phone 528iT with _17136_ miles on it! It's still got about 11 months of bumper to bumper left on it. We paid $31800. We found it on Autotrader.com. It's in CT, but hey..we got to visit family and buy a car. We pick it up this Saturday!

Ok, that's my story, hope it helped some!

Joanne

P.S. Hey...Dr. Bimmer...if you're still reading this thread...the brochure you sent out was to my brother...I pick that up this weekend too!! Thank you VERY much!!
 

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Ooopps....I almost forgot. Our wagon's an automatic too! I'm the same as your wife, I _could_ drive a stick if I _HAD_ to, but I prefer the automatic for daily driving.

Also, my one piece of REQUIRED reading for you is _Baby Bargains_ by Denise and Alan Fields. It's has been ESSENTIAL in figuring out the maze that is baby paraphenalia! If you buy it in the book store make sure to look on the copyright page and be sure you get Version 4.1 (it's the latest). They have a website at http://www.babybargainsbook.com

There are message boards and have a really great car seat expert who posts.

Best of luck to you!

Joanne
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Joanne! :)

Justin
 

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Kids kicking the back of your seat

The problem with the 3-series is that when your child is around 2-3 he or she will be big enough to kick the back of the passenger seat. Believe me, for some reason kids find this a source of never-ending fun. So if you ever take the 3 out as a family whoever isn't driving is going to get a pretty rough back massage.

Psycho
2001 330i
2002 745i
 

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Re: Kids kicking the back of your seat

psycho said:
The problem with the 3-series is that when your child is around 2-3 he or she will be big enough to kick the back of the passenger seat. Believe me, for some reason kids find this a source of never-ending fun. So if you ever take the 3 out as a family whoever isn't driving is going to get a pretty rough back massage.
That's when I consider adoption...meaning getting rid of the kid! :mad:
 

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Large cars

The larger the car the better. Both for safety reasons and the fact that soon enough you'll find you need something to put those LARGE toys you buy in. As kids grow the size of their toys (and other general crap) does too.

Definitely get something with 4-doors. Trying to put a baby in the back seat of a coupe is a laughable exercise.
 

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Audi A4/A4?

My wife owned a 2-door Accord when were expecting our daughter. We purchased an Audi S4, which has been excellent. The new 3 series has a small-ish trunk. On road trips, the Audi will just barely hold all our stuff. I don't like to pack heavy things inside the car because they could hurt in an accident.

The S4 will fit a rear facing removable car seat. I strongly recommend a car seat that detaches, plus a "Snap 'n Go" stroller frame (which holds the car seat). This way sleeping babe need not wake up. We had to try two different car seats to find one that fit the S4 with the seat where I wanted it. If you are tall, it might not fit.

The folding down rear seat is also an important feature to me. The Quattro is excellent on slippery (rain/snow) roads.

The new A4 is larger than the old A4/S4 and should be even better for your needs. Get the 3.0 engine, however, if you want to drive it.

Remember that you will probably be driving on all the family trips. Consider teaching the stick now!
 

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Try it before you buy it

You're on the right track - a four door is what you want. Some child seats do not fit in cars with a small back seat, so try the seat you will use in the car you want before you buy it. I'd stick with either a 528i (plenty of power with the auto for all except hopelessly addicted acceleration freaks - and if you are one, your wife won't let you drive like that with the baby in the car anyway) or an E46 sedan. Both of these models are safe, roomier than a coupe, and fun to drive.
 

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Re: Audi A4/A4?

Evergreen Dan said:
The S4 will fit a rear facing removable car seat. I strongly recommend a car seat that detaches, plus a "Snap 'n Go" stroller frame (which holds the car seat). This way sleeping babe need not wake up. We had to try two different car seats to find one that fit the S4 with the seat where I wanted it. If you are tall, it might not fit.
Absolutely. The seat/base combo is a wonderful thing :)

We have a problem with our wagon. Our car seat instructions said not to put the car seat in the center of the back seat if the car has a folding armrest there, so the seat base is installed on the passenger side of the car. When the seat/baby is there, I can't put the front passenger seat back far enough so that I have enough room to sit there. Luckily, there's enough room for my wife though. The other related problem is that by putting the seat on the passenger side, we lose the option of using the split folding seats because the car seat is too wider than thr 40% side (passenger). OTOH, because are car is equipped with the LATCH system (and our car seat supports it as well), it's pretty quick and painless to move the seat to the driver side, which lets us use the split folding back seats and gives me enough room in the passenger seat. The problem with that is that means my wife is driving :cry:

The cargo area of the 5 series wagon is a good bit larger than the 3er, but we took a trip Easter weekend, and I was amazed at how much stuff we fit in the car. Me, my wife, my daughter, my brother, a bunch of suitcases, stoller and assorted baby crap. Never would have fit it all in a sedan (or coupe :yikes: ) but the wagon was smiling...until I wanted to accelerate :tsk:
 
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