Why We Bought A New Car And What We Chose

Derek and I have been going back and forth on whether or not to get a new car for almost 18 months.
When Kinsley was about 3 1/2 we started having struggles with stacking her wheelchair and walker in the back of my car. We knew as she got older this equipment would only get bigger, and so we started looking into more accessible vehicles for our family.


Issues with the current car:
Over the last several months there were many instances where we realized our current vehicle was no longer working. Kinsley's walker and wheelchair are super huge and bulky. While they currently do fit in my old car, it wasn't without wrestling to get them stacked on one another, and it was ripping off some of the upholstery from my ceiling. Kinsley's mobility equipment is only going to get bigger from here on out, which means that the next time we upgrade either one of these pieces, they will no longer fit in the car. 

Another more serious issue is that when we bought the car in NC, they told us that it was an all wheel drive vehicle. I had gotten into a few sticky situations in the snowy weather where it definitely should have turned on, and it did not. We recently learned that's because we have a two wheel drive version of the Ford Escape and not the AWD that the dealership claimed it to be. We're currently in the process of figuring out what can be done in this situation to rectify the false advertising. 

Lastly, our hope is to move into the neighborhood where the kids go to school, and we would like to be able to carpool with other kids in the neighborhood, which we cannot currently do since we don't have a third row of seats. 

What we needed in a new car: 
The main thing we really needed was a third row of seats. One, so we could car pool if necessary, and two, a third row would mean we'd be able to fold down the seats and use the space for ever growing mobility equipment as well. 

That left us between an SUV or a minivan. I have a ton of friends who have and love their minivans, but there was a part of me that really wanted an SUV with four wheel drive to feel safer in the Utah winters. Especially since we travel to Idaho fairly regularly, and driving through northern Utah and SE Idaho in the snow is a nightmare. So we ultimately decided that we wanted an SUV and started seeing what our options were. 

Derek spent a couple weekends test driving SUVs and bringing the walker and wheelchair to various car lots to see which trunks they would and would not fit in. I really wanted to be able to have the third row of seats up, and still fit the walker and wheelchair in the trunk, but unless we were getting a Yukon XL we quickly learned that wasn't going to be an option. 

What we tested and looked at: 
Derek test drove a Kia Sorento, but with the third row folded down, you could barely fit the walker and wheelchair in there. We looked at Nissans, but Derek's truck is a Nissan and he said he didn't love it enough to buy another one.  We loved our Ford, butt the Explorer's were a lot more expensive than what we wanted to pay. A Subaru Tribeca would have solved all our problems, but it was also $50k so that was off the table too. Finally, we saw a picture of a Honda Pilot online and instantly felt good about it, and the amount of space that it had to offer. 

What pushed us to actually buy:
Derek's brother was going to be riding to Idaho with us from Salt Lake for Thanksgiving, and there was not going to be enough room for all of us and our stuff in my current car. I joked with Derek that he needed to get me a new car before Thanksgiving, but then we put it off for a few weeks and never did anything. 

The week of Thanksgiving came and we learned that there was going to be a ton of snow the day we were driving to Idaho, and so I literally sent Derek to a dealership that was a mile down the road from our house and told him to go buy a Honda Pilot that I had seen online that was way out of our price range. Who does that? I do not know but that was the legit situation.

What we actually bought:
Derek was crunching the numbers with the guy at the dealership and decided to ask if there were any other Honda Pilots on the lot. Derek was looking at a 2013 with 80k miles, and the guy told him that there was a 2010 with 90k miles for $3,000 less. Right in the price range we wanted. In the color we wanted. In the upgraded model with all the bells in whistles, which not to brag but, #HeatedSeats. 

The God Stuff and Silver Linings:
We typically wouldn't have bought a car that old since they usually have tons of miles on it by then, which is why we never saw it online because we were only looking at 2012 and up. Since it's the touring model it actually has some features that the model we were looking at didn't. One really awesome perk is that it has an extra step from the ground to the inside of the car, which Kinsley has been using to help her get into the car independently.

We've been working on her opening the door, climbing in, and getting into her seat on her own and she's actually getting really good at it. It wouldn't have happened had we gone with one of the models that we were looking at before. We can't fit her wheelchair and walker in the car with the entire third row up, but we can fold one seat down and get them both in that way, which is really nice to still be able to fit three extra people in the car if needed! 

What we're doing with our old cars: 
We are now a three car family and only need two, so one of them has to go. My Ford Escape is paid off all the way, and Derek's truck is not. Derek took his truck off the road and is currently in the process of selling it. Once that is all said and done, then he'll be driving the Escape, and I'll be driving the Honda Pilot. Now to come up with a sweet name for it... suggestions welcome but I'm really leaning towards Martha.

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