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  #21  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:17
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

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Actually - the best car is the Range Rover TDV8 - it is perfect. It must be. That what all the mums use to drive their children about in Knightsbridge


I thought the "best in class" was the much smaller Range Rover Sport...

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  #22  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:18
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

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I don't trust it to avoid accidents - I slow down. I have felt it activate once or twice in 8 years. Sometimes you aren't aware of the condition the road is in when you set out in the morning. Straight out of my communal garage I have a steep hill with a sharp bend and sometimes it very icy. On another turn the car in front went into the farmer's field. I didn't. It isn't something magical, it was something standard on my car 8 years ago and I wouldn't buy another car without it.
So when going down this steep hill with a bend you have your foot on the gas? Because that is the only way 4x4 can have an affect on the cars handling in these circumstances. If you are coasting off the gas or braking your car is the same as a 2wd car.

Ok, if your foot is off the clutch and in a low gear you may have some increased engine braking due to 4wd IF your car is permanent 4x4. Many modern 4x4's are not though and are a two wheel drive until one of the drive wheels starts to spin and then they will shift the power to the non-drive wheels. Again you'd need to be on the gas to get effect and as soon as you start to slide it has no effect.

In the situation you describe maybe some fancy electronics are helping but not necessarily 4x4. Maybe you just have better winter tyres than the car that went off the road. I would take a two wheel drive car with winter tyres anyday over a 4x4 without. Even though I have 4x4 I would not say I'd never drive a front wheel drive car again. What is probably keeping you on the road is the fact that you slow down NOT your 4x4.

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Can we get back on track with the question of the OP, what to purchase to be baby friendly..

Not "to buy in order i can drive on ice and snow" ..i'm sure Op has no feelings of take her newborn up the mountains in the car

So we had :

4 x 4
people carrier

Both due to the fact that some have sliding doors and have the suitable hight for loading/unloading kids and buggy's without bumping your head.

Any other suggestions?
TBH the 4x4 debate is relevant. People think blindly that it is just safer hands down and get it to protect their little bundles of joy. It is not necessarily safer in all sitations and people should be aware of this before putting blind trust in something. I've seen a number of SUV's off the road most likely because people think they are invincible because they've got a fancy car. Like I said, it has it's uses, DO NOT fall into the trap of thinking it's going to save your life if you drive like a cock.

I'd personally put fuel efficiency in front of AWD if I ever needed a family car. Especially the way the price of oil is going.
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  #23  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:22
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

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So when going down this steep hill with a bend you have your foot on the gas? Because that is the only way 4x4 can have an affect on the cars handling in these circumstances. If you are coasting off the gas or braking your car is the same as a 2wd car.

Ok, if your foot is off the clutch and in a low gear you may have some increased engine braking due to 4wd IF your car is permanent 4x4. Many modern 4x4's are not though and are a two wheel drive until one of the drive wheels starts to spin and then they will shift the power to the non-drive wheels. Again you'd need to be on the gas to get effect and as soon as you start to slide it has no effect.

In the situation you describe maybe some fancy electronics are helping but not necessarily 4x4. Maybe you just have better winter tyres than the car that went off the road. I would take a two wheel drive car with winter tyres anyday over a 4x4 without. Even though I have 4x4 I would not say I'd never drive a front wheel drive car again. What is probably keeping you on the road is the fact that you slow down NOT your 4x4.
Get over it - has nothing todo with what car is baby friendly.. no one wants to crash his car... do you work for Top gear or fifth gear by any chance? if not , they should hire you

Lets also not forget the Volvo XC range, the "break /Stationwagon" version, deep trunk to fit allot of stuff in, slightly higher then a normal car,yet not as high and big as an SUV and some come with 4 x 4 when needed.
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  #24  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:28
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

Marie - do you know what you are talking about? Do you know how modern 4-wheel-drive systems work? Judging by what you have posted so far the answer is you don't.

2 important concepts - GRIP and TRACTION.

TRACTION is the ability to apply motive force from the engine to the ground.
GRIP is the ability to manouvre the vehicle on the scribed path.

Permenant 4wd is a system where ALL 4 wheels are permenantly receiving power from the engine (not necessarily equally). The majority of 4WD systems (where the car is primarily FWD) use a haldex clutch to shift upto a preset amount of torque to the rear. Some systems allow this to be locked (eg Nissan X-Trail) - this is a psuedo centre diff lock.

To further add to the complications you have the diff locks - which can be applied to lock the torque across an axle - and prevent a wheel spinning all the torque away.

Anyway, returning to the modern systems. The box of tricks receives messages from the ABS sensors on each wheel - and will use a lateral or longitudal slip to adjust the amount of torque sent to each wheel. The full range of tractions, stablility and dynamic controls all work in the same way. And if one system suffers a failure - they all go.

Quite frankly, any FWD with winter tyres - and a good drive will be more than adequate.

On the flip side - if Daddy is the Stig - 4wd might go down a treat if you want to drive on the throttle.

EDIT:
Land Rovers are not the only car with hill descent - BMW X-Drives have them.
Range Rooney Sport is the work of the devil. Overweight discovery in a cocktail dress.
Best small 4wd family car - IMHO - Skoda Yeti
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  #25  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:28
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

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TBH the 4x4 debate is relevant. People think blindly that it is just safer hands down and get it to protect their little bundles of joy.
It is safer in most situations, equally safe in some, and - assuming you have a saloon 4x4 vs. a "jeep" style - not more dangerous in any, assuming you drive equally in both cars.

Braking = equal
Driving on flat ("with foot on gas" as you put it) = safer
Rolling over = worse in high cars, same in standard saloons
mpg = worse

As for...

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DO NOT fall into the trap of thinking it's going to save your life if you drive like a cock.
Not quite sure how this is relevant. I don't know many parents who strap their newborns in cars thinking "Oh this is a safe 4x4, I think I'll drive like a cock today."



Seriously, what's your beef?
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Last edited by Carlos R; 16.03.2011 at 17:48. Reason: fix quotes
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  #26  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:34
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

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Seriously, what's your beef?
It's Paddy's day tomorrow..

Now back to the OP's question..

4 x 4
Break/Stationwagon
People carrier
Mini van

Regardless of being 4 x 4 - OP is looking for comfort ,hight and space, as well as safety.

No matter what OP will drive, i'm sure it won't be driven like a mad person while having kids in the back.
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  #27  
Old 16.03.2011, 17:53
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

There is this (in German):

http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/n...o-3477384.html

Has lot's of pictures and the rest can be thrown at the big G.

Personally, I'd go into the Skoda Octavia Combi / VW Passat Variant direction.
Or Seat Alhambra / VW Sharan.
SUV? What for?
Space for storage and people is actually limited, unless the SUV is _really_ big.
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  #28  
Old 16.03.2011, 18:03
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

Something that is easy to park and not too big so that you can open all door in your parking space at home. You don't want to be driving out then loading the kids in. A neighbour recommended an Espace where you can load the kids through the back door and climb through the center to buckle them in. 7 proper seats like in a Kia would be good if you are planning on driving long distances when your family visits.
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  #29  
Old 16.03.2011, 18:37
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

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A neighbour recommended an Espace where you can load the kids through the back door and climb through the center to buckle them in. 7 proper seats like in a Kia would be good if you are planning on driving long distances when your family visits.
I like that idea of having the climb through from the back option - very practical.
From experience of both, I definitely recommend a vehicle that has that 5th door at the back, as opposed to a boot. If, you do end up getting one with a boot ( okay, better for security of goods locked inside) then go for one where the floor of the boot is level with the back opening - not one where you have to lift items such as a buggy over any raised ledge to get it in or out.
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  #30  
Old 16.03.2011, 18:40
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

Oh, and enough leg room and confort in the back seat for an adult to be able to sit there - sometimes useful for helping settle cranky babies on long trips.
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  #31  
Old 16.03.2011, 18:43
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

So Peugeot 807 ? Chrysler Voyager? the smaller Mini van's in the Ford range?

They all have sliding doors, so even with limit space, you won't need as much to swing the door open as to slide it.

And these are handy if you quickly want to get in the back to check something.

Suv's are great but not with baby's indeed as the trunk space is limited.
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  #32  
Old 16.03.2011, 19:36
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Re: Points to consider when purchasing a bab -friendly car ?

Sorry - just got in - haven't got time to review all replies before I pull the plug, but will still chip in with my two pen'uth.

We have a Renault Kangoo 4x4 from 2006 (unfortunately I don't think the 4x4 option is currently available with new models).

Loads of space inside, but not as big as the standard type people carrier outside, for parking (although the 4x4 is higher than normal Kangoo - so 2.00m height clearance is needed for mine).

Rear sliding doors and aircraft type overhead lockers for all your baby needs.

Being based on a van the tailgate opens high and flat (serves as a roof, when open) and there is no "lip" for loading into the boot/trunk - just straight in - plus ideal for sitting.

The square, box shape may not be the most attractive or aerodynamic, but is practical for carrying stuff. Rear seats double fold forwards and give a flat high capacity load area when needed (with tie-down rings).
Plenty of rear leg room, and the inside height makes it feel roomier than the outside dimensions suggest - probably room for Peter Crouch and Jan Koller.

The only negative with our/4x4, is that because of the rear-diff., the spare wheel is stored in the boot compartment, at the side. Normal/non-4x4, I think, it is underneath.

Unfortunately, we only got this, when our youngest was already 2 yrs. and only needing a buggy. Struggling before that with the crappy boot of a Suburu Impreza combi.
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