264 comments

The Top 4 SUVs for Growing Families

interiorLet’s face it. Here in America, a car is not a luxury, it’s a basic necessity. With our wide-reaching cities and the harried schedule of our modern lives, the comfort, flexibility and privacy offered by the modern automobile is both an essential part of life, and a little slice of heavenly peace to brighten each day.

As a teenager, you fell in love with your first taste of four-wheeled freedom. As you moved through college and adulthood, you surely upgraded to models a little more befitting of your status. So now here you are in your late 20s, with a blossoming career and car to go with it. Whether it’s an Audi or BMW, Lexus or Infiniti, your ride tells the world who you are: your taste, your status, and your individuality.

Until that magic moment when all of this flies out the window: you have a baby on the way!

Suddenly, there’s more to be concerned about that simply style and performance. You’ll need to accommodate car seats, soccer balls, and strollers. You’ll need to load shopping bags from the mall into the back with a wriggling child or two in each arm. Family life means driving on snow and dirt, and hauling your trailers and toys. And above all, you’ll need the safest vehicle to protect your new precious cargo. This means 4-wheel-drive and superior crash protection.

In short, if the diagnosis is pregnancy, the prescription is SUV.

Luckily we’re on the job for you here at Mr. Money Mustache. I collected the best SUVs on the American market and compared them side-by-side to pick a winner.

2014 Toyota Sequoia Platinum

toyotaWith seating for 8, the $60,795 Sequoia does it all. Featuring a fully boxed load frame, a responsive 381 horsepower 5.7L V-8 engine, and a 5750lb curb weight, this family hauler is nimble, capable, and luxurious. With fuel economy of 13MPG around town and as high as 18MPG on the highway, it can help your family’s dollar stretch just a bit further, and who doesn’t need that these days?

2014 Ford Expedition Limited EL

excursionSure, it’s big, and it’s fast, with specs rivaling the Sequoia at the budget friendly price of $51,695. But what really sets the Expedition apart is the perforated heated and cooled front leather seats! What could be a better respite from a pounding day of errands than a cushion of climate-controlled air that soothes you back to sanity? Fuel efficiency is just as good at 13/18 for the 4WD model. Also sold as the Lincoln Navigator, with an even more distinctive selection of luxury appointments.

2014 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ

suburbanIt’s everything you’ve come to expect from a large SUV and so much more. High intensity headlamps and foglamps, Front Park Assist, 12-way seats, Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Assist, all powered by an EcoTec 5.3L V-8 with the ability to tow 8,000 pounds. Eco-Tec means you’re actually helping the environment as you cruise your way through each 33.5 gallon (126 litre) tank of fuel! But if all that tech-talk makes your eyes glaze over, let’s just put it this way: A very sweet ride that will be the envy of your block, with 16 cupholders for only $62,595! Also sold as the Cadillac Escalade with a more prestigious front grille for only a few thousand more.

2014 BMW X5 50i

bmwFor those with smaller families and a higher demand for performance, the venerable X5 may fit the bill. Featuring a 4.4 liter twin turbo V-8 that pours 450 horsepower into this SUV’s lightweight 4950 pound figure, the X5 will scream from 0-60 in about five seconds, smoking all four of its 19″ performance tires in the process. But with heated leather seating for 7 and available personal video screens for each passenger, your lucky children might not even notice what you’re up to.

Starting at under $70,000 with the Mocha Interior Design Package and the Executive Package, the X5 gets my personal vote for the best vehicle to prepare for baby. If cash is a little tight, BMW’s financing and lease packages can have one of these safe and roomy vehicles in your driveway for as little as $789 per month.

Although having your first baby is a challenging experience that will require many costly purchases, I hope I’ve at least helped with the most critical decision of all: what to drive.*

 

 

 

 

*Oh, and happy April Fool’s Day. The best family vehicle is a pair of bikes for the parents, each pulling a bike trailer. Second choice is a good small car (you can get kid seats that fit 3-across even in compact cars). And if you REALLY need something to carry a lot of people, get yourself a 2007 Mazda5 with a 4-cylinder engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. It comfortably carries 6 adults (tested it myself), burns a reasonable amount of gas, and is not a gigantic Douchewagon that will get you punched in the face by passing Mustachians. Just don’t buy one and then use the damned thing for single-person commuting!

  • Stan April 1, 2014, 9:40 am

    The bike won’t cut it on a cross country trip to see mom and dad. A bike with a carrier might be ok for exercise or a day off but not for hardcore winter in Iowa. I was in Denmark and there were oceans of bicycles. Good luck taking more than a days worth of groceries on one of these. I witnessed a couple of people with their 5 year old pedalling as fast as his little legs could work to keep up with mom and dad who got their freedom from hauling the little tyke around on the back. The city had car driving lanes, then bicycle lanes on both sides and then a sidewalk. The bikes had the right of way over everything and they could mow down a pedestrian and keep going without stopping. Not my idea of heaven after 5 days there.
    These vehicles list for more than my first house cost! I won’t be buying a new car anytime soon.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2014, 11:32 am

      I betcha there are some people reading right now that find cycling in Iowa’s generally pleasant winters to be a piece of cake (it is warmer and with more sun and less snow than anywhere I grew up). And with a bike trailer, you can easily carry MONTHS of groceries: I been doing all my own grocery shopping by bike for over 5 years, year-round.

      http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/20/mmm-challenge-try-getting-your-groceries-with-a-bike-trailer/

      Reply
      • Debs April 1, 2014, 4:20 pm

        I live in Des Moines, Iowa and let me tell you our winters are pretty harsh actually! It’s the ice that really gets you. Although we had a brutal winter this year I saw one guy riding his mountain bike to work in the mornings when it was decent out. I am an avid cyclist & wouldn’t dare ride to my work in our winters but give kuddos to those brave souls who do! I might throw out a handwarmer or two next year as well :)

        Reply
        • A A ron April 1, 2014, 10:22 pm

          Debs, the key point here is that there is no justification for a full size SUV. If it’s too icy, one could walk instead. Ultimately, one has to better choose their housing location such that they do not need to drive to work, the grocery store, or school (ala MMM). It may mean compromising on something, ie higher rent for better location, but math usually tells us it is worth it. For reference, I am from Ankeny (birth – 21), and biked/walked 2.2 miles nearly every day to Northview Middle School for two years, adjusting my clothes and my speed as needed. It certainly didn’t harm me any.

          Reply
        • Yossarian April 2, 2014, 4:55 am

          Checking wikipedia, the average temperatures for Des Moines are pretty damn nice. An average winter in Des Moines is like an average March where I’m from (about -10C daily lows, about 0C daily highs).

          I biked to work in -30C (colder if you count the wind) during the polar vortex this year. Voluntary discomfort!!!

          Reply
      • Lucas April 2, 2014, 11:24 am

        Mr. M:
        I live just north of Des Moines. Let me tell you, Iowa winters are not pleasant. This was the crappiest winter ever. I admire your constant optimism and great world view, but sometimes it’s just not jiving with reallity.
        We don’t have a bike culture, or the infastructure to support it. Roads are not cleared well, folks aren’t looking for you. The sun hardly ever shines (unlike your sunny Longmont days). The wind is a killer.
        Can you ride a bike in the winter? Sure. Does anyone want to? No.

        Reply
        • Yossarian April 3, 2014, 5:31 am

          It’s called voluntary discomfort and it’s key for a great life. I bike in dark, cold, windy Canadian winters (Sudbury, ON if you want to look up the weather). It’s exhilarating.

          Reply
        • Tallgirl1204 April 3, 2014, 9:57 pm

          I used to think I couldn’t bike in the winter either. I live in an area with similar winter to Denver… I’m older, not a great athlete, and riding on ice is beyond me. However, this past January we had a dry spell and the roads were ice-free,,so one morning I put on my pac boots, wind pants and parka, stuck a fleece hat under my helmet and big gloves on my hands, made sure my flashing lights were working, and rode to work. It was fun! I rode 12 days in January. My goal for 2014 is to ride at least 100 days. My point is that it isn’t about doing everything perfectly or fabulously; it is about stopping complaining and starting to figure out what works for you. Thanks to MMM I am slimmer, stronger and more cheerful than I usually am coming out of winter. If I could ride 12 days in January, how many can I ride in June?

          Reply
    • Marcia April 1, 2014, 12:48 pm

      I have many friends and family members who live in Denmark. I love the bike culture.

      They shop more frequently than once a week.

      My one friend, when her kids were young, would bike 9 km to drop the older one off at school and then another 5km to work. Then repeat at the end of the day.

      Reply
    • Andres Salomon April 1, 2014, 3:20 pm

      *chuckle*. “The bikes had the right of way over everything and they could mow down a pedestrian and keep going without stopping.”

      Yeah, that’s usually how it works. Those speed demons on bikes just mow down pedestrians and keep going (the laws of physics be damned)! That’s why pedestrian fatalities over there are so high, compared to here in the US where we give cars the right of way over everything. If only they’d learn from us, we know exactly what we’re doing. Cars are to be trusted, but bikes; man, those things are DANGEROUS.

      Reply
    • jet April 2, 2014, 1:05 am

      Sounds like heaven to me!

      Reply
    • Niall April 2, 2014, 8:37 am

      You will get more than a weeks shopping in one of these, including the 2 kids.

      http://www.close-up.info/foto/index.php/amsterdam-transport/amsterdam-transport-1

      As far a cycle lanes are concerned they improve a city 10 fold and you just need to get used to the rules. If a bike was mowing you down then you shouldn’t have been there.

      Reply
    • Niall April 2, 2014, 8:41 am

      Also if you asked that 5 year old whether he wanted to be on his own bike or strapped onto mums then i can guess the answer you would have got.

      Reply
    • Beth April 2, 2014, 7:18 pm

      My fairly tall family fits into a Prius. My husband is 6’5″. My kids are 6’1″ and 5’11”. I am just 5’7″. My husband just leans the seat back so that gives him a little extra room for his head (otherwise the top of his head is touching the car).

      Taller kid prefers to sit behind me rather than my husband.

      For compact car with great gas mileage, the Prius is surprisingly roomy.

      Reply
  • Valerie April 1, 2014, 9:43 am

    Ha! I was seriously confused for a moment . . . apparently I need more coffee. Thanks for the April Fool’s wake-up call!

    Reply
  • MoneyAhoy April 1, 2014, 9:47 am

    I prefer Hummers myself!!! :-)

    Reply
  • NewStachian April 1, 2014, 9:55 am

    The thing I love about this article is if it wasn’t on the MMM forums… it would be a totally normal article, not an April Fools joke.

    Reply
  • Jennifer April 1, 2014, 10:31 am

    I’ll take one of each. But only if they all come in the bright lime green.

    Reply
  • George April 1, 2014, 10:32 am

    Wow a “2104 Toyota Sequoia Platinum”, I will have to wait almost a 100 years in the future just to even purchase this one. At least by that point, the $51,695 price tag will be equivalent only to that of weeks worth of groceries due to inflation.

    Reply
    • Lena April 1, 2014, 12:46 pm

      I realized the same, but it will be $51,695 for a 2104 Sequoia bike!

      Reply
  • Katie April 1, 2014, 10:34 am

    Best Thing have read all day. You can fit 3 car seats in the back of a 98 Camry and a 2002 pasat. I do it often.

    Reply
  • Carolina on My Mind April 1, 2014, 10:36 am

    Harold and Maude fans will want to go with the Suburban. It already looks like a hearse. :)

    Reply
  • sigpop April 1, 2014, 10:47 am

    Any suggestions for cars that get good gas mileage for taller families? I was surprised how well I fit in one of the newer (last few years) Civics, but dismayed to look behind the driver seat to see how little room that left for passengers since I had the seat cranked all the way back. Sure it would work now for my kids, but in about 3 years they won’t fit, and I’d be stuck “investing” in another vehicle.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2014, 11:29 am

      One trick I’ve learned to fit more people in a compact car is just learning to enjoy a more forward driver’s seat.

      It sounds odd, but I noticed that some friends who are quite a bit shorter than me (just over 6′) drive with the seat much further back. Another guy I know is slightly taller, and seems to have this theme of “I am SO TALL, that I have to buy special cars to accomodate my hugeness!”

      In my performance-driving days, I started preferring a more forward seat so I could work the pedals more quickly and brace my knees on the sides of the footwell during extreme cornering. It turned out to be plenty comfortable, and it makes it so I can easily fit tall people behind me in the little Scion.

      So, to all the tall drivers out there: try moving the seat up a few inches and see what happens. I also find that any extra bodyweight makes you need to put the seat further back (just as you have to slide it back if you hop in with a bulky winter coat) – another incentive to stay lean :-)

      Reply
      • Gerard April 3, 2014, 6:05 am

        Yeah, I’m 6’4″ and whenever I cadge a lift from someone, they say, “You can push that seat back, you know!” I usually reply, “No thanks, I have knees that bend.”

        Reply
      • tallgirl1204 April 4, 2014, 12:04 pm

        I learned this too, back in my travelin’ days when everything I owned would fit in my 1980 Toyota Tercel (39-42 mpg; I still miss it). Seat forward gave me more room in the back seat for my collection of sports gear.

        I find I prefer not to have my arms extended so far out in front of me, which makes my neck hurt. I do worry sometimes about whether I am too close to the air bags, but the fact is that I’m still not all the way forward– at 6 feet tall, I drive more in the position a 5’8″ person usually would.

        The big trick is finding a car I can sit upright in. The leaning-back position sucks. I find that some of the smaller cars (Prius, cooper) have pretty good head room, while others (ford focus) do not. Try before you buy, for sure.

        Reply
    • Venturing April 3, 2014, 1:58 pm

      My husband at 6’7 physically can’t drive some cars as his knees can’t fit under the dashboard. His favourite car to drive? my 1993 Corolla. The lesson? don’t assume that you need a large car to fit large people, it’s the design of the interior that actually matters. We’ve consistently found that smaller simpler cars often have better interior space as they don’t feel the need to have all the swanky interior guff that you never actually use anyway.

      Reply
  • Joseph April 1, 2014, 10:53 am

    Best. April Fool’s Day Prank. Ever.

    Reply
  • Chattanooga Cheapster April 1, 2014, 11:03 am

    Loved it!!

    I hope someone google’s SUV REVIEWS and unwittingly finds this page, and reads far enough to discover their Douche-ness.

    Awesome

    Reply
  • Debra April 1, 2014, 11:05 am

    Good one! You had me going there for about 30 seconds!

    Reply
  • Dmitry April 1, 2014, 11:05 am

    I live in Canada, Montreal
    If we talk about driving on snow/cold(cold starts from 0 and down to -25) weather, i have to say AWD is useless if you don’t know how to use it; and regular driver usually doesn’t
    Good winter tires is much more practical

    Reply
    • Tim April 1, 2014, 9:18 pm

      For winter driving, 4×4 just gets you further into the ditch!

      Reply
    • Joe Average March 3, 2015, 12:11 pm

      And AWD with snow tires is unstoppable… Why all the hate on AWD. There is a 1MPG difference between 2WD and AWD in versions of my vehicle.

      We don’t get enough snow here to justify snow tires so our family hauler rolls around on “All-Season” tires. Works just fine with AWD. Last week we had a layer of ice under snow and with AWD we were able to get out and shop and help friends who couldn’t.

      Reply
  • Stephanie April 1, 2014, 11:06 am

    Am I the only one that thinks that Suburban looks kind of like a hearse?

    We get 3 car seats nicely in our Camry. We have the baby’s car seat in the middle and a booster seat on either side.

    Reply
  • Dr. Doom April 1, 2014, 11:09 am

    Apparently I’m more gullible than I thought… halfway through reading, i was thinking, this is it. This is the moment MMM has jumped the shark. Sold out. It’s like Dennis Leary selling Fords or Metallica releasing Load. Or maybe the pigs in Animal Farm that start off leading a revolution but end up becoming just like the human despots they replaced.

    Pretty sick joke, MMM. Well played.

    Reply
    • Scott from Detroit April 1, 2014, 11:20 am

      Dr. Doom, the same thing happened to me. I got an email notification of a new article and the subject said “The Top 4 SUB’s for Growing Families”, any my head exploded. At first I was like “SELLOUT”, but once I got partway through the description of the Sequoia, I realized it.

      Well played, MMM, well played.

      Reply
  • R. April 1, 2014, 11:11 am

    Funny, but stressful, because I hear those lines spoken sincerely by many good friends! We had a 98 Civic hatchback with two car seats and a booster seat in the back. If it hadn’t died, we’d still be driving it instead of our 2000 Corolla. Our neighbours had to get a new SUV because they have two toddlers. Many colleagues had to get SUVs because they have two children and needed the space. One had to get an SUV because it would better attract a mate instead of the four year old minivan. What?!!?! It’s making me crazy. People make suggestions about “great” lease “deals.” I often sense they feel sad for me because my car portrays “poor.” People often offer us their castoffs. I haven’t bought clothes for my children in years because we get fabulous hand-me-downs. One cast-off was a double bike trailer that has given us eleven!! years of free three child transportation (with a bike seat on the bike). Four months until our mortgage is paid and we have one house, two cars, three kids, 7! bikes and no debt. April fools, indeed.

    Reply
  • annie April 1, 2014, 11:22 am

    LOL-i almost crapped my pants when i was reading this!! nice one.

    Reply
  • Fran April 1, 2014, 11:23 am

    Bwahahahahahaha!!
    I couldn’t read the title without a visceral snarl, and still haven’t made it past the second sentence.

    Here’s my SUV:
    http://yubabikes.com/cargo-bikes/mundo/what-do-you-want-to-do/

    Reply
  • Bicycle Mama April 1, 2014, 11:27 am

    Haha, u totally got me! Of course, we both know that you don’t need a car at all just because you’re having a baby. A bicycle with a decent baby seat or carri er does the job just fine! Plus it melts away the baby fat in no tome, so you save on gym costs as well.

    Reply
  • Carolina April 1, 2014, 11:28 am

    Aarrgh, don’t do that again! My blood ran cold;).

    Reply
  • Ton Bil April 1, 2014, 11:29 am

    Because first is best, I bought the 2104 Toyota Sequoia Platinum right away. Thanks for your work! Your last remarks about alternatives for SUV’s is just an April Fool’s joke, isn’t it?

    Reply
  • Johnny Aloha April 1, 2014, 11:30 am

    MMM – you could’ve had a great career in marketing!

    Reply
  • Mario April 1, 2014, 11:33 am

    OMG. It’s April Fools Day! I was reading through this extremely confused. I was going to say something like, “at least look into a minivan or crossover to save on fuel mileage.” Glad to see that this is a joke and I’m extra glad you made sure to point out the “safety” aspect of why people think they need SUVs :)

    Reply
  • George Seamans April 1, 2014, 11:39 am

    R u serious bro?? Those cars r dum

    Reply
  • Ann April 1, 2014, 11:41 am

    Hate to tell you this, but we get better gas mileage in our Honda Odyssey than we did in our 2006 Mazda5 ….and with 8 seats we can haul the neighbor kids as well as our own three, effectively doubling the gas mileage as the other family isn’t taking a car to the same destination :)

    But great April Fools post!

    Reply
    • Cheap Daddy April 1, 2014, 11:46 pm

      Agreed

      We test drove the Mazda 5 in 2009 and went with the odyssey. We thought it was much much more bang for the buck and really good gas mileage compared to the SUVs on this page. I question the 6 adult comfortably claim above in the Mazda 5, unless they are very short, especially that miserable 3rd row. Also folks we know that went with a Mazda 5 in that time frame have odd mechanical issues that are now costing them a bundle while (KNOCK ON WOOD) our Odyssey keeps on chugging along. I believe Mr Money Mustache drives an odyssey and makes the excuse that it’s for his construction. However I bet you it’s dang nice if he wants to haul a few friends with his family…..

      Wonderful april fools post! I was on the second vehicle going “no way” and I’m reading this on the 2nd so it “got me” before it dawned on me that it was a prank. Thanks for the chuckle!

      Reply
    • Allen April 2, 2014, 6:55 am

      I think the key here is manual transmission on the Mazda 5.

      Reply
      • Ann April 2, 2014, 9:45 pm

        On the highway we get 26-28 mpg in the Odyssey; our Mazda5 was about the same. We had the convertible (can be driven in manual or automatic) mode, and we didn’t see much difference between the two. In town the Odyssey is a little lower, but we just bike more and drive less. The bigger problem was the “my 10 yr old boy doesn’t fit in the back row and there is no room for groceries or luggage or baseball gear or friends” problem :) We loved our Mazda5 and it was great when we had two kids, but it didn’t work so well when they got larger and we had a third :)

        Reply
      • Joe Average March 3, 2015, 12:28 pm

        The lack of a manual transmission eliminates many brands and models for us.

        Manual transmissions are cheaper to buy initially and they are usually trouble free for 300K+ miles in our experience. No sudden death like I’ve seen with automatics requiring a rebuild (clutch packs or solenoids).

        Reply
  • Leslie April 1, 2014, 11:41 am

    Yeah, thanks for the laugh!
    We don’t own a SUV but a very small car. SUV owners have asked me, “What do you do when you have to move?” I tell them it is relatively cheap to rent a U-Haul trailer, about 40.00 a day, plus gas, and since we haven’t moved in 15 years it isn’t much of a problem.

    Reply
  • Anna N April 1, 2014, 11:41 am

    HAHAHA I thought for sure you’d been hacked! Good one MMM

    Reply
  • Frugal Paragon April 1, 2014, 11:47 am

    My sister drove three kids around in a Civic for several months while she saved up the down payment for a Mazda 5. I don’t understand why anyone would prefer an SUV–I’m so jealous of those mini van doors every time I have to get a kid out of a car seat and someone has parked too close to me.

    Reply
  • Pam April 1, 2014, 11:48 am

    You got me. I totally thought you had lost your mind.

    I also didn’t know those cars really cost that much. WOW sticker shock.

    Reply
  • Scott April 1, 2014, 11:50 am

    I live in Chicago, and people buy the models in this article, then drive and park them in the city. They are so gigantic that they take up half the bike lane (all of it if you count the door zone). Sometimes when I am riding, one of these behemoths comes up behind me and can’t pass me because it is so wide it takes up the entire street. This usually leads to an angry, fat motorist driving approximately 4 inches from my back tire and screaming nasty words at me. Ahh, the joys of living in a city where able-bodied people think they need heavy machinery to travel even the shortest distance.

    Reply
  • 9 O'Clock Shadow April 1, 2014, 11:58 am

    Woke up this morning looking forward to the usual April 1st chain yanks in the newspaper/tv. Breezily read through this knowing it was a full-on rope tug, expecting you’d let go at the end. But something kept tugging…. FRONT PARK ASSIST IS AN ACTUAL FEATURE!!!! AHHHH!!!! Let go of my JUNK Please!!! This is starting to HURT!!!!

    But then the geometry of driving an SUV came back to me, from years of driving (parent’s) SUV. The Blind Spots are immense in the front, rear, and sides – it’s what Euclid demands for the increased ride height and vehicle size. Nearly took out a Miata during a lane change the first time I drove the ’99 Pathfinder. (Great vehicle for bumbling around on rough roads in Quebec provincial parks while engaging the manual 4-Wheel Diff Lock  But that fun paled in comparison to hiking around the actual parks themselves.)

    Blind spots (or entire Zones FFS!) are an excellent metaphor for the features these vehicles carry, or any others for that matter.

    Reply
  • Alex Krizel April 1, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Ha! good one. I meant to comment on an earlier “car post”, but never did. While I agree with pretty much everything here (or “there” as the case may be), I do have a concern. If it was just me, I would have no issue driving a small 4-cylinder. Issue is, I have worked at enough ERs and seen enough people pulled from such cars that I don’t think I would ever put my family in one. Remember, you could be the safest driver on the road, but the drunk who slams into you is not. It’s nice to have 4 tons of steel between you and the outside. As always, that security comes at a price. No, you are not invincible in one of these SUVs, but you’re chances sure do improve. I’ll skimp on quite a few things, but my family is one I will never be able to skimp on. Just my $0.02. Thanks for the laugh.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2014, 4:31 pm

      Anecdotal evidence like that may not be the best way to make safety decisions. If you poke around at the numbers, you’ll see midsize cars are the safest in crashes (not SUVs), but the difference between car categories is negligible compared to other strategies, like driving less. Retiring earlier allows this, so it could be argued the compact car is by far the safest choice:

      http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/07/safety-is-an-expensive-illusion/

      To frame it another way, if you prefer anecdotal evidence you could spend more time in the cardiac care wing, where you’ll find loads of not-that-old people who are suffering and dying very early due to diet/exercise related diseases. Lack of exercise is our biggest killer in the US, making the stats from compact cars (or all cars) look pretty negligible.

      Reply
      • Alex Krizel April 1, 2014, 5:28 pm

        MMM: Thanks for the reply. I figured you would have a comment, and I think you are correct. Your “safety” article was pretty spot on, but I must say that I still humbly disagree with vehicles. The NHTSA stat you put up was a bit misleading. It is informational, not causational. Still, the issue is, fatalities are, by definition, fatal. We can take those same numbers (lies, damned lies and statistics, I know) to read that 4.7 people out of 100K MAY have been saved had they been in an SUV. Of those 4.7, none will live past their fatality. Therefore, they will not live 58.2 years as opposed to 60, but only until the accident that turned out to be fatal. In that respect, actual safety data available from the same NHTSA shows that an SUV (full sized) or another similar sized vehicle (crown vic comes to mind) give you a better chance at surviving an accident. To me, that’s worth the $65K difference in gas over 60 years. There was an article in Reader’s Digest about 10 years ago about how teen fatalities on roadways doubled since teens started driving the little compact cars versus the Buicks and Full-sized sedans. The article was pretty concise and had quite a bit of data. At the end, the author said he would get his child a Hummer if it was up to him. I looked through the whole magazine and couldn’t find a single ad for Hummer. I don’t know. It may be as you said, but I would argue that even a 0.01% chance of my child being safer is worth it for me. Just my take on it. Be well.

        Reply
        • Four one April 1, 2014, 10:40 pm

          Arguing that large SUV’s are safer on the MMM blog? This must be April Fools day. :-) I can understand that it might make you feel safer driving around in 4 tons of steel but it definitely is not safer for all the people in smaller cars around you. I assume that you also care about the safety of other people’s families right? Or would you suggest that everyone buy large SUVs so they feel safer also. If that happened and everyone was driving around in 4 tons then you probably wouldn’t feel as safe anymore. You would need to go to the next level and buy a M1 Abrams tank in order to feel safe. There are drawbacks though, I don’t think they have heated seats or adequate cup holders.

          Reply
  • HealthyWealthyExpat April 1, 2014, 12:03 pm

    Ha! It’s past noon here in the UAE – does that mean the joke doesn’t count? If you want to enter SUV heaven (or hell, if you’re a Mustachian), you need to come here and have a look. My guess is that there are at least twice as many SUV’s per capita than in North America. Many of my colleagues on the campus where I live/work actually drive theirs to work, which is about 500-700m away. Of course, by the time they park and walk to their office, it takes much longer than by bike, my daily mode of travel. It’s all just a huge head-shaker!

    Reply
  • Kassandra Bradberry April 1, 2014, 12:05 pm

    I gotta say. We have a Mazda 5. With three kids we needed something that I could haul all the kids in . I test drove a Sienna and I asked the guy where the loud speaker was because I felt like I was driving a tour bus. I love the Mazda 5 except for a few things… the gas mileage really BLOWS. Seriously, for how compact it is. It’s as big as our old Subaru wagon and the wagon has AWD and gets BETTER gas mileage. It’s very disappointing. If this car had one or the other I would love, love, love it. It’s just lame that it doesn’t come with top bars because if you go on any kind of a road trip you will need a top box to haul stuff. It’s wimpy up hills. In Seattle we often have wet, steep hills and (again comparing to our old Subaru wagon) this car is extremely wimpy. And what is up with the low, low painted bumper? Who’s car design idea is this? I almost immediately crunched ours into a parking marker. Any way, done with my Mazda 5 rant. Almost the perfect economy car for a family of 5…at least I can parallel park it.

    Reply
  • Allen April 1, 2014, 12:09 pm

    Laughed out very loud in a datacenter here

    Reply
  • shiva April 1, 2014, 12:10 pm

    good one.. you almost got me.
    talk about the land of excess… why on earth will someone need 16 cup holder in a car and why on god’s name will someone buy it thinking they’ll need it.
    most of the time i see these douchewagons driven by one person on the freeway. kids dont ask for big cars.. its all in our head.

    Reply
  • Rey April 1, 2014, 12:11 pm

    Fell for it hook line and sinker. Great article! Sad that so many will be sold. I bought my first condo for the same price as one of these.

    Reply
  • Doug P. April 1, 2014, 12:20 pm

    “… and is not a gigantic Douchewagon that will get you punched in the face….”

    Classic. Had been burned already by another April Fool’s blog post so this one did not catch me. I found great humor in it none the less.

    Is it bad that I would still love to own one of those big, gas guzzling machines? The truth is that we have already sold the Tundra and Expedition and are down to an 11 year old Camry that gets about 2.5x the gas mileage as the others.

    I love this blog.

    Reply
  • Heidi April 1, 2014, 12:24 pm

    I was really confused for about 5 seconds. I don’t get that feeling when I read this blog.

    Reply
  • Kristina April 1, 2014, 12:27 pm

    HAHAHA Hilarious I almost fell out of my chair!

    Reply
  • ABC April 1, 2014, 12:35 pm

    “The best family vehicle is a pair of bikes for the parents, each pulling a bike trailer.” Sure sounds fun. As a child I was the one in the bike trailer. After a few accidents, blood and tears it wasn’t fun anymore. Life’s more stable with airbags.

    Reply
  • Molly April 1, 2014, 12:45 pm

    Thank goodness it was a joke. I was concerned for just a minute. You got me!

    Reply
  • Done by Forty April 1, 2014, 12:45 pm

    If I buy an SUV, sell my house, and live in the back seat, just think of the savings!

    With that option on the table, can I afford NOT to buy an Explorer?

    Reply
    • Mrs. GreenPennyGardener April 1, 2014, 4:33 pm

      Haha! Yes!
      My house was actually cheaper than every one of those vehicles… bought in cash in 2011 when the market was still way down. When you can live in a tiny 2 bedroom/1 bathroom house and put what you would have spent on housing in investments instead it is great!

      Reply
  • Karie April 1, 2014, 12:59 pm

    I am embarrassed to say the first thing I did was scroll down to see if the SUV I drive was on the list (it was not). I am not very mustachian yet but that does not stop the articles from being the first I read when I see them in my in box. I am pretty frugal based on my ‘ hood but not the average North American.
    Then I thought this has got to be a guest post, this does not sound like MMM at all (it was not)
    Lastly, I thought someone was playing a joke on MMM and hacked in and posted this!
    Hahaha – I guess I am slow on figuring things out on all accounts!

    Reply
  • Lindsey April 1, 2014, 1:24 pm

    First, I totally saw the joke the minute I read the headline  Second, thanks to you, I just bought my first bike since high school (I’m now 34.) I have two kids and can’t believe I’ve waited this long. I will be investing in a bike trailer soon, too. Third, and you’ll appreciate this, the place we bought the bike is a 5 mile drive from our home on a 55 MPH road. We realized we couldn’t fit the bike into the back of our 2004 Chevy Trailblazer so my husband volunteered to ride it home (imagine that.) He said the ride was not really that bad. We are embracing the MMM ways, slowly but surely!

    Reply
  • Hope April 1, 2014, 1:24 pm

    I have only very recently stumbled across your blog, & when I first started reading this entry, I thought, Well, crap, this isn’t at all the kind of information I was thinking it was going to be. Ha ha. Good one.

    Reply
  • Barb April 1, 2014, 1:27 pm

    haha! I actually have no intention of giving up my car, but one of those would buy about four of my car, lol. Although the BMW is pretty.

    Reply
  • Ryan April 1, 2014, 1:34 pm

    This is probably my favorite thing I‘ve read all day. You really nailed it. It’s so uncanny, I could barely get through it without riotously laughing. I can just picture the relish you took typing it.

    Reply
  • Judy April 1, 2014, 1:44 pm

    I thought I was going to have to punch you in the face! Lol I couldn’t believe what I was reading

    Reply
  • Larry April 1, 2014, 2:48 pm

    That really got me, my blood pressure soared and my heart skipped a beat and I shouted to my wife “you never guess what – Americans think that 18MPG is good no wonder oil is so bloody high!” Thank goodness I read to the end and did I laugh and was really happy to know that there are normal people across the pond! and yes I do know that works both ways!! Cheers that was brilliant.

    Reply

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