Okay, we get it.  You belong to the “no way I am driving a minivan” crew.  For many moms, the car you drive seems to be the last remaining evidence of your independence.  As if to say, “if I give in to the minivan, there is no way that Bradley Cooper will ever look at me when I pass him on the way to soccer practice”.  Even though the minivan has come a long way in styling, convenience, and safety, there are plenty of great UV options that still give you the space, safety and style you deserve, and won’t break the bank.

First, consider the many online research options available, but make sure to pick ones that do nothing but eat, breath and sleep cars.  Cars.com, KBB.com, and Edmunds.com are a few of them.  Not only do they have invaluable research and ratings on autos, but many have great information like financing calculators, and the all-important warranty information.  Before you begin your search, know these important questions.

  1. Price.  What is your budget for your new set of wheels?  The aforementioned financing calculators can help tremendously in the area.  Unless you have $25-$40K laying around to buy your new SUV outright, it will be important to know what kind of monthly payment you can afford.
  2. People.  How many people do you want your new SUV to hold?  Many midsize and full-size SUVs now come with third row seating.   Adding the third row can add additional seating for up to 3 little ones, or two adults.  It also typically adds $5K-$8K to your overall price.
  3. Convenience.  Cup holders in the front and back, seat pockets for the kid’s stuff, rear compartment air and heat zones, audio and entertainment systems and of course interactive mapping.  How important are these?
  4. Performance.  From engine size to drive train, what is important to you?  Here are a couple basics to ask yourself.  Is it front wheel drive or all-wheel drive?  If you live in cold weather climates that get a lot of snow and ice, or in tropical climates with a lot of rain, all-wheel drive is probably worth the extra $5K on the price tab. Do your research on the number of cylinders and horsepower you will want in your new SUV to perform like a car and not a dump truck.

As mentioned, do your research from your couch before you go to the dealership for a test drive.  One of the most renowned publications for all things auto is “Car and Driver” magazine.  According to Car and Driver online (www.caranddriver.com), the top 5 midsize SUVs for 2017 to consider are…

So, what do you think?  Will Bradley Cooper think you look hot in one of these?  Next time, we will talk about car buying tips.