Mostly about my amusement

Small cars and children car seats

250px-MINICooperSYesterday after work Lily and I took the kids to see a MINI and BMW dealer. The idea is that we get one car for daily driving and an SUV for family trips, grocery shopping etc.

Right now I drive a 2000 ML-320. It’s a nice SUV but after 6 years I’d like to get something new. SUV’s are cool but gas is getting expensive. I am betting that before or on Labor Day this year gas will go over $4/gallon.

We went to the MINI dealer and looked at the floor models. The kids loved the car dealerships and they let me bring in both kids car seats and install them into a 2006 floor model. Me, Lily, both kids were a little cozy but it did fit.

I wonder how often a MINI dealer gets that request? “Excuse me, I want to check out how this zippy 4 seater does with the whole family. And do you know how many clowns we can fit in there?”

The kids car seats are pretty big and they have been using them for a long time. If we do get a MINI I’ll probably replace the kids car seats with (legal, safe, approved for their ages) smaller booster seats.

My current ML-320 SUV gets two complaints. First the cup holders are silly. They can only reasonably hold a small cup of coffee. Anything bigger and you need to get ready to catch the cup when it tilts out. Sodas from a fast food chain are just not worth the trouble.

The second complaint is the noise. Outside noise gets in very clearly. So when we checked out the X3 in the BMW dealer I was really pleased that when you closed the door, it kept out the muzak and conversation from the outside. This with other windows open (not the one in the door I was seated at). It maybe that the X3 is not the quiet and that my car is just loud. But the X3 seems like a well engineered vehicle.

We may keep the existing SUV and get the MINI. No rush so I think we’ll wait at least 2 months before making a decision.