Sunday, January 15, 2006

Mom-mobile wish list

We currently drive a 2003 Subaru Forester. I know I'm fortunate to have such a nice vehicle, but I still find myself pining for my Laguna Gold 1989 Honda Civic, which had to be ditched because of rust and the expectation of child #2. While shopping for the Forester we really couldn't find the ideal family car. I don't know why more family-practical things are not built into cars built obviously for families. Such as:

  • Rubber floors like on the Honda Element.
  • Pop-up rear seats in the cargo area so we can fit 4 adults & 2 children. Or 2 adults and 4 children.
  • High gasoline efficiency.
  • Absolute ability to see in the back of the car. Why not cameras or a better mirror set up or a better shape to the vehicle?
  • How many children or people in wheelchairs have to be backed into before car-makers will get serious about this?
  • Easily cleanable seats.
  • Built-in vacuum cleaning.
  • Easily changeable (snap-in, snap out) inexpensive wiper blades. With clearly marked sizes.
  • Driver seat with clear instructions for adjusting the lumbar support & other doohickeys to make it actually comfortable for driving. And easily re-adjustable after Dad has fiddled with the seat.
  • Efficient built-ins for child-seats.
  • --Under $20K.
  • --Good on crash tests & other safety features.
  • --Utterly reliable--i.e. great repair record.
  • --Aerodynamic.
  • --Cheerful.
  • Not a minivan. Ability to not feel big. I miss my Civic.

  • Pop-up cargo holder box that retracts to aerodynamic lump under roof-racks when not in use. It's a real pain now to put on and take off our Yakima box. In the meantime, the Yakima type boxes should have retractable handles for carrying them to and from the storage area.
  • Window cleaners built into the car doors--opening a window should clean off the mud, salt, fingerprints, kid-applied stickers.

and for the child car-seat manufacturers:
  • Child car-seats where the buckle lenghts adjust quickly for when you have the child in or out of the bulky jacket on alternate days. (New England weather!)
  • Buckle straps that don't twist hopelessy around.
Maybe the buckle straps should be made out of something other than standard seat-belt fabric. Perhaps something more rubber-like, that retracts or comes out of their housing via easy push-button.

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