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msb700

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Hi Everyone! It's been a while since i've actually posted something, but i've been lurking for a while, too busy with my new job and fixing the nursery at the house..

Well, with only a couple of months left to go i have started my baby registry and started receiving some of the items (always fun to rip thru the wrapping!)...Well, this is where the dilemma is. I currently drive a Mini Cooper which i love to bits..but to be very honest its VERY impractical for a new mom! The car seat doesn't fit properly and we have to do a lot of maneuvering to get it to fit....the stroller doesn't even fit in the trunk!! So hubby has been insisting its now time to look for a new car and i always knew that my next car after my mini would be an SUV....

So would LOVE to hear about ur suggestions of what SUV's are good and if you have one, what sort of experience you have.

Currently we have our eyes set on the mercedes 350 ML. The next contender is the infiniti FX35

any thoughts?

ETA: I've already gone through this old link here on PS : https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/reccomend-your-new-suv-to-me-please.38638/ but wondering if there were any updates since then.
 

Miranda

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I love the Mercedes GL. http://www.mbusa.com/models/class-overview.do?modelCode=gl_class_main I am having a hard time selling DH on it though because Mercedes has so many QC issues. Also, we have 3 kids (12, 11, 4) so we''re kind of in the BIG SUV stage right now. Currently I drive an ''04 Eddie Bauer Expeition and I hate it with a passion. It is the biggest pile of [email protected]! It rattles and is constantly at the dealer being fixed. Since it''s just out of waranty we recently spent $900 fixing an issue that was not covered under the extended warranty. I am so ready to sell the thing for scrap. I can''t imagine I''ll keep it for another year, but, it''s not super high on the priority list of things to do and things to spend money on right now. I *hear* that the new Expedition models are better, but, I don''t know for sure. Not to bash Ford or anything, but, my in laws have owned 2 Lincoln (Ford products) and 1 Ford truck in the past 10 years and all had to have the transmission replaced at 50,000 miles.

My aunt who is short (4''11") test drove the FX and said she couldn''t see anything out of it so be sure you test drive that one as visibility can be a problem.

Also, check out Lexus. Their RX and GX are great. My friend has a GX and adores it. It''s roomy and has a third row if needed.

It may be a good idea to subscribe to Comsumer Reports online. They always have great tips and reviews.

http://www.edmunds.com/ DH uses this site a lot for car info.

Happy car hunting!
 

Gracie1

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Oct 4, 2005
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Hi MSB, I drive a BMW X5 and I love it. It drives just like the 5 series, smooth, handles corners well and does not give a bumpy ride, you don''t even realize you are in an SAV. I also love the automatic all wheel drive, I was entering onto the highway on a curving on ramp and hit a patch of ice, the all wheel drive automatically came on and straightened me out immediately, so I feel very safe in it. So far we haven''t had any problems with it (it''s a 2005) and in general have found BMW''s to be a reliable car. We don''t have a 3rd row as it wasn''t an option, but now with the 2007''s it is, although I don''t know how useful it is, as the SAV doesn''t actually look that much bigger. But I have found that it seats 5 adults very comfortably with plenty of storage in the cargo area. Although, space is a little crunched when it is my husband and I and our 2 very large dogs, who take up the entire back with the seats down.

Good Luck.
 

KristyDarling

Ideal_Rock
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Hi there! Crash test results just came out today. The top-performing SUVs are listed in the first paragraph. HTH! :)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/02/13/national/w131523S22.DTL
 

divergrrl

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Lexus has a very nice hybrid SUV. If conserving gas, helping the environment is of any importance to you, its definitely one I would suggest! It''s on my "want to buy" list for a few years down the road. My dh hates hybrids, thinks the whole hullaballo is nonsense, but I put my foot down & told him I am in charge of our next car purchase & will make it when he''s on a business trip. (he does a lot of head shaking with me...lol)

At any rate, you are going to DIE when you go from a MiniCooper gas costs to a SUV gas cost change. I about choked when I sold my sedan & got my SUV. (which I rarely drive....dang gas hog).

But, I am consulting my Consumer Reports 2007 car buying guide & the Mercedes did not do well in maintenance or customer satisfaction. In fact, the only SUVs that really did well were the Lexus, Acura MDX, and Toyota''s (Highlander, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser). All the others got pretty poor marks.

If you want me to consult another model in my trusty little bookie here, let me know. I''m such a consumer reports ho''.

Jeannine
 

divergrrl

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I cannot believe I posted all that and did not congratulate you on your impending arrival!

CONGRATULATIONS!

EDD? Blue or Pink or Surprise? Oohhh, I love a new baby...so sweet!

Jeannine
 

diamondfan

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I had a Lexus LX 470. It is nice, but the third row is tough to use and the seats go up on hooks when not in use blocking your windows.

I then had a Town and Country top of the line Limited four wheel drive, great car, easy with the push button side doors and lift gate but just not me, I am not a mini van lover though the car was very convenient. We sent it to CA and my mother in law LOVES it. We had a middle row with captain''s seats and it was pretty roomy but behind the third row was not huge. The new ones with stow and go have more room, but there was no all wheel option on the new ones and in the East I needed that, so I was not inclined to get another van.

Then I got the huge Infiniti QX56 it was HUGE, drove nicely but with the third row in use it had NO rear room for a car that large. Felt like I was driving the QE 2 down the street.

I now have a Land Rover LR3 HSE, with the third row. It is pretty nice, not as touch a button luxurious as some of the other choices but deliberate by Range/Land Rover, they want to still keep the rugged perception. I put the burled wood on it and dvd screens in the head rests, I have the dog and the kids eating in it so I am fine with it for now. My hubby has a Supercharged Range Rover, but it only has two rows so it is limiting.

Lincoln Navigators can be hit or miss. Mercedes are crud now, everyone I know with one has major issues electrical etc. Escalades are nice but I wanted the elongated version and it was tight in our garage. How big do you need? I have three kids and often take other kids and the dog with me so I needed the extra seating. With just one child right now, you can get away with 5 seats and good trunk space for the stroller.
 

ephemery1

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My mom LOOOVES her BMW X5... she had a 2005 and just traded it in for the 2007. I'm not a huge fan of BMW's i-Drive because it just seems way too confusing for me
, but apparently once you get used to it, it's great. The design is definitely spacious enough to seat 5 adults comfortably (as Gracie mentioned). My whole family drives BMWs (our driveway on Thanksgiving looked like a dealership
) and while my brother and I have had some trouble with the 3-series (electrical issues), nobody else has had any problems at all over the past 10 years.

Before the X5s, my mom drove an Acura MDX (liked it, but not quite as revved-up as the BMW) and a Navigator (too big). My FI's mom drives a Lexus RX and I love the more compact size, but it does feel a little less luxurious than the BMW. As for FI and I, we live in the city so don't drive much, but use his very reliable Nissan Pathfinder for road trips. Next car on our list is a hybrid SUV... the Lexus RX400h would be awesome, but we'll probably go with the more affordable Toyota Highlander instead.

Hope that helps... have fun choosing!
 

divergrrl

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Diamondfan brings up a good point.

How many kids do you have, and are you planning on more in the near future?

I have an Isuzu Axiom, and it is a 5 seater. It is just fine for me, hubby, babyseat, german shepherd, and a few overnight bags, stroller, diaperbags, etc.

I am preggie with #2 and am not looking into a bigger car -- just yet. I babysat my friend''s kid last week, and put a second carseat in the car & both boys were comfortable. We just won''t be able to fit anyone else in the car with us. Not a big problem, since we can just rent a minivan for the one week a year hubby''s mom visits.

Although I have a feeling I will want a larger one when my kids have friends, etc...that may be joining us in the car. But my son is only 2, so that will be awhile off...

but if you are just having the one child for now, and if you aren''t the type to keep a car for 10 years or so, you can just go with a 2 row car for now. I always say I''m going to keep a car for 10 years, but usually throw in the towel and sell somewhere between 5 and 7. Oh well.

Jeannine
 

cpster

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I love my Toyota 4Runner...well priced and dependable. I''ve also heard good things about the Acura MDX, but it seems a bit smaller.
 

diamondfan

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Thanks Diver...

I just wanted to inject some of that into the decision, because unless you think you need a third row I would make do with two rows and good storage. It is likely a long while before 7 or 8 seats would be needed. I absolutely need it no question, but in the early years I did not. And why have a larger car than you need...needing that third row really limited me to a handful of choices and though I have a fairly expensive and nice car and with the three rows it does work for me, I would not get so much extra space without needing it. I also am tough on cars and when we buy one though I promise that I will be neat (hah) I end up getting a new car every two or three years. I will be needing a third row for a while yet, so I know that will limit my choices for now...I had to know the third row was sized for even my oldest to go in, when he was 11 or so and not hugely tall, the Lexus was tight for him and his knees were in his chest because it is not a true flat row, but has a bump. I knew no adult could go back there, so I nixed getting it again. The MDX third row was no way going to accomodate even a moderately sized child. But if you just need room to get the car seat in and have storage for groceries and strollers and stuff, I would go for a nicely sized two row car.
 

msb700

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
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wow!! thank u so much everyone for your response!!! You all have brought up some very valid points..

Unfortunately, not all cars suggested are available in this region of the world or to be more precise, not all ''models'' are available so my choices are quite limited.

To answer some of the questions/issues raised:

1- This will be our first baby and we are planning to have no more than 3 kids over the next 10 years or so and i definitely don''t see the need or immediate need for a 3rd row at this point in time. I think the ''trunk'' space is a lot more important at this point in time.

2- divergrrl: I totally agree about the gas cost! I am so dreading that because I''m used to the little tank of my mini and this will be a big jump! However, the cost of gas here isn''t that much (a ltr of gas here costs less than a ltr of water!) so I''m not too fussed about that..its getting used to shelling out the extra $''s that i need to get used too..

And thank you for your well wishes :) our little bundle of joy will be a boy :)

3- I am not a big fan of the BMW X5 to be very honest...I dont like the ''flow''/''look'' of the car and my mother-in-law has one and i''ve driven it and didnt enjoy the ride...

4- Maintenance/Dealership service for mercedes isn''t that great here in Bahrain or anywhere around as far as I know (The biggest drawback of buying a MB) but that is a risk with many cars (having to deal with after service)

5- diamondfan: I completely agree about the LR3 and I have ALWAYS liked that car, but my husband couldn''t justify paying that amount of money on a car that lacked the ''perks'' and ''luxury'' that other SUV''s had with a similar price range. Also, the resale value of the LR3 is horrendous over here and as soon as i step out of the dealership i immediately loose value on the car.

6- Miranda: That is one of the concerns I have for the FX (it being very long in the front ) which can make it very diff to maneuver/drive and park..We are planning on test driving one this weekend to get a feel of it and how it is. But i''ve heard that it could be very claustrophobic and small in the back




Having said all the above, we went to test drive the ML last nite and all i can say is wow...we test drove the 2006 model which was almost an exact replica of the 2007 with some minor differences. it drove beautifully!!! and lucky for me the weather was nice and windy when we left the dealership, then started to rain then became windy (HA! crazy weather but i managed to test drive it in all conditions in the span of 20 mins!).. i drove it on the highway, i drove it on a horrible road with pot holes and all and drove it over some terrain..in all scenarios it was a beauty...the options it also had were amazing (keyless entry, automatic steering wheel adjustment depending on the speed, the transit between ''sports'' and ''comfort'' mode, etc etc)....I''m going again today to look at one of the models they have in their warehouse after it gets washed and under sunlight to get a true feeling of the exterior/interior color combo..IF i do go for it, i will be taking the full option ''sport'' edition (which has carbon fiber console and matte chrome interior with a blend of leather and suede for the seats...the ''luxury'' edition is all leather with wood paneling and i''m just not a wood paneling person! i think its a tad bit too fussy for me :) )

okay enuf rambling here!! I will keep u posted on my adventures and the outcome of my FX test drive and lexus visit...
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
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11,016
I did not know you lived in Bahrain!

The Land Rover was not my first choice, but it had three rows and had been redesigned. I hated the big Infiniti so much after owning it a short time, it was just a ginormous boat to me. The Lexus I had had and the third row stunk, my 14 year is almost 5 foot 7 and could not go in it, and it was tough to use. Mercedes was in the works with their large SUV that seats 7 but it was not out yet and I will never buy the first model year of any car again. And Mercedes have really gone downhill in terms of quality, most of my friends in the area I live are not thrilled with theirs and are trading them in. Do you have Volvo, Saab, Audi or Porche there? I adore the Cayenne for some reason, but it was not big enough for me. The LR3 is more luxurious than past similar models, and my hubby''s supercharged is amazing, for the price it should be, and overall I am happy with my car. It has decent room and it is not like driving a school bus...and it does have great terrain and weather features which matter to me now that I live in a place with snow and ice.

Good luck...and congrats on your new arrival...I have three awesome sons and each one is special and amazing...it is so wonderful to hold your little bundle and see something truly more significant than just yourself!
 

msb700

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Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
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diamondfan: Yeah i live in bahrain :) have u ever come over or visited this part of the world?

We do have Audi, Porsche, Saab and Volvo. The Audi jeep is a bit higher than our price range and the same is true for the Range Rover. Saab doesn''t carry any jeep models (our dealership at least). Volvo I will add to the list of dealerships to check out over the weekend.

I really do love the ML, but the after service does concern me and to be honest, I haven''t heard very positive feedback in that respect which is quite worrying...

decisions decisions! :)
 

zoebartlett

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Date: 2/14/2007 2:38:13 AM
Author: msb700
diamondfan: Yeah i live in bahrain :) have u ever come over or visited this part of the world?

We do have Audi, Porsche, Saab and Volvo. The Audi jeep is a bit higher than our price range and the same is true for the Range Rover. Saab doesn''t carry any jeep models (our dealership at least). Volvo I will add to the list of dealerships to check out over the weekend.

I really do love the ML, but the after service does concern me and to be honest, I haven''t heard very positive feedback in that respect which is quite worrying...

decisions decisions! :)
Hi msb,

Sorry to thread jack, but what is Bahrain like? I love reading where people are from, especially if it''s not the US. I''ve never been there and honestly, don''t know too much about Bahrain.
 

msb700

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Hi msb,


Sorry to thread jack, but what is Bahrain like? I love reading where people are from, especially if it''s not the US. I''ve never been there and honestly, don''t know too much about Bahrain.

Hi zoebartlett! Bahrain is a cosmopolitan little island in the heart of the gulf. It is off the coast of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. It comes second after Dubai in terms of architecture, advancement, and openness in the gulf region. I believe another PS''er lives (or used to) here ( i think it was Just_Looking)? I am not quite sure where to start coz there is just so much to say and I dont want to sit here and ramble! heheh...but it is a small island with many attractions and shopping malls and semi-high rise buildings...the ppl are really friendly and open to new cultures and tourists and it also the first gulf country to host the Formula 1 car racing event. This year is our third year actually (or is it our fourth? hmm!!) to host the event and during that time of year you have all the drivers from all over (italy, france, japan, etc..) coming down with their crew and cars and a lot of ppl fly in to attend the event/race...its quite a lot of fun actually...It is worth looking up and coming down for a visit, we have some really nice beach front hotels and you can make great use of the sun, the sea and the sand! We are also 45 mins away by plane from Dubai and many ppl fly back and worth over the weekend :)
 

diamondfan

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MSB, what brings you there? I am assuming you are not from there originally but I do not know why I think this.

I have never been, I have read articles about the region though. Dubai is just incredible in terms of the luxury hotels and life style. I think a lot of people from Britain go there for vacation. I admire people who can make a life in a foreign country, honestly, I moved from one end of the US to another and it was a challenge.
 

divergrrl

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MSB, How interesting to hear what Bahrain is like. What do you and your DH do there? Are you originally from Bahrain or hail from another corner of the world?

I used to have some friends in college who were from Dubai, and they always raved about home. I also went cenote diving in the Yucatan (mex) with a guy from Texas who was working as an engineer in Oman (technically, my husband was there too, but "Tommy from South Texas" was in our little dive group and he cracked us up the whole trip). But his rendition of Oman & what his life was like blew DH and I away. Made me want to go work internationally for a few years. (DH poo-poo''d that idea...no sense of adventure..LOL)

I want to travel to the mideast someday. I''ve heard Dubai is very welcoming of American tourists (we''re not favored everywhere you know), and it sounds like Bahrain is as well.


GL with your auto search, and your baby boy. I love little boys, mine is now 2, and I would be thrilled to get another, they are so much fun and make the funniest noises.

(a friend once told me "boys aren''t that different from girls, they just come with a different sound card")

Jeannine aka Diver.
 

msb700

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divergrrl/diamondfan: My husband and I are actually from Bahrain :) (well technically I am from Saudi Arabia, but was born, raised and lived almost all my life here in Bahrain)...we are both Arabs and muslims :)

Well, the middle east in general is very welcoming to Americans (and other nationalities) a lot more than perhaps what the media portrays. There is one main distinct difference in terms of culture between Bahrain and Dubai. Dubai is very very very cosmopolitan in the sense that the city is made up of non-UAE nationals. Walking around the malls, the streets, hotels and other locations u'd note that for every 1 UAE national you see, you find 10 from other nationalities and race. With Bahrain it is a bit different, where you see more nationals but still with quite an abundance of other nationalities, but its a more 'traditional' country in the sense that its ppl have grown with the country and take pride in being part of this cultural move.

I have many friends who have moved to Bahrain or Dubai to work because the opp. they get are amazing. High standards of living, health insurance, paid for children education in top ranking schools in the country and of course the cherry on top is its tax-free! It is unfortunate that the media still portrays the middle east as a backward nation with no education or advancement where that can only be as far from the truth as possible.

If you guys get a chance, I would highly recommend coming down here for a visit (to both places at once since we're so close to each other (Dubai and Bahrain), but choose your month of travel carefully :) the summer can be quite hot and humid here.

divergrrl: to answer ur question, i work as a Project Manager, e-Commerce solutions at Gulf air (its the national airline carrier in the region) and my husband works as head of financial controls at a bank :)
 

diamondfan

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I have never been there, but it looks amazing. I am glad to know that Americans are liked there, there are so few places it seems they are welcomed these days...it is nice to meet someone from there, it seems so exotic to me!
 

MiniMouse

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msb700, I''m a Brit and live over the causeway, in Saudi Arabia. We head over to Bahrain now and again for a nice meal, a bottle of wine and a few beers for my American husband. We''re off to Dubai for three nights at the end of February. We prefer it so much more than Bahrain due to the number of top quality hotels directly on the beach (only the Ritz Carlton is on the beach in Bahrain), the variety of shopping malls and variety of activities, plus Bahrain''s traffic jams are getting worse and worse. We''re going to be staying at the Mina A''Salam for the 4th time, which I highly recommend!

We were looking to buy an SUV last year and we looked around at a lot. The Dodge Durango Limited was particularly good value at about 110,000SRs and wonderful space for luggage or the third row of seats - top specs too, including leather seats, but unfortunately my husband fell in love with the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and ended up getting that, although it was far more expensive at 186,000SR. He adores it though. I get freaked out by the power of the thing and think the Dodge Durango would have been a better choice, but hubby thinks the power could come in useful if ever we have to leg it quickly out of Saudi Arabia. Terrorism is, unfortunately, always in the back of our minds as a possibility.
 

moremoremore

Ideal_Rock
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hi there. i have a Lexus RX350. I LOVE it. It''s smaller in the inside than I''m used to but it was fAB in the snow/ice storm we had in ny this week. And the ride in general is a dream. Super smooth. good gas mileage for an SUV...
 

canuk-gal

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
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HI:

Just today my DH states that our next vacation is going to be to Dubai--I''m like where did this come from?? He had a job offer there many years ago but declined--yet he remains thoroughly intrigued with the area from visiting for the interview. Guess why that is why he wants to return.....

As for SUV''s--we have a Honda Pilot and are happy with it. My DH is just over 6''4" and finds that most SUV''s simply do not provide enough headroom. This limits our options, as we are thinking of changing SUV''s this year: I recently saw the new Adui SUV and love the way it looks but have no idea about the particulars of the interior.

cheers--Sharon
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 2/17/2007 4:39:02 PM
Author: canuk-gal
HI:

Just today my DH states that our next vacation is going to be to Dubai--I''m like where did this come from?? He had a job offer there many years ago but declined--yet he remains thoroughly intrigued with the area from visiting for the interview. Guess why that is why he wants to return.....
LOL my husband was there off and on for 6 months during a westpac to the gulf in 1995. He had no qualms with dubai - it was heaven compared to being on the air craft carrier - but I''m not sure he''d want to go back. I''ll have to ask him. From everything I''ve read about bahrain and dubai I''d be happier to go to B than D. He did have some hooka/camel adventures out there... crazy stuff compared to suburban america LOL
 

msb700

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hello all :) to go back to the main discussion of this topic, thought i''d give u an update on my car search.

Went to Infiniti to check the FX35. Initially I had concerns with the space/interior of the car, but after seeing it I liked what I had to see though they could have done a better job in certain areas. I then asked the dealer what colors were available and those that were available were not very nice
and the next batch coming in also didnt have the color i wanted and if i ordered one id have to wait 5 months or so....though that is not very relevant to the purchase/quality of the car, the biggest issue was that they didnt offer any ''test'' drives!!! I kept telling him how do u expect to purchase a car at that price tag when i havent even driven it!? he didnt have a response, pretty much said that u either take it or u dont as is..thing is, unlike the US we dont have multiple dealerships selling similar cars..its one dealership per ''brand'' coz we''re such a small island..anyhow, long story short, try as hard as i could to convince myself that the infiniti was the better option, i couldn''t...i just had my heart set on the ML350..

therefore, my amazing hubby is dealing with all the paperwork and the dealer and hopefully the ''official'' paperwork/payment on the car will go thru either today or tomorrow! wohoooo!!! so please keep ur fingers crossed that everything works out :)



so without further ado, here is a picture of the car and the color i''ve chosen :)

7123f.jpg
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
so without further ado, here is a picture of the car and the color i''ve chosen :)
oooh, very cute!

FWIW, SUVs are great for having kids. I love the easy to access back part and you can even climb in back and diaper duty! lol

Just a bit of advice regarding babies/kids in cars, get the seats covered AND the floor covered w/more than just back floor mats. For a Mercedes, I''d for sure find a easy to clean pad to place around the baby car seat because kids DO get sick and you don''t want your interior ruined. My kids get sick nearly EVERY road trip we take! It really is a nightmare!

Oh, and we had Britax car seats and in the previous SUV we had, the leather in the seats were nearly permanently imprinted with the car seat base. Be sure to put some sort of towel under the car seat!
 

lisaC

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 1, 2003
Messages
532

Lovely car! And instead of using a towel under the baby''s car seat there are rubber mats specifically made to protect your leather.
My husband surprised me with a new upgrade today- the MDX in Aberdeen green to replace my almost 6yr old model.
 

firebirdgold

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Nov 30, 2005
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2,216
I know that you''ve already made your decision... but I surprised that no one mentioned the Subaru Forester!?
 

diamondfan

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11,016
I love the color you chose, it is so elegant!
 
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