Move the masses
Life with four kids introduces a new challenge – your next car
WITH the broadest of grins, she tells you that she’s – no, we – are pregnant. We are expecting child number four.
It is one of the best days of your life. Or should be because through the euphoria comes Mr Logic. He’s been napping in your head for the past year or so and is now very much awake and wants to know where you’re going to put the eagerly anticipated new arrival.
That’s another bedroom and a bigger car. You won’t be able to cart junior in the car with the other three, he says.
Society is comfortable with designing one-size-fits-all boxes. The sedan car holds five people and homes have four bedrooms so the maximum accommodation that society builds for us is five— two adults, three children.
Children, lots of them, produce uncomfortable squirms in house and car designers. Now, I’mgoing back more than a few years. Back to a time when you had precious little choice about people movers. Today, there are specific machines made for lots of bodies. Lucky you.
In my case, child number four led to a Nissan Nomad, a commercial van that entered the realms of automotive decadence by replacing the bare-metal expanse in the rear with two extra rows of seats to accommodate up to six children. A frightening thought today.
But the Nomad grafted through its tenure at our house, safely carted our kids and their friends to various sport and social functions and even doubled as a furniture pick-up truck. It broke down a few times (radiator hoses, mainly) but generally was a content family bus.
It was loved, hated, crunched, thrown up in, became an occasional bed and nappy change-room, and was finally sent to another home to repeat the experiment that is child rearing.
It was specific in its task of moving a load and there was scant regard for safety, road holding, power and comfort.
Times change. While the logic of a van-like family mover dominates, the heart of the Australian breeder is less rational. People movers don’t top the automotive style list and— for mother and father — solely indicate that you have a family. Which is, err, what you are but not what you always want to portray.
And it’s not just those with a surfeit of children of their own looking for more space. Parents doing the weekend footy run often cart half the team around.
Don’t buy just on price— yes, we know that’s hard but safety is the priority and you are going to be carrying an irreplaceable load.
You also want something that has windows at the right height so kids have a view. It doesn’t have to be flash, either. Even after-market DVD players maintain parent sanity.
So here, in no particular order, are our choices for best new and used family haulers.