MUM’S THE WORD
Two new additions to the family, both with a similar but different amount of love, says Arna Evans.
Suving from a family and female perspective, sans pandering or condescension.
TWO NEW ADDITIONS TO THE FAMILY happened this month, and one was a direct result of the other. Baby Oscar joined his two older sisters, and for those good with basic maths, that is indeed three children; which forced us into a more accommodating vehicle than our VW Touareg. Not for the number of seats, of course, but for their ability to be seated, given three child seats will not fit in the space of three adult seats. At least not our two wide Recaros and a capsule, which is a problem in itself.
It seems the larger the human, the less space it takes up in a vehicle. While us adults sit in comfort on cosseting leather and heated seats, we wanted equally comfortable and safe booster seats for our three- and six-year old girls. So we spent a bit on Recaro Monza Nova seats, sequentially as our girls grew into the first and then second model, which is almost identical apart from colours and a bit of trim: like a 2017 model versus a 2015. Clearly three years is not big in booster seat years, as both seats have ipod/3.5mm cables to plug in a tablet and speakers in the head side bolsters.
For around $600-$700, they get ISOFIX clip-in mounts, and span the years from 3-12, and/or 15-36kg, so all the way until they’re out of a booster. We believe in buying quality, and buying once… though we did also buy a $70 version from The Warehouse that floats between cars.
They also feature ‘Advanced Side Protection’… I don’t know either, but it basically means it’s really wide. Our baby capsule is a Steelcraft Strider Plus ‘system’, which is a car base kit and capsule that pops out and slides right into a pram, perfect for keeping a sleeping baby sleeping.
But it’s 70cm long, and every car we’ve put it in requires the front seat to be compromised and slid forward. Which is fine for most people, but hubby and I are both six-footers. It’s not that wide, but trying to fit it alongside two booster seats in the back of a Touareg? No chance!
So baby Oscar forced us into a sevenseater, and while we liked the look and cache of an Audi Q7, the features for the price just didn’t add up, and given this would be our family car for at least four years, we didn’t want an already older Euro car long out of warranty to cost us even more for potential repairs or parts.
The Skoda Kodiaq was our choice, but the 1.4-litre was a fraction lacking in performance – which on its own would have been fine, but we didn’t have the budget to spring for the 2.0-litre. And being just a year old, there was simply none on the used car market, as a new one was a bit over budget. Power and price reluctantly pushed us away from the Kodiaq.
So we arrived at a used Hyundai Santa Fe, benefitting from the updated 2018 model which pushed used car prices down, and brought in a flood of trade-ins and used models for sale. Our local Hyundai dealer did a great job finding us one from our shortlist of specs, and we ended up with a 2015 Elite 2.2 diesel, the last of the Series 1s, before the update, for around $40k – versus the $74k when new; just out of its three-year warranty, with 50,000km, but a clearly cared-for one-owner vehicle.
And bog standard, too, which just won’t do for me. If I had to compromise with the Hyundai badge (a minor issue, rather than a major one), we will be personalising it, and we have a few ideas in mind. There is so much in the Elite model that it’s more about making it mine, so we’re just looking at 20-inch wheels, and the black-out mods. Curiously in the time we’ve had the Santa Fe, yes, we have noticed more on the road, as you tend to do, but we’ve also noticed a handful of white ones with the same mods we’re planning, too! So we’ll have to be mindful of that.
For now we’re just enjoying the new car and being able to drive as a five-person family in the one car. Motorways trips have already seen 6.8l/100km, and 9.9l/100km around town. But we are in a honeymoon phase with it, so we will see how the love evolves over time.
used even if it’s a three-year-old new car from a showroom, It’s nice to pick up a to come. and a sign of things was painted upon request car. The black grille booster seats and two children… large Seats three adults, or out of a five-seat vehicle, a five-person family capsules actually push devoid of ISOFIX points. the third row, often and booster seats into