QOTD: What Car Would You Buy For Your Kid?

qotd what car would you buy for your kid

I have a few years, certainly, but time seems to move exponentially quicker in relation to the appearance of grey hairs in my beard. So naturally, I’m thinking about my daughters, now 10 and 8, and what they will be driving.

It’s a legitimate concern, as we start to manage the end-of-life on our current fleet, and consider what our next new car will be. I see many parents will hand down an existing family car to their spawn upon reaching driving age, which seems like a great way to ensure you know the maintenance and accident history of what will be protecting your precious spawn.

When my girls were younger, I declared that I would buy each of them a cheap beater when they were around twelve, and we’d restore it together. My plan had two goals: to ensure they could work on the cars themselves if minor problems occurred while they were away at college, and they’d appreciate the hard work they’d put into the car and thus not destroy it.

My dad and I did some work together on the 10-year-old Maxima he bought for me when I reached driving age, so I figured a 10-to-15-year-old car would work well for my kids. But considering the huge gap in safety between modern cars and those a bit older, I’m not certain I want to risk my kids in an older car.

And stumbling upon this older Subaru commercial on Youtube the other day didn’t help:

The beauty of all-wheel drive! That’s precisely what my kid needs! We do have the occasional, nearly apocalyptic ice and snow storm here in Ohio, after all. An Impreza five-door with EyeSight would be just about perfect, so the kid can haul her snow tires with her to college.

Despite the lead photo, I’m not suggesting my kid get a WRX like Bozi’s car. She doesn’t even vape.

I’m sure I’m missing something. After all, a reader chimed in on Corey’s QOTD yesterday, suggesting the 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer is ideal. I’m not convinced, but I’d welcome suggestions from those who’ve gone through this before, and those who are facing this dilemma in the near future.

[Images: Bozi Tatarevic, Chris Tonn]

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  • Wildcat Wildcat on Dec 28, 2016

    My daughter is 18, hasn't really wanted a license up until just recently, and has taken the driver's ed course but hasn't really gone out and driven on the permit much. I think she's apprehensive about our local drivers (and rightfully so--aggressive urban rednecks in pickup trucks, and distracted drivers using social media on their phones around here, are an epidemic). I have an older all wheel drive CR-V I "retired" in November just due to age. It needs a few things (mainly wear/age related) and yeah, it has rust, but if it gets a couple of dings here and there, no big deal. She won't be driving it far, certainly not as much as I drive. It's higher up so she can see the traffic, and also so she can BE seen. It's paid for, and ready to roll. Her grandfather (who lives with my ex and her) is hell bent on getting her some s**tty old late 90s Buick, but I'll have to put my foot down on that one...

  • Koreancowboy Koreancowboy on Jan 03, 2017

    My son is 18 months old, so I have *awhile* LOL But being a car guy, it's definitely in the back of my mind. In between now and then, I want to expose him to as much of the car culture as possible, which will up my game as well. If he were 16 right now...no question, eighth-gen Honda Civic LX coupe, just like my old daily driver. Slow enough to keep him out of trouble, but handles well enough to do the same. Plus as a parent, with it being cheap to own/run, it's one less thing to worry about.

  • Rich Benkwitt I’ll take that red and white 2 door and I guess the 4 banger so I can have the manual tranny just like my 1969 Bronco. I have my Wildtrak on order now waiting impatiently!
  • Theflyersfan I was living in one part of the world when China and Russia were completing their 21st century scramble of Africa. They were pumping billions into the economies of these countries building new dams, bridges, skyscrapers, freeways/toll roads, utilities, power plants, you know - projects that would benefit the average resident of said location. All they wanted in exchange were the mineral, mining, fishing, timber, etc., rights of said location. And they got them. So during that era when they were looking at global expansion, we were fighting unwinnable wars and our "leaders" on the left were yelling at the "leaders" on the right and vice versa, and what happens when all you do is stare and focus on one thing like DC is known to do? The world moves on around you. And that's what happened here.We had the same opportunity to build Africa up and to make the same deals as other countries, but our "nation building" tends to take place via the conversion from something solid and standing to something in pieces and in rubble. So it looks like we'll continue to have to deal with hostile nations holding our feet into the fire and working through their many geopolitical issues just so we can continue to get cheap electronics and necessary materials in our manufacturing just because we decided around 40+ years ago to ship it all overseas because we wanted to save 50 cents on a pack of socks and the CEOs needed their next quarterly statement to look even better to the shareholders so they could increase their pay and bonuses, consequences be damned.
  • DweezilSFV I didn't think GM could make a worse looking truck than their full-sizers.Success.
  • DweezilSFV GM. Still trying to make OnStar happen.And still the answer to a question no one ever asked.
  • Corey Lewis Look, here's the voice warning record player!http://japanesenostalgiccar.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/datsun_810_maxima_voice_box.jpg