A year ago this week, I was pregnant with Lucy and I was frantic to replace my BMW convertible with a mom car. I don’t recommend buying a car when you’re hormonal and nauseous, but that’s exactly what I did. I ended up buying a BMW X1 after a quick test drive, thinking I had found the perfect mom car. Well, almost exactly a year (and a baby) later and we were on the hunt for another mom car, but this time one that actually fits our needs.
At the beginning of our search, I went to Instagram to seek advice for the best family SUVs. The results were interesting and I’ve included the findings at the end of this post. We were looking for third row seats, regular unleaded gas, and a car big enough for a growing family – all at a decent price.
Someone suggested giving the Car Mom a follow on Instagram and I can honestly say she led us to the VW Atlas. Ultimately, it came down to a Subaru Ascent, which my parents just bought after 34 years of only driving German cars, and the Volkswagen Atlas. The Falcone dealership in Indianapolis sells both Subarus and VWs, so it made comparison shopping easy. Nick drove a VW GTI when we first started dating, so he had worked with Falcone before and their customer service is top notch.
Back to the Car Mom. She uploads videos of every mom car that she reviews and includes helpful information for moms. How does the car seat fit? Is the trunk space large enough for a full-size stroller? The main problem with my X1 is that once we installed the car seat in the back, no one could fit in the front passenger seat. Add two large Labradors and it was a tight squeeze for everyone.
I liked the VW Atlas for a few reasons:
*Comparable in price to the Subaru Ascent.
*Seats seven adults comfortably. Adding another kid in the future won’t be a problem and the two dogs can ride in the far back.
*Really nice interior and all of the perks you’d expect in a 2020 ride.
*The V6 has some serious horsepower, if you’re into that. Hey, it’s a cool mom car.
Nick and I both thought it handled well on bumpy city roads. It drives like a wide car, but after only a few weeks, I’m getting used to it. Also, you’ll have to go for a larger ride if you need the space, which we desperately needed. I don’t care for the auto shut-off / start and stop feature, but it was easy to turn off after a quick Google search. I think the lane assist is annoying, but you can turn this feature off as well. It senses painted lines on the road, which is great unless you’re merging lanes and it senses old paint lines. The steering wheel does a slight tug to re-align you. I’d rather have full control of my vehicle. Sometimes I think too much technology can be a bad thing.
Here are the results from my unscientific car poll via Instagram (37 total responses): the Volvo XC90 and Subaru tied for first place. Other popular recommendations included: the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Tahoe, and Acura RDX. Ironically, only one person mentioned the VW Atlas and when I followed up with them, they didn’t own one.
Overall, I’m really happy with the VW Atlas and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the market for a new car, mom or not. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about our search. We will probably learn even more about the car as we travel to Florida with a baby in tow next month!