2014 Nissan Armada: Car Seat Check


Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Nissan Armada, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

With its towering ride height and loads of cargo and passenger room, Nissan's largest SUV is king of the road and easily handled all of our child-safety seats. The eight-passenger Armada joins the list of vehicles that can comfortably accommodate three car seats in the second row. Its roomy third row held two with room to spare for an additional small passenger.

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How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two, with room leftover

By Jennifer Geiger | April 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Is the BMW 3 Series Wagon the Ultimate Car for Dads?


There's a common refrain among automotive writers as well as enthusiasts I run into who also — like me — happen to be fathers. They love station wagons. I'm not talking dads who remember Woodstock, but those who can recall when Lollapalooza toured the country and don't mind the anti-SUV body style.

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For that group I present the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. I spent an entire day off with the kids in this white beauty, which not only had the wagon part down, but also all-wheel drive and a turbocharged diesel engine with 280 pounds-feet of torque.

Could it live up to my high expectations plus deliver the family-friendly goods?

By David Thomas | April 2, 2014 | Comments (3)

Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee


So, you have three kids in child-safety seats, and you're not quite ready for a minivan? Welcome to the club. As a former member of the "there's no way in hell I'm driving a minivan" club, I feel your pain. I remember while pregnant with my second child, glaring at the used-car salesman when he brought me over to a minivan just to "check it out," and I'm pretty sure the only reason I drove off in a Toyota Prius that day was to spite him.

Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats

Now that I have three children in car seats, I've joined the "Minivan Lover" club, but I know some parents haven't. Many are fighting the good fight, steadfast in their anti-minivan stance. For the strong-willed ones, I'm determined to find you some minivan alternatives, like the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

By BreAnn Ahara | April 2, 2014 | Comments (4)

Meet Our Dads


Along with a couple of busy moms, a number of hands-on dads also work as editors on the Cars.com Editorial team. Whether driving to school, lugging sports equipment and tutus, or commuting to work, the Cars.com dads spend many hours each week driving and (later) writing about cars. Together, our dads have a combined 70 years of parenting experience — that's a lot of road trips and carpool drop-offs!

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Continue below to meet three of our dads.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Highlander's Center Bin Swallows 60 Juice Boxes


A Toyota spokesperson told me that the redesigned 2014 Highlander could fit 60 juice boxes in its center console bin. Naturally, I was incredulous. That sounded outlandishly cavernous, even for a family hauler.

2014 Toyota Highlander: Car Seat Check

The only thing to be done was to get ahold of a new Highlander and test this claim out myself. When I first gazed upon the Highlander's new console bin, I was more incredulous than ever. It looked to be a normal size, with sliding cover doors being its only distinguishing characteristic. "There's no way this thing can fit 60 juice boxes," I thought.

With 60 juice boxes in our possession, my oldest child and I embarked upon our mission. Still disbelievers, we loaded 20, then 20 more and finally 20 more into the bin. It was amazing! All 60 boxes fit perfectly without any arduous maneuvering on our part! The Toyota PR folks weren't bluffing!

By Courtney Messenbaugh | March 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

Car-Buying Tips for Families: The Purchase


After, and only after, you've completed steps one, two and three should you even begin to think about the final step of actually buying your new car. Take your time to work through this process thoughtfully and you'll have a shiny new (or new-to-you) car in your driveway (for a few minutes anyhow, until your kids get ahold of it). Here are the final steps to consider when purchasing your car:

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Get referrals: Talk to friends and family members who have recently purchased cars to get referrals for dealers they like.

By Kristin Varela | March 27, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Nissan Murano: Car Seat Check


Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Nissan Murano, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

Nissan's redesigned family-friendly seven-passenger Pathfinder may have stolen some of the spotlight from its smaller sibling, the Murano, but the midsize crossover still offers a good amount of room and comfort for five passengers. Easy to access Latch anchors made installing most child-safety seats a breeze, but annoying buckle straps complicate booster usage.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

By Jennifer Geiger | March 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

Car-Buying Tips for Families: How to Take a Test Drive


Once you've done all your pre-dealership research and narrowed your list of potential cars down to a manageable number, it's time to take a test drive — and then test-drive some more.

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As one of Cars.com's expert reviewers, I keep every car I test-drive for a week on average. I can tell you there are umpteen nuisances and/or surprises that don't jump right out at you in the course of a 10-mile test drive. Look the vehicle's interior over from front to back. Take notes. Let the salesperson know you will be taking your time so you won't be rushed.

First things first. Here's your guide on how to take a test drive:

By Kristin Varela | March 26, 2014 | Comments (12)

Car-Buying Tips for Families: Features To Consider in a Family Car


Let's be frank. Buying a car is stressful for many people, but being prepared can make it easier. Step two for families in the car-buying process is narrowing down the features your family needs in a car. Here are a few worth considering; use this list as a starting point for coming up with your own checklist of important features.

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Seating capacity: Did you feel like you needed to upgrade to a minivan when you found out you were expecting your first child? Take a real evaluation of how much seating space you'll need in your car on a daily basis. Don't forget to take into consideration how your family life might change in the years until you buy your next car. Will you be adding to your family? Will you be helping out your aging parents? Will your kids start school, making you part of the carpooling crowd?

By Kristin Varela | March 25, 2014 | Comments (3)

2014 Ford Edge: Car Seat Check


Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Ford Edge, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

One of six participants in the $38,000 Midsize SUV Challenge, the 2013 Ford Edge finished in the middle of the pack. However, it scored well in our Car Seat Check, thanks to its roomy backseat.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three child-safety seats nearly fit.

By Jennifer Newman | March 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

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