When I fell pregnant with my first child, I was driving a 2001 VW Beetle. The two-door car just wasn’t ideal for transporting a baby in a chair and the sexy – but tiny – boot could not fit the pram and all the luggage one needs to schlepp around every time you leave the house with a baby.

In a panic, we traded our car in for a Renault Modus mainly because of its safety reputation. The car was a great little run-around; it was what we could afford and served us well. Ideally, new moms want a car that will grow with them from transporting babies in rear-facing infant seats to kids in booster seats. Of course, the high-end SUVs will all do very well in this task, but not everyone has that kind of budget.

What I really wanted back in 2009 was the Mazda 5. Why? Firstly because many of my mommy friends had this model. But for me, it was the sliding back doors. A feature like that can make getting the baby and her car seat into and out of the car a lot easier. The ample boot space could have made loading and unloading the pram a cinch. The best part of all was that it is not really a minivan, so it is easy to drive and park.

A mommy car does not have to be ridiculously oversized or even uncool. There are some brilliantly engineered cars available that maximize cabin and boot space without breaking the budget. Take a look at the Toyota Verso. Although production of this model was discontinued in 2017, you can still pick one up with low mileage and is in excellent condition, ready to transport you and your bundle of joy.

Volvo – being the innovative family car brand that it is – features the Volvo integrated booster seat in the Volvo XC90, Volvo XC60, and Volvo V90. These seats are for use by toddlers and older children so the feature is not helpful for new moms but will be in the future. In the meantime, Volvos feature spacious backseats that make it easy to install and remove your baby’s seat.

SUVs, minivans and crossovers are great for moms with babies as they are higher off the ground, meaning less backache and minimal wrestling with the car seat. With all the new models on the market, there is plenty of choice for a cool new mommy car. However, if you are on a tight budget (nappies are expensive!) consider some older pre-owned models like the ones discussed here.

My top tip: Take the baby seat with you when you go to view and test-drive your options. Safe driving!

Gugu Masuku
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