Help me persuade a concerned relative that a minicar is not a death trap.
The short version: I want to trade in my older mini-SUV for a new minicar. A concerned relative worries this spells Certain Doom for me and for my children. Help me persuade them otherwise (or prove to me I'm wrong, I suppose!)
Extended version: I currently drive a 2003 Saturn Vue. It's a ticking time bomb; that model year for CVTs is notoriously bad. Class action lawsuit bad. We expect the transmission to go... any time now, really.
Now that we're into booster seats and not car seats, and we no longer need to carry a stroller around, I want to move to a smaller car -- much smaller. I have a hard preference for little, zippy cars; I used to have a manual '81 VW Rabbit that I loved to pieces. I've about narrowed down to the Honda Fit and the Chevy Sonic as the best combination of safe, small, cheap, fun to drive, and USB-capable. (A hard call, because we get a GM family discount on the Sonic, but the Fit is slightly more fun to drive. But I digress.) My plan is to buy a good car and then run it into the ground.
A family member is worried that the Fit or something similar would kill us all if, for example, someone blew a light and hit us, something that has happened to other people in my family three times in the last three years.
This car would be used primarily for small jaunts around town, to school, the grocery store, etc. We have a Honda Accord we've been using for slightly longer highway trips to the mall and so on. My 2003 Vue has under 50K miles on it.
My kids are 9 and 5, both on the small side for their age. They're both still in booster seats, because we take the safety seriously in our house.
So: What proof, particularly statistical evidence and comparative research, can I give to my relative showing that buying a Fit is not a terrible decision? I have a hunch that a 2012 minicar would be safer than my older Vue, which doesn't even have side-curtain airbags and is made of plastic. Help me to get a worrier to not worry quite so much. (Or prove to me I'm making a bad choice, if I am.)
I've seen prior questions or comments pertinent to the subject here, here, here.