No gas guzzlers for busy mom

Leslie Solomonian, 38, is a naturopathic doctor who lives in midtown Toronto, is in the market to replace her 2004 VW Passat wagon

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Leslie Solomonian, 38, is a naturopathic doctor who lives in midtown Toronto with her two children, Noah, 12, and Rachel, 7. She is in the market to replace her 2004 VW Passat wagon which has started to need repairs over the past couple of years.


Leslie uses her bicycle or the TTC to get to work, but she appreciates having a vehicle so she can take her kids to their activities, make shopping trips to Home Depot or Ikea and get out of town for camping trips and bicycle training. She doesn’t do a lot of long-distance road trips, but her Passat has taken her to New York City, Quebec and French River, Ont., over the years.


Gas guzzlers need not apply! Fuel efficiency is key for Leslie, and she also wants easy-access luggage space that will hold all of her family’s camping gear. An extra row of seats would be a bonus to transport her children’s friends, but not at the expense of the first two items on her wish list. Leslie is open to an SUV or a wagon just as long as it’s not overly huge but still spacious enough to accommodate their bikes on the roof and all of their gear.

RELATED: 2015 Honda CRV Review


Leather seats for easy cleaning, a sunroof and a Bluetooth would all be welcome additions in a replacement vehicle, as well as roof rails to help with ease of transferring bike racks.


Leslie hasn’t been in the market for a long time so she doesn’t know what to expect in terms of price points, but she is willing to pay what is reasonable for the features she wants. She would prefer a car that is two or three years old.

EXPERT: Mike Matthew recommends…

“Leslie can end up meeting just about all of her needs with a 2013 Honda CR-V EX-L. It has the reputation of an import, yet is now proudly made in Canada. Fuel economy will be great, operating costs will diminish, and the kids will like the view. The family will need to forego the extra row of seats in the back, but will gain the easiest accessible cargo area in this market segment. The CR-V is not a visual standout from the others (they all look the same!), but as a used vehicle purchase, it should be outstanding. Expect to pay around $23,000 to $25,000, plus taxes, for a three-year-old fully loaded CR-V.”


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