Monday, July 20, 2009

What Women Want

I'm gearing up to go to BlogHer this week. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible on Joe by making dinners ahead of time that he can just pop in the oven. Not that he can't manage to cook up something for dinner himself, but let's just say, he's more patient with the kids if he doesn't have any other demands on him at the same time.

I'm also trying to come up with stuff to wear. The depressingness of that could be an entire blog post unto itself.

And I'm searching through my closet to see if I own any close-toed shoes for when I get to tour the Ford assembly plant on Thursday. The name of this blogging event is What Women Want: Tech and Quality Event. Ford wants to know what we want in a vehicle. (Don't worry, I'm going to tell them that since we spend so much time in our vehicles, we absolutely need to have toilets and refrigerators standard.) But leave me a comment here and let me know what you look for in a vehicle. What do you want? I'd especially love to hear what other moms of large families want. Us larger families can't just go out and get any ole car. We have to make sure it seats the masses. In other words, we all drive the same white Chevy Express.

So, leave me a comment here and let me know what women want. In a car, that is. Don't go writing stuff like "a spouse who listens", "kids who clean their rooms without being threatened asked", or "more hours in the day". I need to have information to report to Ford so I'm not the only blogger there who's clueless. And just to make it a little more fun, I'll pick a random winner from the comments and they'll receive an autographed copy of my book, Because I Said So.
Thanks!

197 comments:

Candy L said...

In a car, I would like, seats that adjust better, Some of us are large (fat) and the steering wheel going higher would help. Some of us are taller and need more leg room. There are also others at the other end of the scale who have problems I am sure. The back seat belt could be longer for the same reason. I am very hard pressed to buckle up in the back of our explorer. A front seat passenger belt without the child seat locking would be nice. You can't put a car seat in the front because of the air bag, so get rid of the locking part of it.
Candy

Renee said...

I think one of the big things is versatility, as much as we need the seating, there are times that you need cargo capacity as well. As great as a minivan is, if you don't have cargo space, it isn't useful. Also, the Stow and go seating of the Dodge vans is so convenient, all vans should have that!!!!

Have fun at Blogher!

Robin said...

Lots of cup holders and a convenient place to store/secure a small trash can (think the kind you'd put in your bathroom). It works great to keep garbage contained but you need to have a place to put it so it's easy to access but out of the way enough so it doesn't get knocked over all the time. I actually did this in my van. Loved it but had the above issues.
Have a great time at Blogher!!

Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

While I would love, love ,love to have a vehicle with the limo slide up window thing, I don't think it would be very smart...and would probably be very messy! What I would really love is a vehicle with the carpet that is made out of recycled 2-liter bottles. I've heard that it's impossible to stain the stuff! My kids spill so much stuff in the car that if I don't catch it soon enough, mold starts to grow! lol

Roni said...

Hi Dawn!! Personally I don't have a large family... I don't even have kids YET ( starting foster care very soon). Some of the things I would like to see in a Ford... STANDARD-- side air bags, a GPS system, DVD player, in larger vehicles I think it would be a good idea to put a separate radio WITH headphones for all passengers in the back, that way when the kids want to listen to their music they can and we can still listen to ours. I also think it would be a good idea to put a buzzer or something in there for when you are driving, and a child undoes their seat belt. You can't watch the road and worry about the kids undoing their seat belt. oh and defiantly better gas mileage.

Jen said...

My SUV does not have cupholders on the back passenger doors. It has a center thingy that pulls down but the middle seat is occupied, therefore those cupholdres are useless. It also has 2 cupholders in the cargo area...gee, those are useful...And I think a refridgerated compartment is a good idea.

Jen said...

Oh yeah, and the interiror should be made of astroturf and a drain plug should be put in the bottom. That way I can just hose out the car every day.

Ben and Melissa James said...

The stow & go seating is amazing! That's a must for all mini vans. I have a ton of stuff rolling around in the back of my SUV. I would love a way to secure it all without having to buy a container for it. (I have a portable potty, sun hats, sun screen, sweaters, extra water, strollers, etc.) It needs to be organized! I would also love better a/c in the back seat. The kids get so hot while I'm freezing in the front.

Hillary said...

I chose my car for reliability, fuel economy, a radio I could reach (5'6" with fairly normal length arms), and a seat that didn't hurt my back. then again, I don't have kids. when my brother and I were younger, two separate seats were crucial to keep us from fighting.

I just had a rental that was the same car, new model, and I wouldn't buy it if I was in the market. I couldn't reach all the controls and the lumbar support went more than halfway up my back.

Snow Mommy said...

I just bought a Ford Edge, and love it. My only compliant is that the widows are high, and because I am short, I have a hard time at drive-throughs. I can't reach the ATM without opening my door. Have fun!

Mandy O said...

I'd love a built in cooler for snacks and drinks, a soundproof screen separating the back from the front with a camera so I can still (silently) monitor whats going on in the back. Carpets and seats that are more resistant to spilling, more cupholders, more storage etc :)

Anonymous said...

I think they should come completely scotch guarded from top to bottom and some kind of compartment to put things in i'm sorry but the glove box just isnt good enough anymore last but not least in cars they need a/c vents in the back hello it gets extremely hot here in the summer and that's usually from march thru november so those tiny little vents under the front drive/passenger seats just dont cut it ---sasha bridge city tx

Jessica said...

Cupholders that hold juiceboxes. Room for a stroller in the back when the seats are up. Leg room on the third row seat so Grandma and Grandpa can ride with us. I like the comment about a trash can -- that'd be great! What about tray tables like they have on airplanes -- some kind of table that the kids could eat on so french fries aren't sliding all over the place?

That's all I can think of right now.

Mandy O said...

I would love a build in cooler/refrigerator, a soundproof screen separating the back from the front with a camera so I can monitor in silence. Voice activated DVD player, spill resistant carpet and seats, more storage

Madatmama said...

With the new recommendations to rear face until the upper limits of the seat, I'd like to see some adjustable DVD screens that can flip either way for the rear facing kiddos. It is kind of hard to get in the back seat with two car seats in the middle row. I don't know how they'd get around that.. and if anybody can invent a way to keep the sun from being in my kids' eyes (the built in sun screens don't seem to always do the trick) I'd trade up in a heartbeat. Finally more AC adapters in the front. My GPS and iPod are constantly competing for lowest battery charge. I would have LOVED to get a Ford van but I believe they weren't even making them this time last year when we were van shopping.

kelly w said...

okay...i have been trying to figure out a way to install this myself in my minivan...

i want some kid of pulley system thingy that can transport stuff (wipes, toys, crayons, sippy cups, juice boxes, etc) from my driver's seat to the back seat of my van...i'm a pretty good thrower, but some things like the fruit cup at chickfila don't throw well :)

also, i think a built in garbage can is a great idea...

the things i ALWAYS have in my van that i can't go anywhere without...a bin of baby toys, several packs of wipes, sunscreen, extra pjs and extra clothes, undies, pullups, diapers...i keep a potty chair in my van too. along with the standard and not so standard first aid supplies. i also keep a huge picnic ready blanket, a huge bin of sandbox toys and side walk chalk, and an extra booster seat for those times when {insert any friend} can't LIVE without riding home with us...so, basically, me +3 kids +all this gear makes for a pretty tight ride.

my other thought was that if my mini van could have like 1 extra foot of storage space in the back...that would be awesome. but, that might accidently through my minivan into the FULL SIZE VAN catagory...

can you tell i've been thinking about this a lot lately? we still have plenty of seating in our minivan, but we are running out of space for all the extras...oh, and i always have at least a single stroller, sometimes an additional umbrella stroller, or my favorite wagon too!!!

we have been discussing having to break down and make the leap to an SUV...so sad :) i am only 5 feet tall and i can't stand the thought of having to hoist 100+ pounds of kiddos above my head into an SUV...

okay...sorry for the onslaught of info. this just happens to be the foremost train of thought in my head right now. my husband thinks i should invent the pulley thingy and make us millions :)

Lorna said...

Non-Serious answer : An LED display so I can flash : Turn off your blinker, Mr Will E. B. Turning? And Heeeeellloo, the closer you get the slower I go!

The serious answer : Built in adapter for a standard plug for running a laptop, or recharger, or ANYTHING straight off the battery. A batter charge indicator would probably go well with that.

I recently test drove *a lot* of cars before settling on my Yaris. The big thing for me was sight lines. I wanted to be able to see. I've found mini-vans aren't terrible when they're not loaded with kids, but is there any way to make the visibility better for when they *are*? (Bigger side mirrors? I don't know..)

A combination lock option for the ignition would be nice. This'd prevent teenagers from stealing your car late at night or your senile partner from forgetting they've no longer got a license and going driving. Might also work on theft prevention, but I'm thinking it's as easy to bypass as a regular key requirement. Mostly to prevent unathorized family member 'borrowing'

A seat that folds flat .. Either the back bench seat or the middle row. It'd be Sooooo nice if you could pull into a rest stop and take a nap when on the road!! Probably not a requirement for the Mom generation, but hey, there's women out there without kids! (Okay, so this Aunty drives kids around but so far has managed to avoid the dreaded Road Trip.)

Oh.. and on the blinker thing.. how about a chime to remind you when your blinker has been on for quite a while and the car is moving? (ie : won't go off when you're sitting and sitting and sitting at a corner trying to turn)

kelly w said...

oh, i have a honda odyssey. fyi, (looking at previous comments), i have EXCELLENT air flow/venting throughout my van with the ability to choose separate temps for driver, rear, and front passenger...AND i have like 6 cup holders i personally could use while driving AND i think a total of 14+ cup holders even with the extra middle console thingy NOT in my van. another super cool feature my van has is both standard car charger spots AND standard (like inside your house) outlets. SUPER CONVENIENT! i give my minivan 5PLUS STARS..just need to have a little more cargo space...

Shannon said...

Cupholders...we only have the 2 in front! Seats that adjust more...I am 5'0". Air conditioner vents in the back. Oooh and something to turn off the locking issue with all the seatbelts...I am constantly getting strangled.

Kate said...

I am a mom to 3 little ones under the age of 3. We are always on the go which means a lot of feeding them in the car. The result is crumble food everywhere. I would LOVE to have a built in duster buster, so that I can just clean up real quick when the mess is made rather than finding the time to run back out with the one from the house.

Renee Powell said...

More space between the seats! I'm all about storage, etc., but I have the third row in my van, and forget about having more than three adults in the car! And, god forbid my 4 year is in her car seat...her feet get stuck between her seat and the drivers seat!

ClistyB said...

I'm sitting here thinking of what I hate the most about my Suburban...and ya know what? It's the carpet. Grosses me out. Can the manufacturers please get us some durable carpet that can be easily cleaned? Heck it doesn't need to be carpet at all. Wish it want, then I could use bleach!!
Yeah, that's my biggest beef as a mom of 5, ages 13-5

Chris Pierson said...

I only have 2 kids, but I haul around 5 or 6 at least 4 times a week! I love the trash can idea - also scotch guard. I think the alarm on the seat belts is a good idea too! Also more plugs for the kids Nintendo DS or whatever.

Super Alto said...

A place to put my PURSE. A built-in trash can spot.

Brianna said...

Seats that actually accomodate larger carseats so they can acctually be installed correctly. Nothing worse than wanting to get a new car but having to lug the carseats there to make sure they fit...and if you are really set on the car buying new seats and hopeing THOSE fit.

Beth said...

I am a Mom to seven and had to buy the white Chevy Express last fall! I was so depressed to give up my pretty Excursion, with all the electric windows, adjustable seats, CUP HOLDERS, extra lighter things for plugging in electronics. Now I have an ugly, plain, institutional vehicle that either gets confused for a kidnappers van, or the church bus. I want style and ammenities!

BeccaSaun said...

The built in trash can is a great idea. With kids, there's -always- something that needs thrown away, and in our car, it gets tossed in the floor boards until someone manages to pick it up (which is usally me)... Something else nice is making cup holders STANDARD for every seat.. and I mean every seat. There's nothing like 3 kids in the back seat fighting over 2 cup holders- someone always ends up crying or covered in soda. (again, usually both are me.. haha!) Another great feature I know we could really use in our car is stain protector on the seats- if they could even make them just a -little- more stain resistant (for those of us unable to afford that pretty leather option) life would be a whole lot easier- that includes the carpeted floor boards too!
Thanks Dawn!

Carmen M. said...

Hahaha! I thought that I was going to be so original by suggesting a trash can!!! I do really need one anyway, and a little more storage. My minivan has a hole where I stick a box of kleenex and it works great, but I'm sure that is not the reason that it was put in there... that space could have been used better.
And... I know this may sound crazy, but I would love it if I could have the option of having different temps for my face and feet. In the winter I have to turn the heat off because I feel like I can't breath, but my feet are freezing. This could be solved by having warm air blowing at my feet and cool air blowing at my face. I could swear that this option was available in the cars my parents had when I was little!

Tara said...

I want more MPGs. I mean, I already drive the '08 Ford Escape Hybrid, but then my husband went out and got the VW Jetta Wagon TDI (diesel), and that puts my 32MPGs to shame w/ 50+ MPGs without even trying!

I'm so much of a lighter foot than my husband, I get better MPGs than him if we were to drive the same car the same distance, but now he's out performing me! Tell ford to make something like the Jetta wagon TDI.

Lena Trombly said...

Wow so many people took my ideas.

1. I really would like a soundproof shield that can be raised and lowered. Not only would it drown out screaming kids, but should also have a switch so all the kids music only plays from behind the screen and adult music plays on my side of the screen. Maybe an intercom system so the kids can buzz me in the case of a kid emergency.

2. I thought a built in vac would be handy. I babysit and the kids always ask me why my car is so dirty. Really? Really, they don't know that throwing trash on the floor makes a mess. I would have it hooked up to a compartment under the seats that collects trash into a nice little bag much like my canister vac.

3. Some sort of gizmo that would allow toys, sippy cups, crayons and such from the back to the front. I am constantly reaching backwards while driving, nearly driving off the road.

4. Most importantly, a fly swatter and possibly tissues (to remove the squashed bugs) built into the handle. The kids freak out every time a bug gets in the car. Oh yah, and every bug is a bee so it's gonna sting tham if you don't pull over immediately and get it.

Well that sums up my wish list
Thanks Dawn for taking our wish lists into consideration.

Heather said...

I'm gonna agree with the need for a trash can. That would be great! And whoever said the limo divider window....my friends and I were just talking about that. It would be KEY. It would honestly make for better driving my moms :)

Kelly M. in Texas said...

Carpet/ flooring / seats that clean easily!!

Someone mentioned a drain in the bottom of the van -- excellent, funny idea!!

And a lift-out liner for the cupholders since cleaning those things is a PAIN!!

Six-Pack Momma said...

Once upon a time I had a van with built-in car seats. FABULOSO! They should totally be standard in EVERY vehicle. But with one minor improvement: a removable, WASHABLE liner.

And if they really want us to seat our kids rear-facing until two years old (saw it at the doc's) they'd better make the seats so they rotate rear-facing so their knees don't touch their noses.

Auto-pilot would be great, too!

Meredith said...

Storage, storage and more storage. I'd love to have seats and floor mats that don't stain...I'm glad my car seat backs aren't fabric so when the kids kick all over them I just wipe them down. A DVD player and radio with separate controls in the back and headphones so I don't have to listen to Dora the Explorer 500 times. And my fave thing ever, on a car I recently rented it had an automatic start...it was great on hot days in the south because I could start it with the touch of a button before we got in the car and cool it off!!!! Would probably be great in the winter as well!!!

Haylee said...

One that is easy to get into when you're 9 months pregnant, or in a skirt, or even if you're just plain short! Men just don't think about these things! Oh, and how about seats that adjust vertically and not just for tall and taller. It really is annoying to have a headrest that is pushing your head forward. Maybe a "ponytail hole" in the headrest too...you know, for the lazy hair day all moms need.

quarkwright said...

As a woman, and a mom, I want a garbage container. Somewhere I can put a garbage bag where it will stay, and not get walked on or dumped out, and (yeah, this is probably wishful thinking...) the kids and everyone can put their used gum, kleenexes, and empty food and drink wrappers.
A good place to keep my purse - where I can reach it if I need to but it's not under my feet, or in someone else's slushy footprints.
A spot - or even just a tray with a bit of a lip around it so other people can use it for other things if they want - that fits a standard-size kleenex box. So it doesn't end up the shape of the under-seat divot by the next time I have to find it 'cuz someone threw up or spilled or something.

carolyn said...

a changing table that folds down in the trunk of the car. It is difficult to change the daiper of a child much bigger than a newborn on the passenger seat.

Lisa said...

What about a GPS system with a Sexy male voice (like Vin Disel).

Deborah said...

My #1 wish is that they would stop designing vehicles purely for people taller than me. WHY can't they make the seatbelt slider shortener thingy twice as long, so it doesn't cut across my boob and neck????? They can. And I really wish they would! They'd fit kids better, too, of course ...

Sila Lumenn said...

Put in another request for a trash can!

Adjustable cup holders that hold everything from juice boxes and sippy cups to giant convenience store drinks securely.

More power outlets, especially in the back. At least one for every passenger.

And how about interior storage for all the toys, books, blankets, etc. we all travel with? Maybe drawers underneath the front seats.

Also, I would love a special place to put my purse that isn't the floor or the back seat or someone's lap; a secure place where it can be easily reached from both the driver's seat and the front passenger's seat.

Shelly B. said...

A trash can and extra vents for A/C in the back so my kids don't get covered in sweat!

Sila Lumenn said...

I just read several comments about a refrigerated compartment. I vote a big yes on that, too!

Michelle said...

Oh yeah... I gotta put this one up. I got for seats throughout the car where you can sit as an adult and not just as an undersized five year old.

Kathy Polak - TX said...

Definitely, which its in alot of car these days but I do not believe Ford yet, is a video screen that shows what is behind you as you back up. Would keep a lot of accidents from happening.

jewpublic club said...

an easier way to get to the rear seat to help kids into their carseats and to help them buckle their seat belts. also more storage. i need room for a double stroller and luggage.

Cheryl said...

more cargo space behind the rear seat. We have 4 kids and just recently got rid of our minivan and bought a Ford Taurus X, which is a 7 passenger crossover vehicle. We looked at the Acadia, but when the third row is in use the "storage" is just laughable. Anyway, the Taurus X has really good storage, but just a little more wouild be ideal. It would also be great if more vehicles other than trucks had a high towing capacity. We can't really use a truck for our family anymore, but we have a very heavy camper and need something to tow it with. Our only option seems to be a Ford E series van, but we'd still have to special order one. I don't mind driving a "church van" if that's what we have to do, but more options would be nice. It would also be great if the bigger vehicles that we need were more affordable. Sure a suburban would hold us and maybe have the towing capacity, but $50,000 for a car makes me ill.

Mandy said...

More interior storage, an easy place for trash.
But most importantly for me- more comfortable seating. I have fibromyalgia, and there are very few cars that I can drive, without being in pain after a time. I'm also on the short side, so trying to adjust the seat so I can reach, yet still be safe is a problem, as well as the "rug burn" from the seatbelt being to high on my neck.
Just my short list. :) Have fun!

T.Hamilton said...

I only saw one person have this suggestion but its brilliant: Fold out trays like they have on airplanes!

Anonymous said...

Crash car dummie lookin drivers. Just for looks though. Kristine in Michigan.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I have to go put my kid to bed (yes, it's 11:21 p.m.) but we need to touch base to figure out our plans! PS--can I have the bed closest to the potty??? I get up to pee a LOT in the middle of the night!

Very excited to hang witcha bad self and drink some APPLETINIS! (well, you can drink what you want, but that's what I'm havin'!!)

xoxoxo

The A Team Mom said...

Someone else mentioned they have a Honda Odyssey - I do too. It has a lot of things that are being complained about- it has A/C in the back- each person has their own vent & there are separate controls for back & left/right front, seat goes up & down as well as back and forward, you can listen to the radio up front and the movie in back with head phones, the back seat flips over flat super easy with one pull and the trunk is so deep that even when I didn't pack light for a vacation- our family of five plus an aunt- we could still see out the back window no problem, the sun shades work too... tons of cup holders, and it can fit adults in the back too...and it drives like a little sports car... I love my van!! That's not what I meant to write about though!
In a car I want scratch resistant paint!!! and fingerprint proof windows, oh and please pretty please some extra protection against those "tiny" dents when I accidentally bump into something. Is that too much to ask?

H-Mama said...

Well, it looks like you've already gotten a ton of answers. So, for kicks, I'll say... one of those push button devices from The Jetsons. So when the kids are screaming from the back seat, "Moooom, can I have..." *psh* Instantly... there it is!

Oh... and how about some sort of potty device. You know... to avoid all of the public restroom when traveling from point A to point B. Ah, yes. That would be great. ;)

Tia said...

Can a hunk in a loin cloth come standard?

Traci said...

air vents in the back of mini vans so the kids don't die from heat stroke!

Kristine said...

MPG is a big thing with me. Why can't there be a hybrid minivan?

Everything needs to be easy to clean, because EV-ER-Y-THING will get dirty!

We drive a Sienna. Biggest complaint - sometime my view of cars is blocked by the car frame around the windshield.

Every moving part within reach in the interior should be prepared to last 50 years, so it will at least last 5. Because, you know, kids put a little extra wear and tear on it. LOL

Sometimes I wish for a 9th seat. That would be nice.

heather said...

Except for the first commenter, I'm going to go against the tide and ask for things for taller folks! I hate having to bend like a pretzel to get into the back to put the kid into her car seat. I love our VW Eurovan for all the room it has in it. Climb in, sit down, hold kid down and strap her in.
Echoing cargo room. It's great to throw the jogging stroller in without having to fold it down to it's origami smallest size.
AND room in the back for the dog. Not just room wide enough for a bag of groceries, but room for gear and dog.
That said, we are seriously considering the Ford Transit (i think that's what it's called) when they start importing them. I think it's going to meet a lot of our needs.

Stephanie said...

two words ... PRIVACY GLASS! My dream car has the option to put up privacy glass so I can't hear the screaming baby or the complaining kids.

On a more realistic note, I would love more built in car seats like some of those Volvos have. And they really need a trash bin in every mom's car. And the rear view camera ought to be standard on every car for safety reasons.

thanks for asking and letting us put in our 2 cents.

stephanie
www.adailyscoop.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

1. I second/third/whatever the trashcan idea. If would need to be removable for dumping and cleaning though, otherwise people will have to contort their arms and stick their hands into the (likely scary) contents of the trash can. No fun. I'd say put it behind a swinging/sliding door, except that's just one more thing that can break. Leave Ford to work out the exact specifications.

2. More cup holders, for sure. Also more cigarette lighter jacks, and if they really do have three-prong plug-ins for cars, those could be great, though they'd probably need some extra safety features. Don't want anyone jamming paperclips into them...

3. I really liked the headphone jack idea. It would probably be too expensive and easily broken if each seat had its own, but one separate radio for the back might be nice if your kids aren't going to argue worse because of it. Making it overrideable from the front would be a plus. On a similar note, an extra screen for rear-facing seats could also be nice, especially if it was a fold-down, stowable screen that didn't interfere with the rear-view mirror.

4. Actually, the tray table idea is potentially fantastic, if Ford can figure out how to make it work safely and actually reach the laps of kids. That will be the hard part. If the seats are too close to the front seats, maneuvering kids in and out of car seats and not squishing older kids' knees becomes a problem.

5. Optional extra row of seating, for those who could use temporary extra seating, but only need cargo space most of the time.

6. A programable but OVERRIDEABLE air conditioner for each row of seating.

7. A way to secure cargo besides just the one cargo net would be neat. I am not sure what, but if they could dream something up, that may be a potential selling point. Maybe a series of cargo nets? Or a slide-in liner that has divisions? I'm thinking of groceries mostly, but sports equipment and toys can also migrate badly.

8. Safe, adjustable seat belts, please, and not just for the back seats! I have the hardest time keeping the seat belt off of my neck because I'm short. Adjusting the seat height can be problematic when it comes to reaching the pedals without scooting forward and ending up too close to the steering wheel. Then there are kids. They say to use a booster seat until they're 4' something now. That would have been... 6th grade for me? Yeah, right. How many kids put seat belts behind them or unbuckle when no one is looking because of how uncomfortable they are? Safe, sturdy, adjustable belts or at least optional, certified, safe accessories to accomplish those same ends would be lovely. I'd be too worried to buy something off of an infomercial. Seat belts are supposed to save lives, and I need to KNOW any adjusting device has a low likelihood of failure.

9. Something that I have seen in many vehicles- easier, safer, more sturdy ways to belt in a car seat. An extra hook in the back was in my mom's car, and it was supposed to keep the seat from lurching too far forward. It worked. And I hate the car seat installation work-out. It takes two, one to sit on the seat or smash it down while the other one takes the belt and buckles it with superhuman strength to make sure that seat isn't going anywhere. That metal clip can be a pain too. Suggest they do some more research and development into car seats in general, in fact.

10. Something to caution Ford with, as well: while extra gadgets and things that move, press, open, etc. sound appealing, it is "just one more thing that can break," as my mom often says, which can dissuade many customers. Durability is key. Repeat that last sentence as needed. Also, many car companies do better when they have add-on packages with features like what people are suggesting, so that people can pick and choose what they need and what fits their budget.

Brandi said...

A safe vehicle that seats eight or more with plenty of cargo space would be nice. They're not easy to come by. Oh, and more room for those 8+ people. My kids are small for their ages, but they just don't have enough elbow room. I don't know what I'm going to do when all six are either teens or preteens.

kelly w said...

okay, i KNOW you are going to a FORD conference, but seriously...99% of the problems, complaints, etc that people are writing are ALL taken care of on the honda odyssey! we have had one since sept 2004...we are on our 2nd one. and WE. L.O.V.E. it. the 3 prong outlet has a cover over it just like your standard car round charger thingy does...so, my 3 year old son has never noticed it. and BELIEVE ME...if he hasn't NO ONE will :)

like i said, it still needs a permanent spot for a trash can and a pulley system for the front to back constant passing of EVERYTHING...

and i CAN still listen to my radio/cd's in the front if the kids wear their headphones to watch the movie in the back.

and i DO have a rear camera to watch while i'm backing up.

and, like i said, i am only 5 feet tall and i can see everywhere except my blind spots PERFECTLY even with my kids on the back row in their ginormous britax car seats :)

okay, i promise i don't work for honda...i'm a very satisfied honda owner and a SAHM!!!

Crystal said...

A window between the front seats and back seats. You know, for those moments when you are tired of hearing, "Mom, she's looking at me." Or "Mom, he's looking out of MY window." Or to more easily tune out my 9 year old who NEVER shuts up when in the car.

More cup holders would be nice also.

Diana said...

I think for one, seats and flooring that are easy to clean. Also that have seats are easy to reach from the outside for when buckeling in the little ones.

Lisa M said...

Having trouble getting my reply to post...

Thanks for the opportunity for input, Dawn!

Here are my suggestions as a single woman with no kids:

A purse clip (e.g., something that keeps your purse accessible yet secure and prevents it from tumping over and spilling its contents when you have to stop suddenly or make a sharp turn). And, they need to keep in mind that not everyone carries a tiny purse.

Seat-belt extenders for buckling the pet carriers into the back seat when we're making trips to the vet. Some of my cats are big and require larger carriers, and the seatbelt just barely fits through the handle.

Adjustable cup holders

AC vents that can turn oh-so-many ways so that even we short people can get the benefit of the AC

You know how fancy tool boxes have a place for everything? Like a mold of the item almost? Have a section like that in the trunk for ice scraper, ice blanket, jumper cables, de-icer, umbrella, etc. There would be a place where the item just snapped in - maybe even labeled. Funny, I rarely have need for most of these things since I live in TX, but on the rare occasion when I do, I'd like to be able to find them easily.

Hope you enjoy your tour!

Christina said...

Those built in car seats that fold out of the seats so you dont have huge bulky seats in the way...

Vanessa said...

Something like convertible car seats in the back? Flip it one way, it's a standard seat, flip the cushions around and it's a child's car seat. Eliminate the need to go out and purchase an additional car seat for your child that may or may not fit in the car.

I like the dustbuster idea someone mentioned too.

cerulinpangolin said...

Enough width to get three car seats/boosters across the seat, without having to shop around for the narrowest models of seats available.

The tray tables a couple people have suggested sound good, as long as their adjustable enough to be at the right height and extension from the seat to be useful for diffenent car seats/boosters. And maybe have a built in cup holder, that would have to be collapsible so it wouldn't stick out when the tray is put away.

Caroline from Memphis said...

I think third row seating is a must... The stow & go seating is also very nice. If they could come up with a fabric that does not stain and cleans easily (like the micro fiber suede they make couches out of) that would be great for the seating. (for folks that can't afford to spring for leather.)

Places in the back for headphones, and separate rear heat/air should be STANDARD in my opinion.

Have fun on your trip!

Persnickety Ticker said...

I have a Honda Odyssey so I have the gazillion cup holders and the stow and go seating. I love the power outlets and that it "supposedly" seats 8 (yeah, if the eigth person is a leprechaun.)

But what I would really love? The tray tables. That is an awesome idea.

I have installed my own trash can by attaching a small can to a bean bag that I sewed up myself and I love that it doesn't tip over or travel around the van. Also I had the whole van Scotchguarded to prevent stains and that seems to be working pretty well.

My biggest peeve? I am a larger person, both tall and wide, and the seatbelts in the whole van could be much larger/longer.

Donna said...

I remember my FIL's Expedition had the adjustable gas pedal that could move up to meet a shorter person's foot so the seat could be probably adjusted for the right arm length to keep the air bag at the optimum 12 inches away from the driver .....

this should be a standard feature for any vehicle Ford is marketing to women......

Susan Raihala said...

I want an interior that's easier to vacuum without contorting my body into painful positions. Is there a kama sutra for cleaning your car?

Also, I want a ceiling in the car that is washable. The shoe marks and squirts from juice boxes don't come off the cloth up there.

Esther (UK) said...

Enough room to lift a toddler into the car and reach over and fasten him in without dislocating something (and to lift him back out when he's asleep).

Extra storage definately (including the trash can!) for all the bits that need to remain in the car but that you don't want rolling up and down.

And adjustable temp controls for the back.

I know these have already been mentioned, but just adding my extra weight to them :)

Scrapingirl said...

What I want in a car is:
1. a DVD player
2. windows that my car sick prone kids can roll down when they need fresh air
3. LOTS of cup holders
4. easy to colapse chairs (Mine doesn't have stow-n-go. I REALLY wish it did)

diane said...

What I would REALLY like to see is a place to put my purse. Since we have 2 fords, maybe you could suggest to them that cars that transport people, especially kids are driven by women who have purses!! Mine ends up under the seat in the designated BLACK HOLE, and I have to bend over and dig it out when I get where I am going,not usually a pretty sight, unless I am by myself (yeah right who am I kidding here).

Tina said...

I'd like storage compartments that are easily removed and hosed down. Why is there carpeting in cars? We don't carpet kitchens and bathrooms. Hello?!

Natalie said...

I would love a fold down tray tables - like they have in airplanes - so that my kids could eat while driving and not make as much of a mess. When we bought our last vehicle the two things that we really considered were cup holders - a must and the more the better and outlet plug in thingies (I don't think that's the technical term!). We have a DVD player, iPod, and at least two phones that we often plug in when we're driving long distances. We had trouble finding a van/SUV that had any in the middle seats.

Have fun at Blogher!

Anonymous said...

I would like to see standard- iPod connectivity. Just that one little jack that allows you to plug in makes listening to the music kids like so much easier! don't have to cary around all those CDs... and it seems simple enough for them to add!

Brenda said...

Comfortable seats, lots of cup holders, storage and a rear view mirror that allows you to see into the back seat.

Kathy said...

Totally agree with the car seat issues in pretty much all cars. One time, when we rented a minivan down in Texas...can't remember the make - but it had the most awesome BUILT IN 5 point harness carseat in the back...I thought this was the greatest invention EVER! And wondered why all cars don't have these. IT was like part of the back seats flipped down and the straps where behind it - not for infants obviously - but for any kid in the "big kid carseat" category..it ROCKED..

Similarly - my parents Volvo has built in flip down booster seats in the back...which is fabulous because they only have the kids sometimes, so when they are not there, they can just presto..flip up the booster seats..and have a grown up car!!!

I think ALL cars should come with options like these...but yeah..probably never happen cause it would put all those rich carseat makers out of business...

wesandmeredithclark said...

I would like to see a built in garbage can in the vehicle, also easier to clean seats, surfaces and carpet - things like dried up ketchup, Chick-fil-a sauce, crayons, markers, candy and gum are pretty tough to remove completely!

Chasity said...

I measure up at approx. 5'3". I have always had a hard time with seat belts- especially the ones in the front. They seem to be created for those who are at least 6 feet tall! Yes, I realize there's usually a sliding thing on the side of the car to adjust for a shorter stature, but even if it's pulled all the way down to the shortest position, the seat belt still rests across my neck. I would cry tears of joy if there were some sort of adjustment made so a seat belt would actually fit a shorter woman comfortably.

And as I tell my husband, "No, I do NOT want a booster seat!" :)

Suburban Correspondent said...

I said it all right here. I'll be glad to test the ejector seat out on my teen daughter.

Chris K said...

Vehicles need to be able to adjust better for people of all sizes. Vehicles never seem to adjust enough for me (5'4") and my husband (6'3") to sit comfortably. The seats need a larger range of motion (forward, back, up, down). Adjustable pedals are helpful for short people so we aren't right on top of the steering wheel. Seatbelts need to be comfortable for kids and adults of all sizes. There needs to be leg room for an adult in all rows of seats.

I love the suggestion to be able to have cool air on my face and warm air on my feet in the winter. I believe the older cars had a vent that was separate from the heating system. You could have the heat on as well as open the vent for the desired affect.

I hate vehicles that are all "plastic-y". I like cloth on the doors and a feeling of plushness.

NC Evansons said...

I want a car that is as reliable as a Toyota or Honda but made by an American company. I am tired of American cars that break, fall apart or don't function within months of driving it off the lot and with only normal wear and tear driving.

Also I want this car to be fuel efficient. Make it affordable to run. I don't have gobs of money to put into a gas tank so a hybrid would be good. And yes, Ford Americans DO want this.

I also want it to be a wagon type car - I need it to haul stuff like camping gear, dog crates, folding tables, boxes etc. - but I don't need a minivan.

Jessica G said...

I definitely agree that the bigger vans need some thought put into them to make them more stylish. A sleeker design and more color options. Maybe 4 doors. So many people are having larger families now...why do they have to suffer with ugly vans?

jane said...

A build-in trash can & fold away tray tables. I know they were all mentioned before but hey maybe our voices will be heard.

Bonnie said...

I'm definitely with those that want a trash can and better carpeting! I hate vacuuming and vacuuming and vacuuming the same piece of dirt that is stuck in the carpet only to fuzz up the carpet and still not get it out!!! I like the privacy glass idea, although unfortunately it probably isn't the safest idea, we can dream though, can't we?

Bonnie said...

I'm definitely with those that want a trash can and better carpeting! I hate vacuuming and vacuuming and vacuuming the same piece of dirt that is stuck in the carpet only to fuzz up the carpet and still not get it out!!! I like the privacy glass idea, although unfortunately it probably isn't the safest idea, we can dream though, can't we?

Anonymous said...

I only have two kids, one 8 and one 13, so you may think I don't need more than what is out there as far as room goes. However, we are a tall family - all four of us. I want a sporty-looking car with a manual transmission (a MUST . . . 'cuz I'm weird that way), with a backseat that will fit my growing tall kids . . . roomy backseat when the front seats are back all the way! Also, when the front seat is back all the way, it is often hard to then reach the steering wheel. Okay, maybe not hard, but not comfortable, either. The steering wheel needs to be telescopic, as well as tilt. And then the basics: Power windows, locks, keyless entry, safety features, AM/FM radio with CD (though, really, is AM necessary anymore?!).

Now, my brother would say it also needs a moonroof, leather, et cetera . . . . he's spoiled! But, I guess they need to accommodate people like him, too!

Denise said...

Hmmm maybe more cupholders, more comfortable back seats and some stain resistant carpet.

Angie said...

Above all, visibility is key. No one wants to run over a child because they can't see well enough while backing out of the driveway. I can't emphasize this enough. I also can't spell, but that's beside the point.

Mini van sliding door windows that go down. Why do we have to crank up the air when it would be so much nicer to just roll down the windows a bit?

I love the Stow n' Go in my Caravan. Ford needs that type of thing. Do they offer electric sliding doors? Also something we love on our Caravan.

Lots of compartments to hide all the kids junk and keep my sunglasses out of their reach.

Along the same lines why must glove compartments be so tiny?!? Make them big enough to hold more than just the owner's manual.

The middle seat of a bench needs to be large enough to accomodate an actual person or *gasp* a car seat! Making the outboard seats larger at the expense of the middle seat is disasterous for those who need to actually use that middle seat.

Kirsten said...

I LOVE the idea of a pulley system to send stuff to the backseat. I always tell my kids "I can't reach you while I'm driving, I don't have Go Go Gadget Arms you know!" which is a reference they don't really get but I think is funny. Personally, I think the viser could be a little bit longer, not so it impedes your driving but so that the sun isn't glaring in your eyes with it down because you are about 1/2 an inch too short for it to work properly. Then you have to sit up extra super straight to give yourself more height so that you can see, which is good for your posture but not too comfy.

Susan said...

Hi Dawn!! I would love love love love some kind of trash containers in our van!!! One trash container for each row somehow would be awesome! It would be great if the actual receptacle was removable for emptying, but I'd settle for a trash container period. Now I know its now up to my children to actually use the trash, but I can dream right?! My children find the darnedest places to put trash.
I'm not sure about the Fords, but my Honda could use a better center console than it has. I think that is about the only thing I'm not fond of in our van. I think what I really mean is more concealed storage in the center console.
So my two cents would be some sort of trash receptacles and concealed console storage.
Just want to add, I love your blog!! I only have 4 kids, but I can certainly relate to many of your stories! You do a great job, keep it up!!
Susan

anawinston said...

I think trash compartments and maybe even a few so you have a choice for recycling as well would be FABULOUS! At least then you could try and keep the floorboards from looking like a junk yard...

Amber Narae said...

What I'd LOVE to see in a car: Seats that make installing a car seat MUCH easier by simply not smashing your fingers when you try to find the hooks, and giving you room to maneuver. More room between the front and back seats... no one likes having knees in their back... or kicking toddler feet, either! Optional partitions separating the seats along the bench in the back so I don't have to listen to them bicker that "she's touching me!"

Jessica said...

Cupholders and places to put miscellanous other "stuff" - little console-like areas throughout. Oh, and the cupholders can't block other important things (like the radio, A/C control, etc) when there's actually a cup in them.

Leg room! Leg room! Leg room!

Versatility - seats that come out or otherwise disappear are the best.

JenT said...

A seat belt that doesn't choke you to death just by putting it on. I'm on the short side and I'm constantly pulling my seat belt off my neck. I know there are some cars out there with that feature, but I also know that not all vehicles have them.

blindsightlife said...

So nice of Joe to "babysit" for you. *snicker*

I agree with trashcans, stow and go seating, and a clear partition behind the driver's seat!

Out on a Limb said...

We have five children and drive a Dodge Grand Caravan (without the stow-n-go...gasp). If we have another child our only option is boring Econovans or Chevy Express vans. I suppose we could go for an 8 seater van or SUV, but what's the point. Those are SO cramped anyway (at least the SUVs are). We want to be able to have grandma ride along with us or take a friend home from church. I want to see nicer vehicles that hold 10-12 people.

I would also love bumpers coated in that cushioning that they use on the show Wipe Out...lol. My DGC has a horrible blind spot and as a result, a very dented bumper. ;-)

Jill in MA said...

First I want to stand on a small soap box. I know this isn't really what you're asking, but I have a beef with Ford. Ford is partnering with Pan Am railways in Ayer, MA, to build a parking lot over an aquifer that supplies water to the towns of Ayer (where they bottle Aquafina water and use the water for VeryFine juice...) and Littleton. The plan is to unload cars for Ford on this lot. It is only a matter of time before there are fuel spills that contaminate the water. Pan Am can get away with it because railroads can bypass all zoning laws. Pan Am has a long track record as a known polluter. They already own a parking lot across the street that they could use for the same purpose that wouldn't threaten the water supply. Ford needs to tell Pan Am that this is an unacceptable location and demand a different solution. Ford claims to be going green, but this is in direct conflict with their promises of trying to protect our environment. For more information visit www.cleanwaterwarrior.com. If you live somewhere else and think this doesn't affect you, keep in mind that your neighborhood and its water could be next. Dawn, you can tell Ford that I will never buy a Ford vehicle, no matter how many of these wonderful features they include, if they allow Pan Am to build this lot for them.

Ok, off my soap box now! (Sorry about that -- I needed to say it!) Otherwise, something I'd love to see is a way to display a portable DVD device in the car without having to buy some impossible-to-use contraption that has a strap running across the front seats that cuts into your back. I *don't* want to purchase a built-in DVD player because the cost is outrageous for something that may be obsolete in a couple of years and that you can't bring into your hotel room. My husband built a table-like thing out of super-heavy cardboard to put in our minivan. We attach it to a seat and use a bungy cord to attach the dvd player to the table. While it creates a nice hidden spot underneath to stick a paper bag for trash ;-), it blocks my ability to reach into the back seat to grab stuff for the kids. I also love the idea someone else had for built-in trays in the back seats! Perhaps the holder for a DVD player could be similar or part of that (or something drop-down from the ceiling with a power plug...!)

I also love the ability to easily switch from seating to storage.

And I agree with everyone that seats and controls need to be comfortable and adjustable for all sizes of drivers. This is a tall (and short!) order, but if it means having a size option at the time of purchase, so be it! I do ok most of the time because I'm average, but it does seem like car seats, plane seats, any passenger seat anywhere, is designed for average *men*! Please don't forget us women!

Thanks, Dawn... sorry about the soap box!

jeri said...

2 dvd players would be great...with headphones of course.The big kids don't want to watch what the little kids are watching on long trips..but usually have to cause lil kids scream louder..sorry big kids...

Pokeyann said...

6 month cleanings of the inside, for well preferably life of the vehicle, but maybe as long as the warranty is..

Winona said...

Echoing the place-for-a-trash-can idea.

I guess I'm low-maintenance... all I need is a combination of great MPG (hybrids/electrics - I don't know why all cars aren't running on these engines already!) and versatility. I'm also short, and it's hard to find a car that fits me. (I have a 2007 Honda CR-V, by the way - although we almost bought a Ford Escape Hybrid.)

Jayne V. said...

A hybrid minivan--something that seats 7-8, gets great gas mileage in the city, but isn't a tank--and actually make the standard cars available--the only cars on the lot shouldn't have $15,000 in extras. Not all of us need/want the navigation system, heated mirrors, DVD players, and premium leather seats for our children to destroy!

Jo-Ann said...

I know a lot of these have been mentioned before but are worth mentioning again.

1. Refrigerated storage spot. That way, their water bottles stay cool during a day of errands rather then having to drink warm icky water. Definitely needed.

2. A change table. We are past those days, but I have some rather unpleasant memories of trying to change a child in the van in winter without a door open. Almost impossible to keep surfaces poop free.

3. Storage for kids stuff that they can access themselves. AND to go along with, some sort of tray that they can use with said stuff they can reach.

Have fun at BlogHer!

Bridget said...

A hybrid sedan that fits three carseats across the back seat, with LATCH anchors for all three. Three kids should not mean automatic minivan.

Health Test Dummy said...

I'm just going to DITTO the other above (wise) moms' comments.

I REALLY do want a slide up/ down limo-type window. Seriously. My husband and I rarely get alone time and it would be so nice to just roll that puppy up while they are snoozing and we can crank up the tunes in the front without disturbing them.

Also, 3 (or 5 for a mini-van) individual headphone plug-ins for each passenger to 'plug' into for silent music listening, especially if there was a separate radio/ cd/ mp3 player for the back of the vehicle (maybe make this accessible via headphones only, so as to not compete with the front radio?

I would love to see more 'stow & go' options. Seriously, if we all had a chance to design a car, there'd be a a TON more storage compartments without wimpy latches and with easy-to-clean access.

Anonymous said...

More adjustable seat belts. I'm short. My seat belt cuts across my neck when I'm driving. I've been in cars that have the motorized seats that go up and down, and those help but not everybody can afford a feature like that. Moreover, motors can burn out. I don't feel safe when I'm driving because I worry that if I get into an accident the seat belt would cause me more harm than good.
-Rachel

Anonymous said...

From Erin (I don't have
a Google account.)

Scotch guard or teflon or some kind of stain-resistant coating on all fabric surfaces. Accidents happen, especially when you have kids. And you don't always have time to clean up spills right away. Moms have enough to do during the day without having to worry about inevitable spills staining the seats and floorboards.

Jen said...

I want a vehicle that looks and works like a minivan on the inside, but looks like a cool sport utility or something on the outside. Also should get 50 MPH and be under $25,000. Ha, one can dream, right?

Anonymous said...

When I went away to college, I was fortunate that my parents were able to afford to get me a used car so that I could visit more often. Since I couldn't afford to pay them back for the car, I paid it forward. I arranged to have at least one day per week where I was neither in class nor at work. On that day, I volunteered my time and my car in a community carpool. I would drive local children to and from school, church, various activities, and appointments when their parents were unable to do so. That way the parents didn't have to worry about trying to arrange their schedules and the kids had like a big sister that would listen to their problems, help with homework, and cheer them on. One of the things I often had to deal with was backseat shenanigans. As I'm sure you can imagine, it was difficult to deal with. I remember as a kid who rode the bus that the busdrivers had this nifty giant mirror overhead so they could keep an eye on the kids without having to turn around. I think something like that only sleaker and spiffier-looking would be neat.
(my name is Rebecca - I don't have Google - sorry)

erin said...

My husband is 6'5 and never has enough legroom, especially when we've got carseats rearfacing in the back seat. More backseat space would be nice.

Krissy said...

I want a four-door sporty-ish sedan that will allow a rear-facing carseat (carrier+base) to fit behind either the driver or passenger seat with room to slide the front seats all the way back.

I'd also like latches/straps to attach a mirror so I can see my backward facing baby. The standard store-bought mirrors don't fit in a car that doesn't have back seat head rests.

Speaking of head rests, I'd like the driver's head rest to be fully adjustable - up, down, back, forward, removable, etc. When I have my hair up in a clip or ponytail, I don't want to have to hunch my neck forward because the head rest is pushing me.

And extra cupholders. Anywhere you can fit them.

aceiatx said...

Here in the south, a good, reliable, COLD air conditioner is 20 time more important than a heater. Nothing like trying to strap a kid into a carseat in the middle of the minivan when it is 107 outside and 120 in the car and they are screaming because the buckles have become searing hot. Also, all side windows should be ventable somehow. I know most folks don't care if the side windows on the mini-van go up or down, and some people even think of non-moving windows as a safety feature, but here in the south, if you can vent them, then you have a chance that the interior of your vehicle will be closer to the 107 of the outside air than the aforementioned 120 degrees. Plus, once you do get the AC cranked up, the hot air has a way to leave the car. My current minivan I can only vent the driver and passenger windows and the two side windows in the very back. The middle windows are permanantly fixed.

aceiatx said...

oh yeah! The over the shoulder seatbelts need to be way more adjustable. I am 5'8" but short waisted and I also have the problem with the shoulder strap sitting across my boob and my throat.
At least if I am in an accident I know I will die quickly from a broken neck or asphyxiation.

EricaM said...

I just bought a new car and have a few thoughts:

1. Driving legal, not super bright LED lights. As in, tiny little lights along the kids' seats or elsewhere in the car where kids can have them on for a few minutes at a time during night drives or roadtrips to hook up their ipods or whatnot without me having to feel bad about chiding them for having "dome" lights on when driving. They are trying to entertain themself, I should help!

2. Stow away storage. Drawers under the completely wasted space of the 2 front seats, more rear-seat pouches, pop-out compartments affixed to the roof, etc.

Oh, and don't let anyone pick on you about the husband/listening post. I agreed 100% with what you said.

Julia said...

We just got back from driving 6,679 miles cross country! We currently have a Dodge Grand Caravan, These are the things we wish we had in our van:

* Privacy glass between the front seats and the rear.

* Longer, adjustable seat belts in the back row.

* More leg room in the back row.

* A regular three prong electrical outlet for the laptop and though there are three already, one more adaptor in the back row, on the passenger side.

* A fold down changing table would be great too.

Sara said...

More freakin cup holders. Honestly, it can't be that hard. I drive a 5 seater Ford Escape. Do you know how many cupholders are in a ford escape? TWO. Which invariably means that we get drinks for the kids and they drink half and then I hear.. Mom.. I'm done with this.. here you go. So Mom ends up holding two drinks, plus mine in the cupholder. Annoying. :)

Amy said...

I own a Ford mini-van and the thing I like least about it is the cargo section has mostly vertical space which does not make it very usable. I wish that it had some sort of shelf (removable) so that I could have stored my stroller in it as well as stacked groceries on top. I also wish that my back window hatch would open like my SUV's window did. The thing I like best about my Ford is the programmable key pad. I can lock my keys in it and then they don't get lost. :) Have fun on your tour.

Melissa said...

Being an "express" driver myself... I would love to see stow and go seats in the big ol' van. Doors on both sides would be awsome!

Juneau Poole Party said...

Affordability! We don't need all the bells and whistles, just standard reliability.

Lena Trombly said...

I would like an in dash control panel that has buttons with auto responses to answer those never ending "Why questions" or end kids disputes. (Example)

KIDS: "ARE WE THERE YET"
Mom pushes Button: "NO!"

KID: "WHY?"
Mom pushes button: "BECAUSE"

It could be programable to suit your needs.

Stephanie said...

Comfortable seats and leg room!

Stephanie@eyeballgirl.com

Julie said...

*more storage, including trash can
*a refrigerated compartment
*more (many more) outlets to plug in GPS, ipod, game chargers, etc. And put them other places besides the front center of the dash. I have wires going everywhere. at least on top of the dash for the gps would be nice.
*more cleanable surfaces. I have leather seats and love the cleanability of them, hate them in extreme temps
*auto-pilot, oh, I also like the glass between the driver and the kids or while we're at it, let's just separate everyone into individual cubicles! Love it!

JDub said...

Ford needs to do the stow and go seating - what a great thing!!! However, Ford does have keypad access that I absolutely LOVED during summer ball season - no more worrying about locking keys in!!

Annjanette said...

Integrated child seats like our Plymouth voyager. It was very useful but the car was old and eventually died.

http://www.allpar.com/photos/minivans/child-seats.jpg

zekesmom10 said...

How about more vehicles with rear seating that actually accommodates THREE car/booster seats?

My center seat (the only one with the LATCH clips) barely fits two seats and the rear seat could never fit a third person or seat.

I also like the Stow and Go type seating and *wish, wish, wish* I had it.

Anonymous said...

In a car I have always, even before kids, needed a place for my PURSE. If there is someone sitting next to me (driving), my purse is on the floor getting dirty and being unavailable, or in the back which is not very practical, or someone else needs to hold it...This is my number one need!

. said...

hi hun! i would like to invite you to my forum for mothers! it is a new forum and there are hardly any members or posts, we need people like you to help get it going. I hope to see you there! http://forum.lloved.info

Supermom in Disquise said...

I think that built-in diaper changing stations would be wonderful! Also, a built-in potty chair would be great. Especially for long distance driving trips.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dawn,

I am a Mom of 5 growing kids and I drive a Honda Odyssey. Here are some ideas about how to "mom-my-ride"..

1) Built in 5 point harness carseat in the bench. Had to special order a bench when i owned a Dodge Grandcaravan. Was worth the $$ but how cool would it be to have it part of the car package??

2)Make the 5 point harness removable and machine washable.

3) Have a built-in trashcan. (like the small kind you might have in your bathroom) Also, make it removable and plastic so it can be cleaned.

4)Back benches that are more contoured to a person's body. Our back bench needs lumbar support because we all aren't shaped like Olive Oil (Popeye's main squeeze)

5)Something other than carpet on the floor. Maybe rubber?

6)**My most needed item: a built in vacuum cleaner! maybe like those dust buster things?

Have fun at your blogher event.

Take care,
Lisa Kiesling (Dallas, Texas)

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

One more thing...ALL seats need to have the shoulder and lap seat belt. NO more lap belt in the back middle seat. All my kids are precious and should all be equally protected in the event of a crash.

Tell the Car companies that we want the back bench middle lap belt gone and replaced with the same as the other seats in the car!!

~Lisa K (Dallas, Texas)

Anonymous said...

Seriously!!! We need cup holders that are removable....have liners so we can throw them in the dishwasher after we discover there is a green soda cup that has adhered to it. SERIOUSLY!!!
Colleen
St Helens OR

marybee said...

wow- so many good ideas! definitely a trash can spot- easy to remove, clean and replace! i really liked the idea of cup holder liners too- those can get very gross. a place for a purse is a great thing too. the only other thing i would change on my van right now (toyota sienna) is for there to be a warning bell when (notice i said when, not if!) i leave the lights on, and also for the lights to stay on for a little bit after i turn the car off- helps to get to the house when it is dark. i would also like a subtle way for the car to remind you where you had parked it. i am always wandering parking lots trying to figure out where i left the dang van...

barefootinhighheels said...

How timely . . . we just had our 3rd child last week, and we were trying to fit the carseats in our cars this morning!!

-- LATCH child restraint system in ALL THREE seats in the backseat. Sounds standard, but it's not. Not on the Ford Fusion, anyway. Or the Dodge Durango. The LATCH system is only in the "outboard" seats, and not in the middle one.

-- a place to put my purse!

-- built-in mirrors so I can see the baby in the back (who faces backwards). Those cheap ones you buy at the store never seem to work.

-- a sensor for your windows when you roll them up -- so you would know if there are little fingers or arms in the way

That's all I can think of immediately. Have fun!

Lori
BarefootLori (at) gmail (dot) com

Mike and Mindy Aumann said...

I have a Ford Windstar. I like it, but we've put a ton of $$ into it. It seems like we're replacing the brakes way too often. It would be nice if they could fix that. What I like about my Ford Windstar:3 benches, cargo space, rear ac vents.

Some things I'd like (some already said):
*up & down windows on the slider doors
*adjustable shoulder seat belts for the kids
*cargo space
*better line of sight/fewer blind spots
*The built in trash can idea rocks! When we tried it, it kept getting in the way or falling over. (I'd like to know more about the one someone tried using a bean bag?)
*Electric window lock-out on the driver's door is a MUST!
*and how about a built in cell phone holder so I don't have to take up a cup holder? It would be nice to have it on the dash so we can see the cell's gps while driving.

Thanks for telling Ford what we want! And have fun!

The Mommy said...

I'd like seats that adjust to eliminate the need for booster seats. Couldn't they make them inflatable somehow?

If they can't do the window-like divider then they should design headphones for the driver that eliminates interior noise, pipes in your favorite tunes and STILL lets you hear the sounds of the road (this is a WISH list, right?).

I also like the idea of an interior that can be hosed down, a built-in trash containment unit, more storage, and a chauffeur.

Christina said...

Five kids under five in CA means that they are all still in carseats/booster seats of some sort -- I'd like to see a minivan that has the LATCH system availble/easily accessible for three carseats across the back and middle row of seats, and then, of course, the ability to access the back row even if you have car seats across the middle row. =) Thanks for handling that for me! ;)

Andrea said...

How about some sort of spacer (wall maybe??) so when you go on long trips, the kids won't fight. You can just push a button & the wall goes up!! LMAO Oh &, this said wall, can not be see through either! **I have 4 kids, ages 14, 10, 5 & 3.. I've thought about this ALOT! ;-)

Cortney said...

We travel A LOT and are currently looking to upgrade from our 7 seater Explorer to some type of minivan. I like to research, so here are the items I would like to see in a minivan:

I really like that the Sienna seats 6 in back (for a total of 8 available seatbelts). The more the merrier... right?!
-the ability to lift/lean forward the 2nd row of seats without removing car seats
-Stow & Go seats
-DVD players with wireless headphones
-two separate DVDs that can play 2 different movies (don't think anyone has done this yet)
-TV you can hook a game system into
-more power plug ins (in the 3rd row of seats)
-ability to lock the back windows, but still roll the passenger up & down (ours locks the passenger's too)
-Navigation
-Back up camera

Stacy said...

Wow, there's a lot of ideas! Okay, here's my ideal vehicle:
-front/side airbags throughout
-LATCH system available and convenient in any seat
-DVD with headphones for back seats
-ability to separate front and back radio/CD/DVD sound
-EASY TO CLEAN FABRIC on the seats AND floor
-Power locks and automatic doors (I like the idea for up/down widows in the doors, too)
-Climate control front and back
-Stow and Go for ALL back seats (maybe even front passenger, too!)
-Several places to put garbage throughout
-Lots of cup holders
-Better gas mileage
-Also, I've loved that we've had to do very little maintenance on our older Hondas. A reliable car that you don't have to keep throwing money at is a must!!

Have fun!

Liz said...

I'd really love a portable vacuum compartment, with the cord that plugs into the cig lighter, so when my 4 year old dumps cereal all over the place, I can clean it up before my 8 and 11 year olds crunch it into the floor mats and seat cracks!!

Ambitious Blonde said...

Wow so many good suggestions and some I totally agree with!

Number 1 thing for me is leg room, at 5'10.5 it's pretty hard to be comfortable. I need the seat to go back and the steering wheel to go up! They usually do not go enough either way. My kids are going to be tall, so the back seats need enough leg room to work for them as teens.

We have a suv with 3rd row seating, but theres not much cargo space. Couldn't go shopping for much if you have the 3rd row up as we keep ours down for now.

Standard Dvd player with 2 sep head phones and a gps system would make my car a happier place to be lol

Have fun!

Ambitious Blonde said...

More leg room and head room for tall people. Seriously!
Make dvd players and gps systems standard!

Jackie said...

four inch thick plexiglass that rolls up and down like in a limo and it has to be sound proof so they can fight at will while you drive completely clueless. LOL Seriously, A vehicle with better gas milage, a place to put trash that doesn't roll all over the van. A place for returnables (pop bottles in michigan) or other stuff you don't want rolling under your feet. Have fun at your event

Sunshine said...

TRASH SPACE! I am so, so tired of having to carry around plastic grocery sacks to shove garbage into that I then forget in the car for two weeks and did I mention it had old McDonalds in it and the only reason I noticed it is because it got to 95 degrees this week and I opened my car and got hit with the smell of rotting stink big mac and...and..and ***phew***. I think you get it. A place to conspicuosly hide trash would be nice.

Frau Mahlzahn said...

*Haha*, my husband is in the car design business and I keep asking him, when they will finally install standard soundproof windows that you can pull up between the front and the back seats. Driving would be so much more fun, if you wouldn't hear your kids fighting and yelling at each other all the time, *ggg*.

For the time being, however, we'll have to do with an imaginery one -- it drives the kids crazy, wenn we "pull" that up and talk about how nice it is not to hear the fighting from the back, ;-).

So long,
Corinna

Frau Mahlzahn said...

From an earlier comment:

*****DVD player, in larger vehicles I think it would be a good idea to put a separate radio WITH headphones for all passengers in the back, that way when the kids want to listen to their music they can and we can still listen to ours.****

This is something that I, for one, would not at all appreciate in a car. I do not like the idea at all that the kids get to watch DVDs in the back while we are driving, because that way they miss out on getting a feeling for distances, the areas we drive through, and I really think, they need to learn how to handle being bored. And as extra radios are concerned, I think it is important that they (we all) learn how to compromise.

Just my thoughts, but I definetely wouldn't buy a car that has these things as standard.

So long,
Corinna

Tiesha G. said...

I would love to have adjustable pedals and height adjustable seats a standard!! At only 4'10" tall, finding a vehicle that I'm tall enough to both reach the pedals and see over the steering wheel is an absolute NIGHTMARE!!!!

MHW said...

I love lots of little compartments for storing/hiding all the necessaries (candy). I'm thinking of standard sized cars and I'm thinking a box between the front seats (CD sized) and I love it when a car makes use of that door-space so that there's a lidded compartment/arm-rest there. I also think it'd be pretty cool if all the spaces in the dashboard for optional extras (like the CD player space) were convertible into useable compartments if the optional extras aren't taken up. I've also found a second 12v outlet for the back seat very useful (for a cooler or charging a camping light). And I love it when they've given enough thought to adding a secret compartment in the space under the feet.

And on a very girly note, I love quirky keys.

Thanks for representing us with Ford!

Krista said...

Air vents and separate controls in the back.
CD/MP3 player w/headphone connection in the back (so separate from the front music system.)
Cupholders - more of 'em.
Storage solutions built in - like compartments that can be removed if necessary.

Lastly, soft colored interior display lights (dash/speedometer). Something in a soft blue or red that's relaxing instead of blaring bright green!

P.S. You rock, Dawn.

mommeeof9 said...

I would like my 15 passenger van with more than 4 cup holders. The genius who designed it was not a mom of many, that's for sure.

A flattish garbage can, like a very skinny rectangle in the walkway along the passenger side would be nice.

Standard built in GPS.

Tawny deLeon said...

With 8 kids, I would love to have a 15 passenger van with 2 sliding doors, more latch hooks for carseats (my current 15 passenger van has only one set of latch hooks) and absolutely more cup holders!!!

Anonymous said...

DAWN,

A PLACE CLOSE TO THE DRIVERS SEAT FOR YOUR PURSE; TO KEEP IN ONE PLACE INSTEAD OF SLIDING AROUND AND FALLING ON THE FLOOR.

SUSAN M. FROM MO.

Lisa said...

First and foremost, personally I feel that the car makers should change where the location for the power seats are. Recently they have been moved from the car door down by the bottom of the left side of the drivers seat. This is totally stupid in my opinion. It needs to be brought back up where it once was, so that people that are physically challenged can reach it better.

Satellite TV for your car would be great in my opinion, as more families are spending more time in their cars/vans due to either running the kids around back and forth from school, sports, and other after school activities. Plus with the way the economy is going, more people will be sleeping in their cars soon, so you might as well have satellite TV in your car to help keep you entertained.

I also think having the back seats powered would be great. Especially the very back, where it's usually a bench type seat, and if you had a button that you could push, it could lay out flat. This would help those who are disabled not struggle with it, and also be a lot easier to have it set up in a flash to get a kid down for either nap, if you are able to take a break at a soccer game or even change a baby's diaper, when needed.

Stow and Go seats are awesome, when you are able to pull and lift the seats to go back and forth. As you can probably tell, I am disabled and I also look for things that the older baby boomer generation might be looking for. So I wish there was an easier way to manage the stow and go seating, like with a push of a button.

I also think installed GPS and back up monitors for mini vans should be standard for all vehicles.

Now if there was a way to add a port a potty in a mini van, OMG..I would so buy it..any mother can tell you it stinks having to stop a lot on a vacation, when you kid has drunk too much on the juice boxes. But I guess I should just rent or purchase an RV and then I wouldn't have this problem..But then I would not have any money for gas and then would end up just living in it in some trailer park..oh well..I can dream, right?

While the idea of a trash can sounds like a good idea, I don't think it would do much good. Most kids can't hit the trash cans or laundry basket at home, what makes any parent think they would actually hit it in a car?

Another idea that I wish could be invented is a way to make my visor extend a little bit more down than what it is currently. since I am very short, and driving into the sun sucks at 5 O'clock traffic, I would love to have something that blocks the sun, but not my vision when driving during this time. By the time I get anywhere after driving with my neck stretched up as far up as I can go, by the time I get anywhere, I swear I must be an inch taller. Of course, being a little person such as myself, you would think that I wouldn't complain about it..but when most people see me after driving this way, they think I have some fetish with looking up their noses when I get out of my van.

Goodness, I think I could spend all day on a subject like this, as I am always looking for the perfect van/car.

wait..one last thing..I think it would be a great idea if the mini vans could have the middle windows actually be usable. Either to go down when your A/C goes out because most people know that if you own a car long enough, the A/C will stop working on the hottest day of the stinking year, and in a van with no real windows, it sucks! Plus if the window's could come down, if you ever are stupid enough to drive yourself into a river or whatever, the people in the back might actually have a fighting chance of surviving since they might be able to get through the windows. Because unless your have a very small child or a really skinny adult, there isn't anyone getting out of those stupid vent windows in the very back. I personally feel those were only made so that when someone farts, people might not actually pass out and die from the pollution in the back seat from the fumes of someone's butts.

That's all I have for now! LOL..Aren't you sorry you asked?

Keesler Chaos said...

We are teatering on the verge of needing to upgrade from a van to a big ole' kid mover, and I'd just like ours to fit one more body! How about an extra 1st row seat that folds away when not in use?

And another vote for stow and go style storage, trash can (we actually keep one in our van) and washable carpet and upholstery.

And shoulder belts and cup holders for all!

Kim said...

I bought a Ford Escape when I was pregnant with my first. Now that she is 13 months and we're due with number two in 3 months, I wish I had gotten something bigger. I wish I had a vehicle that could accommodate multiple car seats (since #3 probably will be not that far behind #2) and still be able to bring non car-seat passengers (if my family come and visit, it might require 2 cars). I wish I had air vents or a separate climate control for the back (baby gets really hot in the back seat and I might be stingy with the front air vents). It would also be great to have seats that didn't stain (my back seat looks like cow leaked all over it). A seat in the front for my purse since my husband likes to sit in the front seat and moves my purse to the back. DVD players would be good as the kids get older (maybe one that can flip for the rear facing kids). I probably should have went straight to a mini van but oh well. Let Ford know they need to bring a mini van back in production. It will make it easier for me next year to trade in my Escape. I'm sure all my suggestions were already said but I'll be honest and say I'm to lazy to read all 137 other posts.

luvbabyjoey (@) yahoo (dot) com

VTmama said...

I need to have multiple LATCH sports to fit multiple car seats. Some cars only have one or two. If each seat could have LATCH it would be great. I also love the stow and go seating. Also, I noticed today that when my older two sit in the back in their booster seats, I can't see well out the back window. I don't know if there's any way at all to do anything about that.

janetcc said...

Sorry, DINK family, but you asked: 50% Safety, 20% gas economy, 20% price, 10% looks. Car's gotta keep me alive through an accident. Couple bumps, cuts or bruises, heck even a broken bone, but alive.

Jennifer M said...

I would LOVE to have a clear window in between the driver's seat and the back seat (like you see in limos and taxis). With a push of the button, you and your fellow adult passenger can mute the backseat and actually finish a sentence without interruption. When I asked about this feature when purchasing our minivan, the salesman looked at me like I was crazy. He must not be a parent.

Jennifer

Dianne said...

1. LATCH anchors and tethers on all seats. For some reason, my Toyota Sienna has the anchors and tether spots on the 3rd row passenger and middle seats, but not the 3rd row driver's side seat. Very odd, IMO.

2. Wide enough rows to fit three carseats. Now that they are encouraging 5-pt harness carseat use till 65 pounds, the bench seats need to be wide enough to handle three seats. The only way you can do it in most vans now is to use Sunshine Kids Radians due to their narrow seats.

3. LATCH anchors for higher weights? Why stop at 40 or 48 lbs (or whatever the limit currently is)? The carseats for older children (Graco Nautilus, Radian 65, Britax Frontier, etc.) have to be installed with the seatbelt after the LATCH anchor limit has been reached -- and that is very hard to do with some of these seats.

4. One convenient outlet plug for each seat.

5. One convenient cupholder for each seat.

BTW, I love the stow and go seats (easy to switch into cargo mode) and the rear a/c (works great here in FL) in my Toyota Sienna!!

Paula71 said...

Okay I happen to be driving a Ford right now (borrowed) My butt thinks more comfortable seating would be helpful. As much time as moms spend in the car they need a nice cushy seat.

Ellen said...

ditto the suggestions: storage! both front driver and front passenger seat should have those pockets in back to stuff kid things.

More cup holders! the ones on the fold down armrest do not count. and in the third row of an SUV, both sides need the cup holders!

those built in car seats (from vans gone by) are fabulous!!


Have fun at BlogHer.

Karen R. said...

I would look for room to move, cup holders, storage, big side mirrors and a good radio(to drown out the sound of the kids, of course!). I suppose a dvd player would be good, but not necessary. And of course the normal luxuries, auto windows, locks, doors and a nifty little clicker for my keychain!

Jodee said...

Stow-and-go seating is my first demand followed closely by the need for a hybrid minivan. Who is it that does all the short trip, city driving? It's the moms in the mini-vans, but no one makes a hybrid for us, except in SUV's. I want the convenience of a minivan with hybrid! :(

I personally think all "family" vehicles should have leather - soooo much easier to clean. Adjustable back seats so that car seats are easier to fit and install correctly would be great. Automatic doors on a minivan is a necessity for me when my hands are full of children. And I love the idea of an integrated garbage can.

Kari said...

I agree with what everyone else already said. Mainly the built-in trash can, the flip-down trays and more cupholders:)

Round Belly said...

what we really need a sound barrier. So when kids are yelling in the back seats- we adults can still hold conversations in the front seats.

Sheila said...

I enjoyed reading the imaginative responses--really like the sound barrier idea! Realistically, what would be most important to me would be sliding doors on both sides, seats that fit three car seats next to each other, and a way to get into the back row(s) without having to move the middle row. Oh, and shoulder belts in every seat. Our Fiat Multipla was great, except for constantly needing repairs (and that it only holds four children--we now have five). A decent trunk/cargo space would also be nice--it's frustrating being able to put seven people in the car, but not the groceries that seven people need!
My daughter just added that individual reading lights (that don't blind the driver) would be nice.

Mummy McTavish said...

Please congratulate Ford on being one of the few companies that makes a drivers seat pull far enough forwards that my stumpy legs can reach the pedals and I don't have to lean right across the car to get to the gear stick (and I'm not a short person but it's a problem I seem to have in a lot of cars). But I need to get three kids car seats across and I am not prepared to go up to a people mover just yet (call it living in denial if you must) so they lost my $$ on that one.

rebecca said...

Sound proof glass between driver and backseat!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I drive a 2008 Nissan Pathfinder LE SUV, almost fully loaded (we opted not to get the DVD player), which I love. It's equipped with bluetooth, so my phone syncs up everything I'm in the car, and I can make phone calls by pushing a button on my steering wheel and still be hands-free (it works through the radio). Voice-activated NAV system (I just tell it the address, it maps it automatically without my having to pull over and push buttons on the NAV panel). Real-time traffic reporting - I love this vehicle.

No real complaints, but a couple of things would make it more kid-friendly:
- cupholders integrated into the back inside door handles (if a kid is strapped in, it's difficult to get to the cups in the center thingy)
- under seat storage in the back seat and in the cargo area.
-integrated rear window shades to keep the sun off sleeping babies/toddlers (as opposed to the ones that suction cup to the windows).
- integrated toddler seats!!!

While I like the idea of drop down tray tables on the back of the driver/passenger seats (similar to airline seats), I worry about the safety factor in the event of an accident.

- Betsy

Amy said...

I could use a place for a garbage can (secured somehow to prevent spillage)in the back seat.

And, cup holders that are located where little hands CAN actually reach (I have a blazer, and they're in the door, too far away & a malibu where there in the back of the front center console, also too far away). This would prevent my kids from having to use the holders on their booster seats, which are tipped backwards by default because of the way the seat is angled.

And, since my kids eat breakfast in the car EVERY morning, a table or tray for them to eat off of would be super! And, it would be useful when on a road trip to Grandma's house for coloring or whatever!

I agree, too, with the seat belt buzzer idea. My kids don't unlatch theirs unless the car is stopped at our destination (anymore), but it would have been helpful when they went through that phase. What would be most helpful for me is some way to know when my kids are not sitting in their seat properly. My oldest is just out of a booster seat, and now he sticks his legs under him in this weird contortionist type position so that he can see out of the window better. I've tried to explain that he can't do that because he could get hurt, but he doesn't seem to care. What's worse is that the 3 y.o. is pushing himself up using the handles on his booster seat now, too.

And, the toilet & fridge would be great, too.

Heidi @ Tayterjaq's Rebels said...

A cooler in the floor would be so cool. It wouldn't have be cold all the time, just when you needed it. Just big enough to keep a few drinks cold.

Karina said...

A place for your purse!! I never have anywhere to put my bag, in my car or anyone else's...

Jody said...

we have 4 kids so we also need big vehicle. HYBRID minivan would be GREAT (when are they coming out with that?)
an insulated/cooled place to store, for instance.. baby's bottles or cups would be fabulous. we all know how ick it is to re-find that one cup that dropped and rolled and turned into a mass of radioactive goo.. or something..)
cubbies in the sides next to the seats would be great.. kid accessible for them to keep all their 'busy stuff'
a secured place for a trash bin of sorts..
anything to make longer hauls with multiple kids easier.

Edna said...

stain proof carpeting and seat coverings, storage space, cup holders, plenty of power plugs placed conveniently for all passengers, ability to stow the seats instead of removing for cargo space, easy open doors when your hands maybe full, and that about covers it for me!

Deb said...

Plenty of cup holders. Room for my bag. I used to call it a purse. Swivel seats. When I was a kid I loved looking out the back window. We always had stationwagons. Built in cooler for drinks.

ls649 said...

A seat with the massage & heat feature just for the driver. Better AC in the back, and a little compartment for each passenger to store toys and games in.

me said...

A fitted small trash can would do wonders in my car so that I am not holding on to a trash bag. Also, a small compartment which could double as a cooler if used with icepacks. Having back seat A/C vents would be great so that I dont have to sit in a freezer waiting for the back seats to cool down. And if they can get that back window slide all the way down, and ofcourse get rid of all the seat nook and crannies where the cookie crumbs and juice deposits hide...
Frankly, can they make a car which can drive my kids to all their classes and friends' houses by itself? I can give the directions...

Alicia said...

I'd love to have a pocket on the front of the back seat (like they have on the back of the front seats) It would be nice to be able to store toys, pacifiers and the like there, where it is easily accessable.

Tamra in CO said...

I think a back-up camera is very important for large vehicles, and I wish more minivans and SUVs had them. I've had several near-misses with SUVs backing up into me.

One problem I have with my current vehicle is that the kids are always losing the remote control for the DVD. I end up having to pull over, lean my seat all the way back so I can see the screen, and start the movie myself. I wish either the remote was tethered, or that I could control all DVD functions from the front seat.

julesb said...

Seat belts that don't choke you!

Cookie said...

When I buy a car, safety and reliability are the two top concerns. Gas mileage is up there too. And it isn't even considered if it doesn't have enough room for the kids. As for the kids, I wish that they could open the windows in the back of the minivan. And i agree with the other moms that it can be hard to clean. why not use astro turf and a plug on the bottom??? that would be great!

Kimberly said...

An "auto clean" button like some ovens have. It would work with empty food wrappers, spare french fries, vomit, dirt.. etc..

shawnathebrat said...

cup holders and trash cans!!! :)
Thanks!

Billie Jean said...

With 6 kids, I have learned that I ABSOLUTELY NEED 2 things (and no Dawn, we don't all drive a white Chevy Express - I've got a dark grey extended Trailblazer!) So what I need is:
1. A comfortable 3rd row with decent leg room because if the kids aren't comfortable back there, I'm gonna hear about it and nothing goood comes out of complaining children and a frazzled mom trying to drive. The sales guy didn't understand why I made DH test drive me around in the 3rd row to check comfort, duh.
2. A second row wide enough to accomidate 2 car seats at once without squishing the remaining child flat up against the door in 4 inches of space or making it impossible to tumble the seat for access to the 3rd row.
Oh, and a toilet & refrigerator would definately be nice. ;o]
Billie Jean

SB said...

I've got three kids and a ford escape and we're pack in right now. I would really like to see height adjustable seat belt straps in the back. The front seets are are adjustable and my oldest could move out of her backless booster if the seat belt could come down one inch more.
Cup holders for everyone would be nice.
I hope to move to a mini-van next year and stow and go storage would be awesome in a ford.

AuntyM said...

Lap trays, or trays that come down & fold up like they have on airplanes would be helpful, especially during times people have to eat in the vehicle.

♥ Braja said...

Well, I can see I'm gonna have to do a post called What Women Want :))) 186 comments is indicative that women want to speak about car design, huh? Well done, Dawn....have a wonderful time at Blogher...sorry our first meeting will be so fleeting :)
x
hey that rhymed :)

Rose said...

You know Roni (from RonisWeighin) is going to Blog Her this weekend. Sounds fun. . y'all should meet up (like you have time to find a total stranger and hang out).

miriamp said...

I actually do have a white Chevy Express (and 8 kids, so a minivan just won't do).

But anyway, what I'd like to see --

-seatbelts designed for women -- specifically, ones that don't get caught on my (not flat) chest and wind up in my neck even though I have the adjuster thing all the way down.

-more shoulder belts. I have 4 seats I hate to put kids in because they're lap belt only. I try to only use those for car seat installation only, which reminds me:

- more LATCH positions beyond the first passenger row or at least plenty of the bottom anchors! I wind up not using the LATCH positions because they're also shoulder belt positions, and it's safer all around to install car seats in lap belt only and put booster seat and older kids in those shoulder belt positions.

-bench seats that are easy to get in and out by a single person. The Ford Windstar rear bench was impossible to take out without at least two strong people available. When we bought a minivan, we chose the Toyota over the Ford for that very reason. The Toyota had a split bench that came out easier. The Chevy Express benches are also big, but they're pretty light, and I can get them in and out of the van by myself when needed. Although it would be nice if they also folded down -- but you're not talking to Chevy, just Ford.

lori said...

i'd look for nostalgia in a car. i like something retro. an example would be they could make the radio look like something from say the 70's but have it work like the cars of today. i think the best sellers ford had were when they brought back the t-bird and the mustang.

Liz's Random Thoughts said...

A car that will have a device that you can turn on to keep the stering wheel striaght. So as if you have to dig for your cell phone, a snack, turn around to yell err tell your kids to stop hitting each other. You can easily turn on the switch and the steering wheel will stay in the correct position and insure that you don't land in the ditch.

Papi and Wee Granny said...

Definitely a larger driver's seat belt for fluffy girls like me.
A gas pedal extension for short girls like me.
An overhead directional vent to cool the back on hot girls like me.

adailey said...

I know it is late to comment, but I wanted to chime in as a mom with about to be 8 children--and a daughter in law and grandchild. I drive a Chevy Express van and the reason we bought it and not a Ford was because the Ford vans have a shorter wheel base and flip over easier--simply put, they are not as safe. A longer wheel base and more safety features would be really nice.

Cup holders. 12 and 15 passenger vans don't generally have cup holders. Perhaps they could flip down from the seat in front.

Adjustable A/C and heat for each seat. I have children who are hot natured and children who are cold natured. Ever try to please that many with different metabolisms?

Cargo room--if you have all seats in place, there is NO ROOM for luggage, groceries, strollers, etc. Hello! Large families buy LOTS OF GROCERIES!! WE need to have a place to haul them home! I purposely bought a 15 passenger van and removed the back seat so we would have cargo room. This would not work for every family--and when our family grows a bit more, I will need to have that last row of seats...

And as has been mentioned several times: built in trash can, purse spot, and dustbuster or broom and dust pan that can snap securely into place so it does not get broken. Also--something in place to prevent items from rolling from the back all the way under the seats to the front--or vice versa. We "lost" a bag of cheese from the store for a week because it slid back under the back seat. Gross....

And I may be dreaming, but non-fog windows. Get a bunch of kids on a wet day breathing heavily, and my windows are all fogged up.

Stressed Out said...

I want a tilt-out trash holder on the back of the passenger's front seat that I can just reach over and drop in my snotty tissues and the kids can reach to put their used juice boxes, etc. in ... I want it to come with a supply of plastic liner bags so that when it's full I can just grab it and toss it in the can. Also, for those of us way up north, carpeted floor mats and fabric on the back of the driver's and front passenger's chair is AWFUL! When the kids get in with their wet salty boots, the floor mats get all stained and then when they sit in the seat, their feet stick out in front of them and make white marks on the seat backs... It looks gross like dried milk and is hard to get out... I end up buying rubber floor mats and wishing the back of my seat was covered in the same hard plastic as my dashboard do I could wipe it off...
Just my $0.02

trousseau4 said...

More storage, automatic remote doors that are standard, and easy access latch to buckle in car seats. And a fridge would be nice!!!

KatLuvsShoes said...

Devices/things to keep the kids busy and the scotch guarded idea is a must!

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