Sitting in the back seat of a Chrysler Town & Country on the way to the pool, eating Pepperidge Farm Goldfish and listening to the Evita soundtrack—her unfortunate obsession with Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals aside, some of our most prominent childhood memories include driving around with Mom. Mom drove us to school, to soccer practice, to church. Mom drove us to the grocery store, she picked us up from our friends’ houses. To put it simply, Mom is the best. Not only did Mom operate extremely valuable (but hardly lucrative) livery services for her children, but she managed to do so while also meeting the demands of a professional career.
CarGurus is lucky to have more than a handful of fantastic moms as part of our incredible company. With Mother’s Day this Sunday, we decided to interview some of our great Guru mothers and find out a little bit about their first cars, what they drive now, and what they’re hoping to drive in the future.
Amy Mueller | Public Relations Manager
Amy Mueller, CarGurus’ Public Relations Manager, got more than she and her husband, Greg, bargained for when they had their first child. Two more, in fact, since they ended up having triplets. Maddy, Olivia, and Abby gave Amy and Greg a heaping helping of the joys of parenthood but also presented practical puzzles, like how to find a vehicle that could safely fit not only Amy and her three daughters, but also the triple jogging stroller she used to cart the girls around before they could walk. Amy wanted a vehicle that could fit all three girls in the second row in their child seats so she could reach them all, and since this was pre-CarGurus, finding one was a lot more difficult than she expected. Amy and Greg considered, and rejected, just about every midsize and compact SUV, finally settling on a 2001 Toyota Sequoia (once owned by Bill Belichick, for you Pats fans!). That vehicle worked, but was bigger than Amy liked, so she recently downsized to a 2010 Honda Pilot, bought new. She “love[s] the flexible third-row seating, comfortable second row (for all three kids), and ample cargo storage.” Amy looks forward to being able to drive a smaller German car at some point and finds the Audi A5 tempting.
Ashley Karr | Marketing Manager
If you’re shopping for a car, and you just happen to have a newborn infant, then there’s a lot to consider before making the purchase. Ashley Karr, a Marketing Manager here at CarGurus, recently bought a used Volvo XC60 T6. We have recently praised the XC60 for being one of the safest SUV/crossovers on the market, but safety isn’t the only thing Ashley considered when purchasing the the XC60. “Since we had an infant, I knew I didn’t want a new car because it was going to get wrecked with sticky fingers soon enough!” – a reasonable sentiment to have when considering value. But still, the used XC60 is fun to drive and offers some great features like comfortable seats, Bluetooth, a backup camera, and a large cargo area “so we could easily toss all their stuff in the trunk.” Though Ashley thoroughly enjoys her XC60, she still has dreams of owning a Jeep Wrangler – a vehicle she realizes is “completely impractical for my life now (snow + babies does not equal an open-roof vehicle…).”
Nicole Schena | Dealer Account Specialist
Though she has a practical everyday ride with her Toyota RAV4 Limited, Nicole Schena, a Dealer Account Specialist, drives a 2011 Chevy Camaro SS because “this mom likes to have a little fun!” It is true that a Camaro SS is not a great car for your kids, but, since Nicole’s kids are currently driving themselves, it’s safe to say they aren’t a necessary consideration in what Nicole wants to drive. They weren’t a huge factor when choosing her RAV4 either; in fact, the backseats are a bit of a tight fit for her tall kids. But the RAV4 does offer the great gas mileage and low maintenance that she was wanted. And, of course, she needed a ride that was good in the snow. Living in Boston certainly makes that a necessity. Nicole definitely likes her Chevrolet sports coupes: her first car was a 1980 Chevy Monza – white with red interior – and she has dreams of owning a 1967 Camaro SS.
Mihaela Bujoreanu | Software Developer
Contrary to popular belief, not all CarGurus are car enthusiasts. Mihaela Bujoreanu, a software developer and one of the company’s first employees, drives a dark blue 2012 Subaru Tribeca (mercifully not the homely B9 iteration), and openly admits, “really, cars are not my thing” and says that her dream car might as well be the Batmobile. Her first car was a silver Toyota Corolla but, as a mother of two, Mihaela needed a car large enough to fit 2 child seats without using up all available passenger space, and safety was a primary concern. Like nearly every Subaru, the Tribeca scores very well in safety tests and offers all-wheel drive, but Miheala also appreciates the backup camera and leather upholstery. We think she’d enjoy the new 2017 Impreza when shopping for her next car, because she wishes the Tribeca weren’t quite so big and tall.
Renel Fredriksen | Senior Controller
Renel Fredriksen, CarGurus’ Senior Controller, describes herself as a cautious driver interested in safe, efficient cars. At 5 feet, 3 inches tall, she also hates having to re-position everything in the cabin after her tall husband drives her car. She started with a manual-transmission 1963 Dodge Dart with over 100,000 miles and no seatbelts that she named Brunhilda, and she now drives a nameless 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid. She “wish[es] it wasn’t black, but I got a good deal on it (thanks, CarGurus!) so can’t complain.” Renel had two children in the ‘80s, and she’s very proud of the fact that she successfully passed along her concerns about car efficiency and safety, as her daughter Amanda lives in California and proudly commutes by bicycle (which is healthy and cool, but safe?), and her son Travis and his wife each drive a Subaru, Travis an Outback and his wife an Impreza.
Sheila Carlson | Senior International Account Executive
If you’re shopping for a car with 7- and 9-year old kids, space might not be an immediate concern. When Sheila bought her 2012 Mini Cooper Clubman S, named Freida, she was mostly looking for a fun commuter car with good fuel economy. Well, Freida delivered; it returns 35 mpg on the highway, and Sheila loves the little runabout’s acceleration. Now that her kids are 11 and 13, however, the rear seat is getting a little tight, but her dog Jules doesn’t mind it at all (she usually sits in the front, anyway). Sheila’s MINI isn’t the prototypical mom-mobile, but its barn-door style trunk makes loading and unloading easy, and, compared to her first car (a 1974 Chevrolet Nova), parallel parking is rarely a tight squeeze. Freida will probably be sticking around, as Sheila’s oldest, Gavin, already sees the MINI as an excellent option for when he earns his license in a few years. Of course, that doesn’t stop Sheila from window-shopping for her dream car: the 2017 Jaguar F-PACE. In her words, “Happy Mother’s Day to moi!”
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone! What do you think is the perfect car for a driving Mom?