It was a normal winter afternoon in Michigan.
My pregnant wife and 16-month-old son had just left the house for an appointment.
It was shortly after they left that I decided to check our mailbox. I work from home, so it’s always a nice chance to get some fresh air.
While I don’t usually leave my phone at my desk, this was one of those rare moments that I did.
And upon my return, my heart nearly raced out of my chest when I saw several missed calls from a number I didn’t know and a text message that said my wife and son had just been in a bad car accident.
Thank the Lord, my family is fine. All three came away from the accident physically unscathed, though the emotional scars lingered for weeks.
Every parent who purchases a vehicle would like to think it will keep his family safe. But no parent actually wants to test that theory.
Unfortunately, my family went through that test.
Fortunately, our vehicle passed with flying colors.
Purchasing a family vehicle, especially when children come along, is one of the biggest decisions you will make.
This is especially true in the U.S. where the average driver spends 17,600 minutes behind the wheel a year, according to the AAA Foundation.
We are a highly mobile culture.
Whether it’s the daily commute to work, visiting family on the other side of the state, or that once in a lifetime road trip across America to see the Rocky Mountains, so much of our lives is spent on the road.
Both my wife and I come from families where we drove our vehicles until the doors fell off. And we carried that tradition into our own family unit.
After putting as many miles as possible on our vehicles, we decided it was time to find something newer and reliable that would be good for our future children and for visiting our family and friends on the other side of the country.
We had not had children yet when we started looking, so we weren’t quite ready for a minivan (though if our family keeps growing, that may be soon to come…).
We were in the market for something bigger than a car, but not a full sized SUV.
Living in Colorado at the time and spending plenty of time exploring the Rocky Mountains, we knew we wanted something that could fit our outdoor gear, but also had decent fuel economy and all-wheel drive.
Being from the Rust Belt state of Michigan, I always assumed I’d buy something made by one of the “Big Three” auto companies.
Little did I expect to go full Coloradan by purchasing a Subaru Forester, one of the most popular vehicles on the road in the Rocky Mountain State.
Most red-blooded conservatives would scoff at purchasing a Subaru (just like I had) because it’s the car of hippies from Colorado and Vermont.
But after comparing the Forester alongside the Ford Escape, Ford Flex, Nissan Rogue and a few others, the decision was simple—and I encourage other conservatives to take a look at the Subaru as well.
Trust me, I would’ve loved to stay true to my Rust Belt roots and gone with the Ford Escape, but when actually looking at the price difference between the Escape and the Forester, I just couldn’t rationalize paying more for a lower quality vehicle.
When I visited the Ford dealership, I noticed that the base model Escape was $7,000 more than the base model Subaru Forester.
Upon inquiring the salesman as to why I should pay more for the Escape, all he could give me was that the Escape had a little more ground clearance than the Forester (which I’m not actually sure is true).
But what is true is that the “Big Three” are used to selling vehicles to Americans based on their brand reputation alone, not on competitive prices or the quality of their vehicles.
I’m not saying all the vehicles they make are bad, but years of protectionist government policies and bloated union contracts often result in American brands selling an inferior product.
While the Subaru Forester itself is not made in the U.S., there is at least one Subaru plant that I know of that manufactures their Outback model in Lafayette, IN—at a non-union facility.
The Forester is best known for its reliability, as well as retaining its value long after it leaves the sales lot. It’s also quite spacious, has great visibility, and superior safety ratings, making it a great vehicle for the average family who spends a lot of time on the road.
And if you are a fiscal conservative like me, saving $7,000 on a vehicle purchase is a big deal.
But most importantly, our vehicle kept our family safe.
Ultimately, I give God the glory for protecting my wife, son, and unborn daughter. But one of the ways He did that was through the purchase of our Subaru Forester.