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Q: We are having a baby and need to find an affordable car (in the 20K range) that fits the car seat and all of our baby stuff comfortably. Do you have any suggestions?

There's a whole raft of vehicles out there that will work for you in that price range--and even more if you're willing to look at slightly used options. A fuel-efficient compact five-door hatchback with a high safety rating will provide plenty of space at the best price. The Mazda3 Sport and Hyundai Elantra Touring are good choices. Small SUVs, like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, offer more height (to easily place, remove and adjust the car seat) but less driving fun. Remember: Since the baby will travel in a legroom-testing, rear-facing seat at first, buy your car seat early and take it car shopping with you, along with your trunk-busting stroller.

Michael Bettencourt test drives more than 100 new vehicles a year and is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. Send him your car questions here.