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Cars for 3+ Kids?

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
For those of you driving around more than 2 kids, what are you driving? This is baby number 3 - time to get a bigger car so everyone can fit! Tell me what you are driving and if you love it or hate it! We also have two big dogs and camp alot - trunk space is a must!
post #2 of 78
Do you take the dogs camping? If so you probably need a minivan!

We had a Toyota Matrix, and it was big enough for camping, and you can fit 3 carseats if you use radians. It gets great gas mileage which is why we chose it. We figured it was cheaper to own that as our regular car, and just rent a minivan if we wanted more space for a long road trip.
post #3 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
Do you take the dogs camping? If so you probably need a minivan!

We had a Toyota Matrix, and it was big enough for camping, and you can fit 3 carseats if you use radians. It gets great gas mileage which is why we chose it. We figured it was cheaper to own that as our regular car, and just rent a minivan if we wanted more space for a long road trip.
I have a pontiac vibe (which is the same as a toyota matrix, inside)... I'm torn on getting rid of it or not. I'm just not convinced that my kids can sit that close together without beating the cr@p out of each other...

It really worked for you?
post #4 of 78

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Edited by 1babysmom - 3/16/13 at 7:14am
post #5 of 78
I'm just so frustrated that there's no family vehicles with what I consider even close to decent gas mileage.
post #6 of 78
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Edited by 1babysmom - 3/16/13 at 7:14am
post #7 of 78
Thank you Thank you for this thread - I hope lots of people speak up.

In our case it's mom, dad, 2 kids, and grandpa. I'll be sitting in the back seat with the kiddos from now on I guess. We have an Impala that will work fine and a Scion xA that will be torture if we are forced to use it - and it definitely wouldn't fit 3 car seats.

We're already talking about what to do with #3 b/c it would mean being able to seat 6. What kind of options are there out there besides vans that can sit at least three in front and three in back?? Friends have a suburban that works, but otherwise I'm clueless.
post #8 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1babysmom View Post
I know, that is annoying. I mean, there are some out there but they're all smaller (like enough for more PEOPLE but not anything else). A Toyota Highlander is really good though (gas mileage is generally in the 20-25mpg range, but we've had better). My IL's have 3 of them and we drive them often and we were originally planning on getting one of those but we want something with a little more space behind the 3rd seat, plus, only the newer models are any wider than our Camry (until like 2003 or something they were built on the Camry frame) so we wouldn't have any more space that way.

DH really wants an older 90's suburban since his family has gone through so many of those and they all loved them and always got good gas mileage on them for that size SUV (like above 20mpg). i am horrible at driving big vehicles though so I really don't want something that big...though I wouldn't complain about the space....
my mom swears her Chrysler town and country gets 28 mpg highway... but she drives like a granny. When I'm used to getting 32 in my vibe, though, it's really hard to see those low 20s numbers

I really think we need 3 rows of seats, though (plus cargo space!!) because my kids like to kick/hit each other when they're too close together and bored. And I have an anti-SUV... thing. I think they're useful for some situations, but I feel irresponsible having one as essentially a soccer mom. We don't need to haul anything or anything, and the roll over thing freaks me out. Plus, back in my college days I was up on my soapbox about SUVs so much that, uh, I just can't see getting one and not feeling ridiculous. Soooo... we've been looking at the sienna or the odyssey. They're both very nice, but i'm SO not thrilled with the gas mileage
post #9 of 78
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Edited by 1babysmom - 3/16/13 at 7:14am
post #10 of 78
Thread Starter 
I agree on being nervous about 3 across - my two are already beating each other - it seems like I'd been setting us up for some nasty car rides! Its a minvan or a huge SUV... I don't mind driving a van, but not sure if the trunk is big enough for dogs?
We have a highlander now - but that third seat is so small - and no trunk when its up. They have SUV's with a 60/40 split, so someone can sit in the third row and still have some trunk, but I feel so bad for whoever is back there - like I put them in the trunk with the filthy dogs and groceries!
post #11 of 78
ooo! Thanks for that website! Those are all fancy schmancy! I see that some of them are available as hybrids... time to start saving now and pray that we can buy used in a few years!
post #12 of 78
We went with a Toyotal Sienna that seats 8 when we started trying for #3. It has worked out great for us. I can easily fit three big Britax accross the middle row. Mine are 7, 5 1/2, and 2 1/2 now and I can't say I have had issues with fighting in their seats. I like having them all right there and not having to worry about someone being all the way in the back where I can't reach them is they need something. Looks like we will be moving two to the back when the new baby is born though. At least they will be 7 and 6 at that point and able to take care of themselves for the most part.
I do hate the low gas mileage, but for now this is all I can do. Hopefully by the time we get ready to replace this one, there will be some better options.
post #13 of 78
I've made-do with a Saturn SL2 and some creative carseat placements. I was lucky that my girls could move into booster seats when Finn outgrew his infant bucket seat. For now, he is in the center in a Decathalon and the girls are in graco turbo boosters on each side. It's a huge hassle to buckle them though, you have to pull the seat out a bit, then buckle, then shove it back and tighten because you can't get your hand in between the seats.

I also have a Hyundai Elantra station wagon, I really like this car. It's more roomy than the saturn, the kids seats fit better, and I love the trunk space.

Now, I'm mini-van shopping, and I'll get rid of the saturn.
post #14 of 78
We are nervous about 3 in our car too. We currently drive a 2006 Mazda 6 hatchback and think we can fit 3 radians or 2 radians and a snugride... but not sure yet. We get about 32mpg so not bad, but not great. The hatchback is HUGE too LOVE it.

pic of one on internet (ours is red too)
http://auto.china.com/zh_cn/drive/i/...2038884100.jpg

We also have a 96 Honda Civic 2 door, that car is the back-up but will only be for 2 of them with the seats we replace with the radians.

Whenever we trial the radians I'll let you know how/if they fit.


There are a few Crossover SUVs that have 3 rows (Mazda 5, Rav 4,...) but trunk space will be tough to come by, but some have storage under your feet I think...
post #15 of 78
We got a Mazda 5 about a year ago, and it's a pretty good fit for us, especially considering that we won't (likely) be having any more kids. it seats six, though, when all seats are up there's not much trunk space. We have a big dog we take camping too. We plan on getting a roof thing (yeah. you know, one of those roof things? Sigh.) for our gear for next summer. Anyways, we like it because it's not actually very big (it has the same wheel base as the Mazda 3), but it suits our needs.
post #16 of 78
My sister has been telling me about a mid 90's Honda Odessy... It has 3 rows of seating and is much smaller than a regular sized minivan. Does anyone know anything about this? Maybe it would get better gas millage?
post #17 of 78
We loved our suburban.We had to sell it to get rent money.Life sucks but rents paid rofl.
I cannot wait to save up enough money to buy another one.Im a short girl and I love big trucks.Room for 9 and a hige trunk space
post #18 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama kk View Post
My sister has been telling me about a mid 90's Honda Odessy... It has 3 rows of seating and is much smaller than a regular sized minivan. Does anyone know anything about this? Maybe it would get better gas millage?
My step-aunt and step-uncle (step-mom's brother and sil) have one. It's sorta like a mazda 5, I think. I don't think there's a lot of trunk space. Theirs is practically dead, though... they've been using carshares when they travel distances. I had hoped that the odyssey was still like that, but when I looked into it I realized it's not

Apparently toyota has a hybrid van that's only available in Japan... I assume it's sorta like that size and that's why it's not here, but I don't really know.
post #19 of 78
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Noah

worst wikipedia entry I've ever seen, but this is probably what you're talking about. Toyota Noah, also named the Voxy.

I lived in Japan for 9 months and totally envied the cars there. Our Scion is pretty close though.
post #20 of 78
We sucked it up and went to a mini-van after my second was born. We had a Dodge Neon SXT until then and fitting two carseats in there, one of which was RFing, was a PAIN!

That mini-van (a 2001 Sienna) bit the dust in May and so we bought a brand new Honda Odyssey, 8 seater. Realistically, with car seats, we can only fit 7, but once they're out of the seats, we could fit 8, as long as we have on kid butt on the tiny seat. I love this van!
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