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Cars for 3+ Kids? - Page 3

post #41 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
I love my ford freestyle. I get 18mpg at worst and usually get 21-23 on the highway, though I have gotten as good as 25 on the highway. Their resale value is terrible, so you can usually find a great deal on a very slightly used one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
The Ford Flex and Taurus X are the newer version of my Freestyle. They are the same platform as each other and have a slightly bigger engine than mine does, which might mean they get worse gas mileage...not sure. They are both a Volvo platform "underneath," though, and I've found that my Freestyle is more like a Volvo than a Ford (I've driven a lot of Fords and not loved any of them like I love my Freestyle ). I've put 60,000 on my car since I got it and I still love it a lot. Parts for it are a little pricier than other domestic vehicles, but the tradeoff is since it's a Volvo, you don't have to replace parts as often, right?

The two drawbacks for me have been that my tires are a little more expensive..they're an odd size and run $130-$180 each. The windshield wipers are some new low profile deal too, and they cost $16 EACH to replace. EACH! Still, that's not enough to make me not want to drive it. It is easily the only vehicle I've ever driven that if I wrecked, I'd go out and buy a new one exactly like it. Did I mention that I love it?!

We are looking for a used Taurus X now. I think we found one we like. We love the room inside and they got REALLY high safety marks due to the volvo frame. So glad you love yours:
post #42 of 78
We were rearended last spring and my Sienna was in the shop for a month. I drove one of the big SUVs (sorry can't remember the name), and boy did it make me appreciate the room of my minivan. I could not fit hardly anything in the back, and the third row was so cramped compared to my van. I couldn't wait to get mine back. I hated having to climb up SO high to get in. I just thought the gas mileage was bad on my van. It gets worse in an SUV. Trust me. The only advantage I could see is the towing power, but all we would ever tow is a small boat. I can do that with my minivan. Like Candace said, I highly recommend not ruling out a minivan until you test drive a few.
post #43 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunita1 View Post
The Pilot and the Highlander just kind of seem to fill a niche for someone who wants three rows but doesn't want to be seen driving a minivan. The minivans offer so much more space!

Here's an article from Car and Driver about the Pilot vs. the Odyssey. http://www.caranddriver.com/features...over_3f_page_6
I can see this perspective, but the main point to me is not that I don't want to be seen in a minivan, it's that I think having AWD would be a plus for us. We live between two mountain ranges, and I think it would be nice to have the AWD for winter. I know the Sienna does come in AWD, but I've heard bad reviews about the run flat tires on it.

I also only have two kids, not planning more. But we do have extra kids with us enough ( a few times a week) that I want the extra seating.

I am torn though, because I know the minivan has more space, it's just trying to decide which we need/want more, a little extra space, or the better handling in winter weather. I currently have FWD and it has been fine, so AWD isn't an absolute necessity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SamGroom View Post
We are looking for a used Taurus X now. I think we found one we like. We love the room inside and they got REALLY high safety marks due to the volvo frame. So glad you love yours:
That's interesting to know it's a Volvo frame! Wow, I loved our Old Volvo.

Do you guys think Carmax is a good place to look for used cars?
post #44 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by bc1995 View Post
We were rearended last spring and my Sienna was in the shop for a month.
Was anyone in the third rear seat? Were they okay? Hugs to you.
post #45 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
I'm nervous that my 2 year old would try to feed the baby something. Also wondering how hard it'd be to get the baby in and out... definitely couldn't do a baby bucket (infant seat) because I couldn't squeeze it in and out between the two radians I have, but I might be able to fit it on the side with the older two together. We also sorta need the extra cargo space... trying to travel for christmas or camping is insane. A car-top carrier might take care of it, though...


I had the Finn in the middle at first, in a bucket, between two decathalons. My girls didn't really bother him that much. It was a pitb to get him in and out, I left the bucket installed. When I had the seats installed with the bucket on the outside, with my oldest in the middle since she could climb in there the easiest, I could remove the bucket.
post #46 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by bc1995 View Post
We were rearended last spring and my Sienna was in the shop for a month. I drove one of the big SUVs (sorry can't remember the name), and boy did it make me appreciate the room of my minivan. I could not fit hardly anything in the back, and the third row was so cramped compared to my van. I couldn't wait to get mine back. I hated having to climb up SO high to get in. I just thought the gas mileage was bad on my van. It gets worse in an SUV. Trust me. The only advantage I could see is the towing power, but all we would ever tow is a small boat. I can do that with my minivan. Like Candace said, I highly recommend not ruling out a minivan until you test drive a few.
I agree, my gf traded her toyota sienna for an suv with third row seating (can't for the life of me remember the name now...and she hates it. The easiest way to get a kid in the 3rd row is to have them climb through the trunk. She can barely fit a standard stroller in the back, so it usually goes on the floor behind the drivers seat. Her gas mileage is much worse now too, she is getting about 12-15mpg. Granted her SUV has some nice features, but I don't think they are worth the lack of space.
post #47 of 78
I'm not sure if i can get the seat installed in the middle and still be able to move the driver's seat back enough to drive :-/ It was tight and I had to have the passenger's side moved way up before... hmm
post #48 of 78
I wanted to add - I never wanted to drive a station wagon or a mini van either. Then my dp insisted we buy a station wagon (he loves them) and to be honest, I really like driving it! I love the extra trunk space. With baby #4 on the way, I need the extra seating of a mini-van or something similar, but the features of a mini van are really starting to be appealing.
My dp is also a bit odd about cars, if he had his way, we would each have 3. For now, we each have two (his choice, he wants to have back-ups in case something goes wrong). Since it's not much more $$ to add another car to the ins, I'm going to get rid of my saturn and find a cute, cheap little Jetta. I'll drive the mini-van when I need too - then drive my little car the rest of the time.

Not sure what the plan is for our two station wagons, maybe keep them both? Dp also has a small truck.
post #49 of 78
I read a tip once about getting a seat belt extender from the dealership. They are free and helped us a lot in extending the part where I clip the seat belt in. The part can stay connected and then just feed it through the booster. It only works on our outside two seats, not the middle. There might be a middle one that is available, but at the time I didn't need that.

Good luck!
LL

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyMomma View Post
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 #50 of 78
When we found out we were expecting #3, (we were planning on more) - we bought a 2004 Honda Odessey from Dh's aunt. My girls love it - and I can't believe I didn't get one sooner - so much easier to cart around all of the stuff & the Big German Shepherd
post #51 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
Was anyone in the third rear seat? Were they okay? Hugs to you.
My boys (6 and 5 at the time) were both in the back seat in five point harness carseats. We had taken some friends on a field trip earlier that week and I had not moved their seats back to the second row. I am SO thankful I still had them in carseats and not boosters. They were fine. Not sore or anything. I was the only one that had some neck pain from the impact. My now 7yo is going to have to be moved to a booster sooner rather than later, but I hate the thought of him not being in a five point harness anymore. He has just gotten so big that I don't have a choice. I also had dd still rearfacing. Made me feel better about all my 'extremes' that most of our family and friends think are crazy.
post #52 of 78
Hi,
When we figured out that #3 was on its way, our first thought was, well, we're set with everything but the cars. We've got a Toyota Camry and a Subaru Forester. With snowy winters, the Camry did its fair share of sitting last winter since it has standard drive and chaining up while the 2 kids sat waiting sounded horrible to me. The Forester has AWD, but is narrow. I really don't think we can fit 3 seats in it. Anyone had luck with 3 kids in seats in a Forester. I think we know the answer, but, just in case thought I'd ask.
We have been awaiting news of whether or not my husband will be laid off, so have pretty much decided to just make do with the cars we've got till a few years have passed and his furlough days and lost income are reinstated. Much thanks to anyone with advice on the Forester. And, for anyone who's had 3 in a Camry, it's not that bad? Is it?
post #53 of 78
I'm really happy to see this thread! I've been totally stressed out about this with #3 on the way. Yet I'm discouraged that there don't seem to be many affordable options with good gas milage that aren't SUV's or minivans! I will be so embarassed to get a van, I've also been on my soapbox against them and will feel like a total sellout!

I'm encouraged that my 2 aren't the only ones who beat each other up in the car! I thought I was the only one who suffered through that! I'm worried about having them next to each other and hope I can fit the baby in the middle!

Right now we have a Passat station wagon and I have fit a booster seat in the middle with 2 marathons on either side. The oldest I think will fit into a booster seat by the time the baby comes, so that will mean 1 marathon, 1 booster, 1 infant seat. I am PRAYING they fit! I am really not ready for the expense of a new car on top of all this!

So what are radians? I have to look those up. Are they a narrower type of carseat?

The other problem with potentially only fitting my own 3 kids is that I really need carpooling help from others, but feel I can't ask if I can't return the favor, so feel I must get a minivan if I'm going to participate in carpools to make my own life easier!

We also have 2 medium/large size dogs, does a minivan like an odesssy have enough room in the back for dogs? We tried a nieghbor's Mazda 5 which I was hopeful about, but the 3rd row of seats was so incredibly cramped, I can't see using that on a regular basis, and with it up, there is no room for dogs.
post #54 of 78
Radians are the narrowest 5-point harness convertible carseat on the market (I think?) You can fit 3 across in a small car. One goes to 65 lbs and one goes to 85 lbs.

Ours are the 65s. They're great - very narrow.
post #55 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by bc1995 View Post
My boys (6 and 5 at the time) were both in the back seat in five point harness carseats. We had taken some friends on a field trip earlier that week and I had not moved their seats back to the second row. I am SO thankful I still had them in carseats and not boosters. They were fine. Not sore or anything. I was the only one that had some neck pain from the impact. My now 7yo is going to have to be moved to a booster sooner rather than later, but I hate the thought of him not being in a five point harness anymore. He has just gotten so big that I don't have a choice. I also had dd still rearfacing. Made me feel better about all my 'extremes' that most of our family and friends think are crazy.
Phew, that is so good to hear, and I am so glad! That says something about the safety too!
post #56 of 78
i just heard cash for clunkers ends monday (did someone already say that on here?)
post #57 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Bean View Post
Hi,
Anyone had luck with 3 kids in seats in a Forester. I think we know the answer, but, just in case thought I'd ask.
We have an Impreza. We got our minivan when #2 was a baby and never used it much to cart around kids when they were younger, but when the older two were big enough for boosters we began using it on family outings again with three kids in the back -- one in a Graco Cargo (five point harness) in the middle, and the older two with Graco Turbo high back boosters on either side. It is *tight* and you have to contort your hands to buckle the seatbelts, but it works.
post #58 of 78
We have a 2004 Sienna and I absolutely love it. I has tons of room, can move all the seats, and has a high safety rating, which was the most important part for us.
We did buy a used , as I basically laughed in the sales man's face when he told us what it would cost for a basic mini van to cart the kids around in.
Then out came the used!!
post #59 of 78
Bought an 03 Honda Odyssey with 30,000 miles on it several years ago. Loved it until we had to have the transmission rebuilt TWICE. I paid way too much for it considering it was a used car. I hate all the power doors and back power windows that seem to do their own thing every now and then. But it gets us to where we need to go and we owe the bank more than what it's worth...so we are stuck with it.
post #60 of 78
FYI you can get a sienna with AWD. ours has a tow package (special cooling system) so it is like having a small truck.
We have an 07 sienna with 8 seats and LOVE IT!!!! This will be our 3rd child but I babysit 2 also and everyone has plenty of room. You can take out the 2nd row seats individually so I can configure the van many different ways. Even with 6 kids in the back I still have room for our stuff.
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