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growing family desperately seeking 6 passenger vehicle

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

We are expecting baby #4 in February.

Basic math problem: 6 people in a 5 passenger car = dad in trunk? idea.gif  just joking.

My husband's first, major concern when we found out was "What about the car?", while I am mentally planning moving kidlets around in the 3 bedrooms, he's off on auto logistics. My sweet Subaru legacy all of the sudden is inadequate. I am looking for sound advice from real parents (Mothering.Com parents!) on the truth about minivans, SUVs and other auto options that work for you and your family. I would really appreciate any words of wisdom.

goorganic.jpg   namaste.gif   waterbirth.jpg

post #2 of 20

No suggestions but anxiously waiting for replies. We are either going to have to buy another vehicle that is an SUV/Van (have a compact car) or trade that in for something bigger. We're planning on 4 kids total, moving onto baby #3 now. lurk.gif

post #3 of 20

We're gonna trade our Pilot in for a minivan. I feel like most large (3 row) SUVs aren't meant for families with young children. The only way DSs carseat fits now is in the middle, wedged btwn the front seats a bit. We wouldn't be able to fit 2 carseats in the second row. If we pull out the third row there's virtually no "trunk" room and how would we get back there anyway? Mine are close in age and if the car seats weren't an issue than it wouldn't be as bad. In a van there's normally more room btwn the 1st and 2nd rows and there's more likely captain seats so it's easy to get to the back. And it keeps toddler grabby hands away from a newborn.  The other thing I like about vans is the sliding doors. I'm sick of worrying about other cars when I'm putting my son into the carseat.

So, yes, I'm going to be a minivan mom (my high school self would be so embarassed)!

post #4 of 20

Yeah, I am eager to hear what others say.  We can squeeze the three adults and two kids we need to into our Honda CRV but it's tight.  And if my brother comes up ... we can't all be together.


But I hate the idea of a minivan plus ... I don't like having the kids vulnerable to a rear hit in the back...



post #5 of 20

I have no advice on a minivan, but I have a Ford Flex and love it. As for looks, it is one of those cars you either love or hate. I, obviously, love it. :)

As for seating, it either sits 6 or 7 depending on how you get it. You can either get a bench or two captain's chairs (like in a minivan) for the second row. If you have lots of passengers, I would recommend the captain's chairs since it will make access to the back row bench much easier. I have the bench and it works great for us, since we are only a three, soon to be four person family.


As for being hit from behind, I am not sure of the exact dimensions, but I'm thinking there is around a foot from the back bench to the back window.

post #6 of 20

I love our minivan.  Love it.

We bought it only having 2 kids, but it has been a lifesaver.  Auto doors are awesome. 


We have a dodge grand caravan with the automatic doors and stow n' go seating.  My 2 kids are in the 2nd row captains chairs, and our foster son is in the 3rd row.  I fold the larger portion of the 3rd row down and it lays flat-- so I can easily access the 3rd row from the hatch.  All my kids are rear facing, and they all climb in themselves except for our 10 month old foster son :-). 


I don't know what I'd do without our minivan! 

post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thanks sisters!blowkiss.gif

We were going for the Honda Pilot, but now I really need to get over myself and seriously give the MINIVAN a chance. They seem to be so much more practical, and lets face it- anything that makes my life easier should NOT be looked down on because of ego issues! I seriously needed sound advice and all y'all delivered! Let's keep each other posted on our quests.

Plus, this was my first thread!


post #8 of 20

Both our cars are over ten years old, so I can't give you new car advice.  I can give some minivan experience with several kids.  We have a 94 GMC Safari XT.  Everything is old and busted on it, and it gets crappy gas mileage.  We keep it in our community, and I drive it maybe twenty miles a week.  I gave three kids rides to/from preschool in it (three miles round trip?).  My favorite part about the minivan is that I can get in the sliding door, buckle all the kids up, and then climb into my seat in the front.  We live in the mountains where it RAINS and SNOWS alot.  This year was particularly bad.  It was so nice to keep the kids and myself dry and warm in the van.  We also have a 96 Saturn Station Wagon, and while it also fits three forward facing seats, I have to be outside to get the kids buckled.  I got very wet and very cold in the winter.  Even if I got in and turned around in my seat, I would still have to leave the driver's door open, or open it back up to turn around.


So, yeah.  Mini (and not so mini) vans can be a super good thing :0).  

post #9 of 20

I'll be getting a "bakfiets" - a cargo bike... Amsterdam is a bike city not a car city :)  http://bakfiets.nl/eng/


That said, a minivan sure looks comfy.

post #10 of 20

Ooh, that looks cool!  We have bikes (DS just started riding a two wheeler), but nothing for a little person.

post #11 of 20

Sorry:  DDC crashing here ...

We're expecting #4, too.  So glad we have a minivan - an '07 Kia Sedona. We have 3 Britax carseats - one of which is the enormous up-to-85lb one, and all three will not fit across a bench seat.   I have also found the minivan handy for carpooling.  We can  fit up to two extra passengers now - that'll be down to 1 extra once #4 arrives.  This has been nice since my older daughters have entered the elementary social scene.  thumb.gif

The back seat folds down in two sections for extra cargo space as well.  Wonderful for road trips, moving, etc.   I was able to remove a seat and transport a dryer (one of those HE stackable washer/dryers).   The windows in the middle section  roll down just like the windows in the back seat of a car - very nice feature during summer.


Crash ratings:


IRVINE, Calif., July 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Today it was announced the Kia Sedona minivan and Kia Sorento SUV both received "Good" ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for rear impact collisions. A "Good" is the highest possible rating given by IIHS and according to the institute represents the best protection for people of all sizes in a typical rear-end crash.

"It is becoming well-known that Kia builds safety into all of its vehicles and Kia Sedona and Kia Sorento are just the latest examples to pass independent testing," said Len Hunt, executive vice president and COO of Kia Motors America (KMA). "We strive to provide our customers with quality vehicles that are equipped with the best available safety features."

IIHS bases their ratings of "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" or "Poor" on geometric measurements of head restraints and simulated crashes that, according to the IIHS, when combined assess how well people of different sizes would be protected in an average rear crash. According to IIHS injuries to the neck are the most commonly reported by victims of car crashes; the Kia Sedona and Kia Sorento's standard active head restraints offer optimum and essential passenger neck and back support and protection.

Serving as Kia's flagship safety vehicle, the Kia Sedona has collected a number of accolades, including receiving the company's first five-star crash safety rating for each seating position from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) when it debuted in 2002, as well as receiving the "Top Safety Pick" from the IIHS for the past two consecutive years. The current generation Kia Sedona, both Long and Short Wheel Bases, tout other standard safety features including six standard airbags (dual advanced front and front seat-mounted side air bags, and full-length side curtain air bags for all three seating rows), a four-channel, four-sensor, antilock brake system (ABS), and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).

Source:  http://www.autospectator.com/cars/kia/0018542-2007-kia-sedona-2007-kia-sorento-awarded-039-good-039-ratings-iihs 


Edited by BennyPai - 7/14/11 at 4:13am
post #12 of 20

SO many good points brought up that I hadn't even taken into I account! Thanks! Can't wait to share this with DH. 

post #13 of 20
Originally Posted by londongandert View Post

Thanks sisters!blowkiss.gif

We were going for the Honda Pilot, but now I really need to get over myself and seriously give the MINIVAN a chance. They seem to be so much more practical, and lets face it- anything that makes my life easier should NOT be looked down on because of ego issues! I seriously needed sound advice and all y'all delivered! Let's keep each other posted on our quests.

Plus, this was my first thread!


ROTFLMAO.gif  Can I ever relate to the ego issues.  When my car started breaking down, I got to the point I refused to put my kids in it and so started the search for a vehicle.  Knowing we were planning on having 4 kids eventually, we were looking at the 7 passenger options.  I gave up on my ego (for now - I can always be cool later when my kids will actually notice) and got a Dodge Grand Caravan.  {I love it so much - favorite vehicle ever}  With two, soon to be three, little ones I can't imagine having anything else.  It gets decent enough gas mileage, has room for kids, luggage and our medium sized dog.  It's easy enough to move around in that it won't be a pain getting to the back to buckle our 3 year old in.  Plus, when it's cold outside (we live in Alberta)  I can toss the kids inside, climb inside myself, and sort everyone out where it's warm and dry.


Only thing I would highly recommend - stow n go seating.  Seriously.  I never though we'd need so much room in the back that we'd have to take the back seat out, but we've done it 4 times since February.  It's heavy and it's a pain, so the stow n go is definitely something I'd get in the future.


post #14 of 20

We've been driving a sedan with a family of 5, and now with baby #4 on the way, we're going to buy a minivan.   I am strongly leaning towards a youngish, used Toyota Sienna.  Reviews for minivans in general seem to put the Toyota Sienna and the Honda Odyssey at the top, and it seems to me that the sienna is more practical from a $$$ standpoint.    I'm also leaning towards 8 passenger rather than 7, just for that being nicer if we have a visitor, or want to give another kid a ride.   I looked at a 2011 sienna, and the 3rd seat in the 2nd row is a total joke.  2010, 2009, 2008, the seating looks good.

post #15 of 20

A friend of mine has a Mazda 5 and it could definitely fit 4 carseats plus 2 adults.

post #16 of 20

I have a Mazda 5, while it's perfect if you have a few extra's now and then, I wouldn't recommend it if you're going to be needing all four seats in the back.  As grocery shopping and travel are difficult and you end up storing everything in the front seat or on the floor and you don't want to have to do that with so many little feet.  For just getting about without needing the storage space I love it.  Drives great, no problems and I tinted all my windows limo black so you can't see the mess that is that back of the my car.  Only the front seats that look great... no gum on the seats or snot smears on the arm rests.  Oh and the Mazda 5 is pretty inexpensive.

post #17 of 20

We got a Chrysler Town and Country when I was pregnant with our third. We like it okay:)

post #18 of 20
This is my 3rd. Right now I have a Scion xB. Of course this will definitely not fit all the kids in the back so bigger car it is! I want a Mazda 5. It can fit everyone and everything and it's the least "vanny" type of van I've seen. I also like the Nissan Quest as well.
post #19 of 20

DDCC crashing.  I have a Mazda 5 with soon to be 3 teenagers and a rather large hockey bag.  I had a Subaru outback for 12 years before that.  Love, love, love my Mazda.  I also have tinted windows.

post #20 of 20

Just wanted to thank everyone for the information on 6 passenger vehicles. As I have a growing family, I will prove much needed that I need a bigger car. Rigth now I have a honda Civic and that will not be big enough for my growing family.


I will probably go with a Dodge, I hear good things about them.thumb.gif


Thanks everyone.

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