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Does a fuel efficient vehicle that seats 7 exist?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So I'm need of a minivan I guess .. something that seats at least 6. I thought of the mazda 5 but four of the people I need to seat are four years old and under. I need to bring a double stroller with me so it has to have enough room for that which the mazda 5 doesn't when you are using all the seats.

Otherwise, I am looking for the smallest and most fuel efficient vehicle possible. It does not in any way need to be pretty or fancy or have leg room/roominess for anyone. I just need to be able to fit four car seats, a filled to the brim diaper bag and the stroller with me.

Any ideas? I'm definitely looking to buy used if that makes a difference. 

post #2 of 14

You can check out www.fueleconomy.gov to see which minivans are the most fuel efficient. They are listed under Trucks for some reason and you can also look up specific ones.

 

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/best-worst.shtml

 

Good luck!

 

post #3 of 14

We have a 2006 Honda Odyssey van, and IMO it gets decent gas mileage. Much better than my dh's truck, UGH, I hate that thing. When we were in CO for my sister's wedding, the car rental place offered us an SUV for the same price as a box car. We took it. Turns out it was a flex fuel vehicle, and we were shocked at how well it did on fuel. I'm not suggesting you run out and get a Suburban, but with whatever one you are looking for, maybe look for the flex fuel option? We got the suburban on a Friday night, drove all weekend all over CO, and it still had 1/2 a tank when we filled up before returning Monday. We didn't figure the exact mileage, but if we could replace dh's truck with one, we would.

post #4 of 14

Ehhh I have a flex fuel Tahoe- with the enormous tank it takes a while to drain it- but running E85 is the exact same price as running 10% Ethanol per mile.  I get better mileage running straight gas.  My less than perfect idea is to buy a Cadillac limo- they get better mileage than my tahoe and can be picked up relatively cheap.

post #5 of 14
I have a Buick Enclave and I love it. It has a best in class fuel rating of 20 mpg, and I do actually get that regularly. Due to the weather here we needed an all wheel drive version. You will get better milage with a front wheel drive van. Obviously it's class includes full sized SUVs and trucks, so fuel efficient is a relative term. There is a GMC that is basically the same car inside, but I can't remember the name. When GM was sinking they sold cars cheep, so you can get a used GMC or Buick one for a decent price.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemygirl View Post

So I'm need of a minivan I guess .. something that seats at least 6. I thought of the mazda 5 but four of the people I need to seat are four years old and under. I need to bring a double stroller with me so it has to have enough room for that which the mazda 5 doesn't when you are using all the seats.

Otherwise, I am looking for the smallest and most fuel efficient vehicle possible. It does not in any way need to be pretty or fancy or have leg room/roominess for anyone. I just need to be able to fit four car seats, a filled to the brim diaper bag and the stroller with me.

Any ideas? I'm definitely looking to buy used if that makes a difference. 

If you find a magical 7-8 passenger vehicle that gets great mileage, please, please share.  It's like a magical unicorn that doesn't exist.  :(  We ended up with a minivan (it was between that or a Suburban or something).   I had people keep telling me to get a Mazda 6, but they weren't offering to come buckle/unbuckle/buckle/unbuckle my four (four!) children in 5-point harnessed carseats.  I needed to get my squishy butt in the back to deal with carseats.  And I wanted to get better than 12mpg.  Our minivan gets about...  20-24mpg, it's an older Honda Odyssey. 
I have no complaints besides the requisite "but it's a minivan!" and given the choice again, we'd likely end up with another Odyssey vs. a Toyota Sienna (we went van-drooling last weekend, and the Sienna's gotten a bit more chintzy looking over the years vs. the solidness/good design of the Odyssey innards).

(I was curious and went looking at the Enclave...  looks kinda like squished seating, and doubt you'd be able to get three carseats on the back bench, so you'd be messing with carseats if you need to fold a captain's chair to climb in and get someone buckled, plus I guarantee it has less trunk storage than my minivan that has that dip in the back where the back bench seat would fold down into the floor.)

 

post #7 of 14

I decided to go diesel.  Keep in mind, we need to seat 10+.  We were driving a 12 pass full size van.  We recently upgraded to a 17-passenger minibus.  I was spending $250 a month, driving about 400 mi. This last month with our bus, I spent $145, and drove almost double that, maybe more (but I had a battery issue which required disconnecting and lost my trip odometer).  Diesel fuel locally is only between .05 and .10 more than 87 octane gas lately and gets way better gas mileage.  I think some european cars have diesel options.  You might consider looking into it.  And if you're really adventurous, you can look into biodiesel. ;)

 

post #8 of 14

I have a little 7 seater fiat doblo and it has great gas mileage , although some people don't like the way it looks :)

i love my little car though and it has loads of room , much nicer than those VERY big alternatives

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mar123 View Post

We have a 2006 Honda Odyssey van, and IMO it gets decent gas mileage. Much better than my dh's truck, UGH, I hate that thing. When we were in CO for my sister's wedding, the car rental place offered us an SUV for the same price as a box car. We took it. Turns out it was a flex fuel vehicle, and we were shocked at how well it did on fuel. I'm not suggesting you run out and get a Suburban, but with whatever one you are looking for, maybe look for the flex fuel option? We got the suburban on a Friday night, drove all weekend all over CO, and it still had 1/2 a tank when we filled up before returning Monday. We didn't figure the exact mileage, but if we could replace dh's truck with one, we would.


I have an Odyssey as well (seats 8).  I love how I only use all 6 cylinders when I really need them.  I try to keep it in ECO mode as possible so that I'm only using 4 cylinders. 

post #10 of 14

They do exist.

There is quite a bit of choice, actually.

Unfortunately, those options are not offered in the US. I don't know why.

You can shrug, buy a big mommyvan, and pay a lot in gas. Or you could start bothering your dealer to start selling you the gas-sipping 7-seaters some of us moms could really use.

I have a post with a list of 7-seaters that do more than 30 mpg: http://www.cellomomcars.com/2012/06/so-you-want-seven-seat-car-that-does.html

post #11 of 14

I don't know what you are used to but the switch from a prius to an odyssey has truly, magically sucked. I seriously will dance around a maypole with a bottle of champagne when we are out of carseats. 

post #12 of 14

Sorry to hear that JudyAU! - you know they do have 7-seat Priuses, hope they will come to the US soon. Or you can start badgering your Toyota dealer about it so it comes sooner! (First they will tell you that Toyota doesn't make such a monster.  But they do: check it out here: http://www.toyota.co.uk/cgi-bin/toyota/bv/frame_start.jsp?id=CC2-Prius-Plus-landing. If it's a monster, it's a pretty monster. Then they will tell you that US safety regulations won't allow it, blah blah. But I say: where there is a will, the carmakers will find a way).

 

You could try for narrow car seats: Volvo makes a booster seat that's only 15 inches wide. Also, once the first child is out of booster seat you'll be allright in a  Prius again. Even in a Golf I've had three children and two child seats in the back without problem. The child in the middle wasn't wide... :-)
 

post #13 of 14

I appreciate the link but cars that don't exist here don't help us. And yes we know all about them, dh did a lot of ranting before the minivan and I do a lot of ranting when I fill up the tank. We already use Radians. But the best standards for car seat use mean that are kids are going to be in them for a long time. 

post #14 of 14

You are right, JudiAU, knowing about gas sippers that aren't for sale here does you no good right now (I so get your frustration). But it might make all the difference for the cars 5-10 years down the line if car makers hear from us that yes, we want to buy sippers. Sort of like being the first woman in medical school, or at MIT: people looked at them like they were not from this planet.  But those first women, even the ones who never did finish their degrees in those supposedly male bastions, were in fact trailblazers for the rest of us. If you rant, direct your ranting at the target of your choice: car dealer / regional manager / US headquarters.

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