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Old 08-18-2009, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

Wife to wonderful DH, SAHM to DS1 (3/05), DS2(11/06), and baby boy #3 coming (3/11/10)!
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:28 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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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?

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:35 PM
 
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm just so frustrated that there's no family vehicles with what I consider even close to decent gas mileage.

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Old 08-18-2009, 04:02 PM
 
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-18-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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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

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Old 08-18-2009, 04:10 PM
 
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Praying our April 2013 baby sticks!! joy.gif


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Old 08-18-2009, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!

Wife to wonderful DH, SAHM to DS1 (3/05), DS2(11/06), and baby boy #3 coming (3/11/10)!
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Old 08-18-2009, 04:41 PM
 
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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!

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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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.

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-18-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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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...

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:07 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-18-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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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?

Kelcey... in love with DH, and DD born 10/13/07, and a little DS born 2/23/10!
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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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

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Old 08-18-2009, 07:01 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-18-2009, 07:31 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-18-2009, 07:35 PM
 
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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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Old 08-18-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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My son says we need a short yellow bus LOL LOL
With 9 in the family this comming march,we need those hige 12 seater vans.

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Old 08-19-2009, 11:09 AM
 
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we are getting a...Ford Taurus X. It has a third row and a good amount of room. It also has good gas mileage, better than the minivans. We also like the Ford Flex and it has the same gas mileage. It is huge inside but just a little our of our price range.

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Old 08-19-2009, 11:51 AM
 
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We have a Renault Clio now and the 3 kids b a r e l y fit in there. This time we're going all out for a 7 seater and getting a Vauxhall Zafira after xmas.

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Old 08-19-2009, 01:10 PM
 
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Its sad really. My ex never got me a car of my own, so after we split up, I got the only car I could afford-a 93 plymouth acclaim. Its a 6 passenger car, but I dont drive it much since A.) its a junker, doesnt go into 3rd gear, and requires us unhooking the battery everytime we park (the radiator fan is hardwired to the battery, lol) and B.) when we're all in the car, my eldest has to sit up front in the middle, which isnt as safe and makes me nervous.

However! My fiance is planning on getting me a minivan in about a month. I'm getting a Voyager or a Caravan. At this point, it'll be a late 90's model, since our budget is small but it'll be sooo nice having a car we can all fit into! In a few years when we graduate (we're both going to be RN's) I can get an almost new one-I wont buy brand new even if we can afford it. Depriciation in that first year makes me cry.

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Old 08-19-2009, 01:21 PM
 
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I'm seriously considering getting an older-ish (like '01, '03 something like that) minivan... right now we have DH's car loan, but no loan on the vibe, so we were planning to trade in his car and get a van so we still only had one loan. But if we got an older van, we either could pay cash or it'd be a really small loan and we could save for a better car in a few years. I *love* the idea of being car loan free...

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Old 08-19-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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I'm seriously considering getting an older-ish (like '01, '03 something like that) minivan... right now we have DH's car loan, but no loan on the vibe, so we were planning to trade in his car and get a van so we still only had one loan. But if we got an older van, we either could pay cash or it'd be a really small loan and we could save for a better car in a few years. I *love* the idea of being car loan free...
Keep on eye one when the Sienna was redesigned. I think it was 2003. Ours is from a year or two before the redesign, and I totally wish we had known to wait for the seats that fold into the floor. When we camp, we remove half of the backseat, which leaves us with seating for only 5 (the way the seats come out, you lose 2 positions in the back row). We're not sure how we'll fit gear for 6 to go camping. The new 60/40 split with stow and go seating would work much better for us.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:14 PM
 
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Have a Chevy Trailblazer (with the 3rd row) which is great and has enough cargo space, but liked my Tahoe better. Such a smooth ride! It was a newer one with the flex fuel so it actually got better gas mileage than my trailblazer. The problem, the Tahoe's with the 3rd row don't have a lot of cargo space. The stroller fits and some groceries, but not much else.

We recently sold the Tahoe, will probably sell the Trailblazer because we want to get a Suburban...we need the seats! Nothing else really seats 8 and has cargo space. DH wants to stick with Chevy or GMC, so that's pretty much our only option.

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Old 08-19-2009, 09:41 PM
 
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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
I also never thought I would want to get an SUV, but now I am considering a Toyota Highlander or a Honda Pilot, not huge SUV's, but they are considered "crossovers", whatever that means! But, in looking at them, they get the same mileage as both the Sienna and the Odyssey. So now I feel hard-pressed to say that it really makes a difference. And with the Pilot or Highlander, you get AWD, which is a plus for us. I know the Sienna comes in AWD too, but that has worse mileage and it has those run-flat tires.


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seats that split 30/70 or whatever it is (where just one seat folds down).
This is one big difference in the Pilot and the Highlander. In the Pilot, it has a split third row, so you can fold part of it down to get more cargo space but not lose all your extra seating. In the Highlander, it's all one piece. Also the Pilot's third seat holds three, Highlander holds 2.

The only thing about the Pilot is that the newer ones look huge to me.

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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!
We were considering a Highlander. So, do you not like it then for the space issue?

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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?
I have seen the older Odysseys and the third rear seat looks like it is right in the back window, I mean it looks like their heads are just a couple of inches away from the glass.


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we are getting a...Ford Taurus X. It has a third row and a good amount of room. It also has good gas mileage, better than the minivans. We also like the Ford Flex and it has the same gas mileage. It is huge inside but just a little our of our price range.
I was thinking about those also, the Flex or the Taurus X. I'm not so big on the outer shape of the Flex though. Do you think Fords last as long as Honda or Toyota? I feel like whatever car we buy I am going to be driving for at least 10 years minimum.

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IN's) I wont buy brand new even if we can afford it. Depriciation in that first year makes me cry.
I used to think this way too, but now I am starting to wonder about this. With that cash for clunkers program, you have to buy a new car, but you get either $3500 or $4500 towards the new car. That's huge! Plus, I feel like if we buy a car now and invest in it, I will be driving my kids to college in it! SO part of me thinks it might be worth it to buy new. To get the full time out of the warranty, and to know how it's been taken care of, etc. It's hard to find cars only 1 or 2 yrs old, especially in these family cars, that are in great condition and low mileage.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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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.

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Old 08-19-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momofmine View Post
I was thinking about those also, the Flex or the Taurus X. I'm not so big on the outer shape of the Flex though. Do you think Fords last as long as Honda or Toyota? I feel like whatever car we buy I am going to be driving for at least 10 years minimum.
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?!

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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