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Old 07-08-2014, 09:53 PM   #1
150ron OP
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Good family vehicle with 3rd row seating?

Figured this forum is a good place to ask this questions, since many on here have family's.

With 3 kids, longer rides are getting harder and more annoying, the kids are getting bigger (1 1/2, a 3 1/2 and a 8 yo), with having 2 car seats on both sides, the 8 yo barely has any place being stuck in the middle, they're fighting and leaning on each other, falling asleep on each other, spitting at each other, rib shots, cheap shots, its fucking erry man for him self back there, etc, me and the wife are skeered to even look back, its harshing me mellow

What would be a good, reliable, cheap vehicle that could offer a 3rd row seat?

Money is super tight so it cant be something expensive, and has to be reliable (Current car is a HONDA ACCORD, which is excellent, but getting tight back there), should i be looking at a minivan? SUV?

Ive never had/owned minivans or SUV's, so this is new to me, would like it to get good MPG too, thanks.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:38 PM   #2
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Yup,minivan or SUV for you and your sanity.All the horseplay in the car will be continuing for years,so best to give em space and separation.

If you stay with Honda,the Odyssey minivan gets good ratings.
Something like a Toyota Highlander or 4Runner if you want something a bit more manly.
Chevy Tahoe XL or Suburban if you want to go big,or Toyota Sequoia.
Highlander Hybrid if you want the best mileage.

Look at certified pre owned if saving $$,which assuming you need to do with 3 kids.

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Old 07-09-2014, 06:18 AM   #3
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Laugh Mini vans suck

Only three kids no prob, I have 5. 19,13,13,12,10. Now the 19 year old is not with us that much any more so he kinda does not count. I hate mini vans and would have never bought one but the woman I live with has one. After using a dodge grand caravan for the past three years I still do not love it but.. And a huge but. It is a great all round, seating for 7, 4 bucket seats and a bench seat in the back. Easy to get young ones out from both sliding doors. All the seats fold flat and you can get a 4X8 sheets of drywall in the back. I use a hitch mount to transport my bike from time to time. Three of us went down to sandblast (18 hour drive) with gear and three bikes on a trailer (530,500,690) no prob. The dodge van is cheap and the fuel milage is not that bad, better then a SUV. Once you have one you will never go back . My parents had a odyssey and it was a great van but they paid a lot for it used and we got a new one for almost the same price. My friend swore he would never get one and has stuck to his word by buying an outlander with a third row seat. But he wants the AWD for the roads he has to drive on some times to get to his job. Time will tell with him the third row is small and there is not much trunk space for trips then, so he is going to have to trailer or roof rack all the camping stuff.
Good luck with both the kids and choice
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:34 AM   #4
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Mazda CX-9 has decent 3rd row seating, but you give up cargo (as you would in any vehicle) for it.

Nice thing is, it handles unlike an SUV.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:55 AM   #5
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Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:00 AM   #6
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Valencia...well you don't have to contend with snow.

I resisted the minivan, but when our son was younger we realized that we NEVER went anywhere with just the boy, it always included one or more friends, bikes, etc.

We bought a Caravan with three rows, two captain chairs and a three seat back row. I hated it for it's vanilla looks, etc., but loved it's ability to carry much stuff and get around pretty well.

The lower loading height of the MiniVan is easier on the younger kids.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:22 AM   #7
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Minivan... Didn't like the first one, but bought 2 others as I can't escape it's versatility. Still don't like them, but will get another until the kids are gone.

- Easy to load little kids with the sliding doors, no bending over.
- Lumber carrying cabability, and I carried 80 retaining wall rocks last week.
- Double air mattress fits in the back to sleep on.
- Great for sports, or camping, and can sit in shade/or dry area under the large hatch
- Decent on gas, cheap to insure and maintain
- bluetooth DVD is great, but lots of vehicles have those.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:30 AM   #8
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Minivans can be awesome.

I wish I had discovered them in college. Room for friends, room to sleep, haul canoes or whatever you're into, decent enough mileage (beats the holy shit out of an SUV), etc. All good. Once you realize that four wheeled vehicles are for transport, and never will make you cool or uncool, the world is full of very good vehicle options.

If you want cheap and three rows, look at a Mazda5. They're weird hatchback vans, and they work. But a full on minivan may get about the same fuel economy.

We have had Grand Caravan, VW Routan, Mazda5, and Sienna. I liked the Dodge for cheap, but the Sienna is incredible, as far as vans go. But if I had to drive a minivan everyday, I'd probably have a different opinion.
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Old 07-09-2014, 07:39 AM   #9
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Another vote for the minivan here. Our kids are 1, 3, and almost 6. Wife reluctantly took the minivan over the SUV and she loves it. I'm in the process of trying to give her that SUV she so richly deserves, but she's having none of it. I want the minivan for my motovan, but she's talked to other parents who went from a minivan to an SUV and most of them regretted it.

We still keep all three kids in the same row because it's easier for my wife to get to all the seats, but our oldest isn't as big as yours yet. One thing to look for is seats that can be removed individually so you can customize the seating arrangement. I realize your budget is tight, but I can't say enough good things about our Odyssey. We looked at it and played around in it for an hour. Then we drove to the Toyota dealership and looked at the Sienna. We looked at it for maybe five minutes...it just wasn't for is.
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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A colleague picked up a Hyundai Santa Fe last year. He couldn't be happier. Great warranty, too.

W.A.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:43 AM   #11
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So sounds like you guys are recommending a minivan over a SUV, ok,

As far as the odyssey, i personally love Honda, but i hear that model has a lot of transmission issues?

What about something like a Chrysler Town & Country, or a Dodge Caravan?
Would you guys say those are dependable ones?

What makes it hard for me 8yo being in the middle of the back seat is that on both sides there are big car seats, so she can barely get her belt buckle on, otherwise i would not be looking for a bigger car.

Been checking a few minivans on CL, man, some of these things are super fancy, really nice too, seems the Sienna is on top.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:49 AM   #12
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My wife refuses the minivan.

I'd be perfectly okay with it.

We're looking at the Dodge Durango V6 version.(3.6L Pentastar)

3 row seating available. Good towing. (even better with the V8) You can keep it from being plain vanilla and still get it for under $30k
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:01 PM   #13
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Go on the dodge site. Look at the base price new, and what you get with that. That will give you a reference point when looking at used.

They truly are a good value, and with your future needs, it will do the job.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:06 PM   #14
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For a minivan, the Toyota Sienna is surprisingly quick, responsive, and not at all like driving a minivan. If I HAD to buy a minivan I'd buy a Sienna in a heartbeat. It's HUGE inside, probably the biggest minivan out of all of the minivans out there inside.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:12 PM   #15
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We were considering a sienna and a highlander. We both preferred driving the highlander by a large margin. The sienna is huge though.
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