Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

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corysold
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Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by corysold » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:20 am

My Prius had the hybrid battery go out yesterday, so we are looking for a second car. We have 6 kids and an Odyssey for our main family car.

I was looking for suggestions for a second car. Right now, we are thinking of a base model Accord/Camry, maybe new, maybe a few years old. I'm thinking we'd never have more than 4 kids in the car at once, 3 of ours and one friend or something on the way to a second soccer game or event where the other half of the family is off somewhere else. Otherwise, we'd just use the van.

But my kids are still pretty young and I'd like this car to last a while, so I don't want to grow out of it. Does anyone regret not having a larger second car as their kids aged? I can't imagine why I'd need something like a small SUV or anything with the van, but I want to make sure I'm not overlooking anything.

It seems the Camry/Accord that we looked at could easily fit 3-4 kids and applicable gear for a day trip if needed.

Any reason for something bigger (not more money, just larger) I'm missing?

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Raymond
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Raymond » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:28 am

I'm not seeing how you are going to put four kids in a mid-size sedan without putting one of them in the front seat.

How old are the kids (including their friends who may be riding with them)?

Child Passenger Safety - CDC.gov

Sounds like you'll have to use the van.
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corysold
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by corysold » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:33 am

Raymond wrote:I'm not seeing how you are going to put four kids in a mid-size sedan without putting one of them in the front seat.

How old are the kids (including their friends who may be riding with them)?

Child Passenger Safety - CDC.gov

Sounds like you'll have to use the van.
The oldest is 10 now. So I'm thinking that would be more 2-3 years down the road before we'd need to do that, but want to be able to when the time comes.

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dm200
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:38 am

Since you have the minivan, a sedan as you describe can make sense. What about a Prius V? Or a Camry Hybrid?

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Raymond
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Raymond » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:46 am

corysold wrote:
Raymond wrote:I'm not seeing how you are going to put four kids in a mid-size sedan without putting one of them in the front seat.

How old are the kids (including their friends who may be riding with them)?

Child Passenger Safety - CDC.gov

Sounds like you'll have to use the van.
The oldest is 10 now. So I'm thinking that would be more 2-3 years down the road before we'd need to do that, but want to be able to when the time comes.
It still doesn't compute - there are only three seat belts in the back of the Camry and Accord sedans, and pretty much all sedans of that type made in the past few years (as far as I know).

I hope you're not planning on stuffing all four kids in the back seat, and one of them without a seat belt.
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:49 am

Raymond wrote:
corysold wrote:
Raymond wrote:I'm not seeing how you are going to put four kids in a mid-size sedan without putting one of them in the front seat.
How old are the kids (including their friends who may be riding with them)?
Child Passenger Safety - CDC.gov
Sounds like you'll have to use the van.
The oldest is 10 now. So I'm thinking that would be more 2-3 years down the road before we'd need to do that, but want to be able to when the time comes.
It still doesn't compute - there are only three seat belts in the back of the Camry and Accord sedans, and pretty much all sedans of that type made in the past few years (as far as I know).
I hope you're not planning on stuffing all four kids in the back seat, and one of them without a seat belt.
Right. They may exist, but I have not seen sedans of this size (or even bigger) that can carry more than five. [Driver, front seat passenger, and three in rear seat]

In the "old days", before seatbelts and bench seats, folks used to have 3 in the front and four kids in the back seat. Not today, though.
Last edited by dm200 on Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by randomguy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:50 am

corysold wrote: It seems the Camry/Accord that we looked at could easily fit 3-4 kids and applicable gear for a day trip if needed.

Any reason for something bigger (not more money, just larger) I'm missing?
Depends on the size of the kids and the amount of stuff. I can't imagine taking say 4 12 year olds and their hockey gear in an accord. Something like the mazda 5 (discontinued but you can still get a 3 year old one) sort of splits the difference between an accord and odyssey. A couple of the smaller SUVs (some models of RAV4, new Tiguan, outlander, Sorento) have 3rd row seating but it tends to be for small people/short periods of time AND you have very limited cargo room.

In the end it comes down to how often you need the space and how inconvenient it will be not to have it. Since you made it with a Prius, I have to imagine that an accord will work fine.

And since someone will say it:

Get a Model S with it's 7 person seating. Ignore that it costs 4x as much as the car you are looking at:)

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Traveler » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:53 am

If you've been surviving with the van and a Prius, pretty much any other sedan plus the van should work now, right? What am I missing in your question?

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by randomguy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:54 am

dm200 wrote:
Raymond wrote:
corysold wrote:
Raymond wrote:I'm not seeing how you are going to put four kids in a mid-size sedan without putting one of them in the front seat.
How old are the kids (including their friends who may be riding with them)?
Child Passenger Safety - CDC.gov
Sounds like you'll have to use the van.
The oldest is 10 now. So I'm thinking that would be more 2-3 years down the road before we'd need to do that, but want to be able to when the time comes.
It still doesn't compute - there are only three seat belts in the back of the Camry and Accord sedans, and pretty much all sedans of that type made in the past few years (as far as I know).
I hope you're not planning on stuffing all four kids in the back seat, and one of them without a seat belt.
Right. They may exist, but I have not seen sedans of this size (or even bigger) that can carry more than five. [Driver, front seat passenger, and three in rear seat]

3kids in back +1 in front + 1 driver = 5 people is the math the OP seems to be using. Or you could find a 2013 Chevy Impala with the bench front seat and seat 6.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:01 am

The Camry and Accord and most vehicles in their class only accommodate 5 passengers, as does the Prius. Seems like a vehicle that could carry the whole family would be a better choice.

One of the few 6-passenger economical, and sporty-handling vehicles --which may be worth a look-- is the Mazda 5.

As a matter of curiosity, what year Prius, how many miles in it, and how much is the quote to replace the battery?

jimb

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Raymond
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Raymond » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:19 am

randomguy wrote:3 kids in back + 1 in front + 1 driver = 5 people is the math the OP seems to be using. Or you could find a 2013 Chevy Impala with the bench front seat and seat 6.
Correct, but OP states his oldest child is 10 years old, and I imagine his children's friends are about the same age.

The CDC recommendation per the link above is, "Buckle all children ages 12 and under in the back seat."

Not everyone follows the CDC's recommendations (I certainly don't always follow their healthy eating guidelines), but I personally do not put my younger daughter (age 11) in the front seat, and I don't put her friends there either.

And if anyone says, "But we always sat in the front seat, without seat belts, going to Grandma's house in the snow when we were kids, and we did OK", all I can say is:

"Survivor bias" :twisted:
Last edited by Raymond on Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Sandtrap » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:19 am

Camry/Accord :happy

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by randomguy » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:24 am

Raymond wrote:
randomguy wrote:3 kids in back + 1 in front + 1 driver = 5 people is the math the OP seems to be using. Or you could find a 2013 Chevy Impala with the bench front seat and seat 6.
Correct, but OP states his oldest child is 10 years old, and I imagine his children's friends are about the same age.

The CDC recommendation per the link above is, "Buckle all children ages 12 and under in the back seat."
From the post
The oldest is 10 now. So I'm thinking that would be more 2-3 years down the road before we'd need to do that, but want to be able to when the time comes.
There is no violation of CDC recommendations happening here.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Raymond » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:43 am

randomguy wrote:
Raymond wrote:
randomguy wrote:3 kids in back + 1 in front + 1 driver = 5 people is the math the OP seems to be using. Or you could find a 2013 Chevy Impala with the bench front seat and seat 6.
Correct, but OP states his oldest child is 10 years old, and I imagine his children's friends are about the same age.

The CDC recommendation per the link above is, "Buckle all children ages 12 and under in the back seat."
From the post
The oldest is 10 now. So I'm thinking that would be more 2-3 years down the road before we'd need to do that, but want to be able to when the time comes.
There is no violation of CDC recommendations happening here.
Except that the OP stated "...I'm thinking we'd never have more than 4 kids in the car at once, 3 of ours and one friend or something ..."

If he is carrying three kids, no problem - they all go in the back seat, each with their own belt.

If he is carrying four kids, all ages 12 or less, then does he put them all in the back of a Camry or Accord (which have only three seat belts in the rear seat), and have one kid unbelted to bounce around like a pebble in a maraca in the case of an accident?

Or does he put the fourth kid in the front seat, with the possibility of injury or death from the airbag?

OP can arrange it however he wants, but until the kids get older (13+ years old), I personally would transport three kids (max) in the back seat of a 5-passenger sedan, and have any extra kids ride in another vehicle.

Or I would get a larger-capacity vehicle if I were to transport 4+ kids (age <=12).
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by livesoft » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:49 am

Whatever you get, it will be the vehicle that your then teenage drivers will learn to drive and take to jobs and school, etc. Of course, your minivan may be replaced by then, too.
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by dbr » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:36 pm

Given that the van is always available I don't get the incentive to put four soccer playing pre-teens and an adult driver in a compact sedan. That is aside from the fact that you can't put four pre-teens in any sedan and you probably would prefer not to try even three. For younger kids getting three car seats in the back of a compact car can be a trial or impossible as well. But you own a van . . .

Isn't the use of the sedan for Mom, Dad, or Mom and Dad to go out without kids, or maybe to shuttle one kid somewhere?

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by corysold » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:52 pm

Thanks for the thoughts and ideas.

To clear up a few things. To whoever asked, the Prius was a 2005 with 220,000 miles. Battery replacement was quoted at $3,100 ($2700 part, $400 labor). However, the computer cluster that controls the dashboard is also out, so they told me they couldn't even fix anything without fixing that, as they can't legally do anything to a car with a non-working odometer. So that was another $900. Car served its purpose, time to move on.

As far as kids in the sedan, our kids are just starting to get to the ages (10,8, 7, 5, 2 and 10 months) that they are getting involved in more activities. For example, the 3 older ones are in soccer for the next 8 weeks and they all play on the same day in different locations. So we will need to split up.

No, I'm not putting 6 year old kids in the front or cramming 4 kids in the backseat. I'm thinking, in a few years, with 6 kids, friends and activities, there may be a few times a year half the kids and a friend are going one place in the van and 3 kids and a friend are going somewhere else in the sedan. 3 kids in the back and a age approved, size approved, CDC eligible child in the front.

I imagine this would be a rare event and don't see how there would be any issues 95% of the time. Really just wanting to make sure I don't look back 4 years from now and wish I'd have bought a second van or SUV instead.

I may look at another Prius, but I'm hoping to find out about a new job this week which would reduce my driving from 36,000 miles/year to 3,000, so the need for the Prius isn't there.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by dbr » Sun Apr 02, 2017 1:14 pm

corysold wrote: I imagine this would be a rare event and don't see how there would be any issues 95% of the time. Really just wanting to make sure I don't look back 4 years from now and wish I'd have bought a second van or SUV instead.
Sure sounds to me like another van is exactly what you need.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Raymond » Sun Apr 02, 2017 3:46 pm

corysold wrote:...No, I'm not putting 6 year old kids in the front or cramming 4 kids in the backseat. I'm thinking, in a few years, with 6 kids, friends and activities, there may be a few times a year half the kids and a friend are going one place in the van and 3 kids and a friend are going somewhere else in the sedan. 3 kids in the back and a age approved, size approved, CDC eligible child in the front.

I imagine this would be a rare event and don't see how there would be any issues 95% of the time. Really just wanting to make sure I don't look back 4 years from now and wish I'd have bought a second van or SUV instead.

I may look at another Prius, but I'm hoping to find out about a new job this week which would reduce my driving from 36,000 miles/year to 3,000, so the need for the Prius isn't there.
OP, I'm glad you have a better sense of humor than I do :D

Please excuse my (on reflection) hectoring tone.

I still think a second minivan or larger SUV would be better for your situation :P
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by crazygrow » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:02 pm

Thanks for asking this question as I'm in a very similar situation. We have a 2006 sienna that is starting to have significant issues despite only having 130000 miles on it. Our other car is a 2012 suburban with 90000 miles. We have six kids aged 10,10,10,9,7,4.

I (the husband) drive the minivan and due to a number of large dents and rusty spots I'm done with it especially with some large repairs approaching (transmission slipping etc). But I do drive the kids to school so I'm looking for another large car (7 seater) and don't love my choices.

In the 30-40k range are the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and some others. In the 40-60k range are the Acura MDX, the Volvo XC90, the Audi Q7, etc. I drove the MDX and didn't like it. I really like the Volvo but worry about reliability. Love the Audi but loaded is more than I want to pay (and I'm worried about the repair bills that accompany German cars).

I'm likely to go with the Toyota or Honda because I'm not a big believer in spending big on cars and any car is going to be a big upgrade to the older sienna.

I don't like sedans driving in Utah where the majority of cars are tall and I like to be able to see on the road.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by momvesting » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:22 pm

Honestly I'd go for the smallest SUV you can get with the 3rd row. Something like the Kia Sorento. That way most of the time you would not use the 3rd row but would have room for gear, but in a pinch (like if the van needs service), you can get the family into this vehicle. This would also eliminate the need to switch off cars when sometimes one of you is dropping off a few kids but the other one is picking them up.

http://jalopnik.com/want-a-three-row-su ... 1761075384

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by jimb_fromATL » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:48 pm

I imagine this would be a rare event and don't see how there would be any issues 95% of the time. Really just wanting to make sure I don't look back 4 years from now and wish I'd have bought a second van or SUV instead.
All the more reason to look at the Mazda 5.
momvesting wrote:Honestly I'd go for the smallest SUV you can get with the 3rd row. Something like the Kia Sorento. That way most of the time you would not use the 3rd row but would have room for gear, but in a pinch (like if the van needs service), you can get the family into this vehicle. This would also eliminate the need to switch off cars when sometimes one of you is dropping off a few kids but the other one is picking them up.
The smallest, least expensive --while also being very dependable-- 3-row vehicle that drives like a car instead of a truck is the Mazda 5. It's only a few inches longer than the Prius, but taller. With it you don't need to lug around a much larger minivan or a less comfortable and less economical crossover SUV when you don't need it, but you can have room for up to 6 people or a substantial amount of freight with the seats folded down in the smaller 5. When it was introduced, a lot of the car magazines compared it to the first of the small-car based 5-door multi-passenger vehicles from the 90's like the Mitsubishi Expo and its siblings and the original smaller 3-row seating Honda Odyssey.

I look long and hard look at the Mazda 5 a few years ago -- 2008-- when I was looking for a replacement for my aging '92 Mitsubishi Expo, which was hands-down the most practical and useful vehicle I've ever owned. I was impressed by its handing and "fun to drive" quotient, and the amount of space for its size, and it was virtually the only thing available that was comparable to the old Expo and first generation Odyssey for space and freight.

However I also needed an AWD vehicle, which was not available in the 5, and did not need the 6-passenger seating. So I ended up with a slightly used first-generation AWD Mitsubishi Outlander, which I still have. It really doesn't have as much room for people and freight as the old Expo or the mid-90's Odyssey or the new Mazda 5, and doesn't get as good gas mileage as the 5. So ... if one did not need AWD and had no need to tow even a small trailer, the 5 would still be very high on my list.

jimb

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by corysold » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:19 pm

Thanks for all of the ideas. I will look into many of these suggestions. My in-laws have a Mazda 5 in our garage right now, I'll have to look more closely at it. I'll also take a look at some of the smaller SUV with a 3rd row or a second minivan.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Loik098 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:52 pm

I think the station wagon is an underrated vehicle for toting, and could provide your brood lots of good memories down the road. Either that, or no one will want to ride with you, and your problem is solved. I think it's possible to fit around 13 people in this one, but the configuration of the back seats might anger the seat belt police:

Image

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by corysold » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:01 pm

Loik098 wrote:I think the station wagon is an underrated vehicle for toting, and could provide your brood lots of good memories down the road. Either that, or no one will want to ride with you, and your problem is solved. I think it's possible to fit around 13 people in this one, but the configuration of the back seats might anger the seat belt police:

Image
Too funny. I grew up with one like that and we'd always fight on who got to sit in the "way back" and risk their life mile after mile.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by smackboy1 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:07 pm

Toyota Highlander w/ 3rd row seats. Available as hybrid too.
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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by trixie449 » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:19 pm

randomguy wrote:
corysold wrote: It seems the Camry/Accord that we looked at could easily fit 3-4 kids and applicable gear for a day trip if needed.

Any reason for something bigger (not more money, just larger) I'm missing?
Depends on the size of the kids and the amount of stuff. I can't imagine taking say 4 12 year olds and their hockey gear in an accord. Something like the mazda 5 (discontinued but you can still get a 3 year old one) sort of splits the difference between an accord and odyssey.
We have 4 kids: 15, 13, 11, and baby. We had a mazda 5 and traded it for a minivan when the girls were 13, 11, and 9. Baby had not yet arrived but it was not fun for all 5 of us to be in the Mazda 5. Of note, the 13 year old was adult-sized at that point, and the other two were still child-sized. Don't underestimate the amount of gear you will be hauling along with the kids to their events, and that gear has to fit in there somewhere, too! :) Husband and I both think second minivan is a better option than the mazda 5. Especially given you have 6 kids (believe I read that in the thread somewhere). Good luck.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Watty » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:25 pm

Something to keep in mind is that it is likely that your ten year old will learn to drive in the car that you get.

There are pros and cons but you might want to think about that when deciding to get a manual or automatic transmission for them to learn to drive with. The size and visibility of a mini-van might not be a great car to use to learn to drive with.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by Big Worm » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:33 pm

Loik098 wrote:I think the station wagon is an underrated vehicle for toting, and could provide your brood lots of good memories down the road. Either that, or no one will want to ride with you, and your problem is solved. I think it's possible to fit around 13 people in this one, but the configuration of the back seats might anger the seat belt police:

Image
The leash that Dinky was tied to is still on the bumper!

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by iamlucky13 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:12 pm

I grew up in a family of 11 (9 kids), although by the time the last two were adopted, several of us were in college.

We had a Caravan (7 seats) and a Sentra (5 small seats). While it was still legal, we did have more people in the van than seat belts (I'm not advocating it. It's just what was normal at the time), but in the late-90's if I remember right, our state's seat belt law was changed not to allow more occupants than belts, and we got used to taking two cars anywhere the whole family was going. The worst trip I remember was Washington to California when there were 8 of us and I was about 12. I sat on luggage most of the way down, except my dad insisted on driving through the night, so I squeezed onto the floor of the 3rd row to sleep under my siblings' feet. I remember that being really uncomfortable at the time, but I knew I wasn't singled out for the discomfort, and I got extra chocolate milk for breakfast the next morning, after which it no longer mattered. Kids can be very adaptable when they understand the need to be, and especially when incentivized.

But you weren't asking about convenience for your kids. It was at times inconvenient for my parents, but especially as we got old enough to drive ourselves to activities (and we were all had quite a few extra-curricular activities) and took after-school jobs, having a third car was a better option for us than having a bigger one.

So from my perspective, I don't see why you'd need two 8-passenger vehicles for 8 people. The Odyssey is always going to be tight when you drive the full family somewhere, and you'll never have enough seats to divide the family and haul around all their friends. Yes, sports gear takes up room. There's no reason kids can't hold what doesn't fit in the trunk on their laps.

So my opinion is if it stretches your budget, I wouldn't bother. Otherwise, it's up to you to weigh the overall convenience.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by randomguy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:57 pm

trixie449 wrote:
randomguy wrote:
corysold wrote: It seems the Camry/Accord that we looked at could easily fit 3-4 kids and applicable gear for a day trip if needed.

Any reason for something bigger (not more money, just larger) I'm missing?
Depends on the size of the kids and the amount of stuff. I can't imagine taking say 4 12 year olds and their hockey gear in an accord. Something like the mazda 5 (discontinued but you can still get a 3 year old one) sort of splits the difference between an accord and odyssey.
We have 4 kids: 15, 13, 11, and baby. We had a mazda 5 and traded it for a minivan when the girls were 13, 11, and 9. Baby had not yet arrived but it was not fun for all 5 of us to be in the Mazda 5. Of note, the 13 year old was adult-sized at that point, and the other two were still child-sized. Don't underestimate the amount of gear you will be hauling along with the kids to their events, and that gear has to fit in there somewhere, too! :) Husband and I both think second minivan is a better option than the mazda 5. Especially given you have 6 kids (believe I read that in the thread somewhere). Good luck.
It has been a while but I remember the 5 seating 6 pretty comfortably Obviously that depends a lot on how big everyone is. In the cases when you using the third row, you get a roof rack for the junk. It really comes down to how often you need the space. If 50% of the time is commuting with 1 person, 45% is going around with 2 kids, and 5% is lugging 4 kids with gear, you might pick the solution that doesn't optimize the last case. The more you want to carry more people and stuff, the better and better the minivan looks.

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Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:37 pm

Some friends of mine just bought one of these for themselves and their six kids.

Image

I think if I had that many kids, I would consider buying one as well.

mmmodem
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 1:22 pm

Re: Second car for larger family - ideas/suggestions?

Post by mmmodem » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:36 pm

We had two Prius: a 2005 and a 2012. We just had a third child and replaced the 2005 Prius with a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander. It's one of two compact SUV's with a third row. The other being a much more expensive Nissan Rogue. The third row seats are small but works in a pinch for kids. The fuel economy is horrendous, 29 versus the 47 mpg I averaged with the Prius. I also admit, it's better than a midsize SUV with thirsty V6's that average what? 20? We moved closer to my job so DW insisted on an SUV and room for 7. The Outlander is a good compromise between full out minivan or full size SUV where I mainly commute and the other 6 seats are otherwise unoccupied after I drop the kids off at daycare.

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