Best cars for multiple kids

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Lakeparty
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Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Lakeparty » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:58 am

We're going to be having a third child in October and my wife doesn't really want to slow down lol :D Anyways, we currently have an explorer and an extended cab F150 that are working great for our 2.5 and 1.5 yr olds. But... not so sure how those will be with 3 kids. I saw someone the other day who had some huge Mercedes looking van and a bunch of kids and it looked like they had room to spare. Obviously there is the mini van route. We're more practical I like to think and I'd rather get whatever is the easiest to live/function with so looking for suggestions! Maybe there's some sweet vehicle out there I don't know about. Cost isn't much of an issue with regards to our family car. My wife is a huge proponent of keeping the kids rear facing in child seats til 4 years old so more space is a plus. Any tips appreciated!!

PFInterest
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by PFInterest » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:12 am

station wagon, minivan, cargo van-esque vehicles.

Rupert
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Rupert » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:15 am

Honda Odyssey. It's practical and functional. You simply cannot place a value on those electronic sliding doors with small children. Those doors make carpool exponentially easier, and you don't have to worry about your kids damaging other cars in parking lots. It has great safety ratings. It's cheap to insure because people don't steal minivans very often. It retains its value well. So if in a half dozen years you decide you'd like something besides a minivan, you will have no trouble selling the Odyssey to some other family in need. Finally, I actually enjoy driving mine. It's no sports car, but the handling is quite good for such a large car.

fourkids
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by fourkids » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:18 am

Honda Odyssey, no brainer. We just did a couple outings with 8 of us this weekend, and we all fit in the minivan comfortably.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:33 am

Lakeparty wrote:We're going to be having a third child in October and my wife doesn't really want to slow down lol :D Anyways, we currently have an explorer and an extended cab F150 that are working great for our 2.5 and 1.5 yr olds. But... not so sure how those will be with 3 kids. I saw someone the other day who had some huge Mercedes looking van and a bunch of kids and it looked like they had room to spare. Obviously there is the mini van route. We're more practical I like to think and I'd rather get whatever is the easiest to live/function with so looking for suggestions! Maybe there's some sweet vehicle out there I don't know about. Cost isn't much of an issue with regards to our family car. My wife is a huge proponent of keeping the kids rear facing in child seats til 4 years old so more space is a plus. Any tips appreciated!!
Dad, mom, 2yo, and 9mo here, with plenty more to (hopefully) come. You can't go wrong with a Honda Odyssey. We just bought a 2016 (EX-L) in December. (We had a Ford Focus hatchback.) We plan to keep the babies rear-facing as long as possible, too. There's plenty of room, and I feel good knowing my wife is out and about with the kiddos in a safe vehicle. We've had all of us (two convertible car seats) and grandma and grandpa and all their luggage comfortably. The trunks in the back of these things is amazing - so much space! Someone has already mentioned the power sliding doors in the back, they're sweet!

We have friends who have 4 kids in the Odyssey (oldest is 8), but I think it might get tight for over 4 kiddos depending on their ages.

Maybe you can try renting an Odyssey for a week or two to see how y'all like it. IF you hate it the money will be well spent, but my bet is you'll end up getting a minivan.

(Make sure to ignore the inevitable "get a minivan and vasectomy" comments that will probably show up when you say you want more kids. Congratulations on being open to having a big family!)

open_circuit
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by open_circuit » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:35 am

We have owned two Mazda 5 vans. My wife loves them, as they are small, inexpensive, and fuel efficient. Unfortunately, Mazda stopped making new ones after the 2014 (I think) model year. For a budget people mover, they are great. You won't confuse a Mazda 5 for a Honda Odyssey or other fancy, large minivan, however.

PowDay
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by PowDay » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:45 am

Your going to get lots of general advice from bogleheads on cars, but three kids rear facing with the potential in the future for 3 kids rear facing and a 4th front facing, you have a very specialized problem to solve. I would recommendhttps://www.car-seat.org and http://thecarseatlady.com/2015familyvehiclebuyingguide/.

Seat belt overlap, seat bite, Latch, rear tether, ect it gets complicated fast, then you have to add in narrow car seats, and car seats that puzzle correctly.

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William4u
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by William4u » Tue Jun 27, 2017 9:48 am

Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. It's a no brainer, as others have said. Super safe, versatile, comfortable, reliable, kid friendly. The Sienna is a little more reliable.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:03 am

William4u wrote:Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. It's a no brainer, as others have said. Super safe, versatile, comfortable, reliable, kid friendly. The Sienna is a little more reliable.
+1 - can't go wrong with either the Sienna or Odyssey. Minivan will give you the space and seating you need for 3 kids. They are designed for your situation.

bubbadog
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by bubbadog » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:11 am

Minivan all the way. Can't think of anything else that would work better.

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lthenderson
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:41 pm

Yet another very happy Honda Odyssey owner. Ours just turned ten years old this year and is still going strong. It handles and drives really well, has ample room for long trips. I have yet to do anything to it other than routine maintenance type stuff or due to our own fault, i.e. driving over a four foot long spike that punctured the fuel tank front to back! If I had it to do all over again, I would get another one in a heart beat.

fishmonger
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by fishmonger » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:45 pm

If you don't want to go the minivan route, get a Toyota Highlander with 3rd row seating

lowndes
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by lowndes » Tue Jun 27, 2017 4:24 pm

Chevy Tahoe would be my pick. My wife also drives a Land Rover LR4 and we have three kids in car seats and it has been an awesome car.

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bottlecap
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by bottlecap » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:33 pm

We are running the Tahoe as long as we can, but will be in the market for an Odyssey eventually.

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Lobster
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Lobster » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:41 am

Another vote for Honda or Toyota minivan. SUVs are much higher and rear seats can be hard to get to to buckle kids etc. And you generally forfeit storage space when you add the third row on an SUV. Minivans are literally designed for your use case :)
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Teague
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Teague » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:06 pm

The upcoming Durango SRT-

0-60 4.4 seconds
Quarter mile 12.9
Seats 6
:)
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bloom2708
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by bloom2708 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:11 pm

OP, do you have the newer style Explorer? Middle bench or split buckets in the middle row?

A 6 (or 7) passenger Explorer will work just fine. A new Odyssey or Sienna might offer some different "family friendly" features and a little more space.

But, your wife may not want to go down the mini-van road. We have a 2014 7 passenger explorer. Works great, plenty of space. Mini-van like without the mini-van. But our kids are older. I drove a Mazda MPV (no longer made) for 7 years when our 3 kids were small to very small. It worked great.

A couple things about mini-vans that are nice. 1) Power sliding doors for getting car seats in/out in tight quarters. 2) The seats are lower to the ground which helps small kids get in and out. I was amazed at how young a kid can learn to push the automatic door close button.
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tarheel
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by tarheel » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:12 pm

For those of us on a budget......what about the Kia Sedona? Buying used, it looks like a much better deal that the Odyssey or Sienna. In particular, I was targeting the 2015 Kia Sedona. Thoughts?

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:20 pm

It's quite likely out of your budget, but the Falcon Wing Doors on the Tesla Model X are awesome. I'm not a big fan of the complexity they add to the vehicle, but I would have loved to have them when I was in the "loading kids into car seats" stage of my life.

lowndes
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by lowndes » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:29 pm

I guess I'm an outlier but I find minivans horribly uncomfortable to ride in compared to SUVs and even with three kids under the age of five have never had an issue opening doors and getting them in their car seats. Never realized how much of a Lone Ranger I was in this opinion until this thread.

queso
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by queso » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:34 pm

Who are you people and what have you done with the bogleheads? We have a thread about best car for kids and we have recommendations for a Tesla X (massive POS by most accounts) and a Land Rover (massive POS by many more accounts than the Tesla)?!?! :oops:

Let's get this thread back on track. Select a vehicle with enough seating and cargo space from the following choices: Honda, Toyota, Subaru. :D

Rupert
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Rupert » Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:35 pm

tarheel wrote:For those of us on a budget......what about the Kia Sedona? Buying used, it looks like a much better deal that the Odyssey or Sienna. In particular, I was targeting the 2015 Kia Sedona. Thoughts?
Read this: https://www.edmunds.com/kia/sedona/2015 ... ap-up.html. It is Edmund's summary of its long-term 2015 Sedona road test, and it compares the Sedona to its competitors on almost every relevant point. The Sedona's depreciation was almost twice that of the Odyssey, which is why it is indeed a good deal when bought used (horrible deal when bought new, though). Kia, in general, has improved in recent years. If I couldn't or didn't want to afford the Odyssey, I'd seriously consider it. Also, I just spent nearly two weeks in national parks, and just about every other car on the road seemed to be the new Chrysler minivan (the Pacifica, I think). Pretty sure most of them were rentals; so rental fleets are full of them. Check the reviews on that one too. It's a good-looking car, although Chrysler's reputation for reliability hasn't always been the best.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by TomatoTomahto » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:15 pm

queso wrote:Who are you people and what have you done with the bogleheads? We have a thread about best car for kids and we have recommendations for a Tesla X (massive POS by most accounts) and a Land Rover (massive POS by many more accounts than the Tesla)?!?! :oops:

Let's get this thread back on track. Select a vehicle with enough seating and cargo space from the following choices: Honda, Toyota, Subaru. :D
My apologies; I didn't realize that someone had been (self) selected ruler of BHs. Fwiw, I indicated that the Tesla was probably out of OP's budget. There are more and more Model Xs being driven in my neighborhood by, gasp, parents with kids in car seats.

Who am I? I am a boglehead. What have I done with the bogleheads? Nothing, I've let them express their opinions.

Okay. Back on track: Subaru.

queso
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by queso » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:19 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
queso wrote:Who are you people and what have you done with the bogleheads? We have a thread about best car for kids and we have recommendations for a Tesla X (massive POS by most accounts) and a Land Rover (massive POS by many more accounts than the Tesla)?!?! :oops:

Let's get this thread back on track. Select a vehicle with enough seating and cargo space from the following choices: Honda, Toyota, Subaru. :D
My apologies; I didn't realize that someone had been (self) selected ruler of BHs. Fwiw, I indicated that the Tesla was probably out of OP's budget. There are more and more Model Xs being driven in my neighborhood by, gasp, parents with kids in car seats.

Who am I? I am a boglehead. What have I done with the bogleheads? Nothing, I've let them express their opinions.

Okay. Back on track: Subaru.
Are the doors closing on their tender little legs or just bashing into the car in the next space?

sorry, I was kidding...back to my cage. :happy

*3!4!/5!
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by *3!4!/5! » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:20 pm

Almost any vehicle with two rows of seats is big enough for 5 people. You already have two large vehicles, and kid#3 is only on the way now. You really don't even need to be asking this question. Your current vehicles are fine. If kid#4 comes along then you'll need a 3-row vehicle, so worry about it then, not now.

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tarheel
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by tarheel » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:27 pm

Rupert wrote:
tarheel wrote:For those of us on a budget......what about the Kia Sedona? Buying used, it looks like a much better deal that the Odyssey or Sienna. In particular, I was targeting the 2015 Kia Sedona. Thoughts?
Read this: https://www.edmunds.com/kia/sedona/2015 ... ap-up.html. It is Edmund's summary of its long-term 2015 Sedona road test, and it compares the Sedona to its competitors on almost every relevant point. The Sedona's depreciation was almost twice that of the Odyssey, which is why it is indeed a good deal when bought used (horrible deal when bought new, though). Kia, in general, has improved in recent years. If I couldn't or didn't want to afford the Odyssey, I'd seriously consider it. Also, I just spent nearly two weeks in national parks, and just about every other car on the road seemed to be the new Chrysler minivan (the Pacifica, I think). Pretty sure most of them were rentals; so rental fleets are full of them. Check the reviews on that one too. It's a good-looking car, although Chrysler's reputation for reliability hasn't always been the best.
Very helpful - thanks Rupert!

Nowizard
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Nowizard » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:39 pm

Minivan. There is a reason that you see so many in the school lines along with Suburbans.

Tim

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dm200
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by dm200 » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:41 pm

Mini-van. That 3rd seat row enables separation of squabbling kids (or kid with parent).

kjvmartin
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by kjvmartin » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:44 pm

We know a lot of people with more than 2 kids picking up used Dodge Grand Caravans and/or Town and Country.

The Odyssey is great, but it's quite pricy.

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badbreath
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by badbreath » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:00 pm

Mazda CX9, It has three rows of seats and drives great
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tennisplyr
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by tennisplyr » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:17 pm

Rupert wrote:Honda Odyssey. It's practical and functional. You simply cannot place a value on those electronic sliding doors with small children. Those doors make carpool exponentially easier, and you don't have to worry about your kids damaging other cars in parking lots. It has great safety ratings. It's cheap to insure because people don't steal minivans very often. It retains its value well. So if in a half dozen years you decide you'd like something besides a minivan, you will have no trouble selling the Odyssey to some other family in need. Finally, I actually enjoy driving mine. It's no sports car, but the handling is quite good for such a large car.
+1
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SleepKing
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by SleepKing » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:56 pm

Must get a mini van for 3 car seats. Getting to the third row and securing the straps/belt is near impossible in non van vehicles. Once your oldest can strap themselves in maybe....

If you need awd the sienna. Otherwise toss up between sienna and odyssey for general use.

*3!4!/5!
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by *3!4!/5! » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:51 pm

Minivans and other 3 row vehicles have their place, but I don't get why people are recommending them. Maybe people didn't read the OP carefully enough. The child they are expecting is only their 3rd. Therefore they don't need a 3 row vehicle.

Of course they can get a full size 50-seater bus if they so choose, but it's absolutely nuts to suggest that a 3 row vehicle is in any way necessary when you just have 3 kids.
*3!4!/5! wrote:Almost any vehicle with two rows of seats is big enough for 5 people. You already have two large vehicles, and kid#3 is only on the way now. You really don't even need to be asking this question. Your current vehicles are fine. If kid#4 comes along then you'll need a 3-row vehicle, so worry about it then, not now.

kjvmartin
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by kjvmartin » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:09 am

*3!4!/5! wrote:Minivans and other 3 row vehicles have their place, but I don't get why people are recommending them. Maybe people didn't read the OP carefully enough. The child they are expecting is only their 3rd. Therefore they don't need a 3 row vehicle.

Of course they can get a full size 50-seater bus if they so choose, but it's absolutely nuts to suggest that a 3 row vehicle is in any way necessary when you just have 3 kids.
*3!4!/5! wrote:Almost any vehicle with two rows of seats is big enough for 5 people. You already have two large vehicles, and kid#3 is only on the way now. You really don't even need to be asking this question. Your current vehicles are fine. If kid#4 comes along then you'll need a 3-row vehicle, so worry about it then, not now.
How many kids do you have? How many car seats have you successfully fit in a back seat?

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jharkin
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by jharkin » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:21 am

William4u wrote:Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey. It's a no brainer, as others have said. Super safe, versatile, comfortable, reliable, kid friendly. The Sienna is a little more reliable.
+10,000

BTW how do you fit kids into rear facing child seats at 4 years old??? By 4/5 my son was so tall he was almost outgrowing his booster seat....

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jharkin
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by jharkin » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:29 am

kjvmartin wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:Minivans and other 3 row vehicles have their place, but I don't get why people are recommending them. Maybe people didn't read the OP carefully enough. The child they are expecting is only their 3rd. Therefore they don't need a 3 row vehicle.

Of course they can get a full size 50-seater bus if they so choose, but it's absolutely nuts to suggest that a 3 row vehicle is in any way necessary when you just have 3 kids.
*3!4!/5! wrote:Almost any vehicle with two rows of seats is big enough for 5 people. You already have two large vehicles, and kid#3 is only on the way now. You really don't even need to be asking this question. Your current vehicles are fine. If kid#4 comes along then you'll need a 3-row vehicle, so worry about it then, not now.
How many kids do you have? How many car seats have you successfully fit in a back seat?
We have twins and I've experimented with moving the cars seats around to accommodate grandparents,etc in the car on road trips. It's very hard to make an infant seat work on the center of any bench seat. There is rarely a third set of latch anchors and fitting 3 car seats across on a bench is tough space wise...

In my state (MA) by law kids must stay in child seats or booster to about 8years old so we can't assume the OP isn't facing a 3 car seat issue. So yea I would go 3 row.

If you don't like vans, look at station wagons.

lowndes
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by lowndes » Fri Jun 30, 2017 8:15 am

kjvmartin wrote:
*3!4!/5! wrote:Minivans and other 3 row vehicles have their place, but I don't get why people are recommending them. Maybe people didn't read the OP carefully enough. The child they are expecting is only their 3rd. Therefore they don't need a 3 row vehicle.

Of course they can get a full size 50-seater bus if they so choose, but it's absolutely nuts to suggest that a 3 row vehicle is in any way necessary when you just have 3 kids.
*3!4!/5! wrote:Almost any vehicle with two rows of seats is big enough for 5 people. You already have two large vehicles, and kid#3 is only on the way now. You really don't even need to be asking this question. Your current vehicles are fine. If kid#4 comes along then you'll need a 3-row vehicle, so worry about it then, not now.
How many kids do you have? How many car seats have you successfully fit in a back seat?
I didn't make the post but I have three kids (one infant, two in booster seats) and we have three car seats in the second row of each our SUVs and it works great (only one of those SUVs has a third row but we don't use it much). Infant seat is in the middle in mine and behind my wife in the other. If the OP wants a minivan then get one but there are way more options out there than just minivans that work well (and at least in my families case much better). You can even safely fit three car seats in a lot of sedans. Several friends have this arrangement.

ND Fan 1
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by ND Fan 1 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:33 am

We bought our Odyssey a year ago while expecting our 3rd with kiddos about the same age as the OP (2 and 1). We tried to fit 3 car seats in a Equinox and it was very tight, and with some car seats having cup holders and what not, its very hard to accomplish. This was 1 rear facing, 1 forward facing and 1 infant one with base. We decided on the minivan, keep in mind, we are planning more kids, so decided to take the plunge.

My oldest is 4 and are just now looking at moving him to a booster seat as he has hit the 40 lb requirement. Plus my 9 month old if getting close to moving out of the infant seat to a rear facing seat. The 2 year old is in her rear facing seat. We just keep playing car seat musical chairs, haha

We took one of the captain seats out and place the oldest in the back, so we had easy access to buckle him in and out. Then we had the other 2 side by side in the second row of seats. Set up works really well for us.

Like others have said, the minivan was created for this situation, its very family friendly, and the engineers created it with multiple kids in mind.

gips
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by gips » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:04 am

we too narrowed it down to odyssey vs Siena. chose the odyssey over the sienna because 1) there was a lot more luggage space and 2) it was less expensive. Not sure if either of those factors hold true today as our odyssey is nine years old and still in great working condition. we sure didn't want a minivan as it didn't fit in well with our self-image but it turned out to be a great choice.

NoVaBlue
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by NoVaBlue » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:20 pm

Father of three here, and I will echo all of the recs above: time for you to join the minivan club. Not the most thrilling or stylish ride, obviously, but tailor-made for your situation. It's possible you could get by with a three-row SUV like a Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. But you'd be sacrificing cargo space as well as the extra convenience of electronic sliding doors and a lower step up for the youngsters. (And as the kids get older and bigger, you'll appreciate the extra room of the minivan over an SUV.)

Very happy Toyota Sienna owner myself, but you really can't go wrong with the Sienna or Odyssey; try them both and see which one you like best. Not sure how the new Chrysler Pacificas are, but having owned a Dodge Grand Caravan before ditching it for the Sienna (had lots of maintenance issues), I would avoid Chrysler/Dodge and stick with Toyota or Honda for reliability.

And congratulations on your openness to having a big family!

frugalprof
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by frugalprof » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:28 pm

We have a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country and love it. It seats 7, but the captain's chairs in the second row make the loss of one seat worth it. We have 3 kids 10, 8, and 6. They all still sit in the back row comfortably. If you do get a minivan, make sure the back opens remotely from your key fob. We're friends with someone who got a Honda Odyssey and the only thing they regret is not having that feature. When you are struggling with kids and groceries, it's nice to push a button for the groceries as well as for the kids.

One more note, if your kids ride/walk bikes close to your parked car, think about paint color. Our car is a bold red, and scratches show up dramatically.

WhiteMaxima
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by WhiteMaxima » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:29 pm

Toyota landcruiser. AWD plus 7 seat.

Rupert
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by Rupert » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:31 pm

frugalprof wrote:We have a 2010 Chrysler Town & Country and love it. It seats 7, but the captain's chairs in the second row make the loss of one seat worth it. We have 3 kids 10, 8, and 6. They all still sit in the back row comfortably. If you do get a minivan, make sure the back opens remotely from your key fob. We're friends with someone who got a Honda Odyssey and the only thing they regret is not having that feature. When you are struggling with kids and groceries, it's nice to push a button for the groceries as well as for the kids.

One more note, if your kids ride/walk bikes close to your parked car, think about paint color. Our car is a bold red, and scratches show up dramatically.
The Odyssey's back opens remotely from the key fob, at least on the EX trim and higher. Not sure about the base model.

queso
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by queso » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:33 pm

WhiteMaxima wrote:Toyota landcruiser. AWD plus 7 seat.
lol.. I can get what, maybe 3 Odysseys for the price of one of those? Maybe I can give one to each kid so we can all just follow each other around when we need to go places.

AJC408
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by AJC408 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:06 pm

Honda Pilot if you go SUV route.. 3 rows of seating and better on gas than many of the competitors.

*3!4!/5!
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by *3!4!/5! » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:17 pm

If you google the topic, you can probably find literally thousands of photos of configurations of 3 child seats in one row. Probably millions of families have done this (including us). Having a 3rd kid is not really an event that forces you to get a bigger vehicle. It's just a choice.

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:25 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:If you google the topic, you can probably find literally thousands of photos of configurations of 3 child seats in one row. Probably millions of families have done this (including us). Having a 3rd kid is not really an event that forces you to get a bigger vehicle. It's just a choice.
We found the extra seats came in handy for bringing the kids and their friends or cousins to places all together in a single car - load them up and bring them to the park or the zoo or wherever. I know this isn't necessary but was sure convenient for us and made for fun outings for the kids. Also - just with your own kids - the separation (I know it can be argued against) also helps prevent long-ride arguments.
I remember growing up and going places with my friends/family - it was before the days of worrying about seat belts - I remember sitting four across in a backseat and having the smallest 5th child lie-across the laps of the rest of us - you can't do this legally anymore in most places (nor, of course, should you). Sometimes additional kids would simply lie down in the back of a station-wagon or hatch-back (without there being seats there). And of course there were the pickup trucks.....sorry I digress.

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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by SurferLife » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:31 pm

I do believe you will discover that the Honda Odyssey is the Boglehead people-mover of choice, at least when it comes to kids. For those wives or more rarely, husbands, that refuse to be seen in a minivan, you might find the 3-row Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot an acceptable option.

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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by *3!4!/5! » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:36 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:If you google the topic, you can probably find literally thousands of photos of configurations of 3 child seats in one row. Probably millions of families have done this (including us). Having a 3rd kid is not really an event that forces you to get a bigger vehicle. It's just a choice.
Also there's a serious design flaw in minivans these days. In the 2nd row, they've abandoned the 3-person bench seat for 2 "captain's chairs", which is probably the most stupid design decision in the history of cars. Some have a miniature "pseudo-seat" that you can stick in the middle to fit a 3rd in the second row, but it looks ridiculous.

You can use the third row of course, but then you sacrifice a huge amount of cargo space. Spreading 3 kids across 2 rows is an absolutely ridiculous configuration.

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Re: Best cars for multiple kids

Post by engineer1969 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:46 pm

*3!4!/5! wrote:If you google the topic, you can probably find literally thousands of photos of configurations of 3 child seats in one row. Probably millions of families have done this (including us). Having a 3rd kid is not really an event that forces you to get a bigger vehicle. It's just a choice.
Life generally involves interacting with other kids and families (not to mention Grandparents, etc) and THAT is when the minivan's value becomes most apparent. Road trips are also much more pleasurable in a minivan. My oldest is turning 17 (siblings 12 and 14) and we are about to buy another car. I was determined to find an SUV to replace our Nissan Quest. We will be getting an Odyssey. Like others have posted it is a no brainer.

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