Fitting three young kids in the car...

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kjvmartin
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Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 12:41 pm

We've got a four year old, 16 month old, and one due in September.

Our current garage holds a Chevrolet Equinox and Honda CR-V (primary kid hauler). The Honda lease is due back soon. I got a deal on it and (prior to news of baby 3) always planned to exercise the buyout for cash. $16,000+tax for a low mileage '15 AWD CR-V to drive the wheels off. Comparable cars with higher mileage are selling for $18,000+ from dealers.

We tried to arrange our three car seats in the Honda/Chevy and don't see it working out. The best case scenario wedges the oldest into a booster in the middle, but it's a very tight squeeze. Has anyone had success with this arrangement? I think back to when I was a kid - seemed like everyone had 4+ kids and a sedan and still made it work. I'm thinking about other options, and if I decided to get another vehicle my top budget is $35,000. This would be a car to keep 10+ years, Lord willing. My initial thought is "Honda Odyssey". It seems like we could put the oldest in the back and then have easy access to both little ones in the middle? On the other hand, a lot of people really like three row SUVs. There must be a reason for that. It seems like the automatic sliding doors, lower ground clearance, and ease of accessing a minivans the back row are unparalleled.

This is not a fashion statement for me. I just want the best mix of comfort, function, and economical, way to cart the kids. Thoughts?
Last edited by kjvmartin on Wed May 30, 2018 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by dm200 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:44 pm

Minivans fit the bill -- and have become a bit out of style, which means they may be more of a bargain.

When the kids get older, you will want to separate them (or threaten to) for peace on long trips. :)

bloom2708
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by bloom2708 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:50 pm

Your intuition is sound. I would maybe lean Sienna over Odyssey, but if you are a Honda fan, then an Odyssey is a good kid hauler.

As long as the 4 year old can climb in the back and buckle herself, you are good. All the reasons you listed are why mini-vans are popular with those with 3 or more kids.
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greg24
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by greg24 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:52 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:41 pm
I think back to when I was a kid - seemed like everyone had 4+ kids and a sedan and still made it work.
It helped when a lot of people didn't even put on seat belts.

Fortunately, we've driven the automotive death rate down quite a bit by changing things.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by portlandia1 » Wed May 30, 2018 12:53 pm

The Honda Odyssey is great, 3 rows, roomy, nice, reliable people hauler and generally more economical than an SUV with similar space. We had the same issue with our 3rd child not being able to fit across the back seat of any sedan. So our option became 3 row SUV vs minivan. The cost differential at that time was substantial and I was not willing to buy an SUV just so I wouldn't have to turn in my "man card." Now, if you are wanting to do any towing, then you would need an SUV, otherwise I would go for the van.

audioaxes
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by audioaxes » Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm

how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?

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bottlecap
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by bottlecap » Wed May 30, 2018 1:03 pm

Odyssey, Sedona, or Pacifica. In the market for one myself. Doing research. Went and saw the first two.

You can buy used, although the Odyssey was redesigned for 2018, so do some research to see which features you want or can live without.

If you don't need the top of the line and rear entertainment, a lightly used 2018 Odyssey might come in under $35,000 out the door. Maybe less.

I like SUV's, but we haul 3 kids in one now. The minivan is a better option unless you want to go 4-wheeling.
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
Therein lies the rub. Even with captains chairs, there is no easy access to the third row in anything but a huge SUV (ours is large, but not huge). Especially with carseats in those captains chairs. The minivan, particularly the newer Odysseys, provides the room to get back there.

Good luck,

JT
Last edited by bottlecap on Wed May 30, 2018 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kjvmartin
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm

audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:08 pm

All the kids fit in the old days because us kids were laying on the package shelf, jumping from front seat to back, hanging out the windows or riding on the trunk lid.

These days, if I tried to sell a child seat on craigslist that was a year old, I'd be barraged with insults that my seat is unsafe and I must be a Nazi Antichrist to even think of not getting the latest to-the-minute child seat.

As a teen, I rode in the back of a pickup quite a bit.
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by bloom2708 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:08 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:03 pm
Odyssey, Sedona, or Pacifica. In the market for one myself. Doing research. Went and saw the first two.

You can buy used, although the Odyssey was redesigned for 2018, so do some research to see which features you want or can live without.

If you don't need the top of the line and rear entertainment, a lightly used 2018 Odyssey might come in under $35,000 out the door. Maybe less.

I like SUV's, but we haul 3 kids in one now. The minivan is a better option unless you want to go 4-wheeling.

Good luck,

JT
+1 to look at the Pacifica. There are a number of 2017 with ~15k to 18k miles in our area for ~$20k to $23k. I like the look and features. They should have remaining warranty, so reliability won't be an issue yet. Long term I would expect slightly worse reliability.
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Luke Duke » Wed May 30, 2018 1:09 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?
Buick Enclave or its GMC/Chevy equivalent. Also, Diono Radian car seats can fit 3 across in most vehicles.

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Last edited by Luke Duke on Wed May 30, 2018 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kjvmartin
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 1:13 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:08 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:03 pm
Odyssey, Sedona, or Pacifica. In the market for one myself. Doing research. Went and saw the first two.

You can buy used, although the Odyssey was redesigned for 2018, so do some research to see which features you want or can live without.

If you don't need the top of the line and rear entertainment, a lightly used 2018 Odyssey might come in under $35,000 out the door. Maybe less.

I like SUV's, but we haul 3 kids in one now. The minivan is a better option unless you want to go 4-wheeling.

Good luck,

JT
+1 to look at the Pacifica. There are a number of 2017 with ~15k to 18k miles in our area for ~$20k to $23k. I like the look and features. They should have remaining warranty, so reliability won't be an issue yet. Long term I would expect slightly worse reliability.
The price is tempting, but then I worry about actually getting what I pay for. Chrysler has been a bad choice in my family. I know of two successful lemon claims, years apart, filed within my immediate family - Grand Caravan and 300. It may be worth saving $10-12k, though. I will investigate this a bit more.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by deanbrew » Wed May 30, 2018 1:15 pm

We are on our second Odyssey. I've been in quite a few 3-row SUVs, and all are significantly inferior in terms of third row access, comfort and roominess. As you look around, get in and out of the third row in the vans and SUVs, and you'll quickly see how much better the vans are. With three kids, a minivan is really the optimal vehicle. And think a few years down the road when you add a friend or three to the mix. Heck, even for a bunch of adults, a van is much nicer. We've had lots of adults remark how roomy and comfortable the second and third rows of our Odyssey are.

I can't understand why "a lot of people really like three row SUVs". They get worse MPG, have less interior room for people and cargo, and swing-out doors that are not easy for kids.
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bottlecap
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by bottlecap » Wed May 30, 2018 1:16 pm

Chrysler reliability is definitely a big concern.

We are going to check them out nonetheless. People seem to love them.

JT

Texanbybirth
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed May 30, 2018 1:17 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:09 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?
Buick Enclave or its GMC/Chevy equivalent. Also, Diono Radian car seats can fit 3 across in most vehicles.
+1 on the Diono. You might give them a shot, at least for the older two. New seats are cheaper than a new car, especially since you like what you have. (This coming from a huge fan and owner of the Odyssey, which was going to be my initial response.)

Congrats on #3! I was the third, it's the best kid.

kjvmartin
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 1:21 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:17 pm
Luke Duke wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:09 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?
Buick Enclave or its GMC/Chevy equivalent. Also, Diono Radian car seats can fit 3 across in most vehicles.
+1 on the Diono. You might give them a shot, at least for the older two. New seats are cheaper than a new car, especially since you like what you have. (This coming from a huge fan and owner of the Odyssey, which was going to be my initial response.)

Congrats on #3! I was the third, it's the best kid.
Thanks. I will look into those car seats. Looks like they are "All in one" so we could use 1 for each kid at whatever age. I really do like the CR-V a lot. It's a bit of an expensive experiment though, if it ends up being a bad fit for us.

Texanbybirth
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Texanbybirth » Wed May 30, 2018 1:25 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:21 pm
Texanbybirth wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:17 pm
Luke Duke wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:09 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?
Buick Enclave or its GMC/Chevy equivalent. Also, Diono Radian car seats can fit 3 across in most vehicles.
+1 on the Diono. You might give them a shot, at least for the older two. New seats are cheaper than a new car, especially since you like what you have. (This coming from a huge fan and owner of the Odyssey, which was going to be my initial response.)

Congrats on #3! I was the third, it's the best kid.
Thanks. I will look into those car seats. Looks like they are "All in one" so we could use 1 for each kid at whatever age. I really do like the CR-V a lot. It's a bit of an expensive experiment though, if it ends up being a bad fit for us.
You can just go to Buy Buy Baby or some place similar and try the seats in the car. We've done that a few times at these places, and at worst someone from the store will probably just walk out with you. They understand most people have no idea how car seats will work out. Worst case: buy them and return them if they don't work. I'd go on a slow day, like Wednesday morning close to after they open. If the seats do work out, I'd throw them a bone and at least buy one there.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by RDB » Wed May 30, 2018 1:26 pm

I did not read all the replies, this is likely a repeat. You cannot beat a minivan. We have three small kids and love our odyssey. Our friends have a sienna and that is really nice also. If you do not wish to switch cars the Diono radian car seats are supposed to work well going three across. Unless you jump to a very large suv, the three row suvs are not great with car seats. We have an xc90 that is a pain with car seats.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by mjk280 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:31 pm

I fit 3 diono radian car seats in the back of my Sonata so they should work with a CRV. Eventually you'll want to separate them to stop fighting and minivans are better for 3rd row access. First time one of your kids swings the car door into another vehicle in a parking lot you'll quickly become a convert to sliding doors.

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FlyAF
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by FlyAF » Wed May 30, 2018 1:37 pm

deanbrew wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:15 pm
I can't understand why "a lot of people really like three row SUVs". They get worse MPG, have less interior room for people and cargo, and swing-out doors that are not easy for kids.
People like them because they AREN'T a minivan. I imagine most people toting 3 young kids around are in their early 30's. Not many that age are too pumped about being seen driving a minivan around. We never had kids so no minivan, but if I'd had, no question I'd have bought one. I even considered one only having a couple large dogs. To me, vehicle = tool, but most see them as something else.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:39 pm

When our daughters were young, we had a Chevy conversion van. They had the choice of one of the captains chairs in the second row of seats, or the large sofa as the third row.

Once the selections were made, no daughter had to touch any other daughter. Blissful travel. There was a TV with a DVD player they could watch on longer trips.

My daughters would never buy a minivan. A large SUV works for one set of grandchildren, and a Toyota Camry for the other set of grandchildren.

Though, I think the minivans are a logical choice for utility, which would override style for me.

There are scads of vehicles for a family of four, but not so many for a family of five.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by onourway » Wed May 30, 2018 1:47 pm

The Diono Radians are the answer, but with a couple of caveats (we've had a lot of these seats between two family cars and grandparents cars. 3 car seats don't move from car to car unless you are buying a new one).

The Diono seats are not great rear facing. They take up a lot of space. Diono sells a foam wedge that adjusts the angle of the seat a bit to buy you an extra inch or two. Still, they take up a lot of room rear facing and the install is somewhat difficult.

Once they are forward-facing the situation reverses and they take up much less space than most other seats because they sit very low to the vehicle seat. 3 across forward facing is no problem in most vehicles (initial installation may be a hassle).

While these are nominally rated to 70+lbs, in reality our kids started to protest riding in them at about age 5. They can't easily do the harness themselves even at that age, and then they out-grow the harness. Once you need to use them in booster mode with the regular shoulder belt, forget about 3 across. (No way to access the belts latches).

This goes for any booster seat really. Most boosters are much wider than the Diono's so 3 across boosters is impossible in most cars.

I hate driving minvans so we drive Volvos. Our XC90 is fine now for 3 (but the 3rd row was inaccessible for years with 3 across in the middle row before they could buckle themselves). In our XC70 we have the integrated boosters and the Volvo branded booster you buy from the dealer in the middle. This is pretty much the only way to do 3 across in boosters that I've ever seen.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 2:17 pm

onourway wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:47 pm

The Diono seats are not great rear facing. They take up a lot of space. Diono sells a foam wedge that adjusts the angle of the seat a bit to buy you an extra inch or two.
If they're not great rear facing, can it be made to work for 2/3 of them? Newborns and small toddlers really should be rear facing, as best I understand.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by onourway » Wed May 30, 2018 2:22 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:17 pm
If they're not great rear facing, can it be made to work for 2/3 of them? Newborns and small toddlers really should be rear facing, as best I understand.
They should be rear facing for as long as practical - certainly to at least age 2. With kids your age you could probably do a Radian or other narrow seat rear facing in the middle position for the 16 month old, a Radian forward facing for the 4 year old, and a convertible baby seat for the newborn. This should work in many vehicles, but you'll really have to test it yourself. Depends on the vehicle and how much space you and your wife require.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed May 30, 2018 2:35 pm

onourway wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:22 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:17 pm
If they're not great rear facing, can it be made to work for 2/3 of them? Newborns and small toddlers really should be rear facing, as best I understand.
They should be rear facing for as long as practical - certainly to at least age 2.
We just switched my son to forward-facing and he's a couple weeks away from his 3rd birthday. He never complained once about being rear-facing, even with his feet up on the back seat. The point being, rear-facing is many times safer than forward-facing, regardless of the age.

Only reason we did it was because our daughter is due within the next 4 weeks and the leg room in front seat is very poor with a rear-facing seat behind the driver.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by warner25 » Wed May 30, 2018 2:48 pm

We have two kids, both still rear-facing, with a third due in the fall like you. Our Prius worked fine with two, but started getting extremely cramped when our youngest moved up to a toddler carseat. I've seen people say that they have three carseats across the back row of a Prius, but my experiment failed despite having some of the smallest carseats on the market (Clek Fllo and KeyFit).

When we started looking for a new car, we only considered minivans for the reasons that everyone here has already mentioned. I love Toyota so I immediately assumed that we'd get a Sienna, but then we read that the Sienna's middle seat in the second row is too narrow to properly install a carseat with another carseat on either side. The problem, then, is that one kid has to go in the third row, but the third row is inaccessible with two rear-facing carseats in the outboard second row spots. Honda then added the "Magic Slide" feature on the 2018 Odyssey, and that made our decision.

"Magic Slide" lets you move the second row outboard seats laterally when the middle seat is removed. So now you can easily put two little ones in rear-facing carseats in the second row, push them to one side, and let bigger kids (or adults) walk comfortably along a side aisle to the third row. Then you can pull apart the outboard seats to keep the little ones from touching each other, if you want. The Odyssey is also the only vehicle with both latches and tethers on all six seats in back, and the space to put a carseat in each spot, as far as I know, so it really provides maximum flexibility.
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:41 pm
I think back to when I was a kid - seemed like everyone had 4+ kids and a sedan and still made it work.
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:17 pm
Newborns and small toddlers really should be rear facing, as best I understand.
I keep saying that automakers can't keep up (or don't care to keep up, as a result of falling birthrates) with carseat laws. Rear-facing is now required in many states up to age two, not just a best-practice anymore. It seems like air travel and carpooling are now all but impossible with a few small children. Given the costs and limited options, I really wonder what a lot of people do; maybe they simply ignore the law?

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Luke Duke » Wed May 30, 2018 2:57 pm

onourway wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:47 pm
Once you need to use them in booster mode with the regular shoulder belt, forget about 3 across. (No way to access the belts latches).
Problem solved
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... e+extender

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by onourway » Wed May 30, 2018 3:00 pm

Luke Duke wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 2:57 pm
Problem solved
https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss ... e+extender
Most car seat manuals specifically warn against the use of these devices. I did buy one at some point before reading that, but it still didn't work for some reason I can't recall.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed May 30, 2018 3:35 pm

One on the roof rack, one in the trunk, one laying down on the back seat...

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by jhwkr542 » Wed May 30, 2018 3:40 pm

We have a 4 yo, 3 yo, and 18 mos. little girls. We fit them all in the back of our Toyota Highlander and Acura MDX. 4 yo sits in the middle in a Diono forward-facing seat. Infant and toddler car seats on the outside, rear-facing. The 4 yo either climbs under the rear-facing seats or through the front door and into the backseat to her carseat.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by -buzz- » Wed May 30, 2018 3:54 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:41 pm

This is not a fashion statement for me. I just want the best mix of comfort, function, and economical, way to cart the kids. Thoughts?
Minivan. Nothing else beats it for comfort, function, and economy.

When we were in that situation... we bought a Honda Odyssey. It was a great vehicle for us and still in great shape when we sold it 10 years later with 150k miles.

I also had a Honda Pilot at the time. We almost never pulled the car seats out of the Odyssey. Trying to install all three car seats in there and use the third row was too much trouble.

The replacement is a Toyota Sienna. We bought the top of the line Sienna this time. It is wonderful to drive, but a lot more expensive.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by angelescrest » Wed May 30, 2018 4:07 pm

I would much rather have all three kids in one row, than split in a minivan across two rows. The Diono is a great car seat, but you don’t need three of them, just two, the third can be a reasonable sized rear facing one which shouldn’t get in the way of the other two (until you try to turn it forward facing upon which a third Diono would help).

For a time I felt like I was the only one looking at the hip and shoulder specs of second rows on cars. You should be doing the same.

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dm200
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by dm200 » Wed May 30, 2018 4:11 pm

angelescrest wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 4:07 pm
I would much rather have all three kids in one row, than split in a minivan across two rows. The Diono is a great car seat, but you don’t need three of them, just two, the third can be a reasonable sized rear facing one which shouldn’t get in the way of the other two (until you try to turn it forward facing upon which a third Diono would help).
For a time I felt like I was the only one looking at the hip and shoulder specs of second rows on cars. You should be doing the same.
Either you are much better at managing kids in a car OR have unusual children. My experience is that, especially on longer trips - kids get to squabbling - and a solution is to split them up (or threaten to).

Spooky
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Spooky » Wed May 30, 2018 4:44 pm

I can put 3 kids in the back of a Prius. We have the Diono radians, but you could probably do it with other seats as well.

Check out this site:

http://thecarseatlady.com/fitting3across/

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Steelersfan » Wed May 30, 2018 5:18 pm

I'm not up on current car models but am a big fan of the three level seat models for your situation. We had three kids, and on trips two of them were always able to get along but never all three. So whichever two were happy with each other at the time got the middle seat. The odd kid out got the back.

Whether they were just gaming us to get the back seat alone is a deeper question than I know how to answer. If so, they all were in the game because the back seat kid changed regularly and with no apparent pattern.

That may not matter to you now but might if you plan to keep the car a long time.

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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Loik098 » Wed May 30, 2018 5:20 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:41 pm
My initial thought is "Honda Odyssey". It seems like we could put the oldest in the back and then have easy access to both little ones in the middle?
We did the opposite with our Odyssey. We took out one captain's chair from the back, put the oldest in the other captain's chair, and our two youngest (twins) in the back row. We store the extra chair in the garage for later use.

Extremely easy now to maneuver car seats in and out. Just step right into the van! Also great to have the extra space for transporting groceries, boxes, supplies, etc., when kids aren't in the car.

jcchen
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by jcchen » Wed May 30, 2018 8:46 pm

here are some web articles on fitting 3 car seats in a CR-V. My suggestions is to forgo using the latch. Use seat belts to secure the car seats.

https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3- ... tions-crv/

http://thecarseatlady.com/vehicles/suv/honda-cr-v/

finite_difference
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by finite_difference » Wed May 30, 2018 9:22 pm

Odyssey or Sienna, $30k OTD or less.

They need to make an EV version though, could pack a lot of batteries into a minivan chassis. Maybe we’ll have to wait for Tesla for that particular innovation.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Devil's Advocate
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Devil's Advocate » Wed May 30, 2018 10:24 pm

kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?
I have three little ones very similar to you. Test drove a Buick Enclave and while I did not buy it it was very nice and I would probably have bought that as a second choice. I ended up purchasing a Ford Explorer Sport. But the Buick Enclave will fit three across in the third row seat and does have Captain chairs in the middle. I did not end up buying it because the vehicle was not quite as "sporty". The 365 HP turbo ford explorer was way more fun to drive.

Check out https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3- ... uide-html/

DA

kjvmartin
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 10:33 pm

Devil's Advocate wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 10:24 pm
kjvmartin wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 1:05 pm
audioaxes wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 12:56 pm
how about a SUV with captains chairs in middle row to allow easy access to third row seats?
What's decent in that category?
I have three little ones very similar to you. Test drove a Buick Enclave and while I did not buy it it was very nice and I would probably have bought that as a second choice. I ended up purchasing a Ford Explorer Sport. But the Buick Enclave will fit three across in the third row seat and does have Captain chairs in the middle. I did not end up buying it because the vehicle was not quite as "sporty". The 365 HP turbo ford explorer was way more fun to drive.

Check out https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3- ... uide-html/

DA
$45,000 is a bit steep! Thanks for the suggestion, though.

kjvmartin
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by kjvmartin » Wed May 30, 2018 10:37 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:22 pm
Odyssey or Sienna, $30k OTD or less.

They need to make an EV version though, could pack a lot of batteries into a minivan chassis. Maybe we’ll have to wait for Tesla for that particular innovation.
My living arrangement doesn't support charging - rental with a parking lot. Someday with a private garage it would be great, I'll agree.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Wed May 30, 2018 10:42 pm

http://www.carseatblog.com forums will have your solution. Also, the trunks of most minivans will swallow a fully assembled jogging stroller with ease and room leftover for groceries.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

orangeandwhite
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by orangeandwhite » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:40 pm

finite_difference wrote:
Wed May 30, 2018 9:22 pm
Odyssey or Sienna, $30k OTD or less.

They need to make an EV version though, could pack a lot of batteries into a minivan chassis. Maybe we’ll have to wait for Tesla for that particular innovation.
Pacifica Hybrid has been on the market for two years. Exactly what you describe - a plug in electric hybrid. Sitting happily in our driveway.

It’s surprising that it doesn’t get more play here because it’s the ultimate Boglehead minivan. Crazy good gas mileage, and it comes with federal and (depending on where you live) state tax credits that make it very inexpensive. Ours is a top end version and we ended up i the mid 30s or so before TTL.

We couldn’t understand why anyone bought anything else, given how cheap it was relative to the gas models.

cheesepep
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by cheesepep » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:44 pm

Buy a smaller car seat for the 2 little ones, or buy a minivan.

bartio
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by bartio » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:40 pm

Pacifica Hybrid has been on the market for two years. Exactly what you describe - a plug in electric hybrid. Sitting happily in our driveway.

It’s surprising that it doesn’t get more play here because it’s the ultimate Boglehead minivan. Crazy good gas mileage, and it comes with federal and (depending on where you live) state tax credits that make it very inexpensive. Ours is a top end version and we ended up i the mid 30s or so before TTL.

We couldn’t understand why anyone bought anything else, given how cheap it was relative to the gas models.
I too was looking into this option but gave up when I read reports in Pacifica forums of many in cold weather climates having problems with dead battery and starting issues which were more than in non-hybrid Pacifica's. I gave up on Pacifica hybrid. Looking at Odyssey or Sienna as an option later this year to replace an aging Camry and become the sole family people mover (3 kids11,6 & 2) over my 8 year old Pilot which has 125K miles.

SimonJester
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by SimonJester » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:27 am

As I have said in multiple forum and will repeat what others have said here, our 2004 Sienna minivan is going amazingly strong. Has been a flawless vehicle for 14 years now. In 14 years we have had no mechanical repairs beyond normal service. Its going to be hard to give it up as we no longer really need a minivan. The wife wants to keep it until it falls apart and I want to downsize, the wife will win.

As your kids get older, you will end up transporting friends as well, so having that extra space in the minivan is helpful...
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

jlw35
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by jlw35 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:16 am

Our 2000 Honda Odyssey was as reliable a vehicle as I've had. We put 210,000 miles on it, hauled 3 children ( not in carseats as they were a bit older), moved in and out of college dorms numerous times, pulled an 18' runabout boat, had great trips with friends etc.

We are retired now and in our 60's and looking at new vehicles. Surprisingly, we are considering the Sienna or Odyssey (again). We miss the opportunity to haul 6 to 7 adults, or take trips without the worry of stashing everything in a trunk.

The adult children with children, however, would not ever consider a minivan (if they are called that anymore).

Best of luck in your decision making.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by Nearly A Moose » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:55 am

Haven’t read all the responses, but I am so annoyed at 4-year-ago me for buying a (perfectly fine) Subaru Forester instead of a minivan for our now 2 kids. Just get the Honda Odyssey. You need to transport you, your spouse, and three kids at a minimum. Plus any stuff you want. Plus you might want to bring a friend, grandparents, niece, etc. Just buy the van. Also, those things are so well laid out inside now, it's nuts. You could live in one!

A two year old fully loaded Odyssey should set you back $35k. Cheaper if you go older. But they apparently did a fairly significant redesign for 2018 that, if you're going to keep for 10 years, you might want to really consider.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

jimmyrules712
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by jimmyrules712 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:26 am

I only have 1 child right now so don't have this problem but once we get a second child I intend to try to get a minivan. My wife wants a 3 row SUV because she sees it as more of a status symbol but once we test them both out I think I'll get her to change her mind.

NancyABQ
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Re: Fitting three young kids in the car...

Post by NancyABQ » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:28 am

Subaru has a new full-size SUV (the Ascent). Seems worth checking out while you are at it.

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