Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

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phantom0308
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by phantom0308 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:11 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:36 pm
Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:45 pm
When we were young, 4 kids, we managed with a Chevy Bel Air. No seat belts, metal all around. One of us could stand on the hump on the back floor and the younger ones could lay across the windowsill ledge behind the back seat.
Oh, yeah, the dog too.
Image
Exactly - Fatalities per 100 million miles traveled:
1970: 4.74
1980: 3.35
1990: 2.08
2000: 1.53
2010: 1.11
You didn’t even have to deal with texting and driving and things were way less safe.

NewOldGuy
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by NewOldGuy » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:27 pm

My parents raised 5 of us without a station wagon. Four in the back, 3 in the front. No problem. My dad drove land yachts.

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6miths
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by 6miths » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:55 pm

Minivan. Kids, kids' friends, pets, lumber, firewood, drywall sheets, hockey gear, luggage, pretty much anything. My buddies with full size pickups are envious of what I can haul. Can go camping in it. DW loves the high driving position.
'It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so!' Mark Twain

fru-gal
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by fru-gal » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:15 am

DanMahowny wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:39 am
My parents did. And there were 4 kids.

We all sat in the back seat together. No seatbelts. Didn't care.
Regular car, three kids. I think that was before seat belts, let alone child car seats. But the average car was bigger, had bench seats. Modern cars are stuffed full of too much crap like consoles to be comfortable like older cars.

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MossySF
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by MossySF » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:47 am

When we were growing up, we (4 kids) had to take public transportation the entire time. :beer :beer :beer

sksavers3
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by sksavers3 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:45 am

We were in your shoes 3 years ago and made the foolish mistake of NOT getting the minivan. Instead we got a lovely XC90, thinking all 3 row vehicles were equal. They are not. Minivans were made for your family and mine. I LOVE my XC90 but a year later we had to buy the Pacifica hybrid - it was just too much of a pain to use the 3rd row of the suv on a regular basis since we still had car seats permanently installed on the 2 outboard 2nd row seats. So we made a very expensive mistake. Don’t be me. Just get the minivan, it is awesome. And the hybrid (w captain chairs and yes upgrade to the limited for all of the safety and entertainment features) is just awesome.

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Sasquatch
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Sasquatch » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:09 am

MSUBobcat wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:16 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:43 pm
Minivans with a sliding door are awesome.

Your life will be SO much easier.

Get 2nd row captain chairs, not a bench in the 2nd row. Keeps the kids apart, plenty of room to put a cooler right there between the kids.
This. Been there done that. Probably made half dozen round trips (1,850 miles one way) whilst the kids were growing up to go see the in-laws with this setup.
+1, We went from a Toyota Camry to a Dodge Minivan. So much easier with kiddos. When the kids get older they will want to take a buddy along to an event or something like that. Nice to have the room

miketheboglehead
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by miketheboglehead » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:38 am

Can it be done? Yes

Do I value the family minivan? Yes.

For us it was important to have a 3rd row with EASY access, which eliminated many SUV configurations, and plenty of cargo room with all seating in place, which eliminated many more SUVs.

We have an Odyssey for those reasons, plus it drives most like a car for it's class.

If you live where it snows, strongly recommend snow tires for any minivan, particularly an Odyssey. that is where they come up very short.

Overall it depends on your priorities within your bogleheadedness, but for us it was the clear choice.

Morgan Dollar 1921
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Morgan Dollar 1921 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:28 am

Lot's of good advice already, did I see Colorado? Snow and Ice tires yes please.

Mini-Van yes, or Subaru Outback maybe? (AWD)

Do you want to give up the Stow & Go seats, a spare tire that is ready to roll, and one or two other items? I would not! Why get a hybrid then, I did not read all of the posts, are you going to keep the Prius, I would.

A friend of mine called me to complain about having to tow his wife's Hybrid Malibu out of the parking tower at her place of employment. That was a lot more than the tire she busted. My rule is, No spare, No own it, hey I am old school, but not like the cars I was raised in.

She is hauling your (your's and her) gold around at 40 - 70 MPH, get the safest vehicle you can afford, and that includes stability and protection. Maneuverability is VIP, accident avoidance is that ounce of prevention. My daughter has a Subaru Outback with the EyeSight option.

Has she driven the rest of the competition ?

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bottlecap
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:07 am

sambb wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:41 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:43 pm
Minivans with a sliding door are awesome.

Your life will be SO much easier.

Get 2nd row captain chairs, not a bench in the 2nd row. Keeps the kids apart, plenty of room to put a cooler right there between the kids.
+1 for this situation
-1 for this situation.

Captain's chairs waste space. You will like having that space. That's part of what makes life easier with a minivan.

Plus, I feel it's safer. About a year ago somebody driving a Jeep was texting and rear ended a minivan on a secondary road (45 mph speed limit) about a mile from our house. The child in the third row didn't make it. Anecdotal, I guess, but my kids ride three across in the middle row. Everyone's got an airbag.

Plus, you can reach them on long trips.

JT

smalliebigs
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by smalliebigs » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:12 am

Minivan all the way. If you let go of the stigma and image, it's by far the best vehicle type.

If you want, I can get you a discount for the Chrysler Pacifica as I'm an FCA employee.

aude
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by aude » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:57 am

You "need" a minivan. We have three kids, now 13, 10 and 7. Similar financial condition. It's pretty much essential. Consider that you will often be driving carpools for kid activities, and there is nothing more convenient than being able to pull up on either side of the street, pushing a button and having a slider door open letting kids in and out without walking in the street. There is also unmatched versatility when you need to pick up kid(s) with bikes (rode bike to friend's house in daylight, stayed past dark, etc.), a load of Girl Scout cookies, a school science project and folding table, etc. Just get it done! Rent one for the weekend if unsure. Daddy rant over.

aude
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by aude » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:04 am

I need to add that despite all the advertising to the contrary, you want plenty of mass moving down the road. KE=1/2mv^2. Don't bring a Prius to an SUV fight. Size matters in an accident. Minivan!

texasdiver
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by texasdiver » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:01 pm

One more point in the minivan vs SUV comparision.

We had a Sienna when the kiddos were little. When oldest got to driving age we passed on my wife's CR-V to the oldest to take to college and bought her a Highlander. So we have lots of experience in the minivan (over 300,000 miles on it) and more recent experience with the Highlander.

From the point of view of driving they are not that different. Similar platforms and engines. The Highlander feels a bit heavier and stiffer.

The biggest difference is in the cargo space. With the 3rd row up the Sienna has a full large cargo area that can take a big stroller and all kinds of groceries. It is like a full deep trunk. When the 3rd row is up on the Highlander the cargo space is reduced to almost nothing. You can squeeze a couple grocery bags back there but that is about it. So if you are out shopping or adventuring with kids and you have the usual kid gear like strollers, backpacks, etc. Forget about squeezing everything into Highlander with the 3rd row up unless all you have is a little umbrella stroller. Not going to hapen. The Sienna and other minivans are what you need if you are going to use all 3 rows of seats and also expect to carry any other stuff with you. If you need the 3rd row seating on a daily basis for kids then take a VERY HARD look at what kind of cargo area remains when the 3rd row is in use. That will likely turn you off on many mid-size 3-row SUVs like the Highlander. You have to go up to a monster like the Ford Expedition to get reasonable cargo space with the 3rd row in use.

Regarding the discussion between captains chairs and bench seat on the 2nd row. Regardless of the vehicle I think the captains chairs is a nicer setup. With a 2nd row bench seat the child in the 3rd row is really cut off and it is almost claustrophobic back there with a giant seatback in your face. With captains chairs the interior feels much more open and the passengers in the 3rd row are more connected. Also MUCH easier for the kids to scramble back and forth when loading and unloading. You don't have to fold the seats up and down, they just zip through the opening in the middle. We rented a minivan with a 2nd row bench at one point and the kids hated it compared to ours.

michaeljc70
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:13 pm

I had a friend that had a Traverse with 2 captains seats for the 2nd row. If you really don't want a minivan or an SUV where you have to flip seats, there may be a few options of SUVs with captains seats. The Traverse fit 7 of us when I rode in it. Whenever I ride in a 3 row SUV where you have to manipulate seats it is a pain.

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Cycle
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Cycle » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:22 pm

Image
technically 5 rows...

TallBoy29er
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by TallBoy29er » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:29 pm

Growing up, 4 kids, both parents, in a Buick sedan. Even road tripped in it using the Sears rooftop cargo box. We all somehow survived just fine. There is a difference between needs and wants that a lot of people lose sight of.

mgensler
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by mgensler » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:30 pm

We have 4 kids. Ages are 11, 11, 8, and 8. We had an Acura MDX and then went with a Tesla S with rear jump seats. We're currently on a Tesla X with 6 seats. A used Tesla S with jump seats might be a great fit for your family.

Auream
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Auream » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:41 pm

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Pacifica plug-in Hybrid with your income and assets. Wife wants one (or a 3-row hybrid SUV) but I really can't justify it since we have only 2 kids. We are looking strongly at the new 2019 RAV4 hybrid which gets 40mpg, but is only a normal 2-row SUV. Net worth significantly less than yours as well but at some point you make money to spend it on things that improve your quality of life, not to count numbers on a spreadsheet.
Last edited by Auream on Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Grover
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Grover » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:56 pm

I have 3 kids we got a Honda Odyssey it is very convenient, we can even fit our in-laws when they come visit (4 adults and 3 car seats).

Miriam2
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by Miriam2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:10 pm

jthokie4 wrote: . . . Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?
3 kids = 1 kid per row = 3 rows + rows far enough apart = to keep kids from teasing each other = reduced parental stress :mrgreen:

trueblueky
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by trueblueky » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:51 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:45 pm
When we were young, 4 kids, we managed with a Chevy Bel Air. No seat belts, metal all around. One of us could stand on the hump on the back floor and the younger ones could lay across the windowsill ledge behind the back seat.
Oh, yeah, the dog too.
That was me in the window sill on a cross-country trip. We also rode standing in the back of the pickup. Possibly against the law now.

mx711yam
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by mx711yam » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:34 am

I had a grand Cherokee which was only 2 rows and bought a 3 row expedition. I have 3 kids and the extra space was well worth the cost. Especially if you road trip to vacations or have the grandparents in town you can all ride together where you need to go. Spend the money, its worth it.

shawndoggy
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by shawndoggy » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:49 am

regarding efficiency, don't compare to a prius, compare to a three row SUV. The pacifica is likely bigger in useable room inside than even the biggest three row SUV (i.e. suburban/yukon) and will kill those vehicles at the pump. So there you go, efficiency and the room to haul your family!

iamone
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by iamone » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:03 am

Yes - with a small suv and a mid-size car. Depends on the span of ages though: ours are 16, 12, 10. So, we never needed to put 3 car seats in the suv at once, as the oldest one was already in a booster seat by then. Minivans typically don't come with an AWD -- where we live you need either an AWD or winter tires to get by. The number of occasions when all 5 of us are in the same vehicle are not that frequent any way (maybe once in a week and the occasional long drive during a vacation). The small suv should be good enough to carry typical lumber except sheets of plywood. And if you really need to haul a lot of stuff, you can either rent a truck from them or just get them to deliver stuff for you.

ETadvisor
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by ETadvisor » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:05 am

texasdiver wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:01 pm
One more point in the minivan vs SUV comparision.

We had a Sienna when the kiddos were little. When oldest got to driving age we passed on my wife's CR-V to the oldest to take to college and bought her a Highlander. So we have lots of experience in the minivan (over 300,000 miles on it) and more recent experience with the Highlander.

From the point of view of driving they are not that different. Similar platforms and engines. The Highlander feels a bit heavier and stiffer.

The biggest difference is in the cargo space. With the 3rd row up the Sienna has a full large cargo area that can take a big stroller and all kinds of groceries. It is like a full deep trunk. When the 3rd row is up on the Highlander the cargo space is reduced to almost nothing. You can squeeze a couple grocery bags back there but that is about it. So if you are out shopping or adventuring with kids and you have the usual kid gear like strollers, backpacks, etc. Forget about squeezing everything into Highlander with the 3rd row up unless all you have is a little umbrella stroller. Not going to hapen. The Sienna and other minivans are what you need if you are going to use all 3 rows of seats and also expect to carry any other stuff with you. If you need the 3rd row seating on a daily basis for kids then take a VERY HARD look at what kind of cargo area remains when the 3rd row is in use. That will likely turn you off on many mid-size 3-row SUVs like the Highlander. You have to go up to a monster like the Ford Expedition to get reasonable cargo space with the 3rd row in use.

Regarding the discussion between captains chairs and bench seat on the 2nd row. Regardless of the vehicle I think the captains chairs is a nicer setup. With a 2nd row bench seat the child in the 3rd row is really cut off and it is almost claustrophobic back there with a giant seatback in your face. With captains chairs the interior feels much more open and the passengers in the 3rd row are more connected. Also MUCH easier for the kids to scramble back and forth when loading and unloading. You don't have to fold the seats up and down, they just zip through the opening in the middle. We rented a minivan with a 2nd row bench at one point and the kids hated it compared to ours.
^This. I have two kids and the Honda Pilot with 3rd row and bench seat on the 2nd row. In my opinion, the 3rd row is impractical. We always keep it down. Works for us with 2 kids but after Pilot is driven into ground, I may consider minivan for many of the reasons stated.

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William4u
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by William4u » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:10 pm

texasdiver wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:01 pm
One more point in the minivan vs SUV comparision.

We had a Sienna when the kiddos were little. When oldest got to driving age we passed on my wife's CR-V to the oldest to take to college and bought her a Highlander. So we have lots of experience in the minivan (over 300,000 miles on it) and more recent experience with the Highlander.

From the point of view of driving they are not that different. Similar platforms and engines. The Highlander feels a bit heavier and stiffer.

The biggest difference is in the cargo space. With the 3rd row up the Sienna has a full large cargo area that can take a big stroller and all kinds of groceries. It is like a full deep trunk. When the 3rd row is up on the Highlander the cargo space is reduced to almost nothing. You can squeeze a couple grocery bags back there but that is about it. So if you are out shopping or adventuring with kids and you have the usual kid gear like strollers, backpacks, etc. Forget about squeezing everything into Highlander with the 3rd row up unless all you have is a little umbrella stroller. Not going to hapen. The Sienna and other minivans are what you need if you are going to use all 3 rows of seats and also expect to carry any other stuff with you. If you need the 3rd row seating on a daily basis for kids then take a VERY HARD look at what kind of cargo area remains when the 3rd row is in use. That will likely turn you off on many mid-size 3-row SUVs like the Highlander. You have to go up to a monster like the Ford Expedition to get reasonable cargo space with the 3rd row in use.

Regarding the discussion between captains chairs and bench seat on the 2nd row. Regardless of the vehicle I think the captains chairs is a nicer setup. With a 2nd row bench seat the child in the 3rd row is really cut off and it is almost claustrophobic back there with a giant seatback in your face. With captains chairs the interior feels much more open and the passengers in the 3rd row are more connected. Also MUCH easier for the kids to scramble back and forth when loading and unloading. You don't have to fold the seats up and down, they just zip through the opening in the middle. We rented a minivan with a 2nd row bench at one point and the kids hated it compared to ours.
+1
My sister has three kiddos, and went from a Highlander to a Sienna and is much happier now.

audioaxes
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by audioaxes » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:02 pm

we make it work with 3 kids. One is a pretty tall preteen the other 2 are in carseats but they can all fit in same row. Even when we had a 3 row car nobody sat in 3rd row unless we had a guest or 2 driving with us.

CES
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by CES » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:07 am

I am one of those people with 3 kids (12,9,7 YO) and no third row in my vehicles. For day to day travel about town, we use the full size wagon and the mid size sedan when we had it, and they are fine being in the back together because they are used to it. We do drives up to 9 hours in it which is less optimal because the younger ones start picking fights around hour 6, but that's kids and not the car. Any longer road trips and we rent a minivan. They like the DVD screen then because we don't have it in our cars, but they do squabble over not being the kid stuck alone in the back row (they prefer the second row always for ease of access in and out of the vehicle). Also, they still sometimes choose to sit three across in the back row because that way they are all together. Kids are flexible like that. One thing that I did appreciate when they were younger is that putting them in the car and checking seatbelts was much easier when it was just reaching in the second row. The third row doesn't get convenient until they are self sufficient at buckling belts because otherwise, you're climbing in there each time with them (BTDT, was grateful we weren't dealing with that on a daily basis)

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BarbaricYawp
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by BarbaricYawp » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:15 am

Mine were the same age splits as yours. I upgraded from a Civic Hybrid to a Toyota Camry SLE when I had the 3rd. Gets same mileage as your van, better reliability and nicer drive IMO. I will also say that when we were rear-ended at full speed by an inattentive pickup truck driver (I was stopped at a light) the three kids in the backseat got bounced, but no-one got hurt. Car was 6 months old, otherwise I'm sure they would have totalled it. My current Toyota has 140K on it and aside from maintenance and the occasional recall (airbag) it has run like a top. I'm not sure the Chrysler would be as trouble-free.
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." --Dorothy Parker

3504PIR
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by 3504PIR » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:25 pm

samsdad wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:51 pm
jthokie4 wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:33 pm
We have 3 kids, ages 6, 4, and one on the way. Current family vehicle is Toyota Prius V with 130k miles. We could fit 3 kids in back using narrow car / booster seats. For camping trips that require a lot of luggage, I could make the gear fit using a roof box and racks. But I'm wondering if I'm being too frugal, and will regret not buying a minivan as the kids get bigger. We do take some longer road trips throughout the Southwest every year. I like efficient vehicles, and am considering the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, which we could get with $12,500 in federal + state tax credits (live in CO). Gets 30 mpg vs 40 mpg of our current Prius. It seems to be a given on this forum that when you have the 3rd kid, you go out and buy a minivan. Wife wants a minivan, but is flexible. Anyone raised 3 kids without buying a 3-row vehicle?

Our financial situation is age 39, net worth of $1.85M, live in modest house in low COL area, income above 6-figures. Would at least like to get to $2.5M in a few years to have the option of ER.
I’ve lived in the front range of Colorado for almost 20 years. The last time I drove a non-awd vehicle in this state was 2003ish. I have 13-month-old twins. I’m getting an awd Toyota Sienna as soon as I can collect enough to buy it for cash. In the meantime we’re squeezing into a Volvo XC90 or XC70. If the Pacifica came in awd I’d go right over and test drive it.

If tomorrow’s snow storm they're advertising makes the roads nice and slick, you might try taking the awd Sienna and fwd Pacifica out for a test drive. Or, it’ll be bright and sunny and 60 like it was today. That’s the problem with Colorado, as I’m sure you’re aware. If it is bad on the roads, and if you have to take your Prius to get to the dealerships, you might want to wait. :wink:
He meant low cost of living vs front range of Colorado, but you win in my book. I'd rather be on the front range with a small piece of land than wherever he is in his Prius with 3 kids and an angry wife.

NHRATA01
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by NHRATA01 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:51 pm

3 kids in child seats (especially any rear facing), it's tough to do. We had a Traverse with a 2nd row bench and were able to fit the 3 seats across - but that is a rather wide vehicle even for the class and it was very tight to the doors. With the 3rd row down we had a lot of cargo room in the back. If it's been 20+ years sine you dealt with a child/infant seat, they are a lot larger now then when I was a kid in the 80s.

Once they got into booster seats the travel options opened up a bit. I drive a Chevy SS sedan, which is about as large/wide a sedan as you could get in recent years short of something like a Benz S-class, and with 1 or 2 in boosters there's ample room in the back for the kids (heck you could really fit 3 reasonably sized adults back there). But 3 baby/toddler seats would likely not fit back there, at least not safely. When the kids are out of child seats, then I'm sure a traditional 4 box sedan or even a compact like a Civic is probably large enough, especially once big enough to sit up front.

JackoC
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Re: Anyone raised 3 kids WITHOUT buying a 3-row vehicle?

Post by JackoC » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:27 pm

Of course it's doable with two rows, and doesn't require not having seat belts like the really old days. We did it, with seat belts, in a 'full size' station wagon (a Taurus), in the 1990's. As far as NJ to TN and back, though not multi-1,000 mile road odysseys. A Prius though is more space limited than just 'not 3 rows'. :happy Later on we had a sorta-3 row SUV (Lexus GX, removable third row) but by then the older ones were in college. I think we used the removable third row like two or three times the whole time we had that car, to help transport members of youngest's soccer team. One of the older ones now owns it. The removable seats are still in our basement.

But OP can obviously afford a minivan or true 3 row SUV if desired.

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