Author Topic: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.  (Read 3901 times)

new2this

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Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« on: January 08, 2013, 10:11:51 AM »
We currently have 3 kids ages 6 and under and are expecting our last child this spring. Our family car right now is an 05 Acura MDX. It seats 7, but you have to fold down the seat in order to get to the third row which is not possible with booster seats (all kids are in required boosters until age 8). It also doesn't get great gas mileage. I average around 18-20 driving around town. I'm looking at the Mazda 5, but worry that it will be cramped with all 6 seats in use. Does anyone drive one of these and use all 6 seats? If it doesn't work out I will probably just go with a van. We've had good luck with the Honda brand so I'm leaning toward the Odyssey. Any thoughts? Anyone out there with a larger family that has found a good solution?

Matt K

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Two other options
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 10:35:57 AM »
Very similar to the Mazda 5 is the Kia Rondo. It is slightly larger, I think. I know a few people who have the Rondos, but non of them have 4 kids (they use the fold up seats, just not often).

The Dodge Journey can also seat 7. I'm not a huge Dodge fan personally, but it is smaller than an Odessy (which is one of the larger mini-vans), and they are very cheap to buy new (which should mean dirt cheap used). The Canadian fuel figures are 37mpg highway (Canadian fuel numbers are pretty optimistic).

Just two more vehicles to investigage, hope they help.

jp

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 12:36:10 PM »
I have a 2006 Mazda 5.  I have had it since 2007, when my son was born.  We currently have a 5 year old and a 3 year old.  That 3rd row is pretty tiny.  We occasionally have to cram kids friends back there... it can work, but it is extremely cramped.  It will not fit a rear facing child seat and probably would not fit a full size child car seat.  We can fit a booster back there (for kids over 30 pounds), but there is very little leg room.  Our 5 year old definitely would not fit back there in his Britax... we can fit them back there in the boosters though.  The Mazda 5 really is not a minivan... it is a hatchback with sliding doors. 

Bottom line, we really like the car, but we only have 2 kids.  With 3, the kid in the back is going to be in one of those booster seats where they use the adult seat belt, not a full size child seat.  And it is quite hard to climb back there, so the kid in the back will need to be able to get himself in and out of the seat.   

EDIT: I missed that you said you already had 3 kids... that is going to be very difficult in the MAzda 5 IMO.  That 3rd row is not really a full sized seat and the middle seats are going to be right up against your seats in the front.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2013, 01:01:24 PM by jp »

Togoshiman

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2013, 12:38:49 PM »
With three kids, I would go the most fuel-efficient mini-van on the market.  I honestly wouldn't even entertain other options.  There are no three row full-sized wagons on the market and every SUV you can name gets worse mileage.  The Rondo and the 5 will max out quickly.  I think you're justified in rocking the mini-van at this point.  It's really the best way to move a bunch of people.

Ty Webb

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2013, 12:47:10 PM »
@Matt K
Canadian fuel numbers are based on a different sized gallon so the MPG figures are always higher than U.S. MPG based on U.S. gallons.

velocistar237

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2013, 02:11:17 PM »
I have a Mazda 5 and 3 kids in car seats. It's fine, but the Mazda 5 only goes back to 2006, whereas the Honda Odyssey goes further, giving you more buying options. The 5 is only slightly better in mpg than the Odyssey, but it's significantly smaller. The 5 is about 10" longer than a Toyota Matrix, so you can imagine what cramming in a third row does for leg room. Fitting three car seats was a bit of a puzzle, and I'm not sure you could put a rear-facing seat in the very back. It's tight with more than 4 people in the car. I'm happy with our Mazda 5 (for one, it has a manual transmission), but the Odyssey is probably a better option.

A440

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2013, 12:29:20 PM »
How often do you all go places together?  Is it  possible to get by with just 5 seats--one parent and the kids?  Then occasionally just take two cars.   It may not be practical for you, but just a thought.

new2this

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2013, 02:19:45 PM »
How often do you all go places together?  Is it  possible to get by with just 5 seats--one parent and the kids?  Then occasionally just take two cars.   It may not be practical for you, but just a thought.

I could probably get away with that if it weren't for the age of my kids. We are still 6 years away from being able to sit them in the front seat.

Jack

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Re: Baby on the way...looking for a better car.
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2013, 02:21:55 PM »
I'm happy with our Mazda 5 (for one, it has a manual transmission)...

This is why the Mazda 5 is the king of all minivans.