Author Topic: Best Vehicle for Family of Four  (Read 332 times)

Farmer123

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Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« on: January 14, 2022, 03:26:58 PM »
I am sure there are many posts about this but the recent increase in the price of vehicles has me searching for the best vehicle for a family of four and a large dog. Both kids would be in car seats since our first is about to turn 2 and our second will be born in a few months. The dog goes everywhere with us.

We had our eyes set on a minivan but with the recent run up in prices we can't find a decent one for much under $35,000 (new or used). My brother bought one 3 years ago for $23,000. Insane. Also a friend just got a brand new Traverse for $42k... so this has us contemplating going with a 3rd row SUV instead of a minivan since the price difference has seemed to narrowed between SUV & van. We also want the vehicle to be able to pull a medium size camper.

Anyone have ideas? I have been waiting to buy but with kid #2 arriving soon, we are running out of time.

Thanks in advance.

Paper Chaser

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 04:28:13 PM »
As a 3 row SUV owner, minivans are far superior for families and dogs.
How heavy is the camper?

badger1988

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2022, 05:55:47 PM »
Unless you are planning on doing off-roading or significant towing, the minivan is the superior vehicle. I drive a 2011 Chrysler T&C. Purchased in 2017 w/ 64k miles for $12k. I love the versatility. Stow'NGo seating is the best!

What is your definition of decent? $35k seems really steep, even with today's inflated prices.


Morning Glory

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 06:12:04 PM »
What about a full sized car,, if you can find one?
We had a decommissioned police crown Victoria for a while with 2 kids in rear facing car seats plus dog. It had a v8 so plenty of towing capacity.  We had the kids next to each other and the dog behind my extra tall husband.  Safest car you can find and tons of trunk space. I think we paid 6k and put another 100k miles on it.
. It worked OK but it was nice upgrading to an suv so the dog could go in the back part and the kids couldn't touch each other.

Britan

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 11:56:02 PM »
We have two kids in car seats (age newborn in Chico key fit 2 and age 2 in graco 4 ever, rear facing) and have brought all 4 of us, the dog (corgi), and my dad in the 2018 Honda Fit to go hiking. Dog in the trunk with a car harness attached to an anchor point on the back of the seat. I probably wouldn’t bring a third adult for anything over an hour drive, it wasn’t super comfortable in the middle seat. But if you’re regularly only the 4 of you it is possible.

Don’t know how that will go once the kids are teens and taller. But even my 6’2 dad thinks the backseat of the Fit is roomy (when it doesn’t have car seats lol).

MayDay

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2022, 05:59:25 AM »
How old and large are your kids and how much other crap do you need to transport? How often do you drive ve a 3rd child or 5th person?

For a long time we had a Honda Civic with two kids and it was fine. But it suuuuuuuuckked when I needed to fit 3 kids in the backseat. And we couldn't have taken a medium or large dog as well. And it was terrible game of Tetris to go camping. However when grandparents visited or whatever we just took the second car and it was no big deal.

We ultimately decided we "needed" a bigger car when the kids themselves got larger. When they were small we could get extra stuff packed in the floor of the backseat and such..as they got bigger they took up the whole back seat and then some.... They were clearly going to need more leg room.

A larger sedan will be by far the most economical.

charis

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2022, 08:07:49 AM »
You've already gotten some good responses (minivan is probably your best option).  You might want to look into a used Mazda5, which is a 3-row car/minivan crossover with a hatchback and foldable seats that has been discontinued.  But a roomy hatchback car with a roof rack and good size carrier should be fine for a family of 4 with a dog on most road trips and activities.

SailingOnASmallSailboat

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2022, 08:22:37 AM »
Huge minivan fan here for all kinds of reasons. That said, we had a Honda Accord that we loved - bought when I was pregnant with #1 and just sold 2 years ago (kid is now 23). 2 kids, 2 adults, 2 beagles. Sometimes with a cat in the car too. Multiple trips between Virginia and Vermont. DH is 6'3" and had tons of legroom in the back.

We put a tow hitch on that car and pulled a trailer frequently.

IslandFiGirl

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2022, 08:56:06 AM »
I have 3 kids and have had 3 mini vans.  Hands down my favorite car of all time.  So convenient with the sliding doors and seating for 8 (Kia Sedona).  And the different configurations you can do with folding down seats.  Mine only tows 3500 pounds, so keep that in mind, you really don't want to tow something right up to the max weight.  My kids are all grown now but I keep my minivan because I still love it so much.  I can even sleep in it if I want to.  :) 

nessness

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2022, 09:44:02 AM »
Why the need for something so big? We've had a Mazda CX-5 since our first kid was born (and now have two kids, 7 and 4) and it's been totally fine. We once went camping in it with all four of us, a large dog, and two medium dogs (that was admittedly uncomfortable, but we made it work).

ETA: I missed the towing part. We rented and towed a cargo trailer with the CX-5 when we moved. I've looked into getting a small camper and the CX-5 could tow it, but depending on what you mean by "medium camper" it might not be able to.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2022, 09:48:46 AM by nessness »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2022, 11:50:31 AM »
Another vote for minivan!  Our Odyssey has a towing rating of 3,500lb, if memory serves. I put a hitch on it a few years ago for $200.  You'll never go back.

Farmer123

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Re: Best Vehicle for Family of Four
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2022, 12:27:15 PM »
Thank you everyone. We have been leaning towards a minivan for awhile so this just reiterated that for us. Just crazy to see how much they have gone up in price over the last 2-3 years. Might look for a used one that is 2-5 years old. New ones are mostly over $40k now.