Author Topic: Best vehicle to seat 7+  (Read 3387 times)

MEJG

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Best vehicle to seat 7+
« on: July 28, 2015, 08:56:07 AM »
Doing my research up front and would love help.  I've never been a car person so I don't know much.

We will probably be needing to move to a bigger vehicle in the next 6-12 months.  This is not to upgrade; we're a family of four and will probably be be adding 2 or 3 more children to the household.
Current cars are a 2006 Toyota Prius and a 2001 Volvo s40, both paid in full.  Our plan would be to sell the Volvo and keep the Prius.  Having the two smaller cars and needing two drivers for trips is not an option at this time, DH has  trouble getting off work in general and I would need to be able to haul all the kiddos at once to doctors appointments and for emergencies.

Our priorities are safety, gas millage and reliability.  Secondarily we would prefer a van over an SUV.

I figure if I can make a short list of 1-3 models and years to look for I can figure out our regional prices and keep and eye open and know my price range.  The plan is not to purchase until additional kiddos are confirmed.

Thanks!

mtn

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2015, 09:06:39 AM »
Stay away from the GM's and Nissan's (no experience with them, just what I've heard from folks on the interwebs).

Honda's are generally regarded as the best. Watch the transmissions (not sure exactly on the bad years, but most of the early ones).

Dodge/Ram/Chrysler/VW Routon are good for what they are, but their big draw is CHEAP. I saw an ad for a brand new Caravan for $16,000 out the door. Pretty good with that warranty. Oh, and the StowNGo is amazing.

The early Siennas had some issues, and were pretty small. The newer ones are really nice, and I've never heard of any reliability issues--but they carry a Toyota tax. I don't think they can tow as much, and that was the reason we ended up with an Oddity instead of a Sienna back in the early 2000's.

The last one is the Kia/Hyundai twins. I wouldn't buy them used, because I still have a probably unfair bias against them, but you can probably get a great deal new with the best warranty around.

bobechs

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2015, 09:08:47 AM »
Cheap, with room for extra kids.  Plenty of extra kids.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1989-Yellow-Bluebird-School-Bus-In-Good-Condition-/281755261694

"Third generation Blue Bird Bus. 1989 was a big year for these buses. It is a TC/2000 with a Cummins 6BTA5.9/ISB engine .  Good paint job. West Coast bus that has served us well and will do the same for you.  Just as clean under the bus as it is on outside. 72 passenger with heavy duty axles and air brakes. Tires and brakes are in good condition..."




meandmyfamily

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2015, 02:03:04 PM »
We love our Toyota Sienna.  We have six people in our family and we are on our second Sienna.  It seats 8 and we drive a lot!

CheapskateWife

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2015, 02:20:03 PM »
We drive a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, no bells or whistles except for the rear stow and go.  It has been a work horse!  We have 4 boys, 2 large dogs, a million bicycles...you get the picture.  Add a trailer hitch from UHAUL and you have a solid utility vehicle.  We towed my husband's VW Jetta across the country with the van on a full car carrier (not recommended but it still did it)  130K miles and we still have the original transmission.  It has taken us camping, skiing, to grandma's...everywhere!  When something does fail, its super cheap to find parts.  I paid 13K for it in 2007 and have been happy with it ever since.

forummm

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2015, 02:25:01 PM »
Depends what you mean by "best"

Quote
Tesla : Consumer Reports' best car ever tested
http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/09/autos/tesla-model-s-consumer-reports/

Quote
Tesla Model S Achieves Best Safety Rating of Any Car Ever Tested

Sets New NHTSA Vehicle Safety Score Record
http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/tesla-model-s-achieves-best-safety-rating-any-car-ever-tested

The Tesla Model S does seat 7:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAhteCA0ze8

Rollin

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2015, 02:30:15 PM »
Chevy Astro or equivalent GM.  Stopped making them in 2005, but will run many miles (I saw some with 575,000 miles when I was looking for mine).  They aren't fancy and don't get great gas mileage (about 18 everywhere, but I did get as much as 23 in one I had years ago).  Full frame and rear wheel drive.  Parts easy to come by and you can probably pick one up for less than $10,000.

Mine is a 2003 with 52,000 miles and does absolutely everything - hauls kids + friends, mountain bikes (inside or out) plus camping gear and friends, sheet of plywood (seats need to be all the way up), and I sleep in it when I want to camp off the ground.

Another option is the Toyota Sequoia.  Not great gas mileage, but I picked up a beautiful 2006 with 48,000 miles for $18,000.  Great ride and easily a 300,000 mile motor.  Get a 207 or earlier.  2008 was a new model and you'll pay much more (for more than you need).

mtn

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2015, 03:04:59 PM »
Good call on the SafAstro's--my "Avoid GM" statement referred to the minivans only. But keep in mind, it is a truck, wheras a minivan is a car.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2015, 04:25:57 PM »
Why not get a real passenger van? Lots of room, many seating configurations, real towing capacity, and basically the same price as a minivan.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2015, 04:37:34 PM »
If you're looking at Honda Odysseys, the years with the transmission issues were '09-2004.  We had an '01 and had to replace the tranny.  We loved it, and when we outgrew it (had our 6th), we got an 8-person '06 Odyssey.

My brother has an '05 Sienna, and its "plus one" (middle seat in the middle) is larger than its equivalent in the Odyssey. Our skinny 10-year-old fits in it fine.

Odysseys are more plentiful than Siennas, in my experience.  Having driven both, I'd say they're pretty similar.  If anything, the Sienna felt heavier to drive, but that's a subjective observation.  I'm partial to the Odyssey.

goatmom

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2015, 08:29:18 AM »
We had an odyssey that sat 8.  It served us well.  It was easy to drive and decent on gas.

UnleashHell

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2015, 09:07:55 AM »
we have had a dodge caravan and a Town and country.  The T&C lasted us 12 years but the same as the caravan it died just before hitting 100,000 miles.
We now have a Hyundia Entourage - 2008 and love it. way more comfortable that the dodge products. It'll be our last van and we are aiming to get a fair few years out of what we have.

Jeremy E.

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Re: Best vehicle to seat 7+
« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2015, 09:27:37 AM »
Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, Mazda MPV. I'd stay away from Dodge/Chrysler.