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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: greenmimama on August 08, 2014, 06:13:32 PM

Title: Families with 3 children, what do you drive?
Post by: greenmimama on August 08, 2014, 06:13:32 PM
We have 3 boys, 8, 5 and 3, so all still needing carseats and the youngest will for another 5 years.

We have a paid for 2003 Honda Odyssey right now, I really like it and plan to drive it for a long time. But when we do get a different vehicle, what suggestions do you have for some extra room and good gas mileage.

We had a Subaru Legacy Outback wagon when we only had 2 children, we liked it, but it hardly got any better gas mileage than the mini van.

Just wanting some suggestions, like I said, I plan to drive it for a long time, but I like to be prepared just in case.
Title: Re: Families with 3 children, what do you drive?
Post by: MayDay on August 08, 2014, 06:36:10 PM
We have only two kids, but we're fortunate to be gifted a 2004 Sienna that I dearly love.

I agree that a lot of the medium sized cats get almost as bad of mileage. I drove my mom's CRV, a considerably smaller car, and was amazed that it got only 2 mpg better than our van.

Given that we only have two kids I have no doubt we will replace the van with a smaller car when  it dies, but with three kids, I would stick with a van. Keeping in mind that your kids will be 15, 12, and 10 during the life of the next car, you need something that will hold three adult-sized people in the back.  Maybe a larger sedan or wagon will serve for your family, it depends on how/where you drive. How many long road trips, camping, etc, or just short in town trips?
Title: Re: Families with 3 children, what do you drive?
Post by: CarDude on August 08, 2014, 07:22:25 PM
The weak point of the '03 Odyssey is the transmission; that generation had issues with that. Besides that, it's a solid vehicle. I wouldn't recommend anything less than a minivan or 3 row SUV for transporting 3 kids unless you very rarely (i.e., never) take long trips with them. It's possible to do 3 across in nearly any vehicle, and I'm putting together a list (http://thecarcrashdetective.blogspot.com/p/3-across-installations-car-seat-guide.html) of vehicle / seat combos I know work, but it's not a fun affair in pretty much any car or small SUV.
Title: Re: Families with 3 children, what do you drive?
Post by: CarDude on August 08, 2014, 07:28:23 PM
With the qualifiers I stated above, the best options, mpg wise, are either hybrids (e.g., the 2008+ Toyota Highlander Hybrid at...22/26, I think) or the newest minivans (e.g., the 2014 Honda Odyssey at 19/28). Generally, your best bet will be to drive as little as possible and learn hypermiling techniques; they save a lot more money at the lower end of the scale (i.e., with fuel-inefficient vehicles) than at the higher end. Going from 15 to 20 mpg saves as much gas as going from 30 to 60 mpg, but is a lot easier to achieve.
Title: Re: Families with 3 children, what do you drive?
Post by: greenmimama on August 08, 2014, 07:28:38 PM
The weak point of the '03 Odyssey is the transmission; that generation had issues with that. Besides that, it's a solid vehicle. I wouldn't recommend anything less than a minivan or 3 row SUV for transporting 3 kids unless you very rarely (i.e., never) take long trips with them. It's possible to do 3 across in nearly any vehicle, and I'm putting together a list (http://thecarcrashdetective.blogspot.com/p/3-across-installations-car-seat-guide.html) of vehicle / seat combos I know work, but it's not a fun affair in pretty much any car or small SUV.

That is one reason we got this particular van, it had already had the transmission replaced, through the last owners. So far it has been great, we visit my parents a 2 hour trip at least 4-5 times a year and have done a few various trips. I like it, as far as the Sienna, which one gets better gas mileage. We are saving to replace this van, but hope to not have to for a long time yet.

My DH has a Vibe, we could try that one out to see how horrible it would be with all 3 of them crammed in their, I am just concerned about the safety, there is a lot more room in the van to be run into before it hits the seats where the kids are sitting. Maybe a mini van is my only choice, I don't really want to go with a big SUV, they don't seem to be any better at more cargo space or gas mileage, that's a joke :)
Title: Re: Families with 3 children, what do you drive?
Post by: greenmimama on August 08, 2014, 07:29:35 PM
With the qualifiers I stated above, the best options, mpg wise, are either hybrids (e.g., the 2008+ Toyota Highlander Hybrid at...22/26, I think) or the newest minivans (e.g., the 2014 Honda Odyssey at 19/28). Generally, your best bet will be to drive as little as possible and learn hypermiling techniques; they save a lot more money at the lower end of the scale (i.e., with fuel-inefficient vehicles) than at the higher end. Going from 15 to 20 mpg saves as much gas as going from 30 to 60 mpg, but is a lot easier to achieve.

Those options could be good in a few years, maybe buying a 2014 in 2017 :)