Author Topic: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?  (Read 10314 times)

tag

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Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« on: May 25, 2013, 01:26:34 PM »
We'll soon enough have 3 in carseats and are weighing our options.

So, what do you drive?

ruthiegirl

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 03:09:44 PM »
We bought a second hand Toyota Sienna minivan 5 years ago when I was pregnant with our third.  Love it.  Mileage is decent by American standards, though unMustachian.   We have no big repairs and it has been trouble free. 

MommaMary

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 03:36:28 PM »
We have a Toyota Rav4 with a 3rd row of seats.  It's the lowest mpg car we could find at the time.  I am moving towards an Edgerunner for carting my two girls around locally.  (DH and DS13 can drive their own bikes.)

RedMustache

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 03:40:14 PM »
Minivan.  We're on our second one; first was a Ford Windstar, now a Chrysler Grand Caravan.  LOVE the Caravan's Stow-n-Go; our whole family can go away for a week+ and pack in the hatch and Stow-n-go area with no windows even showing evidence of us traveling for an extended period.  We also often put 1 seat down in the middle row to help the kids get in and out (again something I love with the Stowing because the Ford's seats were too heavy for me to do alone).  I get about 24 mpg.

I call my van the Rolling Diaper Bag.  You don't want to have it (initially), but you need it and it has EVERYTHING you could possibly want in it!  We'll be doing a Tailgate-type of thing out of it for the Memorial Day Parade Monday :)

JellyBean

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 05:46:26 PM »
A school bus! Or a tandem bicycle :-)
The wife keeps telling me we should have got a Caravan and we only have 2 kids.

sulaco

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 08:30:10 PM »
We're about to go from 1 to 3, and I've been looking for info on the same thing. I'd rather not do a minivan if possible, but do appreciate the additional utility.

tag

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 03:41:47 AM »
I'm surprised I haven't heard any mention of the Highlander yet.

mm1970

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 02:50:06 PM »
My friends with triplets have a Highlander.  My friend who just had twins bought an Explorer (they also have a 3 year old).  My neighbors with 3 kids have an Audi SUV and a Sienna.  I really like the Sienna.

Depends on the kids and the ages.

We have a Civic and a Matrix (and two kids).  But I carpool to school with the neighbors, so in the Matrix we have our baby seat (convertible rear facing) in the center and the two boosters on the sides.  The kids are 7 but are required to be in boosters until age 9 here in Cali.

The Civic will not fit 3 car seats in the back, unless we were to upgrade all 3 to the Diono Radians (which are narrow).

RAV4's, I've heard, are not very good at fitting 3 seats across if you only have the one row of seats.

This website has threads on fitting 3 car seats in various cars.  Even at $225/each, 3 new car seats are cheaper than a new/ used car.

Here's an example: (you can probably find a more recent thread)

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=33226

mm1970

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 02:55:27 PM »
here's another good one with pictures:

http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=221029

yolfer

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2013, 02:47:13 PM »
We have 2 in boosters and 1 in a carseat. We have an '02 Volvo wagon with 3rd row. I don't recommend them due to poor gas mileage and high maintenance. We got the built-in boosters, and the car seat fits in between them. Once the two older guys are tall enough for no boosters, we're going to sell the Volvo and get one of the cars from MMM's Top 10 Car List:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

Paul der Krake

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 03:12:21 PM »
My parents had 4 kids and drove a peugeot minivan (not available outside Europe), it was their only car. Over the years we had become experts at packing in the most efficiently way possible. 3 kids on the first row, and 1 in the back row, with the second nack row seat removed completely. Smaller bags would go under everybody's feet, effectively acting as footstools. For the summer we would add a roof cargo box and fit even more stuff. With a little planning we would fit 3 golf bags, 2 guitars, and enough clothes for 2 months for the whole family.

jfer_rose

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 03:13:40 PM »
I don't mean to be snarky in posting this (I know I'm not actually answering your question). But this is MMM, and so I feel justified. I had the pleasure of seeing the following presentation in person about a mother of six kids who gave up her car and switched to biking for transportation. It is really an amazing story. You can read about it and see her presentation here: http://blog.bikeleague.org/blog/2012/09/emily-finch-video-brings-down-the-house-at-womens-summit/

5inatrailer

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2013, 03:30:51 PM »
car: vw passat wagon. tight, but fits 3 costco car seats
06 honda odyssey minivan - awesome, pulls our utility trailer. no big repairs so far.

both bought second hand

velocistar237

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2013, 05:55:38 PM »
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/best-mmm-car-with-3-kids/

If you like a manual transmission, the Mazda 5 is a good option. Otherwise, I would just go with an older minivan.

racherinh

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2013, 07:28:33 AM »
We have 3 kids - 6, 3, and 1, and will likely add #4 in the nest 2-3 years. We just got a 2008 Mazda 5 on our return from Europe - we are really happy with it. It has minivan doors which is a huge perk, both rows of back seats fold down so that large amounts of stuff can be hauled, and it sits up to 6 - the very back row is really only comfortable for kids for long drives. And it's on a car frame so its not very long and has decent gas. I wish there were more cars out there like this.

Growing up we had a Camry (there were 3 kids) and it was always perfectly comfortable to us, even for long road trips, until my older brother was over 6 feet.

We are moving to Boston though, and so we may sell it. We're trying to figure out how often we'll need a car for out-of-town trips (parents in Northern VT, friends a few hours away, going to the coast, or fruit picking, and so on).

And I love the story of the family biking mother of 6 - it is so inspirational. Obviously not everyone's circumstances allow her exact set-up, but she shows that most of us can probably do more than we are.

tmac

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2013, 08:42:17 AM »
We bought a second hand Toyota Sienna minivan 5 years ago when I was pregnant with our third.  Love it.  Mileage is decent by American standards, though unMustachian.   We have no big repairs and it has been trouble free. 

I could have written this.

I like sliding doors so kids don't bump people's cars. :)

And very much this. :)

fiveoh

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2013, 09:41:26 AM »
Thinking of having another kid soon and would need a larger vehicle as well.  Like the highlander hybrid but WOW they are expensive even used.

Able was I ERE

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2013, 08:22:56 PM »
A 2002 VW Jetta---just installed three Diono Radian carseats to accommodate our 3rd.


sulaco

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2013, 10:02:27 AM »
Thinking of having another kid soon and would need a larger vehicle as well.  Like the highlander hybrid but WOW they are expensive even used.

I've been researching the Highlander, but the Hybrid doesn't seem to offer significant fuel savings over the convential (28mpg vs 22mpg or 18 per mile vs 14 per mile). At about $5,000 difference between the hybrid and conventional for the same used model year (I took the first Limited 2010s with < 20,000 miles on CL) and $4/gallon gas, you'd need to drive 125,000 miles before breaking even on the hybrid vs the V6.

Currently we drive less than 10,000 miles per year, probably closer to 6,000, so that would be 12-20 years to make up the difference (though probably quicker with rising fuel prices).

marc44

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 09:14:25 AM »
Mazda 5

SnackDog

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2013, 04:11:05 PM »
Whatever you do, try to fit them all in the second row as they are much safer there.  Third row in most vehicles is right at the rear and not safe in a rear-end collision.

mm1970

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2013, 08:56:35 PM »
wanted to update: The friend with the Explorer...it doesn't actually fit their family very well.  They have their older son in the 3rd row and they have to crawl in through the trunk.  And the baby seats are large enough that there's not enough leg room on the driver's side.

Justin234

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2013, 09:35:44 PM »
I have three kids, 3, 1 and 1. We have a Toyota Corolla which we bought when we only had 1 kid. We were very fortunate that it just barely fit two newborn car seats, and we're planning on keeping this car for as long as possible. A little worried that when we go up to three toddler car seats that they won't fit, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Everyone told us when we had twins that we needed an SUV or a minivan, but so far we are doing fine. You definitely have to make sure that the car seats actually fit if you get a smallish car; I tried putting them all in a similar sized Hyundai and they didn't fit.

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2013, 09:46:50 AM »
I drive a 2002 vw golf with three across in the backseat, 5,5, and 2 y/o.  Plenty of space for now, even on the 12 hour trek to the grandparents last December.

sulaco

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2013, 09:57:11 AM »
Mazda 5

We were given a Mazda 5 as a rental in Hawaii a few months ago, and I liked it more than I expected. The problem I see with three 3-and-unders is that at least one will have to be all the way in the back since there are only two captains chairs in the middle row. That's nice for when everyone is out of carseats and booster seats, but probably wouldn't be optimal for carseats.

The more I think about it, the more I think squeezing everyone into our current car might be the way to go.

chatsc

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2013, 12:42:27 PM »
Mitsu Outlander SUV.  2 Sunshine kid "skinny" car seats and a booster.  Tonnes of trunk space.  We fill it to the brim at least 1 a month though....
 
The kids fight like you wouldn't believe but what are you doing to do? 

Saving up for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder in 3-4 years.

infogoon

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2013, 01:28:23 PM »
We're expecting number three soon, and just bought a used Dodge Caravan in anticipation of her arrival. The nice thing about minivans for those of us who buy cars used is that they're tremendously unpopular, so they depreciate like a stone.

marc44

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2013, 11:45:43 AM »
Mazda 5
That's nice for when everyone is out of carseats and booster seats, but probably wouldn't be optimal for carseats.

I agree with the squeezing everybody into whatever you already have.

We fit 4 kids with carseats/boosters in the Mazda5,  we got it when we had twins (number 3 and 4).  At that time the kids ages were: 0, 0, 3, 5 years.  Now they are 3,3,5,7 years.  It has been fine through all the combinations of car seats. 

The trunk is small, but we were able to fit a double stroller in by removing the large plastic tray that is over the spare tire.

I tried to take a video of everyone getting in and out (there is a bit of technique involved), but I totally failed with the camera.

Here it is after everyone is in:
http://youtu.be/G1i2hCZpjLQ



Christof

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Re: Families with 3+ kids......what do you drive?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2013, 12:48:30 PM »
A few hours ago I passed a guy who rode a tandem bike alone with two kids seats, one between the two saddles and one on the carrier. With an extra two-seat trailer that's eight kids between two adults.