Author Topic: Mustache Car for family of five  (Read 8754 times)

LAL

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Mustache Car for family of five
« on: May 02, 2014, 04:09:52 AM »
What car do most people with three kids drive?  Any suggestions to even used cars or new that would work for a pretty mustache family?  Ages of kids will be 5, 3, and baby.  And no I'm not sure we're done.  Currently love my subaru outback but I find that I carpool a  lot and trade babysitting.  I don't have space for a fourth and I'm not sure 3 across is what I want. I probably will eek it out for awhile but i'm looking and thinking now before baby comes.

CarDude

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Beep Beep!
    • The CCD
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2014, 06:03:46 AM »
I'll make it simple and assume you're *not* done, since pretty much every time I work with couples that suggest they aren't sure, it really means they're having another baby in a couple of years, whether they know it or not. So I'm answering this question from the perspective of your having 4 or more children.

That said, your choices then become simplified to minivans, SUVs, and station wagons (presuming you aren't interested in full sized vans). Between those, I'd recommend minivans. Depending on what you find most important (e.g., seating capacity, safety, price, reliability, or fuel economy), you'll get different options.

Under 10k, from a safety, seating, and reliability perspective, your best bets are the 2005+ Odyssey and 2008+ Sienna. The 2006-2007 Siennas are essentially the same as the 2008 Siennas, but lack ESC. The 2007+ Sedona is right up there in safety and seating, but not as reliable.

If mpg is a higher priority than safety, you'd do well to consider the Mazda5, as it's essentially a shrunken minivan. If you're looking for an SUV for 4wd capabilities (as the only minivan with a 4wd option is the Sienna), then good choices to consider include the 2005+ Pilot. Actually, that's the only safe 3rd row SUV I can think of under 10k besides the XC90, and those are horrendously unreliable, so I can't recommend them to folks without deep pockets.

HairyUpperLip

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 896
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 06:46:07 AM »
Tesla seats 7. :-p


I would suggest the Honda Odyssey as well. Honda has a great reputation and their vehicles are usually built well. The only common problem I'm aware on them is the transmissions.

Try to find one that's already been replaced or maybe fork up the dough and have it throughly inspected. <--- I recommend this to all my non-car friends. I always say it's much better to pay $150-200 for a dealership inspection and have some piece of mind. If the car is good, it was money well spent. If the car is in bad shape or the seller is lying, then it's money even better spent. :)


eliandjax1

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Texas
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 08:06:08 AM »
Another vote for toyota sienna. My mother had one for years and years... had over 300000 miles when she traded it for a Honda fit. I don't think she did much to it other than standard maintence in all those miles.

skunkfunk

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2014, 08:07:50 AM »
Pontiac Vibe! I would have one myself if I could find a 5 or 6-speed without the higher horsepower package.

It's pretty much a toyota, but cheaper because it has a Pontiac badge.

Lkxe

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 132
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2014, 09:03:28 AM »
Our Honda Odyssey has served us well since 2005. We bought as a " can carry everyone" when we moved to California with two full time kids and a visiting step child. We lived within an hour of my parents and knew we would travel together. Now that only one is still at home, It is the perfect work "truck"- with the seats out it carries a 4x8 sheet of ply, a washer/dryer pair or anything I want from the Ikea. It was great for college apartment transport. It's a little tall for me to load the Kayaks alone but we make do.

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1872
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2014, 10:08:46 AM »
My family (of 5) got an Odyssey in 2000-2001 when I was 12. I'm sure it has on obscene number of miles on it after several cross-country voyages. It accommodated us+grandparents, us+friends, us+too much stuff, my moves to and from college, my move to grad school (with an oversized desk, desk chair, and bike in the back with seats out and third row folded down). A part of me has always wanted to camp in it. I've been in other families' minivans and I drove minivans as summer camp staff 4 years ago, and I never found one I liked better.

lady brett ashley

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2014, 11:42:08 AM »
We've had 3 kids in our Toyota Matrix - ages 2,2, and 3.  3-across wasn't as bad as it sounds - nice to be able to hear/reach everyone, at least at that age (oldest kid in the middle so he could do his own buckle).  Also, roof racks are the best.  Makes all the difference in being able to do anything we want in that car, rather than needing something bigger.

Of course, that won't work if you're looking at more kids (yours in the future or carpools, etc.)  One thing i would note with a minivan is looking into what its car seat placement options are.  We looked into renting one and discovered that with 3 kids in car seats it would only seat the five of us anyway - same as the Matrix - because of where the anchors were.  Don't know if that was just the particular model we looked at, and i don't know what your car seat situation is, but that would be something to research.

greenmimama

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 718
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2014, 12:36:20 PM »
Yes, another family of 5 here, we drive a Honda Odyssey and when we were looking to buy, it was just btw that and a Toyota Sienna, and we found a great deal on the one we have, when we sell this one we will probably do the same, I can't see getting a sedan again for a very long time until at least one of the boys is moved out or always driving their own car.

Milspecstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2014, 07:16:17 PM »
Toyota Sienna as we have one at 218k.  Can even haul plywood in it.  Very practical and safe for a family.  Lots of room to hold all the crap that a family takes with them on a vacation or even going to the grocery store with kids in tow.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4395
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2014, 07:46:42 PM »
We were gifted an 04 Sienna with 175k miles.  It is used as the camping-mobile, and as my garden hauling vehicle, plus comes in very handy for yard sale purchases (we used to have to borrow a van from a friend and often had to pass up deals due to logistics). 

Anyway, I am curious how long it might last.  I hear stories about people driving them to 300k miles, but I wonder what a more typical mileage expectation might be.  I also wonder when all the expensive to fix electronics/motors are going to start to fail (it has power sliding doors and a power lift gate.  One of the doors is already on the fritz and we haven't bothered to fix it.)

I can't say we would have ever purchased a vehicle that big as we only have two kids, but if we had three, we probably would have.  I have done some childcare, so have done a fair bit of jamming 3 kids in the back of my civic, and it sucks donkey balls IMO.  The kids are so jammed back there, and even if that works when they are 1, 3, and 5, it's going to be super uncomfortable when they are 5, 7, and 9, and the oldest can't go in front until 12, right?  Plus whenever the whole family drives somewhere, all three would have to fit in back.  My mom has a CRV, which seems like a much bigger car, but the backseat is not any wider than a civic.  My dad has an accord, and it is noticably wider and easy to fit car seats.  I don't know what the price of those is, or the fuel economy, but better than a van, right?

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5117
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2014, 08:38:53 PM »
My sister loves her Mazda 5 and it would easily fit a family of six if that's where you wind up (no room for guests, though). However, it doesn't have a lot of storage space so if you have a double stroller, you may need a real minivan :-).

CarDude

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Beep Beep!
    • The CCD
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2014, 08:46:05 PM »
I can't say we would have ever purchased a vehicle that big as we only have two kids, but if we had three, we probably would have.  I have done some childcare, so have done a fair bit of jamming 3 kids in the back of my civic, and it sucks donkey balls IMO.  The kids are so jammed back there, and even if that works when they are 1, 3, and 5, it's going to be super uncomfortable when they are 5, 7, and 9, and the oldest can't go in front until 12, right?  Plus whenever the whole family drives somewhere, all three would have to fit in back.  My mom has a CRV, which seems like a much bigger car, but the backseat is not any wider than a civic.  My dad has an accord, and it is noticably wider and easy to fit car seats.  I don't know what the price of those is, or the fuel economy, but better than a van, right?

Just to chime in on this point...the age at which kids can legally ride in the front seat varies from state to state, but is generally around 8, if at all specified in state laws. However, children are not recommended to ride in front until they are at least 13. That said, it's often legal to place younger children in front facing seats if they're properly restrained (e.g., rear-facing seats, front-facing seats, etc) provided that the front airbag has been disabled and there aren't available rear seats.

I completely agree with your points regarding 3 in the back of a Civic, or any small car. Ditto on a CR-V, or pretty much any small SUV; most folks don't realize that they're essentially small hatchbacks when it comes to seating capabilities. And as you've noted, you'll get a much better fit for 3 across in any midsized car (e.g., Accord, Camry, Fusion, etc) than in just about any small car (Focus, Civic, Corolla, etc).

LAL

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 155
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2014, 09:57:10 PM »
Caresafetyguy, is it worth buying a used Honda or Toyota Minivan? I've found that the depreciation hits on those are usually very minimal except in high mileage.  And are the Sedona bad reliability?

CarDude

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Beep Beep!
    • The CCD
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2014, 10:10:01 PM »
Caresafetyguy, is it worth buying a used Honda or Toyota Minivan? I've found that the depreciation hits on those are usually very minimal except in high mileage.  And are the Sedona bad reliability?

Oh definitely--look at all the folks here who love them. It's really hard to go wrong with Honda or Toyota. I'd only stay away from the '99-'04 Odysseys simply because they had a high rate of transmission failure. The reason the depreciation is minimal is because they hold their value so well, and they hold their value so well because of how reliable they are. The Sedona is a mixed bag. Some folks love them, but others talk about having random recurring bugs and difficult repairs due to hard to find parts. They're at least as reliable as the typical US minivan, though (Town & Country, Grand Caravan, etc) of that era.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8004
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2014, 07:37:46 AM »
I can't say we would have ever purchased a vehicle that big as we only have two kids, but if we had three, we probably would have.  I have done some childcare, so have done a fair bit of jamming 3 kids in the back of my civic, and it sucks donkey balls IMO.  The kids are so jammed back there, and even if that works when they are 1, 3, and 5, it's going to be super uncomfortable when they are 5, 7, and 9, and the oldest can't go in front until 12, right?  Plus whenever the whole family drives somewhere, all three would have to fit in back.  My mom has a CRV, which seems like a much bigger car, but the backseat is not any wider than a civic.  My dad has an accord, and it is noticably wider and easy to fit car seats.  I don't know what the price of those is, or the fuel economy, but better than a van, right?

Just to chime in on this point...the age at which kids can legally ride in the front seat varies from state to state, but is generally around 8, if at all specified in state laws. However, children are not recommended to ride in front until they are at least 13. That said, it's often legal to place younger children in front facing seats if they're properly restrained (e.g., rear-facing seats, front-facing seats, etc) provided that the front airbag has been disabled and there aren't available rear seats.

I completely agree with your points regarding 3 in the back of a Civic, or any small car. Ditto on a CR-V, or pretty much any small SUV; most folks don't realize that they're essentially small hatchbacks when it comes to seating capabilities. And as you've noted, you'll get a much better fit for 3 across in any midsized car (e.g., Accord, Camry, Fusion, etc) than in just about any small car (Focus, Civic, Corolla, etc).
It depends.  We have two kids and we have a Matrix and a Civic.  But we carpool with the neighbors (they have a minivan).

I pick up four kids at the end of the day - the toddler in his rear facing seat in the center-back of the Matrix.  The other 3 kids (8, almost 8, and 6) sit on either side and in the front.  The 8 year olds take turns in the front, but they use a full-back booster.

I am in California, and the law here says that children under 12 can sit in a booster in the front AS LONG AS ALL BACK SEATS ARE ALREADY TAKEN BY CHILDREN.

Note: The final part of my commute after I pick the 3 kids up from school is 3/4 of a mile up over the hill to our house.  So that's as far as anyone has ridden in the front seat.

Edited to add: the only way we get 3 in the back in the Matrix is with the other 2 being backless boosters.  Even couldn't get the narrow Radian to work because it's very long when rear-facing.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 07:39:33 AM by mm1970 »

zolotiyeruki

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3593
  • Location: State: Denial
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2014, 08:15:09 PM »
We have a '01 Honda Odyssey, and we love it.  Lots of cargo space, quite comfortable, very reliable (except for that transmission issue, which is now fixed), and well-designed from a user perspective.

The only issue we have with our Odyssey is that it seats 7, and we have baby #6 arriving later this year!  Which means we'll be buying an 8-passenger Odyssey or Sienna and selling our current van.  Say, uh, would you be interested?  150k miles, transmission replaced, no rust, in northeast IL .... :P

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2014, 09:54:52 PM »
I have a 2000 Sienna that I bought with 138,000 miles in October.   I only paid $3800 for it, and it seriously runs better than our newer cars.

Milspecstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2014, 03:21:31 PM »
I have a 2000 Sienna that I bought with 138,000 miles in October.   I only paid $3800 for it, and it seriously runs better than our newer cars.

The key to those years is consistent regular oil changes, IMO around the 3k mark.  They will sludge if you go too long between changes.

CarDude

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 611
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Beep Beep!
    • The CCD
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2014, 04:08:55 PM »
I have a 2000 Sienna that I bought with 138,000 miles in October.   I only paid $3800 for it, and it seriously runs better than our newer cars.

The key to those years is consistent regular oil changes, IMO around the 3k mark.  They will sludge if you go too long between changes.

Yup, there was an oil sludge issue with some of the engines in the first gen Sienna. However, aside from that, they're good solid vehicles. Just got to remember to change that oil on time.

totoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2144
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2014, 04:27:59 PM »
My sister loves her Mazda 5 and it would easily fit a family of six if that's where you wind up (no room for guests, though). However, it doesn't have a lot of storage space so if you have a double stroller, you may need a real minivan :-).

We have one of these and it has worked out great for six.  Also helpful for carting kids for school field trips.

Mrs.FamilyFinances

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 92
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2014, 06:32:44 PM »
We are making our 2005 Honda CRV work 3 with kids, 6, 5 and baby. It did require purchasing a narrow based infant seat however. Baby isn't hear yet, but the seats fit fine, if not a bit cozy. If I had to get another vehicle it would be a Honda or Toyota minivan.

greaper007

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1129
Re: Mustache Car for family of five
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2014, 10:33:22 PM »
I have a 2000 Sienna that I bought with 138,000 miles in October.   I only paid $3800 for it, and it seriously runs better than our newer cars.

The key to those years is consistent regular oil changes, IMO around the 3k mark.  They will sludge if you go too long between changes.

Not all the engines sludged though, my dad had a 99 Camry for ten years that never had an issue.  I figure if you have a car that hit 75k without an oil change, it's probably ok.   At any rate, I do my own oil changes and always use a full synthetic.   Generally Mobil 1 because I can pick up a jug for $25.    I think  5,000 OCI is fine for that engine with synthetic, though I have considered sending it in for an analysis.    I do 10k on my golf and it runs great.

I've also been doing the transmission fluid with the oil just to get any junk out that might have accumulated over the years.   1 more and I'll go back to the normal 30k.