OT: Recommendation on a larger vehicle?

OT: Recommendation on a larger vehicle?

Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

April 6th, 2012, 4:32 pm #1

We have a small foreign made compact car that barely fits two carseats and a stroller in the trunk. Seriously. There is no room for anything else. It also does not handle well in snow (not surprisingly). We need to look into a minivan or 4WD or suburban or something. I need more room for babies and groceries, and I need it to be able to drive up mountain roads in the snow. I am totally clueless on these kinds of things and DH is no help because he doesn't want to spend the money so won't put his head into the research.

Can you tell me what you drive and why you like it? Are there any other things I should be thinking about? I worry about being able to maneuver what will feel like a bus to me after driving a compact. Also, I'm small with short legs and we had one luxury car we had to get rid of because my feet could hardly reach the pedals even with the seat pulled forward all the way. I need something I can maneuver and where my feet can reach the pedal! I would like to be able to seat 7 if possible.

Thanks!!
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Joined: January 15th, 2008, 1:22 am

April 6th, 2012, 4:42 pm #2

TV's on the headrests so the kids can watch on long trips. Electric sliding doors, middle aisle, a trunk that could fit a baby elephant.

Baby Blessings,
Jordee




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Joined: November 20th, 2006, 6:03 pm

April 6th, 2012, 5:05 pm #3

We have a small foreign made compact car that barely fits two carseats and a stroller in the trunk. Seriously. There is no room for anything else. It also does not handle well in snow (not surprisingly). We need to look into a minivan or 4WD or suburban or something. I need more room for babies and groceries, and I need it to be able to drive up mountain roads in the snow. I am totally clueless on these kinds of things and DH is no help because he doesn't want to spend the money so won't put his head into the research.

Can you tell me what you drive and why you like it? Are there any other things I should be thinking about? I worry about being able to maneuver what will feel like a bus to me after driving a compact. Also, I'm small with short legs and we had one luxury car we had to get rid of because my feet could hardly reach the pedals even with the seat pulled forward all the way. I need something I can maneuver and where my feet can reach the pedal! I would like to be able to seat 7 if possible.

Thanks!!
Can NOT recommend them highly enough. We drove the Pilot for eight years and only traded it in b/c they came out with a new Odyssey with middle row seats that slide OUT electronically - the 2011 model is actually wider and longer interior than before, so we can fit 3 extra-large britax models across the middle row (hey just mentioning it in CASE that's a consideration for you for later... if you're like us and only buy once a decade LOL). The new Odyssey has some visibility issues as they made a "sleeker" design (can I even say that word - sleek - about a minivan?!), through rear windows (e.g. for changing lanes), but it also has a driver's side seat that goes up and down electronically (not just forward/back/tilt) - I'm 5'2" and keep it almost all the way up and can see everything easily and still reach pedals, etc. We have the model w/ navigation system and it's a huge improvement over the one they put into prior models. It also runs bluetooth (hands free phone speaker) through through the navi system. Overall it's a FABULOUS car.

When we compared it to the Sienna, we infinitely preferred the Honda Odyssey (esp for the three sliding seats across the middle row/wider, leaving more room for STUFF in back vs a kid), but they may have changed the Sienna a lot since we looked, I'm not up on 2012 models. On a given day, I have in the back storage area: one jogging stroller (double), one snap n go, a huge bin of park toys, all manner of diapers, wipes, sunscreen, jackets and shoes - and an extra large Costo run and/or target and/or additional groceries and/or dry cleaning. And huge bags of recycling to go back to the recycling center. And when we take road trips we have room for plenty of luggage AND the dog. It seats up to eight people, with third row down (and hence less cargo space). The third row of seats, which folds up and down, seats 3 but not three car seats. Oh and also - the 2011 Odyssey and later, has LATCH in the middle seat in the second row, whereas most cars only have the two outer seats, not middle. Gas mileage is fantastic as it has a system that shuts down extra cylinders when not needed. I often get 40MPG and there is a gauge that tells you how much you are getting as you're driving, which has made me a slower and less aggressive driver actually LOL! I won't do so for anything but the environment apparently haha. The Pilot also has a third row and plenty of cargo room, but we couldn't fit all three britax seats across (the big ones with head "wings"), and we like sliding doors so much better for getting kids and stuff in and out. Both the Pilot and Odyssey drive like cars IMO. I test drove the 4-runner and Sequoia (both Toyota) and those felt like TRUCKS to me. The Sienna also drives nicely, like a car. (No, I don't work for Honda, but I would!)

GL and happy hunting. You really need to go drive the vehicles, play with seats, mirrors, see what's comfy for you, and test drive. Best,
Kenny

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Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

April 6th, 2012, 5:43 pm #4

I appreciate the detailed response. As for visibility, even my little compact, which is a newer model, has visibility issues as far as I'm concerned. Years ago I drove a Toyota Corolla and felt I could see everything while backing up and looking out my rear window. I drive a Hyundai Elantra now and I can't see out the rear window when backing up because it appears as if the trunk of the car is high or something. I think all the compact cars in recent years have changed their design and this is a problem. I find it very annoying, needless to say. Also in the front, the body piece that is between the front windshield and the side windows is very broad for a small car and I have to lean forward to even look to the left! Because that part of the car is in the way. It wasn't like that in my old Toyota. These are things I would look for now in a new car to make sure that it's not a pain to see around me.

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Joined: July 23rd, 2008, 6:49 am

April 6th, 2012, 5:43 pm #5

TV's on the headrests so the kids can watch on long trips. Electric sliding doors, middle aisle, a trunk that could fit a baby elephant.

Baby Blessings,
Jordee




nt
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Joined: February 29th, 2008, 2:22 pm

April 6th, 2012, 6:04 pm #6

We have a small foreign made compact car that barely fits two carseats and a stroller in the trunk. Seriously. There is no room for anything else. It also does not handle well in snow (not surprisingly). We need to look into a minivan or 4WD or suburban or something. I need more room for babies and groceries, and I need it to be able to drive up mountain roads in the snow. I am totally clueless on these kinds of things and DH is no help because he doesn't want to spend the money so won't put his head into the research.

Can you tell me what you drive and why you like it? Are there any other things I should be thinking about? I worry about being able to maneuver what will feel like a bus to me after driving a compact. Also, I'm small with short legs and we had one luxury car we had to get rid of because my feet could hardly reach the pedals even with the seat pulled forward all the way. I need something I can maneuver and where my feet can reach the pedal! I would like to be able to seat 7 if possible.

Thanks!!
DH will only buy American cars as he spent 29 years working for Ford and Chevrolet , and I refuse to drive a mini-van (no disrepect to those who do, I personally do not want to). So, I thought I'd give you another option to a minivan and an American made car. We just bought a used Ford Flex...I like to think of it as a "modern day station wagon" and I happen to think it looks pretty cool too (mine is silver with a white top). It has a 3rd row seat that pops up or down (if its down the cargo area is HUGE) and electronic lift gate. The 2nd row seats are HUGE too and easy, peasy to get both girls in and out of their Britax Boulevards, as well as, hold the very large Golden Retriever in the back for long trips. We did get the mac daddy model, so I have rear reverse camera and all wheel drive. It does get decent gas mileage (no worse than an SUV) and drives like a dream. The girls LOVE the moon roof and me not bumping heads getting in and out. I also have driven Ford Explorers for the last 15 years (one of which saved my life when my car rolled completely in an accident), and I really like those as well. The Flex just had more room to take the dog and "stuff" when we travel. I can also fit my BOB stroller in/out with no problem and have room left over. Our biggest issue was cargo space, so this works great.

Good Luck! Exciting to be looking for a new car!



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Joined: April 27th, 2007, 10:46 am

April 6th, 2012, 6:06 pm #7

We have a small foreign made compact car that barely fits two carseats and a stroller in the trunk. Seriously. There is no room for anything else. It also does not handle well in snow (not surprisingly). We need to look into a minivan or 4WD or suburban or something. I need more room for babies and groceries, and I need it to be able to drive up mountain roads in the snow. I am totally clueless on these kinds of things and DH is no help because he doesn't want to spend the money so won't put his head into the research.

Can you tell me what you drive and why you like it? Are there any other things I should be thinking about? I worry about being able to maneuver what will feel like a bus to me after driving a compact. Also, I'm small with short legs and we had one luxury car we had to get rid of because my feet could hardly reach the pedals even with the seat pulled forward all the way. I need something I can maneuver and where my feet can reach the pedal! I would like to be able to seat 7 if possible.

Thanks!!
It's really smaller than a minivan, but it's classified as such. When we had the twins, we realized that there would be no room for the au pair, us, and the kids so we bought it. Not too economical on gas (which non-hybrid is?), but it has 3 rows of seats and my friends enjoy driving it. It had a decent price, and we bought it new for the price of a used car. We added a roof rack and cargo carrier (bought at Sears for much less than the "name" brand) because with the third row, there's no trunk space for trips.

If we had an unlimited budget, I would get a Toyota. Love them!
Last edited by Obie9 on April 6th, 2012, 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: August 6th, 2011, 6:43 am

April 6th, 2012, 6:13 pm #8

We have a small foreign made compact car that barely fits two carseats and a stroller in the trunk. Seriously. There is no room for anything else. It also does not handle well in snow (not surprisingly). We need to look into a minivan or 4WD or suburban or something. I need more room for babies and groceries, and I need it to be able to drive up mountain roads in the snow. I am totally clueless on these kinds of things and DH is no help because he doesn't want to spend the money so won't put his head into the research.

Can you tell me what you drive and why you like it? Are there any other things I should be thinking about? I worry about being able to maneuver what will feel like a bus to me after driving a compact. Also, I'm small with short legs and we had one luxury car we had to get rid of because my feet could hardly reach the pedals even with the seat pulled forward all the way. I need something I can maneuver and where my feet can reach the pedal! I would like to be able to seat 7 if possible.

Thanks!!
I highly recommend it. It is an xc-70, all wheel drive, great in the snow, very roomy, super safe, and very comfortable. I would buy another one. It is pretty large so not as easy to park as what you are used to. But I even drive it in the city so I am used to parking it, just take your time.

The gas mileage is not great at about 21 miles per gallon, mostly city driving. The back seat design to lay down the seats could be better. And it constantly has light bulb issues. And DH thinks the car creaks and rattles but I don't mind it. But other than those minor things I think it is a great car and is perfect for a family of four. You can also hawl around an extra friend in the back middle seat too, but not as comfy. And you can toss dogs or groceries in the big back.

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Joined: August 7th, 2007, 10:01 pm

April 6th, 2012, 6:45 pm #9

Can NOT recommend them highly enough. We drove the Pilot for eight years and only traded it in b/c they came out with a new Odyssey with middle row seats that slide OUT electronically - the 2011 model is actually wider and longer interior than before, so we can fit 3 extra-large britax models across the middle row (hey just mentioning it in CASE that's a consideration for you for later... if you're like us and only buy once a decade LOL). The new Odyssey has some visibility issues as they made a "sleeker" design (can I even say that word - sleek - about a minivan?!), through rear windows (e.g. for changing lanes), but it also has a driver's side seat that goes up and down electronically (not just forward/back/tilt) - I'm 5'2" and keep it almost all the way up and can see everything easily and still reach pedals, etc. We have the model w/ navigation system and it's a huge improvement over the one they put into prior models. It also runs bluetooth (hands free phone speaker) through through the navi system. Overall it's a FABULOUS car.

When we compared it to the Sienna, we infinitely preferred the Honda Odyssey (esp for the three sliding seats across the middle row/wider, leaving more room for STUFF in back vs a kid), but they may have changed the Sienna a lot since we looked, I'm not up on 2012 models. On a given day, I have in the back storage area: one jogging stroller (double), one snap n go, a huge bin of park toys, all manner of diapers, wipes, sunscreen, jackets and shoes - and an extra large Costo run and/or target and/or additional groceries and/or dry cleaning. And huge bags of recycling to go back to the recycling center. And when we take road trips we have room for plenty of luggage AND the dog. It seats up to eight people, with third row down (and hence less cargo space). The third row of seats, which folds up and down, seats 3 but not three car seats. Oh and also - the 2011 Odyssey and later, has LATCH in the middle seat in the second row, whereas most cars only have the two outer seats, not middle. Gas mileage is fantastic as it has a system that shuts down extra cylinders when not needed. I often get 40MPG and there is a gauge that tells you how much you are getting as you're driving, which has made me a slower and less aggressive driver actually LOL! I won't do so for anything but the environment apparently haha. The Pilot also has a third row and plenty of cargo room, but we couldn't fit all three britax seats across (the big ones with head "wings"), and we like sliding doors so much better for getting kids and stuff in and out. Both the Pilot and Odyssey drive like cars IMO. I test drove the 4-runner and Sequoia (both Toyota) and those felt like TRUCKS to me. The Sienna also drives nicely, like a car. (No, I don't work for Honda, but I would!)

GL and happy hunting. You really need to go drive the vehicles, play with seats, mirrors, see what's comfy for you, and test drive. Best,
Kenny

We love our Odyssey. We have an older model but a Touring so the pedals move forward for my short legs. The leg room is great and we only have 2 bucket seats in the middle row but we never thought we would have 3 kids, wrong! We will definetely upgrade years from now to another one. We also have a CRV, 2001 which I love but cannot fit 3 car seats but is great otherwise. I would love a new CRV but with our size family the Pilot is next on our list. A friend has a Pilot and a Ridgeline, loves them also. Honda is great.
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Joined: August 7th, 2007, 10:01 pm

April 6th, 2012, 6:47 pm #10

TV's on the headrests so the kids can watch on long trips. Electric sliding doors, middle aisle, a trunk that could fit a baby elephant.

Baby Blessings,
Jordee




Just last week McGirl announced she wanted a baby elephant. Maybe I can tell her we cannot have one since we dont have a Sienna to fit her new pet in! haha
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