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  1. #1
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Question Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    OK so the van is about to die its final death....

    We have narrowed it down to 3 vehicles:

    used but 2008-newer Dodge Grand Caravan/Chrysler T&C
    used Chevy Traverse
    used Toyota Sienna (but have to find an 8 seater)

    I am leaning towards the Caravan or the Traverse.

    Pros/Cons:
    Caravan: only 7 seats Traverse: 8 seats Traverse wins

    Caravan: sliding doors Traverse: regular "car" doors Caravan wins

    Caravan and Traverse: 1 harnessed child will have to go in back row, I would have to climb over to do buckles.

    I used to drive a S-10 Blazer, then got my van... so I like both the vans and SUV, that doesn't bother me, and we would buy the Traverse in FWD, so not concerned with SUV vs Van or 2wd vs AWD.

    Right now I have 56-57" of car seat space in the middle row of my van (3 seats) and room for the 2 boosters in the back row. The Caravan has only 47" in the back row, which means I would have to buy at least 1 smaller car seat. My 2 MA's and SS take up the full 56" middle row.

    The Sienna seems to be my best option, but I am not sure we can swing it price wise, I hear they keep their value and stay high for quite a few years...

    Opinions please... DH is leaning toward the Caravan, because he doesn't want the kids whipping the Traverse doors open and hitting another car or whatever (I agree). He agreed to purchase 1 new car seat to accommodate the Caravan.... I think it would need 2...

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    We looked at a new Traverse recently. Something I didn't like at all was the lack of head rests in the middle second row and middle third row. So you'd have to have a car seat or booster in those positions. That may not matter to you though since you have so many in seats. I don't remember if there are top tethers in the third row or not. Some SUVs we looked at had no 3rd row top tethers. The Mazda 9 was that way.

    I'd think you should be able to put three car seats across the third row, 2 on the 60 part of the second row and still flip the second row 40 spot to get to your 3rd row kids.


    Edmonds.com is a good place to compare prices, features, etc.

  4. #3
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    If I were in your shoes, I'd do whatever it takes to get the 8 pass Sienna out of those 3.

    More room than the traverse
    Better quality than the Caravan
    More useful 2nd row than either
    More useful 3rd row than traverse

    If you just can't pull it off, or don't want to for some reason, I'd probably take the Caravan over the traverse, though it would be a tough call.

    I'd expect caravan to have more useful & usable seats and storage, but traverse probably ranks higher for quality, reliability, resale, etc.
    DD 7/07, DD 10/09
    2002 Silverado 2500HD crew[open][Marathon FF][Advocate RF]
    2011 Odyssey [open][MyRide65 FF][Advocate RF] /[open back row]

  5. #4
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    I have been to every dealership in a 50 mile radius and nobody can get me a Sienna

    And today's was "You know they are very expensive" I wanted to slap the guy so bad! HTF does he know how much money we have? Who is he to tell me we can't afford one when he never asked my my price point or payment range I was interested in. I can see if I walked in there looking at a Hyundai Elantra, then changed my mind and decided I liked the Sienna I could see that.. but it was so uncalled for! If I wasn't so desperately looking for a Sienna, I would have just walked out!

  6. #5
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    What about a Honda Odyssey (skip the year 2005), Hyundai Entourage, or Kia Sendona?

    Have you checked Craigslist or other private vehicle selling website for a used van?
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  7. #6
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    Quote Originally Posted by lovinwaves View Post
    What about a Honda Odyssey (skip the year 2005), Hyundai Entourage, or Kia Sendona?

    Have you checked Craigslist or other private vehicle selling website for a used van?
    Hubby said No way in He!! to the Hyundai and Kia...(I agree) and the Honda has as little room as the Dodge, Dodge is cheaper so Dodge wins...

    We don't do private party purchases, got burned once and that was that for DH


    Going tonight to test drive the Dodge and Traverse...and my girlfriend has a Sienna so gonna go steal it for a few before we go just to see... I found a dealership about 2 hours from here that "can get me a 8-pass Sienna by Monday" as soon as I go give them a deposit...we shall see Pray for me LOL... DH is on the warpath with this thing

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    I have a Grand Caravan and would do anything in my power for a Sienna.

    The safety ratings are better, better for Car Seats (top tethers), re-sale value, etc.

    I do love my Grand Caravan though!!!
    Diana, Mommy To:
    Kolin [5.5.04]-Ava [12.13.05]-Aden [2.18.09]

  9. #8
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    We bought an '08 Chrysler T&C I am happy with it compared to the death trap I have been driving ('03 Pontiac Montana)

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    Quote Originally Posted by jourdysmom View Post
    We bought an '08 Chrysler T&C I am happy with it compared to the death trap I have been driving ('03 Pontiac Montana)
    On fun! Congrats.
    Diana, Mommy To:
    Kolin [5.5.04]-Ava [12.13.05]-Aden [2.18.09]

  11. #10
    CPS Technician crunchierthanthou's Avatar
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    I know you've bought your vehicle, but an 8 seater Sienna really isn't that expensive. They don't come in the fully loaded trims. When I was shopping for them a few months ago, I found them to be surprisingly affordable. Even an 08-09 would be under $20k.

  12. #11
    CPST Instructor jourdysmom's Avatar
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    Re: Traverse vs Caravan 5 car seats

    Quote Originally Posted by crunchierthanthou View Post
    I know you've bought your vehicle, but an 8 seater Sienna really isn't that expensive. They don't come in the fully loaded trims. When I was shopping for them a few months ago, I found them to be surprisingly affordable. Even an 08-09 would be under $20k.
    I am talking long term costs... DH works for an autobody shop on the side and knows the cost of repairing them... The dealership that "could get me one" wanted over $25k for an '08 with nearly 50k miles on it No thanks! Must be the area I live in or something

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