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  1. #1
    VanIsleMommy
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    favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    I hear the oddy is pretty popular around here

    Basically... I need more cargo space, I'm tired of driving around with a giant pillow between the car seats so DS leaves his baby sister alone, and I HATE HATE HATE standing out in the rain every time I have to buckle and unbuckle kids. I'm done! I loooooove my equinox but I would love it more with an extra row of seating. I'm seriously considering a minivan and DH has finally agreed that it would be useful.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy Xandra's Avatar
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    I chose the Sequoia. With only two, you can put them in captains chairs and have the whole back for cargo. They would be seperated.

    Xandra, Adoptive Mommy to A, 12yrs-Harmony Cruz, Foster Mommy to O, 8yrs-Parkway SGL, A, 5yrs-Frontier, and L, 14mos -RF Radian XTSL, and Pre-School Teacher to 9 Sweeties who ride in Complete Air 65's & Radian XTSL's * Sent from my iPhone using Car-Seat.Org
    Xandra
    DD1, 12yrs, 75lbs, 4'0"-Harmony Cruz
    DD2, 3yrs, 40lbs, 3'4" -RF RXT
    FD1 & 2, 2yrs-RF RXT's


  4. #3
    Senior Community Member Baylor's Avatar
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    I love my gc with the two benches. With the short ins when it is bad we all pile in and shut the door and I can stand buckle kids and walk right through to my seat.

    auto correct hates me
    A five stepper and a booster rider

  5. #4
    CPS Fanatic bubbaray's Avatar
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    I used to have an Ody. If I were to get a minivan again, I'd probably get a Sienna AWD
    Melissa

    DD#1, April 2004, FFg in a Pink Harmony Literider & Onyx Parkway SG
    DD#2, January 2007, FFg in a Pink Monterey & Purple with Pink Hearts HBTB

    Riding in my 2010 Toyota RAV4 and DH's 2011 Ford 150 Crew Cab

  6. #5
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    So are you planning on putting ds in the 3rd row and stowing/removing/whatever a captains chair, and having dd in the remaining captains chair? (ie: so you don't have to stand out in the rain to buckle kids kinda thing)

    Are you buying new?

  7. #6
    VanIsleMommy
    Guest
    I would like to have both kids in a center seat a row apart with a seat removed to walk through if possible. Or same row but very far apart. Both are rf for now. Baby 3 may or may not happen..still thinking. Dh dislikes all minivans but I don't want an suv because I'm short and have back issues. Prefer stowable seats but I'm not sure if that limits options. Where we live it rains a lot and snows rarely so traction is important.
    Edit: new or used is fine but I don't want a huge car payment as this one is paid off... So cheap..ish.

  8. #7
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    Oh, okay. So one child middle of 2nd row, and other child middle of 3rd row, with one captains chair out of the way (stowed, whatever) for easy access to 3rd row?

    That really limits you because you basically fall into 8 passenger territory...

  9. #8
    VanIsleMommy
    Guest
    Sigh.. ya... I might consider something like an Orlando or something I can fold a seat down for Ds to get in if I can fit too. Or if one seat can be removed. I could live with both or one kiddo being outboard... I'm open to anything really. I don't see a car with third row seating working for us but maybe there is something I'm missing

  10. #9
    CPS Technician SnoGurl's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    We drive Sienna's at work, and after this past month of what feels like non-stop gloom and rain, I am sooooo thankful for not having to buckle kids in in the rain!

    Anyway, I work in a teen mental health residence, and I don't know what we'd do without a van. I usually work in the adolescent boys house, which has a van as a primary vehicle, but occasionally we have to switch with the girls house for their Matrix-- how the heck do you make teen boys not drive each other crazy in a matrix?!. Last week I worked in our autism respite house, and I was in charge of two kids, 3 and 6. The 6 year old would not leave the 3 year old alone, for anything. I took the captain's chair out on the drivers side, had the 3 year old centre rear and the 6 year old in the passenger side captain's chair. Worked like a dream. I easily loaded them both in on the drivers side, got myself in, shut the door, buckled them in and climbed into the front. I think if I often parked somewhere where I had to load the kids on the road, I'd have removed the passenger side captain's chair, but that's not an issue around here.

    Even with a full van (two staff, 5 teen boys, or one staff, six teen boys, etc) we still have a ton of cargo room. The van easily fits our weekly grocery shop (and a weekly grocery shop for 8 teenage boys is not small!), stuff for outings, etc. And on the plus side, I find the Sienna a dream to drive. It's needed no maintance other then front breaks (and oil changes, of course), though I'm sure it will start to need the occasional maintance(it's only 18 months old but has 115,000 KM on it), we do do a lot of driving and the majority of it is unpaved back roads.
    Last edited by SnoGurl; 10-28-2012 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Spelling!

  11. #10
    Moderator - CPS Technician
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    We have a 2008 Kia Sedona and I really like it. Right now we have one kid in each captain's chair, and then one kid in the third row. For a while we had two in the third row and one in a captain's chair. If you had that set-up, you could take out the other captain's chair to open up the back. But even with both up, I have no trouble getting through the van.

    I like the power doors, because my kids aren't strong enough to open doors themselves unless they are power doors.

    The captain's chairs can tumble fairly easily, and either side of the 60/40 split back row can store in the floor of the van very easily.

    When we had two kids in the third row and one captain's chair open, I normally had the open one folded down, and often used it as a changing table. SO HANDY!! And it is nice to have back seat space to sit down and nurse a baby when we're on the go.
    Cutie #1 (13 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (10 years) riding in a Safety 1st Incognito

    Cutie #3 (7 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (6 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (3 years) riding in a Nuna Rava

  12. #11
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    I have a 2012 sienna and am truly in love with it. It fits our family of 4 and lifestyle perfectly. The only thing I would change is gas mileage. I mean it is 2012, why can't we get 50mpg?

  13. #12
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    We recently purchased a Ford Flex and love it. Same size as the minivan, but much more power, awd, better MPG and seats up to 7 adults comfortably. If it's a short trip 8 will work.

    This allows plenty of room in the middle seat to keep the kids apart. Can get bench or captians as the middle row.

  14. #13
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    I have a Grand Caravan. Sure it has its issues, but it was in our price range, for something really low mileage like we wanted, and it's fine if you only have 2-3 kids (there are only 3 lower anchors).

    I really like the stow n' go. I am looking into having some more tethers retrofitted in the 3rd row so I can put 2 forward facing kids back there, stow one of the captains chairs, and have the baby RFing in the other captains chair. It's also easy for kids to get in and out through the back hatch if you stow the smaller portion of the 3rd row bench.

  15. #14
    VanIsleMommy
    Guest

    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    the flex was on my list last time! I just could not get over the outside of it. on the inside it was perfect, i just really hated the exterior! same with the kia soul.... but it was a lot smaller than the flex.

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    I actually wanted a larger SUV with captains chairs in the middle, but they were all WAY out of our price range compared to a van, and I've really gotten used to the sliding doors now so I'm not giving those up anytime soon!

  17. #16
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    New or used? Current models I like the Odyssey better. Last gen models I like the Sienna better.

    There's no comparison between a minivan vs a SUV (unless you count the Suburban or Excursion; but then we're talking a much, much larger vehicle).

    Even with a full sized SUV like the Sequoia. There's a new one at my kid's preschool. They had their hatch open. I laughed at how puny the trunk space is. I think the glove box in my Odyssey is bigger than their trunk.

  18. #17
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    With 2 or 3 kids and you want separation, then I'm thinking the current generation Sienna or previous generation Odyssey. That's because they have stowable 2nd row middle seats that give much easier access to the child that will be in the third row.

    The previous generation Sienna in 7-passenger trim would be nice, too, but the 8-passenger trim would require you to remove and store a big, heavy seat to allow for a permanent aisle or access without folding seats.

    The current generation Odyssey is better for 3-across in the 2nd row, but that may not be what you want if I read it correctly?

  19. #18
    VanIsleMommy
    Guest

    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    darnit! I found a 2008 ody with leather seats and a sunroof but it was already sold before I got there.

    i've done a little more looking around, I would prefer vans that do not have a bench in the back, so that I could have one or both seats folded when not in use. this puts the nissan quest out of the running correct? I can live with captains chairs if they're really far apart. right now DS is able to reach over and kick his sister in the equinox. hence the pillow separation... I could tolerate an suv if it had accessible third row and I could get inside it to load kiddos. would love to be able to get to the driver seat without getting out but not vital, just a nice feature to have. power doors would be nice too, not mandatory.

  20. #19
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    The Chrysler/Dodge minivans with Stow 'N Go are worth consideration, then, too.

    There isn't one midsize crossover SUV that will come close to one of these minivans in terms of 3rd row comfort or cargo space.

    Some of the full size vans are similar, but those tend to be a lot more expensive and use a lot more gas, too.

  21. #20
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    Re: favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

    I have a 2010 Grand Caravan. You can stow every single seat in the back. The captains chairs are far apart, there's no way the kids could kick each other. The 3rd row bench is split into 2 pieces, which can stow individually. If you stow the smaller piece you can still have a seat installed on the off center 3rd row latch position and kids can easily walk in the back hatch to get to their seats. Or you could have a RFing seat installed, or you could do a seat belt install for a RFing seat on the smaller portion and have the larger one stowed.

    Right now I have two FFing seats next to each other in the 3rd row, one captains chair stowed, and the baby RFing in the other captains chair. But I can also have one kid in each captains chair and one in the 3rd row.


    ETA: We could have gotten an older 2007/2008 Ody but it was MORE expensive and way more miles than the nearly brand new Dodge we got. Our van had 15K miles on it and was in really good condition, we paid like $17K for it.

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