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  1. #1
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    Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Do you all have any safety advice about the following....

    We are considering purchasing a 2015 large/long SUV...equivalent to size of suburban.

    We have 3 children in car seats.
    9 month old in Britax b safe but will soon be in foonf rf
    3 year old rear facing in foonf
    5 year old who just recently began forward facing in a Britax pinnacle.

    What would be safer...3 across in 2nd row bench or should we get captain seats on 2nd row & put the younger/rear facing ones in captain seats & the older one (ff) on 3rd row middle seat?

    Also, when it comes to safety, do you have a preference for suburban, yukon xl or escalade esv?

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy DawgDad's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    If you have 3 children, especially ones still in car seats...then I would look at an Odyssey or Sienna. Easier to get the kids in and out, fit car seats in much easier, store more things for long trips or just down to Home Depot, safer vehicle, and best of all...much better gas mileage. You will spend $20K more for a Suburban compared to a similarly equipped Odyssey (closest comparison to interior space, even though a Suburban can't fit in most garages in the US), but get less features and end up spending much more in gas (it seems to never stop rising) and maintenance.

    With 3 or more children, it's really a no brainer to NOT purchase a suburban, yukon, tahoe, escalade, expedition, excursion, etc. Unless you really don't have a need for money.
    Last edited by DawgDad; 05-09-2014 at 07:28 AM.

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  5. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    The 3rd row in these vehicles is especially low to the floor and shallow/low. It's an odd and uncomfortable configuration. My 9 year old felt he was too big for it. It might work while they are all little, but they grow quickly. Make sure to sit in the 3rd row yourself to see what an older/bigger child will encounter. You also want to ensure that headrests go up high enough to support a booster rider.

    I would check out the Toyota Sequoia as well. It has a full sized 3rd row.

  6. #4
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Yeah, listen to the folks above, and definitely consider a Sienna or Odyssey instead. Most large SUVs, including the GM ones you listed, treat the 3rd row as an afterthought, and it's not family-friendly. You'll get more space and better mileage for less money in a minivan.

  7. #5
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
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    I'd look at the Expedition XL as well. The third row is actually nice.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  8. #6
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    If that's the vehicle you like - I say go for it.
    My sister has a 2014 Escalade ESV and loves it. She has captains chairs in the middle row with a 13 year old in a seatbelt, and an 8 year old in a backless booster. In the third row she has a Frontier and a Graco TurboBooster.

    I would also urge you to look at the Expedition EL as the 3rd row is much better for comfort.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  9. #7
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Minivans do not have more room than a Suburban, Yukon XL or Expedition EL.

    I love the captain's chairs on my suburban. I would go for a second row bench only if it were a loaded version with seats that tumble at the push of a button, because access to the third row can be a pain.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  10. #8
    Carseat Crazy DawgDad's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Quote Originally Posted by An Aurora View Post
    Minivans do not have more room than a Suburban, Yukon XL or Expedition EL.

    I love the captain's chairs on my suburban. I would go for a second row bench only if it were a loaded version with seats that tumble at the push of a button, because access to the third row can be a pain.
    It's a common misconception that people think that they have a gigantic SUV, they are getting more space. When you have all 3 seats up, the longer Suburban has just a tiny bit more room for cargo, however when all seats are down and even the second row removed for both cars, the Odyssey has over 10 cubic feet more volume. Why? Because it's taller from floor to ceiling. That's why it's more comfortable to get in and out of in all rows, has larger seats, it's safer, and is more convenient (the load height is much lower, so getting strollers and such out of the back is not nearly a pain). It's also ~2 feet shorter, so it can fit in all garages.

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  12. #9
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Quote Originally Posted by DawgDad View Post
    It's a common misconception that people think that they have a gigantic SUV, they are getting more space. When you have all 3 seats up, the longer Suburban has just a tiny bit more room for cargo, however when all seats are down and even the second row removed for both cars, the Odyssey has over 10 cubic feet more volume. Why? Because it's taller from floor to ceiling. That's why it's more comfortable to get in and out of in all rows, has larger seats, it's safer, and is more convenient (the load height is much lower, so getting strollers and such out of the back is not nearly a pain). It's also ~2 feet shorter, so it can fit in all garages.
    Yup. You still get more space from minivans. When you buy the big SUV, those big tires take away from the storage because they mean less vertical space.

  13. #10
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Yeah, well, I would buy a minivan or SUV to carry more than 2 or 3 kids, so the third row is necessary. So, no, in practical terms, minivans do not have more room. If all you are hauling is groceries or strollers, I'm sure the 'well' on the minivans is helpful, but I couldn't find one I could comfortably fit big enough dog crates in.

    Also, some of us need 4x4.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

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  15. #11
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Thanks soooo much you guys!

    Ok so An Anoura, you feel like the captains are okay? I currently drive a Lexus LX 570 & I have 3 car seats crammed across. We would never consider using the 3rd row in this vehicle because it is wayyyy too close to the back of the vehicle (scary in terms if someone slamming into you...there seems to be more & more if that these days with distracted/texting drivers). So I would love to do captains with the big suburban...but wanted a technician's opinion before making the leap. Right now, I do have concerns about how close all the seats are.

    As far as mini cans go...NOT AN OPTION. We are all very long people. Have you ever tried to fit a 3 year who is rear facing in a mini van? The adult in front of that child is squished into the front of the car. At least that has been my experience. I actually took measurements of odyssey & Sienna about a year ago & there was far less room for extended rear facing. If something has changed since then, please let me know.

    Oh & I could care less about gas mileage. So let me know your thoughts if you completely take that out of the equation.

  16. #12
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    I went from three kids in a BMW X5 to the Suburban and love the room. That said, my oldest two who ride in the third row can buckle and unbuckle themselves. I wouldn't want to climb back there to have to help a kid.

    Gas mileage wasn't terrible; I averaged 19 mpg when in 2WD or auto 4x4 mode and it wasn't much worse than my bmw. That said, filling up with $4+/gallon gas prices was a bit painful. I just learned to never get below half a tank so it would be $75 or so to fill up instead of $150.

    I don't know that you would have much more room between the first and second row though compared to a van. Lots of tall people drive minivans and have big RF'ing seats.

    Oh and don't worry about the safety of the third row in the Suburban or anything else really. Crumple zones are factored in.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

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  18. #13
    Carseat Crazy MoreLatte's Avatar
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    I have the second row bench and had captains in the one prior. I much prefer the bench because it is so spacious. The third row is cramped and really only seats 2 comfortably in my opinion. I can fit any combo of 3-across in the second row, it's awesome.

    Right now we have our 3 yr old in the center of the second row and the 8 and 10 yr olds in the third row. Sliding the seat forward to access the third row isn't a big deal. We've had our current Yukon XL for 6 years and I would buy the same again.
    Joy~
    Soccer Mom to half a dozen GIRLS

  19. #14
    Senior Community Member unityco's Avatar
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    I agree with Aurora. When all rows are in use, there is more cargo room in a Suburban; significantly more, I'd say (perhaps not by overall volume, but definitely floor/useable space.)

    One caution on the captains chairs; it'll be awkward to access the third row if you've got two RFers on them.


  20. #15
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Yeah I'd I had to choose between captains chairs with three in the third row or a bench and two in the third row, I'd do a bench for sure (but again, auto tumbling seats).
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  21. #16
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unityco View Post
    I agree with Aurora. When all rows are in use, there is more cargo room in a Suburban; significantly more, I'd say (perhaps not by overall volume, but definitely floor/useable space.) One caution on the captains chairs; it'll be awkward to access the third row if you've got two RFers on them.
    Agree as well. My sister can fit more in the rear of her Escalade than she could in the van when hauling the kids and their stuff....a lot more. Her third row is actually much more accessible as well. She is averaging about 20 mpg as well.

    I get sick of the whole van/SUV debate. Drive what YOU like.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard


  22. #17
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    It's really hard to fit around two rear facing car seats in captain chairs. I only have two kids, but they are rear facing (one in a Foonf) and I am looking at third row vehicles. I am 5'3, 100 lbs and haven't been able to get around the Foonf very often, if at all.

    I would do a bench seat and put the two foonfs side by side and leave the outboard seat open to access the third row.

    The Infinti qx60 is nice because when the 3 yr old eventually goes FF in 1-2 years (assuming you will RF as long as your first kid did) and you then have a 5 and 3 yr old who may mess with each other, you can put the FF kid outboard and still access the third row as it will move forward with a carseat installed.

  23. #18
    CPS Fanatic bubbaray's Avatar
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    Another vote for the large SUVs of you need useable cargo space.
    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

  24. #19
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Thank you guys so much for your feedback!!

    Maplesmom...I did not know that about the infinity. I will check it out now. My husband has a sequioa & I think they are pretty similar in size. Thanks so much!
    Also...I did not even consider putting the 2 foonfs side by side & leaving an opening for loading into 3rd row. That's a wonderful idea!!! Thanks so much!!

  25. #20
    Carseat Crazy DawgDad's Avatar
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    Re: Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade

    Quote Originally Posted by Dkg28 View Post
    As far as mini cans go...NOT AN OPTION. We are all very long people. Have you ever tried to fit a 3 year who is rear facing in a mini van? The adult in front of that child is squished into the front of the car. At least that has been my experience. I actually took measurements of odyssey & Sienna about a year ago & there was far less room for extended rear facing. If something has changed since then, please let me know.

    Oh & I could care less about gas mileage. So let me know your thoughts if you completely take that out of the equation.
    If you are a taller person, then an Odyssey would fit you better and provide more room. There is actually more legroom in the second and significantly more leg room in the third row. It's much easier to get in out of the 3rd row than a Suburban (not sure what that last person was talking about). With the wide mode of the second row captains with the middle seat (removable), you can fit comfortably any car seat ERF or FF better than any SUV or car on the market. It's patently false to say otherwise...minivans explicit purpose is to haul children, and there isn't a vehicle out there that can do it as well. The sliding doors provide ease of entrance to the back as it's a larger opening as well as the lower ground clearance allowing for children to enter and exit the vehicle with ease.

    I get it. People somehow associate some sort of negative stigma with minivans. Why? I have no clue honestly since they are the safer vehicle, but fashion wise it's not "cool" to drive one even though it makes the most sense. You will spend $15-20K more for marginally better rear cargo room in a Suburban (that you would have to be a tall person to manage taking strollers in and out, which most women are not), far more upkeep, and far more in gas. You won't be able to park it many places and especially not in your garage.

    Funny sidenote: I would love to see the 20mpg mixed driving stats that some have touted (the most it can get is 21). That would break a record that I know Chevy/GM would love to advertise. It's usually always in the 15-17mpg "around the town" numbers which has a small amount of highway driving mixed in. At $4/gallon on a 30 gallon tank...YIKES!

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