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  1. #1
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    Car shopping for 3-4 in car seats

    We currently have a 2011 Sienna & a 2009 Forester. We are looking to trade in the Forester. I currently drive the Sienna & loathe it. There are not words strong enough to describe how much I loathe it. So yeah, new vehicle will be for me. I am going back to work, and I'll be commuting 45min-1hr each way & am really looking at SUVs for the 4wd/AWD (the Sienna is AWD). My wife will gladly take over the van, which makes sense since she works close to home & I will be much further away. However, I would like a vehicle that can, at least in a pinch, seat all the kids, though for any longer trips, we'd still have the van, so cargo space is not a must. Kids are 5.5 (48" & 58lbs, currently boostering in a Frontier 85 or Harmony Defender 360) & 22mo twins (36"/27lbs & 33"/22lbs, both currently rfing in Evenflo Triumphs). I also have a Scenara 40rf as a backup seat. I will have to buy at least one new seat, probably an Evenflo Sureride. We're also considering one more kiddo (the twins' SR30 are still okay for a few more years, so that's what we'd use for that), which would make a 3rd row an absolute necessity. I'm looking at approx. 2010 & newer used vehicles & a little overwhelmed w/ the choices. 2013 & newer Pathfinders are a definite possibility, so is Pilot, but finding one at a reasonable price w/ lower miles is hard. Also thinking maybe Ford Flex & Chevy Traverse? Other recommendations? How about Mazda CX-9? In reality, I wouldn't mind a Mazda5, but they're hard to find w/ low miles around here (& I'd be compromising the drivetrain for not *that* much better mileage). Help!

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  3. #2
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Car shopping for 3-4 in car seats

    I think you will find that the midsize SUVs don't drive much better than some minivans, and some are even worse. I "downsized" from a Honda Odyssey to a 2011 Toyota Highlander. I do enjoy driving the Highlander more. It's quieter on the road, but handles about the same really. Some models like the Traverse/Encore handle worse than the Sienna, in my opinion.

    Be sure to check out my reviews of most of the midsize SUVs at CarseatBlog also, or just Google "Honda Pilot Review Carseats" or whatever model you want and if I have a review it will come up on the first page.

    I would not suggest anything smaller than a previous generation Highlander. If cost is no object, a previous generation Acura MDX as far back as 2007 might be one of the few that drives noticeably better than the Sienna. The Mazda 5 is also a good driver, but has some pretty questionable crash test ratings. The new 2016 Kia Sorento is one I'm currently reviewing. Also handles better than average and is similar in size to the previous generation 2008-2013 Highlander (a bit smaller than the new Highlander and Pilot). Only problem is it's kind of spendy...

  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic Mags462's Avatar
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    Re: Car shopping for 3-4 in car seats

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    If cost is no object, a previous generation Acura MDX as far back as 2007 might be one of the few that drives noticeably better than the Sienna. The Mazda 5 is also a good driver, but has some pretty questionable crash test ratings. The new 2016 Kia Sorento is one I'm currently reviewing. Also handles better than average and is similar in size to the previous generation 2008-2013 Highlander (a bit smaller than the new Highlander and Pilot). Only problem is it's kind of spendy...
    I was going to suggest looking at the mdx as well! So + 1 for the mdx idea ....

    My in laws have driven them for years and currently own a 2013 I believe - very easy to get 3 car seats across the middle row. I actually really dislike SUVs but have admitted I'd happily drive an mdx Bc it's just a great vehicle!
    Maggie - Rollin' hard in my Swagger Wagon with my 3 lil' men all properly restrained

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy seb3244's Avatar
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    Hi Carrie! Sarah here from DS forum! You helped me so much with car seat questions before that I just wanted to say hi and thank you and I can't believe your twins are 22 months old wow!


    CPSDarren what is your website?! I would love to read all your reviews
    Blessed Mama to
    DD1 T 29 months RF - Britax Advocate
    DD2 J 6 months RF - Britax B Safe

  6. #5
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    Re: Car shopping for 3-4 in car seats

    Quote Originally Posted by seb3244 View Post
    Hi Carrie! Sarah here from DS forum! You helped me so much with car seat questions before that I just wanted to say hi and thank you and I can't believe your twins are 22 months old wow!


    CPSDarren what is your website?! I would love to read all your reviews
    Aw, thanks!

  7. #6
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: Car shopping for 3-4 in car seats

    Whoops can't believe I forgot to link it sorry! www.carseatblog.com

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