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  1. #1
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Our options obviously depend on what's available within a certain mile radius but I'm curious to receive feedback regarding YES WAY or NO WAY NO HOW opinions in terms of the real life practicality for ease of fitting/using 5 safety seats for various kids ranging in age from 0-6+ (the only specifics I can offer about this are in my signature).

    Our budget would be closer to $10,000 than $20,000 but ~$15,000 is ok.

    AWD would be ideal since we are in a windy, rural area with steep cliff side hills and hazardous wintry conditions for about half the year.

    Any particular warnings for us to consider? I might not be able to order a LATCH manual before my husband decides to start test driving
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

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  4. #2
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    2006-2010 Toyota Sienna- one of the 7 seater versions comes as AWD. The 7 seater has 4 top tethers (missing on the third row driver's side. The 8 seater has 5 tethers and is easy for me to get 5-6 kids in regularly but has no option for AWD.

    Stay far away from the Dodge and Chrysler vans. Limited tethers and despicable third row seat belts.

    The Kia Sedona now comes as an 8 seater and has more than 3 tethers but no AWD.

    The 2011+ Odyssey has tethers for all positions, I believe. No AWD.

    The 2014 or 2015 Sienna brought back a tether anchor making them have 4 and the 7 seater may be available in AWD but I'm not positive.

    My front wheel drive Sienna does decently in snow. With a good snow tire in winter, most cars do ok without AWD.


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  6. #3
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillipop View Post
    2006-2010 Toyota Sienna- one of the 7 seater versions comes as AWD. The 7 seater has 4 top tethers . . .

    The 2011+ Odyssey has tethers for all positions, I believe. No AWD.

    The 2014 or 2015 Sienna brought back a tether anchor making them have 4 and the 7 seater may be available in AWD but I'm not positive.

    My front wheel drive Sienna does decently in snow. With a good snow tire in winter, most cars do ok without AWD
    Thanks much!! Sienna & Odyssey are our top choices since it looks like Sedona has less cargo space (?)

    If my husband and I are the only drivers then FWD doesn't worry us ... buuuuut my teenager will probably start learning to drive on this vehicle next winter
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  7. #4
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Quote Originally Posted by Victorious4 View Post
    Thanks much!! Sienna & Odyssey are our top choices since it looks like Sedona has less cargo space (?)

    If my husband and I are the only drivers then FWD doesn't worry us ... buuuuut my teenager will probably start learning to drive on this vehicle next winter
    Just remember that it really is about experience and tires. I understand the fear of a new driver in the winter. Personally, if it's that bad where you are, it would mean the teen would be learning how to drive on the less dangerous roads during winter. AWD isn't going to make up for lack of experience and teen decision making.


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  9. #5
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    If my husband will listen to me on that note. . . I have a worry he'll start her out on our long driveway (fine, no traffic) but then the road we live on is particularly bad when unsuspecting winds whip across the fields.... I will be sure to show him a screenshot of your words so he knows it's not just my "opinion"
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  10. #6
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    We sold our 8 acre camp with cabin so our budget grew! We're considering the 8 seat 2014 Sienna but before we take time off work to drive a couple hours away to look at a couple options I'm curious how practical it is to buckle 3 kids in the 3rd row? (5 yr old center in Mifold between 1 year old RF in Contender and 4 yr old FF in Frontier) And will our newborn fit center of middle row in MicoMax30 between our 6 yr old in Oobr and 5'5" 115# 15 yr old? I'd prefer to have our teen center but I'm guessing she will need to sit outboard so I can access the 3rd row on a regular basis...
    Last edited by Victorious4; 02-27-2017 at 10:13 AM.
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  11. #7
    Senior Community Member Dillipop's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    The mifold was a huge failure in my 2008 Sienna. The bubblebum however works wonderfully in all seats in my 2008. I know the model years are different styles so my comment might be moot.




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  13. #8
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    I could swear I commented here, but I don't see it, so...

    If you need an 8 seater because you're going to fill all the seats, you can't get AWD. The AWD Sienna only comes in a 7 seater. Given that, I wouldn't look at Siennas at all in your position. Fitting 6 in an Odyssey is much simpler. The 3rd row is wider, the 2nd row has wide mode (which makes 3 across trivial), there is a tether anchor in every seating position (vs. 3-4 in the Sienna, depending on exact model year), plus 5 sets of usable lower anchors (vs. just 2 in the Sienna.) And the 2nd row center seat of the Odyssey is way more usable than the Sienna.

    The Sienna's jump seat fits 5 steppers and a Bubblebum, and nothing else.

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  15. #9
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Can anyone give some insights on whether the MicoMax will fit center of middle row next to Oobr so I can use the other outboard spot to access the 3rd row?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dillipop View Post
    The mifold was a huge failure in my 2008 Sienna. The bubblebum however works wonderfully in all seats in my 2008. I know the model years are different styles so my comment might be moot.
    I need to call Bubblebum because recently I'm having issues with ours deflating during the short ride that the 5 yr old who's just hit the minimum size requirements sits in it. She's got excellent impulse control; there's no damage to the Bubblebum that I can see; I make sure it's fully inflated and the nozzle is secured tightly each time before I buckle her in. It's deflating so completely now that despite the poor results of her Cosco Highback booster I've decided to borrow that for her to ride in the front seat pulled all the way back since nothing else fits in the backseat with the 1 and 3 yr olds (MiFold being temporarily missing amongst our storage unit). This is only for bringing her to/from my daycare & her home; we don't go to museums etc. anymore while we're having this issue. Sigh.
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  16. #10
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Quote Originally Posted by lgenne View Post
    Fitting 6 in an Odyssey is much simpler. The 3rd row is wider, the 2nd row has wide mode (which makes 3 across trivial), there is a tether anchor in every seating position (vs. 3-4 in the Sienna, depending on exact model year), plus 5 sets of usable lower anchors (vs. just 2 in the Sienna.) And the 2nd row center seat of the Odyssey is way more usable than the Sienna.
    Aha, ok then! That's extremely helpful, THANK YOU
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  17. #11
    CPS Technician Victorious4's Avatar
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    THANK YOU for the feedback! We are LOVING the 2012 Ody! Even though I'm already unable to do seat checks in most vehicles (currently 24 weeks pregnant) I was able to install 6 safety seats by myself in only 1 hour! Woohoo!
    TIFF ~ doula & all hours childcare provider
    SCARLA: winter '02 . . . Jr. Roller Derby level III
    BEAR: spring '11 ... Recaro Sport + Clek Oobr
    RAHNE: summer '17 ... MicoMax30 + RadianRXT
    childcare: 0-7yrs... Contender + Frontier Clicktight
    {emergencies: Scenera Next, Highback, Topside}

  18. #12
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Yay!

  19. #13
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    Re: Beginning our preowned minivan search

    Get snow tires. Limited anecdotal evidence (including my own 2012 Odyssey) to just what I've seen in Lake Tahoe area, but Odysseys seem to suck in the snow. That said, I prefer the 2011+ Odyssey WAY over the 2011+ Sienna in every other way. Opposite is true for the previous gen models.

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