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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    678

    Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

    My husband and I are beginning our search for our next vehicle, and I am hoping for some input on what might be best for us. Our family is me, my husband, our child V, and our Chihuahua. V is riding FF harnessed and will transition to a booster in a couple years. I will be receiving a custom folding manual wheelchair in the next couple month. I have applied for a service dog through a program as well. The dog will not be matched with me for another couple years, but will likely be a Labrador retriever or similar breed or mix.

    So we need to fit: two adults, one child in a FF seat and later booster, one folding manual wheelchair, one large dog, and one tiny dog. And still have room for groceries, luggage, etc.

    Vehicles we are considering right now:
    2017+ Chrysler Pacifica (preferably hybrid) with SafetyTec
    2018+ Honda Odyssey with Honda Sensing
    2017+ Toyota Sienna with Safety Sense and added safety features
    used Tesla Model S (husband's dearest desire, but probably not practical in my view)

    Budget: about $30k if we keep our Corolla for the next 18 months until the lease is up, about $40k if we can get out of the lease or manage with the Corolla for the next 18 months.

    We have only test driven a new hybrid Pacifica. I need something with a smooth ride as I am very sensitive and don't want to cringe every time we go over a bump. I appreciate any insight y'all can give me!
    Last edited by MelodyoftheForest; 03-09-2019 at 03:51 PM.
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer and Boulevard G4
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

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  3. #2
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Illinois
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    Re: Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

    I don't think you can go wrong with any of these for your needs. I prefer the Odyssey for 4+ kids in back, but for your situation I think the Pacifica is equally good, plus the 2019 models offer active crash avoidance for less money. Sienna is close enough to make it a tough choice all around. Really, I'd say test drive them all extensively and go for the best deal if none of them stand out. Not much help, I know, but in terms of safety all the current minivans are really quite good, especially Toyota and Honda where it's easier to find standard crash avoidance features.

    https://carseatblog.com/47213/safest...3rd-row-seats/

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  5. #3
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    678

    Re: Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

    We got to play in a friend's Model S today, and I was pretty disappointed. The FF SureRide fit great outboard. FF 4Ever wouldn't allow the harness to be adjusted very high outboard. Pioneer, also outboard, wasn't stopped by the vehicle head restraints, but was about to hit the ceiling when it was adjusted for my 40" kid. Minivan it is!
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer and Boulevard G4
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

  6. #4
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    L.A. area
    Posts
    20,333

    Re: Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

    Frankly, as far as the ride, the Odyssey is my favorite of those.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 14, Bridget, 12, Maggie, 10, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, arriving May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

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  8. #5
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    678

    Re: Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

    The only thing I don’t like about the Ody is that the adaptive cruise control won’t slow to a stop like Sienna and Pacifica will. I value that feature pretty highly because driving is hard for me and anything that makes it easier is very attractive to me. I should probably drive an Ody to compare, though.
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer and Boulevard G4
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

  9. #6
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    678

    Re: Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

    Just an update that we brought home our 2017 Pacifica Hybrid yesterday! We are so excited to have a vehicle we can plug in and that will hold everything we need!
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer and Boulevard G4
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

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