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  1. #1
    cadymom
    Guest

    8 passenger vehicles?

    We have a 2000 Ford Windstar that needs to be replaced before the extended warrenty runs out next summer. We are a family of 7 plus our au pair so we are really looking for a 8-passenger vehicle. Kids' ages range from 2 yr old to 9.5 yrs - 27 lbs to 70 lbs (though 57" tall) - so we have 2 in 5 pt harnesses and 2 in turbo boosters.

    I have looked at the Odyssey but am not real crazy about the 'third seat' in the middle row. Also the packages are very limited if you want 8 passenger. Sienna has more options and is ok, but has a lower safety rating. The Expedition is another vehicle we have looked at but hate the gas mileage.

    What other vehicles are there with seating for 8, good safety rating, decent mileage, and some cargo room? Honda Pilot has the right seating but no cargo room as do most of the mid-sized SUVs.

    Is there a website that lets you search on capacity, safety ratings, mileage or other features?

    Thanks,
    Cindy B.

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  3. #2
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    11,985
    In my opinion, the Odyssey and Sienna are at the top of the pack in terms of safety. Except for the biggest SUVs, few compare to the cargo space and seating capability of the best minivans. Very few of those monster SUVs have comparable crash test ratings and safety features, not to mention fuel economy.

    I did post this recent comparison of the Odyssey and Sienna that might help you:

    http://www.epinions.com/content_208641101444

    This webpage has some information on vehicles with 3-rows of seating. The models listed are not all-inclusive, but there are some very safe vehicles listed:

    http://www.suvsafety.info/thirdrow.html

    Whatever you buy, I'd insist on side curtain airbags in all rows of seating, stability control, head restraints and 3-point seatbelts in all seating positions. When looking at crash test results, avoid vehicles with "3-stars" or less in the NHTSA frontal, side or rollover ratings and "Marginal" or less in the IIHS offset crash and side impact crash test ratings, if possible. The one exception would be the IIHS head restraint ratings. Not that these aren't important, but there are so few vehicles that have done well in these new ratings that your choices would be severely limited.

    The Nissan Armada and Infinity QX56 come to mind as one of the only full-size SUVs with 3-row side curtain airbags, stability control and 3-point seatbelts for 8 passengers. Unfortunately, they don't have much for crash testing results, yet.

  4. #3
    CPST Instructor
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    2,473
    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren
    In my opinion, the Odyssey and Sienna are at the top of the pack in terms of safety. Except for the biggest SUVs, few compare to the cargo space and seating capability of the best minivans. Very few of those monster SUVs have comparable crash test ratings and safety features, not to mention fuel economy.

    I did post this recent comparison of the Odyssey and Sienna that might help you:

    http://www.epinions.com/content_208641101444

    I had a webpage devoted to vehicles with 3 rows of seating, but it took too much time to update. Here's the old version that hasn't been updated in over a year:

    http://www.suvsafety.info/thirdrow.html

    Whatever you buy, I'd insist on side curtain airbags in all rows of seating, stability control, head restraints and 3-point seatbelts in all seating positions. When looking at crash test results, avoid vehicles with "3-stars" or less in the NHTSA frontal, side or rollover ratings and "Marginal" or less in the IIHS offset crash and side impact crash test ratings, if possible. The one exception would be the IIHS head restraint ratings. Not that these aren't important, but there are so few vehicles that have done well in these new ratings that your choices would be severely limited.

    The Nissan Armada and Infinity QX56 come to mind as one of the only full-size SUVs with 3-row side curtain airbags, stability control and 3-point seatbelts for 8 passengers. Unfortunately, they don't have much for crash testing results, yet.
    Just want to state that the new Tahoe that is to be released in Jan will have side curtain air bags in all rows. Also it will still have the best gas mileage in the full size SUV on the market. Not sure about lap/shoulder belts in the 3rd row center position. I do know that the 2nd row bench already has lap/shoulder belts in all 3 positions and has LATCH in all 3 positions.
    Jenny
    Senior CPS Tech-Instructor & Mommy of 2 girls
    K1 12 yrs old- 61" & 100lbs in vehicle seat belt
    K2 10 yrs old- 59" & 92lbs in vehicle seat belt

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    287
    Go with an 8 passenger Sienna LE! THey are great vans and the 8 seating positions are 8 real seats. My SIL has three Graco snugrides across the middle seat and they have room in between still.

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