favorite minivan for 2 or 3 kids?

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mom2bnjl

Member
I had a 09 ody and just got a 2012 ody ex (middle line options - just wanted the 8th seat). For the 3 across you can't beat it - it's fantastic. Plus the 3rd row stows, so when we travel, we could bring the high chairs, etc and not worry about space (with 3 under 3 we travel with a lot of gear) and we get 20mpg. I have 3 recaros across, easy. You can put the seats in wide mode, which should stop the kicking. Can't say enough about it. And both buying and leasing is great right now - we ended up lowering our payments. My other thoughts were a ford edge or a Subaru outback. But once you drive the new gen ody, you won't want anything else. It's also lower to the ground than my old ody.
 

YinzerMama

New member
I had a 09 ody and just got a 2012 ody ex (middle line options - just wanted the 8th seat). For the 3 across you can't beat it - it's fantastic. Plus the 3rd row stows, so when we travel, we could bring the high chairs, etc and not worry about space (with 3 under 3 we travel with a lot of gear) and we get 20mpg. I have 3 recaros across, easy. You can put the seats in wide mode, which should stop the kicking. Can't say enough about it. And both buying and leasing is great right now - we ended up lowering our payments. My other thoughts were a ford edge or a Subaru outback. But once you drive the new gen ody, you won't want anything else.

I don't know... the old Siennas still call to me. I keep looking at ads. Ooh! Look at the seats! Look at the factory included roof rack with adjustable cross bars! LOOK AT THAT GINORMOUS TRUNK.

But the Ody has so much going for it that I can't quite go back.

The 3rd row is ridiculously comfortable which I think will be a huge assest at my kids get older.

And you can't beat the crash test ratings and the 3 tethers across the back row. Whenever I miss my old Sienna I remind myself that now BOTH girls are securely tethered back there.

And it drives like a dream. The only other thing I could ask for from the driver's seat is a built in power massage but there's probably some sort of regulation against that.

We got the EX-L and installed the 3rd row sunshades and 3rd row speakers from the touring elite and it is now a sweet pimped out ride.

I am looking forward to what comes out in the next few years. Toyota dropped the ball and Honda almost got it perfect. If someone else comes out with an 8 passenger, I'd take a look.
 
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RachelND

CPS Technician
OP- did you ever make a decision?

I'm enjoying this thread, we currently have 3 across in our Taurus and it is not working at all, plus our car is having some issues so a new vehicle is a must!

I know nothing about minivans and am curious- I want the kid of seats like the Stow n Go. What are they called in other vans? I love the idea of stowing one of the captains chairs to have better acess to the 3rd row but want the seat to stay in the van in case it was needed.

I also like the idea of getting in the back with the kids, getting them buckled and not having to go back outside to get in the front seat. What vans is this an option in? I was thinking most of them had a counsel between the front seats?
 

YinzerMama

New member
No one else does stow and go. But on the Ody and the old sienna you could smash the back of a chair flat and slide it all the way forward, so in and out of the back is easy. (You could actually flip the seat in the old sienna on end but I think you're not technically supposed to drive with it like that)

This doesn't give you floor space if that is what you want, but does make in and out easy.

The new sienna the seats kind of fold up standing like a metal folding chair and slide forward. I don't know if they can be locked in place like that or not.

The downside to stow and go seats is they are thin and low to the ground so kind of lousy for sitting. It's a trade off. It IS a nice feature but it makes for crappy seats.
 

jjordan

Moderator
OP- did you ever make a decision?

I'm enjoying this thread, we currently have 3 across in our Taurus and it is not working at all, plus our car is having some issues so a new vehicle is a must!

I know nothing about minivans and am curious- I want the kid of seats like the Stow n Go. What are they called in other vans? I love the idea of stowing one of the captains chairs to have better acess to the 3rd row but want the seat to stay in the van in case it was needed.

I also like the idea of getting in the back with the kids, getting them buckled and not having to go back outside to get in the front seat. What vans is this an option in? I was thinking most of them had a counsel between the front seats?

We have a 2008 Kia (basically the same as model years 2006-2010). Our captain's chairs can flip forward - not actually sure if you can drive with them like that; I'm thinking probably no. But you can drive with one of the captain's chairs folded in half, so the back of the vehicle seat is folded down on top of the seating portion. That opens up the back somewhat.

There is a console between the two front seats, but if there's nothing on it then you can fold it right down and walk through the front seats. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to get around the entire inside of the van without going outside!
 

YinzerMama

New member
We have a 2008 Kia (basically the same as model years 2006-2010). Our captain's chairs can flip forward - not actually sure if you can drive with them like that; I'm thinking probably no. But you can drive with one of the captain's chairs folded in half, so the back of the vehicle seat is folded down on top of the seating portion. That opens up the back somewhat.

There is a console between the two front seats, but if there's nothing on it then you can fold it right down and walk through the front seats. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being able to get around the entire inside of the van without going outside!

You're not supposed to drive with them up but to be honest i sometimes did in my old sienna. there is a strap you can use to attach it to the handle. the worse that would happen would be it would crash down and lock into place.

Some of the old sienna and at least some of the old odys had that tray between the front seats. You can lower it. The higher model siennas had a console. the new ody has a console in all but the base model which has a tray on the floor I think. It is easier to get to the front if you can lower the tray, but i kind of like having a place to store crap. I think I passed through the front seats maybe 2 times in the 5 years we had the sienna so i don't find the feature all that helpful. if i needed to, now, i could still make my way to the front seat. if i were to lose 30 pounds, i could do it much easier. :D
 
V

VanIsleMommy

Guest
It's on hold for now. I did find a 2012 dodge caravan with 70,000 km on it, leather, all the options... the crew model I guess? the 7 seater with all the bells and whistles included for $21k. It was BEAUTIFUL. But we passed on it.

We've put an offer in on a new house so until we get settled and figure out where we're at with finances a new vehicle is out of the question for now. There is a chance with the housing market we may be carrying two mortgages and renting our current house out for a while. That's going to be really tight financially.

I am keeping my eye out though, if I can find something in a similar price range to my equinox. I did take a peek at an Orlando but was horribly disappointed. It's basically the same size as my car with a third row added and no third row top tethers. :thumbsdown:

If only I could find someone who wants to trade!:D
 

canadiangie

New member
It's on hold for now. I did find a 2012 dodge caravan with 70,000 km on it, leather, all the options... the crew model I guess? the 7 seater with all the bells and whistles included for $21k. It was BEAUTIFUL. But we passed on it.

We've put an offer in on a new house so until we get settled and figure out where we're at with finances a new vehicle is out of the question for now. There is a chance with the housing market we may be carrying two mortgages and renting our current house out for a while. That's going to be really tight financially.

I am keeping my eye out though, if I can find something in a similar price range to my equinox. I did take a peek at an Orlando but was horribly disappointed. It's basically the same size as my car with a third row added and no third row top tethers. :thumbsdown:

If only I could find someone who wants to trade!:D

That's a very high number of km's for a 2012. What was the history, do you know?
 

daniele_ut

New member
sorry my bad, I looked up the ad again. it was a 2010 with 40something km...

http://webcache.googleusercontent.c...2/+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca&client=firefox-a

dont know if the cached link will work. but it's gone. *cry*

I can possibly make you feel a little better. My 2010 Grand Caravan with 48,000 miles on it just blew the transmission. It's under warranty, but still. My love for my van is seriously being tested right now. It's in the shop until Thursday having the transmission rebuilt because Chrysler said it wasn't damaged "enough" for a brand new tranny.

Also, I know you're in Canada, but WOW on the price! We paid $15,800 USD for our 2010 Grand Caravan a year ago when it only had 32,000 miles on it.
 

daniele_ut

New member
Tangent but what exactly happens when a transmission goes? How do you know?

It was fairly obvious in my case. I was driving in a parking lot and drove slightly past a parking space so I put the van in reverse and gave it some gas. It revved but didn't go anywhere. I shifted it to park and then reverse again, still no go. We were able to drive forward all weekend until the dealer was able to look at it on Monday so I parked it on the street and we drove it as little as possible. The service manager we dealt with said driving it wouldn't do any damage but I was worried that it would get worse and we'd lose drive too!
 

dawnp15

New member
We need a new van but have a small budget :( We dont want a car payment so we've been saving and have $10,000 to spend. I really wanted an Ody, but for that price you're getting a pretty old Ody with lots of miles. DH really wants this town and country he found it's either a 07 or 08, it's nice and has some bells and whistles. But i know the issues with dodge/chrysler and i'm nervous to buy one. Realistically though i'm pretty sure it's all we will be able to afford. I have 4 kiddo's, 1 booster, 2 FF harnessed, and 1 RFing, will a town and country work? I hate vehicle shopping!!
 

Phineasmama

New member
daniele_ut said:
I can possibly make you feel a little better. My 2010 Grand Caravan with 48,000 miles on it just blew the transmission. It's under warranty, but still. My love for my van is seriously being tested right now. It's in the shop until Thursday having the transmission rebuilt because Chrysler said it wasn't damaged "enough" for a brand new tranny.

Also, I know you're in Canada, but WOW on the price! We paid $15,800 USD for our 2010 Grand Caravan a year ago when it only had 32,000 miles on it.

Yikes...that doesn't make me happy to hear, I have a 2010 as well! How long does the warranty last?
 

ninejr

New member
dawnp15 said:
We need a new van but have a small budget :( We dont want a car payment so we've been saving and have $10,000 to spend. I really wanted an Ody, but for that price you're getting a pretty old Ody with lots of miles. DH really wants this town and country he found it's either a 07 or 08, it's nice and has some bells and whistles. But i know the issues with dodge/chrysler and i'm nervous to buy one. Realistically though i'm pretty sure it's all we will be able to afford. I have 4 kiddo's, 1 booster, 2 FF harnessed, and 1 RFing, will a town and country work? I hate vehicle shopping!!

I know it was mentioned earlier in this thread, but have you looked at a Kia Sedona? We have a 2010 Sedona and really love it. We really like it, after our transmission went on our 02 Caravan we weren't buying dodge/Chrysler again. Kia was still in our price range.
 

canadiangie

New member
GC? grand caravan?

Yes, GC is grand caravan. I think Bay is saying she loves her GC with 2nd row bench. In those models you can kind of scoot past the 2nd row along the side to get to the 3rd row. Some people (like families with two rf's in the 2nd row) prefer a 2nd row bench over captains chairs that, in the case of the GC, cannot be pushed together.
 

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