New vehicle help! UPDATE in 1st post w pics!

Phineasmama

New member
Update! I'm super happy with the way things turned out. I was obsessively stalking Odysseys on Cars.com and Autotrader for like a week straight, and then just when I had gotten all the various insurance checks and other stuff deposited into my account, a new listing popped up and it was perfect! I ended up getting a 2008 EX-L in slate green metallic. It was just traded in like 2 days before I bought it, and luckily I was able to put down a deposit since I couldn't go pick it up for a few days. There ended up being a waiting list of people interested if I didn't end up taking it! It was in perfect condition and the price was awesome so I'm not surprised. It was perfect because it has a DVD player but no navigation, and I was planning on getting an Alpine Carplay unit installed anyways.



Here it is in my gross muddy driveway :p It looks different colors in different lights. But I like it.



And of course the car seats!





So our Grand Caravan just got totaled, and I'm looking to replace it with something else. I thought the Mazda 5 was my ideal vehicle, but now I'm seeing that it has really bad crash tests when it comes to side impact and overlap?

I don't want to spend more than $10K and we'll be paying cash so hopefully that will help us out in bargaining.

Should I go with a bit older Odyssey with higher miles? (We have a CRV and love it, despite its carseat un-friendliness)

Newer Kia minivan with lower miles?

I don't necessarily feel I NEED a huge minivan after having one for a few years, which is why I would have liked the Mazda, lower gas mileage and all. I wouldn't mind a smaller vehicle at all, in fact I would prefer it. But I just cannot deal with having the kids all in one row, I will tear my hair out.

Helllllllpppppp! I don't want to buy something and then realize I hate it/car seat install sucks/etc etc etc.

I guess I should have said that DD1 is 8 and still in a HBB, she has a Parkway. DS has a Parkway and a Kiddy Cruiserfix, DD2 has a Frontier85 in the CRV and a brand new Diono Ranier for the new vehicle.
 
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Phineasmama

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row...

I guess my other question would be, if I went with an Odyssey, what's the latest model year/mileage you would accept if you wanted it to last at least 3-5 years? There are lots of 2006 models that look nice, but it's crazy to think that that's almost 10 years ago! :eek:
 

lgenne

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row...

Given the model years you're looking at, I wouldn't rule out the Mazda 5. The 2012+ Mazda 5 has some disappointing side impact and small overlap tests, but the years you're looking at weren't even subjected to the same tests. The small overlap test was only introduced in 2012, and both NHTSA and IIHS redesigned their crash tests in 2011 to be more rigorous. A side impact test result from 2011 is not directly comparable to one from 2012. And the previous generation Mazda 5 got good scores on the NHTSA testing that was standard at the time.
 

Phineasmama

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row...

I don't understand...if they introduced new aspects to the testing, or made the testing more rigorous, how does that make it so that the older model years are still safe? Because they were subject to less rigorous testing?

I was looking at around 2008-2010 model years for the Mazda.
 

lgenne

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row...

"Safe" is a relative term. Safety standards have been constantly increasing for 50+ years. In general, newer vehicles are safer than older vehicles.

We have a 2013 Honda Odyssey. 2014 is the first model year that the small overlap test was done on the Odyssey, and we know Honda redesigned the 2014 to perform well in the small overlap. I feel confident that our vehicle would not get a "good" rating on the small overlap. Would it be poor? Marginal? Acceptable? The only people who might have a clue are the engineers at Honda, and they aren't talking.

(And yes, I know there's a difference between a vehicle with known poor safety ratings and unknown safety ratings. If you want an unknown, look for pre-2012 Mazda 5s. Which I think you'll be be doing anyway, based on your budget.)
 

Phineasmama

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row...

I guess I'm just torn now because I understand that most smaller cars are going to perform lower in that test, so is it worth it to get a smaller car vs a larger van that would be safer for my kids in general... ugh. It's just a really hard decision.
 

lgenne

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

In the small overlap? Not necessarily true. Pretty much all minivans other than the 2014+ Odyssey, 2015+ Sedona, and 2015(?)+ Sienna either have no data or do poorly. The Honda Pilot does poorly (but is redesigned for 2016, and presumably addresses this). Many smaller cars actually do better.

Essentially, engineers design vehicles that pass the standard tests of the day. Rarely they'll come up with their own tests to advertise as being extra safe. New tests are designed to address gaps in safety. Since the small overlap test is so new, and most vehicles haven't been redesigned since it came out, most don't do well.

If it affects your decision or your comfort level, the small overlap mostly affects injuries to drivers (and potentially sort of to front seat passengers, although they aren't actually testing that directly) not so much to kids in the back seat.
 

tesslouise

New member
We have a 2010 Mazda5. I'm disappointed with the small-overlap crash test ratings that just came out, and I'm disappointed that Mazda is discontinuing the 5 after 2015 (unless someone has heard something different?), but I love my car. It fits in my garage, it fits in parking spaces, it's fun to drive--my friend who has a Town & Country borrowed my car one day to run to CVS and she said it felt like a sports car! :)

That said, I'm looking at fitting a third kid in the 5 come June and it's going to be a squeeze. I may turn DD2 FFing at 3 instead of 4 because it may make the car situation more manageable. We're looking at vans, but we can't afford a car payment anytime soon (our 5 and Ford Focus are paid off).

So I'd consider the Mazda5 in your situation, but I'd take your car seats with you on a test drive. :)
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

We have a 2010 Mazda5. I'm disappointed with the small-overlap crash test ratings that just came out, and I'm disappointed that Mazda is discontinuing the 5 after 2015 (unless someone has heard something different?), but I love my car. It fits in my garage, it fits in parking spaces, it's fun to drive--my friend who has a Town & Country borrowed my car one day to run to CVS and she said it felt like a sports car! :)

That said, I'm looking at fitting a third kid in the 5 come June and it's going to be a squeeze. I may turn DD2 FFing at 3 instead of 4 because it may make the car situation more manageable. We're looking at vans, but we can't afford a car payment anytime soon (our 5 and Ford Focus are paid off).

So I'd consider the Mazda5 in your situation, but I'd take your car seats with you on a test drive. :)
I put my rearfacers in the third row and load through the hatch. It works perfectly with the older ones! I haven't tried with a newborn yet but plan on putting baby that's due in April in the third row with one of the other kids. I prefer to have my booster riders in the captains chairs with harnessed seats in the third row. While our 5 is the commuter car, we'll have 4 kids in the back of it when we use it as a family.
 

Phineasmama

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

Well, I was hoping to have my 8yo in the 3rd row, because she can most easily buckle herself out of the three. DS is in a HBB now too, but occasionally he needs help if he has mittens on, or accidentally locks the seatbelt or something. And looking at the specs I understand the 5 does not have latch in the 3rd row, which is something I'd really prefer since we tend to use larger/heavier boosters and my DD1 cannot be trusted to brush her hair in the morning, much less buckle a booster in every time she gets out of the car :rolleyes:

So I think we are going to primarily look at used Odysseys, probably in the 2007-2008 year if I can find one that I like in my price range. I definitely need to test drive some cars, just not looking forward to dealing with the whole rigamarole :eek:
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

Well, I was hoping to have my 8yo in the 3rd row, because she can most easily buckle herself out of the three. DS is in a HBB now too, but occasionally he needs help if he has mittens on, or accidentally locks the seatbelt or something. And looking at the specs I understand the 5 does not have latch in the 3rd row, which is something I'd really prefer since we tend to use larger/heavier boosters and my DD1 cannot be trusted to brush her hair in the morning, much less buckle a booster in every time she gets out of the car :rolleyes:

So I think we are going to primarily look at used Odysseys, probably in the 2007-2008 year if I can find one that I like in my price range. I definitely need to test drive some cars, just not looking forward to dealing with the whole rigamarole :eek:
If you want booster riders in the third row, the 5 isn't great with that. My backless riders have too much space imo between their bodies and the belts. There are a couple high back boosters that work well back there but we just put our booster riders in the much better middle row.

About leaving the boosters unbuckled in the third row- if she's the only rider back there, there is little chance that a highjack booster would be able to reach the second row in a crash, imo. The space between the 2 captains chairs is pretty small and the headrests are high. But I wouldn't want a heavy booster back there anyway- though I'm not sure any of the heavy ones work with the belt geometry back there...
 

Phineasmama

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

From what information I could gather by searching the forums, it sounded like the Frontier and Argos worked in booster mode back there? Someone was also saying that the newer Recaro HBB did as well. I actually bought two Pkwy SGLs to replace the crashed boosters since I needed to give the insurance guy the receipt, and I don't know if that would work back there or not. I just don't think it would be that practical for me to have my FFing harnessed DD2 in the 3rd row, I wouldn't be able to reach her very easily and she can't buckle herself.
 

lgenne

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

The belt geometry in the 3rd row was improved in the '09 model year, IIRC.
 

Dillipop

Well-known member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

Well, that's disappointing. I don't have booster riders yet.
Backless riders have the belt a bit in front of them- at least my 8 year old and 11 year old do. It's better than the pre-2009 but still not great. Finding a highback booster is easier in the 2009+ vehicles (I don't think any really fit pre-2009) but there is still a very limited list that will work. I keep my harnessed ffer in the third row and will be adding our newborn back there in April. The booster kids, until they get a bit thicker in the chest will be in the captains chairs.
 

Phineasmama

New member
Re: New vehicle help! 3 kids/3rd row... newer mazda5 older odyssey?

Yeah I think that would drive me nuts :/ That's the reason I didn't want to get another Caravan, because the third row made me crazy.

I am kind of worried about buying an older vehicle though and then having major repairs come up or something...
 

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