Vehicle for wheelchair and service dog

MelodyoftheForest

Active member
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:
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SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
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-family-minivans-and-suvs-for-2019-with-3rd-row-seats/
 

MelodyoftheForest

Active member
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!
 

MelodyoftheForest

Active member
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.
 

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