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Kate ~ 7/3/09 *** Connor ~ 11/11/10
3 missed miscarriages: 2007(10w4d), 2009 (10w1d), 2013 (11w3d)
I thought it might be worth adding...
I would look at how long you keep your cars and what your plans are in the future. We bought our Honda Pilot in 2006 - long before our first daughter was born. At that point we thought we would have 2 kids total and figured it would be a good car for the long run. I have no regrets because we have had the car for 7 years and have LOVED it. I'm glad I haven't been driving a minivan for 7 years that I didn't "need".
However, if you are in the thick of your family building and plan on having lots of babies I would not get a Prius or small SUV. You will outgrow it quickly. Even the Pilot, which *can* seat 8, I don't recommend it for anyone with more than 2 kids. The people I know who have 3+ kids in the Pilot have their children accessing the third row from the trunk which, IMO, is ridiculous for everyday use.
We considered the Traverse briefly (because believe me, a minivan is a hit to our self image. lol) but honestly felt like we wanted more room and some of the conveniences of a minivan (the electric sliding doors, the ability to rearrange seat configuration to our needs, etc).
I guess my point is to think long and hard about the SUVs (especially small and mid-size) if you want to have more than just 2 kids.
laabeja:Another recommendation for the mini minivan - Prius V. Just got ours as we are expecting #2 in August. It is amazing! Just as spacious as some of the crossovers and small SUVs, but with nicer handling, fully stocked with new technology, and way more mpgs. We won't be needing the extra 2 seats until the kids are much older and we carpool with thee friends to school and other activities. I highly suggest you test drive one.
We currently have the regular sized Prius, which, for the record, with baby #2 on the way we see no need to upgrade yet, so long as the car seats and stroller fit we plan to wait on getting the next car size up until we really need to, at which point we plan on getting the Prius V, I really don't think you need to get a minivan until the children are much older, unless you plan on having many more children.
jf198400:I have a Toyota Sienna and I love it! It is huge, so there's tons of space for my 2 kids, dog, and storage. I love all the convenient features- power sliding doors, rearview camera, fold-down 3rd row. I found it more affordable over the Honda Odyssey. However I've heard the Honda has room for 3 carseats in the middle row, which the Sienna does not. The Sienna has 3 seats in the middle row, but the middle seat is really tiny. I figure that by the time I have a 3rd child, DD will be old enough to sit in the 3rd row.
I love the Sienna. We traded my mom our sedan for her van, so that's why we "chose" it, but I love it.
NNGnome: laabeja:Another recommendation for the mini minivan - Prius V. Just got ours as we are expecting #2 in August. It is amazing! Just as spacious as some of the crossovers and small SUVs, but with nicer handling, fully stocked with new technology, and way more mpgs. We won't be needing the extra 2 seats until the kids are much older and we carpool with thee friends to school and other activities. I highly suggest you test drive one. We currently have the regular sized Prius, which, for the record, with baby #2 on the way we see no need to upgrade yet, so long as the car seats and stroller fit we plan to wait on getting the next car size up until we really need to, at which point we plan on getting the Prius V, I really don't think you need to get a minivan until the children are much older, unless you plan on having many more children.
I guess it also depends on how much traveling you do by car, whether you have animals that need space, etc.
Remember, more babies also means more STUFF when you travel. I don't mean to be the "you just wait..." type, because I hate that, but for many families the space and convenience means minivan.
Also, three across isn't ideal IMO. Especially for very small kids. I know that my kids would be trying to feed a baby their fruit snacks, dropping things, etc on the regular if they were three across in our Pilot. Not to mention trying to get the kid in the middle seat buckled or in the base. It is one thing if you space your kids very far apart and your older kid can buckle themselves or is in a booster with normal seatbelt, but this board usually has many little ones. My oldest will be 4.5 when baby #3 is born and I doubt she'll be able to buckle/tighten her carseat herself.
We have the Honda Odyssey and I love it!
I really didn't want to go the minivan route at first--but then I stepped inside one at the car lot and realized how nice they were... and easy--(so much more so than an SUV with a 3rd row). I had a wonderful little hatch back that I loved, but I drove it into the ground. Since I married a man in 2011 with 2 kids, got a dog, had a baby in 2012 and am expecting another in October... I cannot imagine anything else. Also, the minivan's gas mileage was by far better and the price somewhat better for getting a minivan vs a 3rd row SUV. Once I considered all of those factors, I just felt I needed to get over myself and do what was best for me and my family--get the minivan. I have to say, it was a great choice. I am surprised by how much I love my "soccer mom" van. There are so many features that are designed for moms. My non-parent friends are even jealous of many of its features
We test drove most minivans on the market at a CarMax and reviewed all on Consumer Reports. I highly recommend that. At first, I did not want to pay the inflated price for a top recommended minivan (Toyota Sienna or Honda Odyssey) but when the Town and Country that we were test driving caught on fire, we opted for the more reliable engine and brakes of the Odyssey. We also considered the anticipated cost to replace the engine and brakes of some of the vans that are cheaper upfront, but need LOTS of repair--this actually seemed like a better deal in the long run, particularly with resale values.
We got the 2010 Odyssey used--I preferred the older design, so we got the last year possible before the 2011 redesign. I hope that helps.