SUV Suggestions — The Bump
February 2018 Moms

SUV Suggestions

Hi! My DH and I will be tackling the lovely project of getting a more family friendly car later in the year and I'm looking for any suggestions. This is our first baby so everything is new to us. Our current car situation isn't ideal for our upcoming lifestyle change. He is currently driving a Nissan Altima which will be fine, but I drive my beloved 2 door Jeep Wrangler which just won't work with a baby! We also have two dogs in the medium-large range who are frequently along for the ride. We're looking for something spacious enough to accommodate baby and dogs, so maybe 3rd row seating or a big enough cargo space that could fit a stroller and we could find a way to safely strap the dogs in as well? I'm partial to the Jeep Grand Cherokees and he is in love with the Acura MDX. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 

Re: SUV Suggestions

  • I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It fits all of us and the giant dog. I love it. my SO has the Acura MDX. And the same applies to that thing aside from Rd his baby not mine. It's a toss up. Go for he better deal. 
  • There is a thread that discussed this already. Search "new car." You may find some helpful information there as well.
    meatballs37TattoosandLaceAcreativephipps
  • I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee. It fits all of us and the giant dog. I love it. my SO has the Acura MDX. And the same applies to that thing aside from Rd his baby not mine. It's a toss up. Go for he better deal. 
    Thanks, that's what I'm thinking. The Acuras are so nice but so expensive!

  • There is a thread that discussed this already. Search "new car." You may find some helpful information there as well.
    Great, thanks. I will!
    the_other_mother
  • I also recommend the website the car seat lady. They rate vehicles on there. 
    *TW* Spoiler
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    DD: Aug '16
    10/2017: Twins confirmed with TTTS at 22 weeks.
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    Acreativephippsalice0218lund
  • I love my Jeep Grand Cherokee - fits 2-3 kids and 2 German shepherds. I will need to get something probably with third row seating in a few years (#3 is on the way) but I didn't want something huge like a Tahoe, and a lot of the vehicles with third row didn't have enough cargo space for the dogs
  • I have a Lexus RX 450 and love it, but I have shih tzus
    Andrea (31), married Aaron (36) September 2012
    Parents to fur babies Tiki and Gizzmo and 2yr old Georgia
    IF veterans; #1 conceived on second clomid+HCG+IUI, #2 conceived on 1st Letrozole+HCG+IUI
    EDD: Feb 5, 2018


  • I only suggest looking ahead if you're planning on more to possible consider what you may want 5 years from now. Obviously everyone is different and different people can afford different things, but if you're planning to keep it for awhile and also want several more kids just keep that in mind. That being said I had a Tahoe with my first two and when we found out I was having my third we bought a Yukon XL and it's great! Baby #6 and thankfully we still fit (never guessing we would have this many!).  Good luck! Car shopping is fun!
  • Love my Ford Explorer. 3rd row that folds down. Great for large dogs. 
    Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
  • We just got a new to us Pilot this week. Rides really well, lots of space and storage. It looks huge but handles surprisingly easily. DH is tall and loves the room. 

    We are planning for only 2 kids so shouldn't have a problem with 'losing' that 3rd row, and we will have space for a dog again one day, and I def want a big dog again!
  • I have an Expedition EL and love it.  We can comfortably use every row in our car and still have a ton of storage behind the third row.  I rarely have to fold it down and can fit my stroller, groceries, whatever.  
    mpp06
  • We got a Volvo XC90 and have been very happy with it so far with 1 baby and a large dog.  I've only used the third row once or twice for transporting adults (the joys of being designated driver), so I can't speak to what it's like for shlepping kids around.  The technology is great (it has a 360 degree drone cam and automatic parking features, which is a lifesaver considering I'm otherwise parking challenged) and it has a special grocery bag holder that pops up in the trunk that I weirdly love.  
  • We had a Ford Explorer and I would highly reccomend it! Tones of room with the back seats folded down to keep the pups and the baby seat fits perfectly behind either the driver or passenger seat! It's easy to put the other seat down to climb into the back if you needed to use those seats! Very roomy and very comfy!
  • We've been struggling with this since we have to upgrade our wagon to a SUV to accommodate two kids and three (small) dogs that ride in crates when we travel.

    My husband is a big time car guy and wants us to get another luxury car (we have an Audi now), but we just paid our car off and I'm hesitant to jump back in to another car payment.  Plus, I figure these are the years that crayon and old cookies and random ketchup is going to get all over the backseat so I'm leaning toward something more mid-tier.  But it's really hard to argue with someone who is as obsessed with cars as he is.

    We've kind of settled on an Acura MDX, but I want to go to the dealerships and look at multiple models before we buy.  I'll try to report back on car shopping results once we finally get around to doing it.
    DS 2.07.15
    #2 due 2.15.18
  • mpp06 said:
    I only suggest looking ahead if you're planning on more to possible consider what you may want 5 years from now. Obviously everyone is different and different people can afford different things, but if you're planning to keep it for awhile and also want several more kids just keep that in mind. That being said I had a Tahoe with my first two and when we found out I was having my third we bought a Yukon XL and it's great! Baby #6 and thankfully we still fit (never guessing we would have this many!).  Good luck! Car shopping is fun!
    Does your Yukon have a bench seat? Mine has captains and I love it but this is baby number 6 for us too.... and I think I'll be getting the big suburban this week (0% interest)
  • @MamaRoni yes mine has a bench seat! We'd be in the same boat! I really like the captains chairs but when we picked ours out that's all they had. I do have a friend that has a suburban with captains chairs and she just ordered a bench (she just has her 6th as well). I was sort of surprised but at the same time I guess they are all the same under the seats. Good luck!! And congrats on #6!
  • O @MamaRoni may not be something youre at all interested in, but the Nissan NV is pretty awesome as far as passenger vans go. If I had to get something else I totally would want it.
  • mpp06 said:
    @MamaRoni yes mine has a bench seat! We'd be in the same boat! I really like the captains chairs but when we picked ours out that's all they had. I do have a friend that has a suburban with captains chairs and she just ordered a bench (she just has her 6th as well). I was sort of surprised but at the same time I guess they are all the same under the seats. Good luck!! And congrats on #6!
    I can order the bench seat and change it out???? 
  • mpp06 said:
    O @MamaRoni may not be something youre at all interested in, but the Nissan NV is pretty awesome as far as passenger vans go. If I had to get something else I totally would want it.
    Gotta keep something I can tow with... hubby and kids barrel race and ilk need to be able to pull trailer with golf cart 
  • MamaRoni said:
    mpp06 said:
    @MamaRoni yes mine has a bench seat! We'd be in the same boat! I really like the captains chairs but when we picked ours out that's all they had. I do have a friend that has a suburban with captains chairs and she just ordered a bench (she just has her 6th as well). I was sort of surprised but at the same time I guess they are all the same under the seats. Good luck!! And congrats on #6!
    I can order the bench seat and change it out???? 


    *Stuck in the box*

    Yes, DH is the manager at the local GM dealership in town and he says yes.

    Do you have many in car seats? If so what configuration are you thinking? I've got a Tahoe with the bench seat and with baby #5 and all in 5 point harnesses (2 rear facing) I am having car seat configuration anxiety

     DD born Oct 2011 - DS#1 born Jan 2014 - DS#2 born Apr 2015 - DS#3 born Sept 2016 - LO#5 due Feb 7, 2018

  • Yes! She was able to just order a bench! The van does have towing capabilities though just in case you were interested! My hubby wanted to be able to haul stuff if needed also! The carseat situation...Ugh. they seriously need to get parents on board in designing layouts when building vehicles! Mine only has certain places for the latch system and its a major pain! The last row is in the most difficult place to get to and it is just a major headache. The carseat lady does have some good suggestions. Are all 5 in carseat? When this baby is born I *think* this will be my new configuration if everyone is big enough for their seats. Back row l to R, high back, regular booster, high back, second row L to R, regular booster, new baby in carry seat, convertible. I'm not sure if one if mine will be ready for the high back so I'm hoping to put a convertible in very back if now. It's a lot of trial and error! 
  • The good thing about all harnesses is you don't have to worry about them buckling seatbelts. The bad is finding a way to secure them with the lack of latch settings. The other is just was well but I know the rear of our car made it difficult for the back row I think. 
  • @mpp06 the third row doesn't have latch so I've been doing a seat belt install with the two forward facers in the back. Fortunately I purposely purchased a vehicle with top tethers available for all positions so that doesn't come into play.

    When baby comes I will have three harnessed forward facers, a rear facer and the baby in Graco click connect.

    I'm considering the three forward facing kids in the third row, the baby in the second row beside the door and the 1 year old on the middle row, middle position. I am worried about how difficult it will be to have to climb over the seat that is folded down in order to buckle the rear facer in.

    I hate buckling rear facing seats when they are not in the seat beside the door. Anyone have any tricks for that?

     DD born Oct 2011 - DS#1 born Jan 2014 - DS#2 born Apr 2015 - DS#3 born Sept 2016 - LO#5 due Feb 7, 2018

  • @sabriel1 how old will the one reverse convertible seater be? It's just a pain no matter how you do it, but it does make it easier if they can climb in themselves! The three in the back, are any of them big enough to help buckle? That's a BIG help also! You still have to check but if they can buckle and unbuckle it makes it SO much easier! 
  • The three in the back. The oldest can get herself buckled but cannot get anyone else in or out because her fingers don't seem to be strong enough. I put her furthest from the door since I don't really need to reach her as much.  DS1 can get in and buckle the top but not the bottom. He is an instigator though so I can't put him in the middle, he'll be on the other side in the back. DS2 can sit in the seat himself but that's about it so I'm not looking forward to reading back to that middle seat to buckle him up.

    DS3 will be rear facing in the middle row but will only be 16.5 months by the time baby comes so I don't he'll be able to climb in by himself. I seem to recall at that age my others pulling all the tricks to not have to get buckled in, like when they stiffen up and there is nothing short of a karate chop you can do to bend them into the seat. At 16.5 months he'll also be pretty far from switching to forward facing as well

     DD born Oct 2011 - DS#1 born Jan 2014 - DS#2 born Apr 2015 - DS#3 born Sept 2016 - LO#5 due Feb 7, 2018

  • Ya he will definitely be the most difficult age and seat wise. Somehow it gets figured out but it is a real pain in the rear loading and unloading. My oldest will be 9 when this baby comes and right now she can buckle and unbuckle everyone if I need her to (if I'm feeling extra nauseated or something). Hopefully once your daughter gets a little older she can help. And once your son can be flipped it helps a TON! I've actually buckled from the front sometimes and found that to be somewhat easier at times. Good luck Mama!
  • When this baby comes I will have an almost 11 yr old... 2 9.5 yr olds... a 5 yr old... 22 month old.... plus new baby
    I was planning on the twins plus 5 year old in the way back... oldest and 2 youngest in middle row because oldest helps me ALOT....
    mpp06
  • Yep! I'm putting my oldest next to the youngest but the baby will also be next to the 2 yr old. That sort of terrifies me, but my 9 year old keep a good eye on everything so I'm hoping she doesn't let him poke the baby in the eye or something. Lol
  • We just started test driving SUVs this week. We recently went camping, and with just DH and I and our large dog, and all our camping gear and cooler for just 2 nights, our car was pretty packed. We just have a Corolla and a Civic. We realized we are definitely going to need a family vehicle and need to buy it between now and March latest. 

    We are looking at only 3rd row SUVs so that narrows it down. I wouldn't love a van, but I could adjust, but DH definitely doesn't want a van so too bad since most of them are cheaper. We've been looking at the Toyota 4Runner, VW Atlas, Honda Pilot, and Jeep Grand Cherokee, although we have only test driven the 4Runner and the Atlas so far. Gosh it's so hard to think about since it's such a big purchase! But we are trying to think really long term, like hopefully 20ish years and 250K+ miles. We like the Atlas the best I think but it sucks that it's so brand new that you can't buy it used yet. We'd prefer used. But even though it's expensive (to us), it's really not much more brand new than some of the other SUVs we are looking at, even when they are used!

    We want room for 2-3 kids and need room for a big dog, plus whatever stuff we'll need for a vacation or camping, who knows when we'll need to bring the kids' friends also, sports equipment, etc. Also, right now we always have to rent a truck or large vehicle if we do an IKEA run for larger furniture so it would be nice to not need to rent vehicles, but instead have a vehicle that fulfills all our needs, present and future. 

    Do any of you have an Atlas or a 4Runner? Any thoughts? We are hesitant about Atlas because of price, but all the ratings are very high and it's something I could see being comfortable no matter how many passengers and gear you are taking around.
  • @alice0218 If you're planning 3 kids (IMO) you really need to think about a van. We are on #3 and have looked at all the SUV's you have mentioned and really NONE  of them are big enough for all of the baby equipment, plus regular packing, plus our big dog. Car seats are no joke, and strollers take up most all the trunk with the 3rd row down which really limits passanger space. Also, make sure you look for latch hooks and anchor hooks before you buy.  Lots of SUVs especially older used ones, do not have them on every seat and you are severely limited to where you can place a car seat. I have decided on a van.  Because that's what we need right now… But when they are bigger I will likely switch over to an SUV. 

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    alice0218
  • mpp06 said:
    I only suggest looking ahead if you're planning on more to possible consider what you may want 5 years from now. Obviously everyone is different and different people can afford different things, but if you're planning to keep it for awhile and also want several more kids just keep that in mind. That being said I had a Tahoe with my first two and when we found out I was having my third we bought a Yukon XL and it's great! Baby #6 and thankfully we still fit (never guessing we would have this many!).  Good luck! Car shopping is fun!
    Does your Yukon have a bench seat? Mine has captains and I love it but this is baby number 6 for us too.... and I think I'll be getting the big suburban this week (0% interest)
    I drive an extended suburban. You get used to the size very quickly.  This is #6 for me as well. I can tow anything and i have room for all the kids + 2 dogs (or 4 small livestock) or groceries.

    I am hoping to put baby in the center of the 2nd row,  but not sure if a lap belt is sufficient for an infant carrier?  
    BabyFruit Ticker
    older siblings: ds 16 dd 14 ds 13 dd 11 dd 7 
    mpp06
  • alice0218alice0218
    100 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited September 2017
    @Starynightsky24 I hear you. I do think we should at least be looking at vans and considering them also since they are practical. DH is the one who's being more picky about how a vehicle's body looks. He doesn't even really like the Pilot because of how it looks but I want us to check it out too. I will see if he can consider some of the higher rated vans just to humor me, and then if we like them it doesn't hurt right? Also, we just really want 2 kids for sure, but I want room for 3 in case we change our mind in like 5 years or we have a surprise someday. I don't want to need a different family vehicle in 5 or 10 years. Good points about checking all the latching capabilities. I looked at that car seat lady website and have been checking the 2nd rows but mostly not the 3rd. I didn't think you'd want car seats so far back, but I guess it's good to look for. Thanks for the feedback!
  • @mamaof5already yep! You can lug just about anything around in them! Only thing we don't like is that all the seats don't have headrests. I also recommend for anyone looking to figure out carseat placement beforehand! It's something I didn't really think about but it's a real pain in the rear the more kids you hVe bc you start running out of places for the convertible carseats of they're close in age and you have several in them.
    mamaof5already
  • @alice0218 very smart to be thinking long term. You could probably easily make an third row SUV work with just two kids. It's that third that's harder since so much more truck space is gone when that third row is up. I HATED vans and wouldn't  believe you if you had said I would want one 5 years ago haha. What did it for me was the sliding doors ( so much easier when putting a bucket seat in the car), the lower trunk ( since I will be having to lift a double stroller inside it, and easy for my dogs to jump into), and the better price... lol! It's def not for everyone though. I have lots of friends who love their SUVs. Good luck car shopping! 

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