I'm pregnant. Do I *need* a minivan?

Anyone have advice for transporting 3 kids in carseats?

I’m interested in gas mileage especially -

Do I need a minivan? or will something else do?

You’re about as minivan can get. So yes.


With today’s choices, being stuck with a minivan isn’t so bad. The Odyssey and the Sienna are really nice vehicles, and the crossover vehicles (not quite minivans, not quite SUVs), leave you with a lot of choices.

The Mazda 5 has the capacity of a minivan with better fuel economy from the 4 cylinder engine.

The smallest, most economical that might work is a Mazda 5 or a Kia Rondo, 4 cylinders instead of the v6s in the bigger minivans. But think about all the stuff you’ll want to be taking around, an Odessey or Sienna might be better.

well, my daughter always swore she would NEVER drive a ‘mommy’ van.

guess what? yup. she does!

they are SO versatile, and spacious, i cant imagine how we ever got along without one for the first 10 years of kids.

sure, when you have a bunch of kids friends to haul around they are handy. but when you go on a trip and can take all 7 family and relatives with you to dinner it is pretty handy too. then again, a sheet of plywood fits in the back too. and 8 bundles of peatmoss. how much can you fit in there?

been there, done that.

yup… a minivan is pretty much a family van. good luck. they get around 21 mpg. try to find a pickup truck that fits 7 passengers, and can hold all a minivan can carry.

Advice? It’s A Little Late For That Now. You’re Already Pregnant!

Is this a litter or what are the ages of the kids? What are you driving now?

Sliding doors on both sides (great for strapping in kids), two integrated (built-in) child seats with 3-point harnesses, and 26 MPG from our Caravan during all the years my 2 kids were growing up, were wonderful, not to mention the safety aspect. Putting in and taking out those child seats gets old quickly and which ones are safe? Put the kids in back and fire up a video on the DVD and it doesn’t get any better than that. Cup holders all over the place and french fries, too.

Don’t worry too much about MPG. That’s just a drop in the bucket. Gas for our 7 cars is nothing. I just wrote the last tuition check for my oldest’s last semester of a 4-year degree and I’ve got one that starts college in four years and I’ve paid thousands for a pre-paid 4-years for her. Then there’s soccer, track, basketball, golf, country club membership and hundreds of out-of town sporting events and don’t forget ski club and music lessons and cell phone minutes and Columbia jackets!

You need a minivan.

It is the best choice for ease of entry/egress loading kids and fuel economy.

The Mazda5 I have been in loaded up and is strained. It will be outgrown fast and offers about 4mpg over a standard roomy/comfy minivan with decent power. Hardly worth it IMHO.

My advice on minivans is shop used as they have fallen out of favor. The biggest bargains are Dogdge/Chrysler vans. Incredible depreciation although slightly lower MPG. The Toyota(most comfy) and Honda(driving dynamics) are great.

My wife and I put off kids until our late 30s and we had always driven sporty cars. We did not want a minivan.

When we had kids, we got a Volvo wagon with a rear-facing third seat and a manual transmission. It was perfect for us.

If you go for a used minivan, remember that there is a reason why Dodge/Chrysler minivans are less expensive than the others. My advice is to avoid them.

Well, you can cram them all into most any car, but lets say that down the road, you have another kid, or a dog, or one of your kids friends that you want to take with all of you. Then you would need two cars and two cars will be much worse on mileage than one mini (or full sized) van.

but when you go on a trip and can take all 7 family and relatives with you to dinner it is pretty handy too.

…and a family of 6 can take a road trip together if you have a minivan with a roof rack. They are versatile vehicles.

A Volvo Owner Questioning The Reliability Of A Dodge Caravan?

I bought my Caravan new in 97, we didn’t want a station wagon. It was perfect for us (It still is.) Like my other Dodges, it’s been great. I know some like to give them some bad-mouthing. The newer ones just won a J.D. Powers award for most reliable minivan on the market.

Reality Check. Excellent Advice.

I drive a minivan. My son has long since left the nest, has a family, and he drives a minivan. In my case, I am in charge of a chamber orchestra and I frequently need to haul musicians and/or instruments. I have had a complete set of 4 tympani in my minivan. I’m on my 3rd minivan. I owned a 1990 Ford Aerostar, a 2000 Ford Windstar and now have a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander. The mileage on my 2006 Uplander is 15-17 around town and 23-26 on the highway.

I like the sliding doors. It makes it easier for passengers to enter the middle and rear seats than through a regular door. My daughter-in-law has back problems and it is much easier for her to put the car seat in the second seat of their minivan than it is to put the seat in their car.

My son, his wife, and their now 6 year old daughter travel with everything imaginable. They find the minivan very good for trips. When we owned the 1990 Ford Aerostar, we purchased a 1993 Oldsmobile 88. The Aerostar was so much more comfortable for traveling (and this was just my wife and I) that the Oldsmobile never saw the highway after the first trip we took in it. We replaced the Oldsmobile with a Toyota 4Runner. Neither my wife and I like the way you sit in most of today’s cars. My wife says that sitting in most cars today is like sitting in a bathtub. Back in 1992, Consumer Reports did a test of mid-priced cars–the Oldsmobile 88, the Buick Roadmaster, a Mercury, and another car of this class. For comparison, CR rounded up a 40 year old 1952 Buick Roadmaster. CR found the seats in the 1952 Buick and the seating position much more comfortable than the 1992 cars that were tested. One sat up higher in the 1952 Buick. Since 1952 Buicks aren’t readily available, I’ll stick with the minivan.

Can anyone say, “Wagon Queen Family Truckster”? :slight_smile:

National Lampoon’s Vacation film, if you missed the reference. Jumps 50 yards and you can strap dead Aunt Edna to the roof!

Was That The Movie With Clark And The Little Dog Getting Some Fresh Air While Hooked To The Bumper?

My BIL has a Rondo and I would not recommend it for someone with 3 children in car seats. The rear 2 seats are behind the rear door. It’s like buying a 2-door car and trying to put the kids in back.

Go for a traditional minivan with captain’s chairs in the middle. The ceiling is high enough that you won’t have to much trouble getting to the last row. Put the oldest one there; she can probably walk back - standing straight up, too! We have had 2 minivans over the last 12 years with our 3 children and are very happy to have had them. They really are the best combination of economy, cargo capacity, and people capacity on the market.

One thing: When we had our Sienna, my grandparents had a tough time getting in it. That is a plus point for the Mazda5, because it is low off the ground like a car.

i would echo the sentiment of a volvo owner questioning a chrysler minivans pedigree and perseverance. that sounds doofy!

we had two of grand caravans. they lasted 226k/ 12 years, and 124k /9 years, . got rid of the last one because toyota highlander was looking really good for the two of us, since the kids now have a minivan!
if you search this forum you will see numerous questions about transmissions from ALL makes, and problems with all models. so it aint necesarily about one brand versus another.

If you want to, take all 3 car seats with you when looking for vehicles. Try putting them all in and taking them out of various vehicles, then try a minivan. My aunt has 3 kids and she has a Ford Windstar, it’s been pretty good to them. Atleast they haven’t complained about it anyways.