CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Is there a non-SUV/ Minivan with good gas mileage that seats 6 +?

I’m currently driving an old Subaru Wagon. I have three kids and have two carseats and a booster taking up the entire backseat. We occasionally have need to haul one extra little person. I really don’t want to drive an SUV/truck or a Minivan. I would love to find something with AWD. Gas mileage is very important to me, I absolutely refuse to get anything with worse gas mileage than my current car. I would hope that I would be able to find something with much better gas mileage. I’m drawn to the Mazda 5 for it’s size and handling but really disappointed that the gas mileage isn’t any better. It’s almost the same size as my Subaru Wagon and it doesn’t have AWD and it gets essentially the same gas mileage… what is up with that??? Is there any thing out or coming out soon? Do I have to move to Europe to find what I’m looking for?

Suzuki XL7

Twotone

Kia Rondo or Mazda 5.

Isn’t that an SUV?

Well, more of a ‘CUV’, these day’s you’ll find next to zero vehicles with 3 rows of seats that aren’t either a CUV or a minivan. Your mpg requirement limits you, too. You might get a Consumer Reports car buying guide, see what you like.

Mazda 5 if you want decent gas milage, Minivan if you really need space.

Yes, all roads keep leading me back to the Mazda 5! I wish someone would make a Mazda 5 like hybrid with AWD, a girl can dream…

SUV ? There is a stigma by some v SUVs. In reality, there are cars that are nothing more than station wagons with good ground clearance. If that appeals to you, and you want awd, I’m sorry, it will be listed as an SUV. You ask for too much. A Toyota Venza, A Ford Flex are your big 6 passenger options for real people and not toddlers, and they are not as economical. Think passenger miles, or you’ll be paying $35K for a Hybrid that seats 6 and NEVER recover the gas mileage difference, because other that compacts.They aren’t worth it.
If you can recover from the shock…the most economical to buy, run and maintain vehicle with awd that will seat 6 is a 2006 to 2010 RAV4; an ungodly SUV…they have a place.

My wife was a flatlander, city dwelling Accord driver. Her new favorite cars are both SUVs…one, the RAV4 is now her all time favorite.

I’m sorry if I’ve offended you by my dislike of the SUV. I don’t want one for the same reason I don’t want a minivan or a truck- I don’t care for the ground clearance, it doesn’t appeal to me. I’m comfortable driving a regular old car, I like to be able to drive without getting sea sick, that’s all. I also like to be able to easily turn and parallel park ; )

Oh…you can’t offend me. I’m usually the offender. These compact SUVs, ride and handle like cars because everything about them, is a car. They are a little streached vertically which does everything for practicality. Subarus handle great, we used to have one. We went to the RAV4 because it had more room(it’s a Camry inside) is shorter than the Outback and did not give up much in handling. I would suggest you try out a CRV and a RAV before you say they are trucks…they are just bigger cars with a better view for easier parking/driving and better room . My wife is 5’2" and loves the higher seating ,would never go back to a low car.

I will check it out!

Why have a full time vehicle to meet an occasional need? On those rare occasions, take two vehicles.

Unfortunately, the RAV4 and CRV only seat 5. But they are fine to drive, a RAV4 with a v6 is fast, even. No more sea sickness pills needed these days!

My initial thoughts looking at it are: looks like third row is an option you pay extra for? I can’t see it on their demo. Also, if I’m going to be driving something that big, why not just get a minivan? Gas mileage is not bad.

Yes, that has been our policy thus far. There have been many occasions where it’s been a problem, mostly because we’re transporting children with only one adult on hand. It would just be really nice to have that extra seat for those occasions which seem to happen more often.

Which vehicle? And I’m wrong, you can get a (tiny) 3rd row on a RAV 4. Not worth it to me, it’s pretty small. It’s about a $1000 option on any version. No pictures of it on their web site.

You’re probably not going to want to hear it, but I think you’re going to have to get over yourself, bite the bullet and geta minivan, your scenerio just screams minivan IMHO. There’s more to life than getting great fuel mileage. The Sienna can be had with AWD. Think 5 years down the road when your kids get bigger. The Mazda 5 is suddenly going to become quite cramped.

Hehehehehe, probably but I swear I get nauseous thinking about driving around some big honking minivan…

Wasn’t there supposed to be a hybrid Sienna??? Or did I just dream that?

"Unfortunately, the RAV4 and CRV only seat 5."
The RAV can be had with third row seats