Looking for viewpoints of what to get for a family vehicle--crew cab pickup or full size suv?

I have received news that my 11 month old is going to have twin siblings in 7 months. That means 3 kids and 3 car seats.
Currently, I drive a ford mustang with one infant seat…with the passenger seat pushed completely forward, not allowing for additional passengers either behind driver or in front of baby. So the convertible is a two seater for now.
What would you recommend for a replacement vehicle? besides the minivan? My thoughts would be a 4 door crew cab pick up truck. Does the back have enough width to line up 3 baby seats in a row, so my wife could also be sitting comfortable in the front, along with me? (my sister has told me their Honda pickup with the 4 doors does not allow spacing for the rear carseat and a front passenger…can be done but not comfortable)
I have always wanted a pick up and maybe this is the way to go? Suburban-ish vehicle would be the other consideration right now…until the minivan people beat me into submission.
I have 2 motorcycles and it would be convenient to be able to drag that in the p/u bed.

We would be considering used and know little about the wide world of Trucks. Diesel or Gas.

If you do buy a truck, you must promise not to come back to this message board and ask how to improve your gas mileage or if so-and-so product advertised on tv at 1:00 AM works as promised.

Seriously, it sounds like you already know that a minivan is exactly what you need.

You have some time to think about this. Twins with a toddler means you might not have time to ride the bikes. Fatherhood as you know it now is easy, once the twins arrive; very different ballgame.

To get 3 car seats all in a row pretty much means a full size PU. Those full size crew cabs with 4 doors are huge, and you’ll go broke on gas. You also need to consider getting the kids into those seats. Access is important and kids grow and get heavier. Lifting them up and into the truck might work for infants but gets much harder as they grow.

It might be possible to get 3 car seats in the back of a Honda Element. My '01 Sequoia has a bench seat in the back that is wide enough. Perhaps a full size sedan would work too.

Just take your time and do some good research because if you buy the wrong vehicle you might not have the money to trade it in for something more appropriate. Dealing with 2 car seats isn’t too hard. Things get tricky with 3 or more car seats all in one vehicle. A van with a hitch to pull the bikes around on a trailer might be an option you have to consider, like it or not.

If you buy a large SUV, or a crew cab pickup, keep in mind you might have difficulty parking it in a single parking space at the mall. Make sure you develop the necessary skills to drive a vehicle that large around other vehicles.

LOL @ mleigh! I agree. Be prepared to pay at least $100 to Big Oil every time you fill up. If you can’t afford to pay that much for your fuel, think about another type of vehicle, like a sedan.

You’re only talking about three kids, not eight, so I have to wonder, how often does the whole family travel together? Is it often enough that you need an everyday car that can handle it, or would it be more cost effective to either take two cars or rent a vehicle when the time comes? My neighbor, who has three full-time children, and three part-time stepchildren, rents a vehicle for family trips, and I think that is what you should do. Your family should be able to get by with two full-sized family sedans, or one full-sized family sedan and one fuel efficient car. If you really want a full-sized pick-up truck, get one, but one with a crew cab and a full sized bed won’t fit into most parking spaces.

In addition to the gas mileage factor with a large pickup truck, I hope that the OP is aware of traction issues with pickups. While a crew-cab pickup will have somewhat better weight distribution than a conventional PU, the fact remains that a pickup truck has very poor rear wheel traction in slippery conditions if the bed area is not carrying a load.

Additionally, pickup trucks do not have to conform to the same impact standards that passenger cars and minivans must comply with. Someone transporting 3 small children should be very careful about buying a vehicle with the traction problems of a pickup truck and the potential fallout of being in a vehicle with less-than-optimal passenger impact protection.

Do you haul around things that call for a pickup on a regular basis?
Where do you live: urban, suburban, rural?
Why not a more efficient midsize or full size sedan or minivan?

When I was a kid in the mid 60’s my father had a '48 Plymouth.
We called it “highboy” because it stood above all the newer cars.
My older brothers were embarrassed to ride in it.
Now it seems half the 4-wheelers out there are ‘highboys’.

Think small! Back in the 1950s, one of my dad’s friends had 4 children. The six of them drove cross-country in a 1956 Plymouth sedan. Another friend made the trip from Illinois to Nevada with their elementary age child, and the mother-in-law (4 people total) in a 1956 Volkswagen. They would rather take the VW on the road than the 1953 Pontiac that they also owned–they thought the VW was more comfortable.
I know that there is a tendency for people to take too much with them. My son always travels with too much and he and his wife only have one child. On one 350 trip to visit us, their Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan wouldn’t start. The church my son worked for allowed him to take a fifteen passenger van owned by the church. Somehow, my son and his family managed to have that vehicle filled with everything imaginable.
Limit what you need to take. My office overloooked a college dormitory. I have watched parents arrive with their college bound student in U-Haul trucks and trailers. I often wondered how they got all this stuff into a dormitory room. When I went to college, my dad opened the trunk of the old Buick and said that I could take what would fit in in the trunk. I took the necessities–my horn, books, my long playing records and my music. The non-essentials–towels, wash cloths, razor, change of underwear, etc.–were left behind (this was the late 1950s). The point is–think about what you really need to take with you in the vehicle. You don’t need a pickup truck or a large SUV. The largest you really need is a minivan, but you can go smaller and be comfortable.

I’d be thinking of a 3-row ‘CUV’, like a Pilot, Traverse, CX-9, or (my favorite) Ford Flex. A crew cab would fit the people, but what about that mountain of kid ‘stuff’ you’ll need to move on a frequent basis.

All this assumes you’re allergic to an Odyssey or a Sienna, which are the best options.

A friend of mine has a family of five, including three children in car seats. They fit comfortably in a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. The car seats are a reasonable distance apart to avoid conflict, the kids have plenty of leg room, and the adults are plenty comfortable up front, and he’s 6’5" tall. A Crown Vic/Grand Marquis can also be equipped with a hitch to tow your motorcycles, as they have a sturdy chassis, powertrain, and towing capacity. If you want to tow, you might also consider one equipped with air springs in the back to get the self-leveling feature.

Buy the minivan — leave a small footprint on this battered earth.

You can’t beat the roominess and practicality of a minivan. I have an Odyssey.

Yeah, you want a minivan. With older kids, you might get away with something like a PU or similar, but with 2 rear facing car seats you’ll have trouble getting a pick up with enough rear seat room to still sit comfortably in the front. And with that amount of space dedicated to the cab, you’ll either have to have a short bed, or be dedicated to parking in two spaces. And traveling will be tough, as you can’t rely on the bed to carry luggage unless you know the weather is good.

A better plan would be to get a minivan or SUV that has decent towing ability and buy a trailer for hauling.

The truck might work for a couple years, but don’t forget you’ll soon also be carting around not only yours, but their friends as well.

As quite a few have already stated, a truck is prtety much a bad idea as a solution to this problem. They’ve much better now than they used to be with their wimpy little engines. They tend to actually get up and move now. What with the added safety features they’re packing in because they’re >aimed< directly at someone in your situation.

Good luck, in whatever you decide. If you can swing it, I’d suggest you keep the mustang for fun, and the minivan for the family. You’ll always want a nice night out, and the mustang would be a nice reprieve.

its ok…just buy a minivan. i resisted too, but once i bought one i could not figure out how we made it without one… we had 4 children in a full size oldsmobile sedan and then ungraded to a pontiac minivan. 2 of the children have moved on; 1 is moving on after xmas 2011; the last one will be “grown” in june 2015… just 4 more years until the pontiac solistice/saturn sky…lol. congrats on the babies!

In 2003, I thought about either an SUV or a minivan. We have 3 children, and needed a 3rd row. While that was possible with a SUV, there was very little cargo room when the 3rd row seat was in use. That is why I bought a minivan. Even with all 3 rows in use, there is a ton of cargo capacity. You could bet the same cargo capacity with a Suburban or similarly sized SUV, but it will cost you at the gas pump - and when you make the purchase. A SUV or Pick-up is fine if that is what you want. BTW, who will drive it most of the time, and what does she want?

I had a 2 year old when my twin girls came along. The full size pickup is a huge pain in the rear. Your an adult now so do the adult thing and get a Dodge Caravan. Mine are all grown now and the vans were great for hauling stuff and with removeable seats could haul 4 x 8 sheet of plywood for the remodeling projects you will have to deal with in the near future. After getting rid of the mommymobile we wish we had another one about once a week.

skip all that stuff… get one of those net carriers and skip the crew cab. Just put the net in the back of the bed add some tie downs… you can hand out bottles through the split window.

Is your husband stupid or what? Now’s the time to plan on that custom uni-body 4w suburban with a custom back cab job… so you can get from the front to the back with out opening a door!! Get a diesel for the mileage.

Honestly, I am a 25 year old single dad who still enjoys his toys, hot rods, projects, and what not, and I love my minivan. I have used it for everything from hauling family and friends to hauling firewood and towing a trailer full of scrap metal to the recycling yard, and I can’t think of a more versatile vehicle. A crew cab pickup or large SUV may be more “macho” or “manly” than a minivan, but they can’t haul seven people and all their luggage, unless you get a Suburban or something like that and don’t mind the 13 miles per gallon (my minivan got 18 on the highway with nearly 5000 pounds of trailer in tow. I know, shame on me for abusing it so). Besides, I am comfortable enough with my image and masculinity to not be at all bothered by driving a “mommy-mobile” (I realize some guys don’t feel manly unless they are driving a sportscar or truck of some kind, but I don’t really understand it and suspect this is the reason for resistance to choosing a minivan in this situation). To me, the practicality of the minivan beats the image of an SUV or crew cab pickup. If I needed to tow a large, heavy trailer on a regular basis, I would consider a crew cab pickup or truck based SUV, but unless this is the case, a minivan should be considered. I promise you won’t lose your virility if you have a minivan in the driveway.

I was in the same situation about 8 years ago. My daughter was 2-½ years old when our twin boys were born. Trust me on this…With all the complication and expenses that go with having 3 kids, buying gas for a Suburban is something you might not want to deal with. I have an Odyssey minivan, and the low floor, interior layout, and huge sliding side doors make the logistics of hauling infants and toddlers around a hell of a lot easier. If you insist on an SUV, I’d go with a Honda Pilot or a 3-row Toyota Highlander. Getting infants into a vehicle that you need a ladder to get into isn’t much fun. My Odyssey is also very maneuverable and easy to park (with a little practice, of course).

Congratulations. I think…

The pickup has been ruled out by the crowd, but if you decide to go with a crew cab pickup, buy the short bed. Kid haulers have to navigate drive-through windows and be parked in a variety of different places.