My wife and I are expecting triplets in a few months. I’m trying to figure out the best vehicle - anyone have thoughts? My wife is 5’3", so please keep in mind that she’ll still need to be able to see out! I’m definitely worried about fitting EVERYTHING that will need to come along…triplet strollers, etc. Ideas are welcome!
What’s your budget?
My suggestion is to stop at the local bookstore, get a copy of Consumer Reports New Car Buyer’s Guide, look at all the 7-passenger vans available, and test drive the ones you like.
You’re going to need all the room you can get. You’ll need lots of capacity for diaper bags, toys, etc., as well as a fold-down seat for diaper changes.
A premature congratulations and sincere best.
Finding a suitable vehicle may be the least of the worries…
Getting one through the night is difficult enough. I can’t imagine three.
…or a big honkin’ suburban type deal if you are rich. there is a huge jeep they make. its kinda long, i can t remember the model name…
Either a minivan or a largish crossover. The minivan will have nore room and a lower floor, so be easier to load. The crossover will likely seem less like surrender of your manhood license, but it won’t be quite as practical.
In the minivan world, the Honda Odyssey is often considered the nicest to drive, but they had serious problems with transmissions dying. Whether that problem has been fixed I can’t say, nor can anyone else until they get up over 100,000 miles, where they usually failed. The Toyota Sienna is a hair less nice, but reliability is better. There is a new 2015 Kia Sedona that is likely to be much nicer than the ancient model it replaced. Can’t really guess what the reliability will be like as it has no close relatives. Avoid the Chrysler & Dodge models as the reliability of their minivans has been horrible. The Nissan Quest is slightly smaller than the rest, and gives you nothing in return. The Ford Transit Connect comes in two lengths. The larger one is still smaller than most minivans. This is more of a work van, though they sell it in a passenger ‘wagon’ variant.
Of crossovers, you would need a three-row model, and not one of the smallest ones. A Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX9, or Chevy Traverse would be the smallest I’d consider. I especially like the little-known Mazda. There is a new one this year I have yet to see, but the old one was exceptionally nice, with quality that seemed more like a Lexus than a Mazda. The Ford Flex or Explorer would be very suitable, but Ford has had reliability problems. The larger Ford Expedition might be overkill, though it’s popular for people who tow, as are the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban and their GMC equivalents. The Dodge Durango is also very nice. The crossovers all use more gas than minivans do.
@wesw is tying very hard not to remember the Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s very nice, but also quite expensive. I’d have a hard time paying that much for one when I could get a very good minivan for a lot less. Unless you need to tow, in which case the Jeep would be superior.
no not the grand Cherokee. the one I m talking about looks almost military
Minivans are much safer and were designed with small children in mind. Jeeps, even the Cherokee line are just minor confessions to them while satisfying the owner’ s urge to drive a name plate and accepting the sidelights of poor reliability, very poor fuel economy, impracticality for small kids and a shark’s grill. All other crossovers are concessions to a lesser degree but just as impractical, especially if you have a bad back. Minivans make every loading and unloading experience, safer and more practical.
The obvious is the best solution. Unfortunately for you, jumping to such a large family in one swoop means an expensive investment. When they are small, smallest minivans may work, like the Mazda line. In a few years, those that have kids, absolutely can’t do without them…they say. Once the kids get more independent and want their own car, it’s pretty much anything you want. For now, bite the bullet, buy the obvious and join the masses with kids who do…own a minivan. My first recommendation is a Toyota Sienna (or Honda Odyssey) only because driving and owning a minivan is an acceptance to boring practicality…which Toyota (and Honda) specializes in. Repeat, boring practicality.
Oh, speaking of children and their jokes. One from one of my grandchildren last night in. An example of a experience while riding in a minivan.
Whose there ?
Broken pencil !
Broken pencil who ?
Oh forget about. There’s no point in it.
Commander was a stretched Grand Cherokee. They quit making it recently.
Minivan is the best option, 3 row SUV next.
I would go with a minivan. Two in the 2nd row Captain’s chairs and one in the back. It will be easier to maneuver inside a minivan than a 3 row SUV. My wife is 5’ 5" and has no problems with visibility in her minivan.
The Missus and I have been very satisfied with her 2006 Toyota Sienna. Note for 2006 and earlier Siennas, the timing belt/water pump should have been replaced at least once. 2007 and later Sienna use a timing chain.
We have a 2003 Honda Odyssey, and I have two little kids. It’s the most versatile, family friendly vehicle ever, in my experience. It’s big enough to carry all your stuff, but also flexible enough for Home Depot runs, etc. And on top of all that, ours gets in the mid 20s on MPG on the highway. Don’t fall for the minivan “stigma”. If you can get past what other people you don’t even know “might” think about you… you’ll find yourself with a rational, excellent family vehicle. Good luck.
We have 3 children (well, adults now) and the best thing we did for transportation was to buy a minivan. We had 2 and still have the last one. My wife loves it and doesn’t want to get a new car even though all the kids are grown. The 2nd one has 4 captains chairs, and that would be great for long trips. One of you drives, and the other can sit in a middle chair with 2 infant seats in the back and the other in the remaining middle chair. All the children will be in easy reach, and the attending parent won’t have to unbuckle to attend to 2 kids. And you don’t have to crawl into the rear seat when needed with the van. Our minivan can carry me, the Mrs, her parents, and 2 adult children and all our luggage for a weekend trip of 5 hours. They simply cannot be beat for practical transportation.
@Markm states “Avoid the Chrysler & Dodge models as the reliability of their minivans has been horrible.”
I must respectfully disagree, having owned several. I strongly recommend those with 3.3 or 3.8L V-6 engines. My '05 Grand Caravan has 162K and recently made a 16 hour round trip out of state. I also know of a local delivery service that has several vans of different brands. They prefer Chrysler Company vans. Their vans are driven by people who don’t care at all about them in stop and go situations, day and night. All but the newest of their Chryco vans have over 300K miles. One had 420K when I last talked to one of the guys who works there a year ago. I still see it up and down my street. The secret is good preventive maintenance. They change oil every 5000 miles, and transmission fluid every 30K.
With triplets, you will probably want a van with a bench seat in the center for three kid seats. Wrestling one into a third seat won’t be any fun. I don’t think any of the Chryco vans with Stow & Go storage have center benches, At least I have not seen one. Those w/o Stow & Go will have a wider rear bench that can probably be moved to the center with the existing floor cleats. At least the older ones could. That leaves the “way back” open for all the fun stuff you will have to carry.
I think that just about all family sedans today (Camry, Accord, Malibu, Fusion etc) have three child seat anchors in the back now. I agree a minivan would be easier, but they do cost a lot more to buy and to operate. Just another option.
We had a Taurus when we first had 3 children, and it was tight in the back seat for two in infant seats and one In a child seat. It was so much more comfortable for all of us when we bought the first minivan.
I second the minivan suggestion. I have driven minivans since 1991 and we don’t have children at home. My son was a senior in high school when we bought the first minivan. I use them because I frequently am transporting musicians and their musical instruments. You will be transporting your triplets and all the baby equipment. The sliding doors are much easier to put the children in their seats than the regular doors on an SUV. We also have an SUV, a Toyota 4runner. The Sienna minivan we own is much easier to get in and out of.