I am looking for a used, fuel efficient and safe station wagon with seating for six. What are my options?
The Ford Taurus station wagon (last made in 2004) can hold six people, thanks to a rear-facing third row seat over the rear axle, but if you use it, make sure whoever sits in it has access to a receptacle in which to vomit.
Thank you - good advice We might want a slightly newer vehicle (1-3 years old?). Was also wondering if any of the station wagons come with a front bench at all?
Front bench seats have pretty much gone the way of the Dodo. Most true station wagons have, too.
Check out a Ford Flex or Freestyle. They are considered “crossovers” and are much more like wagons than trucks.
I don’t think you will find anything newer unless you get a minivan. I know few people actually want a minivan, but I think if you get one, you will be glad it’s not a wagon. You can buckle-up small kids without bending over, and you will actually have room for stuff without strapping it to the roof.
I don’t think any modern cars come with a bench seat anymore. With dual airbags being standard, that would mean there’s no airbag for the middle passenger, and when you start talking about hauling family, safety should be paramount.
If you can afford one, the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna are really nice vehicles.
If you want a real wagon, the Taurus was the last true one. It sounds like you’re a good candidate for a minivan, but you’re just not ready to admit it.
Thank you both. I grew up in Germany, station wagons are still all over the place there… sigh! The two Fords look good, the Honda and Toyota as well! I also checked out the Mazda 5 - seems to be a cross between a wagon and minivan, with pretty good fuel efficiency. Any opinions?
The Mazda 5 would be my first suggestion, it and the Kia Rondo are compact van/wagons that may meet your needs. Very few ‘wagons’ out there, most are now called SUVs. How much room do you need? 6 adults + long trips = regular minivan, 2 adults + 4 kids for school car pool = Mazda 5.
2 adults and 4 kids for school car pool
The safest way to carry 6 people in an inexpensive used vehicle, is a three row minivan. They are a heck of a lot easier to get in and out of too. Kids are especially better off in one too as most are set up with them in mind. You have more room for a lot of gear too. I vote for a full size used minivan. Fuel efficiency won’t be great, but you’re moving 6 people and the passenger mileage should be great. Who really wants to sit three abreast in a wagon ? Like buying a stove,a generator or building a house…figure what you really need then make it 30% bigger. You won’t regret going larger. You think the kids won’t grow ? ;=)
I am definitely warming up to the whole minivan idea… thank you to all who have responded so far!!! Great comments.
Look at the Ford Flex. Ford calls it a wagon and it has a 3rd row seat.
Over the last 20 years I have owned 4 minivans. I bought the first one when my son was a senior in high school. We found it so versatile that we stayed with minivans. I frequently have my fellow musicians and their instruments with me. Last year we had 6 adults, 2 'cellos, 1 trumpet, 1 violin, 1 French horn and a flute in the minivan. We drove 50 miles to a concert and 50 miles back and everyone was comfortable. On my present minivan (a Toyota Sienna) and my previous minivan (a Chevrolet Uplander), I would get 15-17 around town and 23-25 on the highway. I find the seating position so much more comfortable than a car that we don’t even maintain a car anymore.
I have had 2 minivans in the past and now have one, an '09 Caravan. We really liked the first two and they would haul up to 7 pretty well. We are disappointed in the one we now have because we bought it with 46K miles on it and it seems that the shocks and struts are not what they should be. The MPG is around 17 in city driving. The 4-speed auto is the smoothest I have ever had. It has "Stow and go " seating and with the back seats down, I can haul boards up to 10 feet long. which I do occasionally.