Vehicle for three kid carseats and snow

We’re expecting #3, and have two other little ones in carseats. We live in the snowy Midwest, and are looking at minivans/vehicles that would provide room for all of us (and Grandma), great traction,fantastic safety ratings, and fuel efficiency. Should we look at AWD only, or other options with good snowtires?

Look around you. Do many people have AWD or 4WD? I’ll be that there are a lot of FWD cars on the road. With winter tires, you should be fine with FWD. I suggest that you look at a minivan. We have 3 kids and have had 2 minivans. There’s lots of room and mom or dad can ride in the middle or back and take care of the kids in car seats. The separation will also keep them from fighting. Even now that the kids are adults, we have taken trips with the 5 of us , grandma, and grandpa with room for all our luggage. The Toyota Sienna AWD, Honda Odyssey, and Chrysler Town and Country all have decent medical payout data according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. This data is real-world information about how much insurance companies pay out for medical coverage for those inside the car listed.

I recommend a full size minivan with good winter tires. Unless you live in the boondocks (non-plowed rural roads), you don’t really need AWD.

I believe Dodge is running special financing deals with the Grand Caravan if you’re looking for new

We Live In Extremely Cold And Snowy Climate And Have Owned A Dodge (Caravan) For Many Years, Many Of Those Years With Children ( From Birth To Adult ).

We’ve never needed the expense and complication of AWD, as FWD has been more than adequate and it may be good driving habits or whatever, but my wife and I have never felt the need for snow (winter) tires. My experience living in snow country is that it’s visibility that goes away ( think blizzard ), creating the biggest travel danger, rather than a traction problem.

When travel is dangerous the State Police usually request (require ) people to stay off the roads, and often schools and businesses close down. In three decades here, we’ve never been “stuck”, in a collision, or off the road, because of weather. We drive 50,000 miles per year, combined. Usually it’s the AWD drivers with their false sense of security that litter the ditches, often wheels-side-up. I have a police scanner and catch most of these.

Our two kids were “child-seat age” one at a time, but our minivan came with a center row seat that has 2 integrated (built in) child seats. They function as normal seats, but can hold child seats, and later on, open to turn into extremely safe 3-point seatbelt / shoulder harness restraint, seats for larger children. The seats are very easily accessed through the dual sliding sliding doors. Trust me, you’ll learn to love this or hate the vehicles without. You’d need possibly just one additional child seat, temporarily.

Check out vehicles of this nature. Oh, did I mention we get 27 MPG ? Not bad for a fairly heavy, sure-footed, convenient and safe vehicle. We do live in the boondocks with many unplowed rural roads (20 miles one-way to town, not a major city, and school). With our many cars, I don’t do snow / winter tires. I’d go crazy. We’ve never felt the need for them, anyhow. Tires that aren’t completly worn out are more than adequate. Driving for conditions makes more sense.


Modern “Winter” tyres are a lot better than the old design snow tyres. I doubt if you are going to need anything more than Winter tyres. I have lived in the midwest snow belt for over 60 years and have driven through several blizzards.

Driving experience in snow is important so if you lack driving experience in snow, I would suggest finding an empty parking lot (without obstructions) and spend some time learning how your car handles snow.   

Remember to slow down, the locals will know your from out of town.

One of the best snow vehicles I ever had was a '96 Chevy mini van with winter tires on all 4 wheels and ABS brakes. Now the vans have more features such as traction control and stability control.

I think you are in minivan land for your family. AWD minivans get less mpg, take more repairs, and the Toyota Sienna with AWD has no spare and expensive run flat tires. Get a normal FWD minivan and good winter tires and you’ll be fine. Get the winter tires mounted on their own steel wheels and that makes the fall/spring changeovers easy and less expensive.