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Family of 6 with an SUV?

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#1 Rolex

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:37 PM

I know there has been thread after thread on cars, so PLEASE forgive me, but if anybody has any suggestions, I'd be most grateful.

With baby #4 on the way, I need a new car.  I was really dead set against having a van, so have been looking at SUV's.  Is it possible, in relative comfort?

I have the new Outlander sitting in my driveway right now.  The dealership loaned it to me for the afternoon (great customer service!) so I could see how we all fit.  We've been for a drive and it really is too squishy.  I'll have newborn obviously RF, and a 7 year old in a tethered booster (which he will be for at least 2 years yet),  plus a 10 year old and 12 year old.

With the booster tethered in the 2nd row (and imagining the RF seat in there), access to the 3rd row is not easy, and I had hoped 10 year old could be in the middle row but it is going to be far too squashy in there, with the 2 seats.

I am going to try a CX9 which is longer and wider - will I have any luck with this one!?  Surely it can't be this hard?  Or do I really need to suck it up and look at vans?

Opinions please!?

#2 jayskette

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:44 PM

I think you will need something like a Landcruiser, with decent 3rd row seats unlike most SUVS with last rows that only fit midgets

#3 Rolex

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:51 PM

Thanks jayskette.  It was actually the 2nd row that was squishy though.  My eldest, and his friend, were both actually fine in the 3rd row - once they managed to get IN there.  Access was the big problem with the 3rd row.

#4 podg

Posted 29 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

Suck it up. You are right about access, and PP is right about a 'proper' third row with leg space etc.

I think getting everyone out in a hurry or an accident is important. We had friends whose new car burnt to the ground fast, soon after its second factory service. They only just got the kids out. We have a 7-seater wagon and a van, and wouldn't go back to the seven seater.

We do however have four in child restraints. I'm sure a difficult-to-access third row would be easier if some more were older.

#5 Fossy

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

What about a bigger suv? Outlanders are on the smaller side (same as captivas, dualis + 2 etc) We have a Kluger, we have two rf seats in the middle row and I comfortably fit between them, or another carseat would.  
Third row is pretty comfy, I fit in there well and can access it pretty easily although it's not too glamorous!

#6 SeaPrincess

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:09 PM

We have a Landcruiser at the moment.  I have the older 2 in their tethered boosters in the back row (they can both do their own seat belts up) and only the younger child in the middle row.  We keep one side seat in the middle row folded up unless it is in use, but can fit another child (or small adult) in the middle row easily. We are also looking for a new, smaller 7-seat car and would probably keep this arrangement.

FWIW, we visited a friend with a CX9. With the back row in use there was almost no boot space - we couldn't fit the pram she had borrowed and not a lot of shopping fitted either.

Yesterday we drove a Volvo XC90.  It is a really nice car - lots of space, lots of versatility, has lots of features that we didn't expect to find in a smaller car.  More $ than I wanted to spend though.

Edited by SeaPrincess, 29 December 2012 - 03:10 PM.

#7 threetimesblessed

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:10 PM

We have just had the same problem with the arrival of DS3.

We also looked at the new Outlander, a CX7/CX9, Kluger etc.

In terms of access and a 'proper' back row, I found the Kluger was best.

I wanted my 3 to fit comfortably in the middle row and we ended up measuring the length of the middle row in several cars. There was a 10cm difference amongst some cars. We ended up buying a Territory.

The problem is also fitting a pram in if you have the back row of seats up, so look for cars where they split 50/50.

#8 Fenrir

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:15 PM

with decent 3rd row seats unlike most SUVS with last rows that only fit midgets

I have a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe and my DH and I can fit very comfortably in the third row seats. They are adult size. The second row also has three tether points.

You can get to the third row by putting down one side of the second row with ease.
The problem is also fitting a pram in if you have the back row of seats up, so look for cars where they split 50/50.

Mine do.

#9 jayskette

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:19 PM

Hi OP I should also add that I've been on a Landcruiser with 2 kids on boosters in the back row, with 3 adults in the middle (smallish adults incl me) and 2 big fat adults are the front. Now that the owner has 3 kids, 3 boosters are fine in the middle row, the back fit 2 medium sized adults.

#10 MamaMoi

Posted 29 December 2012 - 03:33 PM

We have the Volvo XC90 with three kids, two in carseats and the oldest using the built in booster which comes standard in the Volvo.

Baby is behind the driver in a capsule, 2.5yr old is on the passenger side and 7 yr old is in the middle.

If 7 yr old uses the 3rd row, he climbs in via the boot. As I am still using a double pram and therefore insist on having the cargo barrier up, he had only used the 3rd row once as a treat when we first got the car.

I think with the age of your kids you would be fine with a Volvo or something similar, like the Mazda CX9, if you really do not want a van (which I can understand!).

If I had your age kids in my car I would have the newborn behind the driver, 7 year old in the built in booster or even something like a Hiliner in the middle, 12 yr old could use the passenger side seat in middle row and the 10 yr old could use the 3rd row climbing in either via the 12 yr olds seat (folder forward) or jump in via the boot.

The Volvo has great boot space with the third row seats up and since you would only require a single pram, keeping a seat up in the third row full time wouldn't be a problem.

I am pretty picky about cars and I am loving the Volvo! We have had it for 2 months and other than the enormous turning circle, I couldn't be happier. I didn't drive the Mazda as I wanted a diesel engine but a few friends have it and rave about it.

Good luck!

#11 Rolex

Posted 29 December 2012 - 04:48 PM

QUOTE (Beautiful Warlock @ 29/12/2012, 03:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe and my DH and I can fit very comfortably in the third row seats. They are adult size. The second row also has three tether points.

You can get to the third row by putting down one side of the second row with ease.

Mine do.

I must admit I haven't looked at the Santa Fe, as I was told the curtain airbags don't extend all the way to row 3?  I should drop in and have a look though.

What you've described for access to row 3 is what I was planning, but unfortunately the Outlander folds the passenger side and middle seat in one - they aren't seperate, meaning the booster in the middle position has to move forward as well, so it can't go far.  The 2nd row drivers side seat is a single seat, but that's where I'm planning the baby to be, because I want my older kids getting in and out on the footpath side, especially at school.  The entire row is quite narrow too and even with my 7yo being in an Infa Vario (quite narrow) it doesn't leave much room for another passenger beside it.

Thanks MamaMoi for your detailed reply, much appreciated.  I'm not a Volvo person myself, but I'm glad to hear you have friends who love their Mazda.  I need to take the kids with me to have a look at it again.

I did look at Kluger this morning, however no salesman wanted to help me, even after I went and asked for help.  But the middle seat in the Kluger doesn't even look like a real seat, it's so small?

podg, you do raise a good point about getting out in an emergency too.  I might end up looking at Grand Carnival again as well - definitely more space.  But I have "issues" with it having 2 x lap only belts - I think they are ridiculous and should be illegal!

Thanks everyone!

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