33 answers

MiniVan Cargo Space

Hi,
I'm looking into buying a minivan but it looks like there isn't enough cargo space. I have a 3 y/o, a 1 y/o and pregnant with our 3rd (due in September). To say the least, I'm going to need to lug around my double stroller (which is an Instep jogging stroller). Can anyone give me insight on cargo space in minivans? Or do I have to buy a big SUV for the cargo room?

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I ended up getting a VW Routan. A mini van really does have a lot of cargo space. I was driving an Envoy with 3rd row seating prior but with the 3rd row up, there was barely any space for a stroller. I'm very happy with our decision and thank you all for your opinions and comments, which helped us out tremendously.

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I have 4 kids & have a full size ford conversion van (bigger than a minivan). Just another option for you to think about. Its great in the winter or rain, I dont have to get out of the van at all to strap everyone in. These vans are not easy to find so if you are interested send me a message. Congrats on baby #3.

We have three little ones also. Mine are 5, 4, and 1. We just (after tons of online research and also car shopping) got a Toyota Sienna, and I would highly recommend it. We got a 2005 LE 8 seat minivan. In the 8 seat version each of the 3 seats in the middle is like a captain's chair (with the latch system in each one), so it can fit 3 car seats across no problem (something I really liked about it. I can have all three kids in the middle row where I can reach them if necessary and don't have to climb over seats or wiggle back to get to one of them.) The other thing we were looking at, like you are, is cargo room. Even with the 3rd row all up there is a lot of room to fit a big stroller and more. And since we have all three in the middle, we can even fold the 3rd row down (which folds flat into the floor, not just folding over) and have much more room! They get great reviews and are very reliable.

I have a Honda Odyssey. I have older kids, so I have to look at the seating space as well as the storage and last time we looked, the Honda had more room in the back than the Toyota. We have never had any storage problems and we've driven on many vacations taking all kinds of stuff.

Before the Honda we had a Grand Caravan and we had to get rid of it because we spent so much on repairs. Things like the air conditioning, the expensive items that shouldn't break after 3 years.

M.

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I would NOT get an SUV! You know how much it would suck to have a 3rd car seat in an SUV?????
We have a Chrysler Town & Country (same as the Dodge Caravan) and it is great. It has stow & go seats meaning that each seat folds flat to the floor. If your stroller doesn't fit in the cargo compartment (which it actually probably would as it's a pretty big space, you can fold one of the rear seats down for additional space and still have 4 seats (at least in our car - we have 2 bucket seats in the back and a 2/1 split seat in the far back).
We picked the minivan over an SUV because we knew we wanted another baby after our last so we'll have 2 car seats plus a teenager and it really would stink for him to have to hop into a 3rd row seat which has zero leg room over to little ones.
The minivan is the way to go and there's not a better minivan out there than the ones from Chrysler/Dodge!

1 mom found this helpful

I recommend either the Toyota or Honda minivan.
I have had two Dodge minivans (the second one needed new transmission at 49000 miles) and our Toyota Sienna minivan currently has 146000 miles on it and has not needed any major work on it (still has original transmission). We have three kids...have carried strollers, bicycles, kids with large instruments to music camp and college...there is good storage space...sometimes we slide seats out of our minivan if we are hauling large items (recently picked up new washing machine at hardware store). Enjoy your adventures with your minivan!
C. L
Mom of three (string bass, cello, bari saxophone etc)

1 mom found this helpful

We have a Chrysler Town & Country Limited and a Yukon Denali XL. And 4 kids 6 and under. I feel there is more cargo room in the Town & Country. In the Yukon, if I have my double stroller back there I kick myself every time I go to the grocery store for forgetting to take it out since there really isn't any room for groceries. No problems with this in the Town & Country.

I have a Nissan Quest and LOVE it! There is PLENTY of cargo room. I fit a double stroller in with no problem at all and there is still room for diaper bags etc.

I used to have a Dodge Durango and would have issues getting the double stroller in when the third row was up.

We have a toyota and love it...3 kids in 3 1/2 years so we too have to lug around big strollers.

Go with a minivan! You will love being able to push a button to open and close the doors. It's much easier to load the kids into a minivan than into an SUV. Believe me your back will thank you :)
We have a Honda Odyssey and love it!!!

hi K., go with Toyota Sienna. I'm in the same boat, have 2 kids and third due in a couple of weeks. My husband did a lot of research and the Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are best mini vans, you can remove one of the seats if you want more cargo room.
Out of the two, Sienna is getting better reviews, people are complaining about the transmission in Honda's, which can be pricey to replace.
So, we're going this weekend to buy the Sienna....

Chrysler Town and Country's have the largest cargo space available. They are a good used car buy because they often have upgrades as standard equipment, like leather seating and a moonroof. I am on my second one and have been generally pleased.

SMILE On!

ML

I was NEVER goingto be a "mini-van" mom......now NOBODY drives MY VAN!!! We got a Plymouth Grand Voyager SE used had 182K when we purchased a dyr ago and have put 30K on it this year alonew/ no problems.
We solved cargo issues by removing the middle seat makes it easy to load anything and everything (literally)...all carseats will fit in the back seat just have to get the extra harnass for the middle position.....vans have better mileage and get one with the extra letters at the end like SE or LTD these are the ones that have an extra 12-18 inches behind the rear seat

The Toyota Sienna has a deep back (lower than the door opens). I fit a double snap n go (holds infant carseats only) AND a double jogger (baby trend) AND a few camping chairs, all at the same time. Currently I have my double snap n go and my double maclaren laying down and they barely reach the bottom of the door.

Take the stroller with you when you van shop.

I love that the Sienna also has 8 seats (you could put all three kids in the middle) and stow and go in the back-you can fold all the back seats into the floor (splits to 2 seats although it seats 3), that's great for hauling as well.

Good luck!!

I have a Dodge Grand Caravan, which is slightly longer than a regualr minivan. I had no problem putting a double stroller, plus a single when my triplets were little and had room for groceries. Now I put in the full size stroller and plenty of groceries.

2004 Ford Freestar.....the back gargo is deep (because the back seat folds into the floor) The middle seats are two seperate captain chairs that fold forward or remove. When I put 2 car seats in the back and one in the chair, the extra seat can be left forward for more storage. I love it! Good Luck and congatulations

I cannot comment on the amount of cargo space in minivans/suvs etc.

BUT...if you are in the market for a new car, you may wish to consider a Chrysler product. No - I do not work for Chrylser so don't report me! lol

I heard on the news the other day that with the closing of many Chrysler dealers (leaving a super high inventory that must be reduced) that people may be able to successfully negotiate ridiculously lower prices.

I feel like I have way more room than I did in my suv. I had a bike and a stroller in there today. The back row is split so you can have part of it up and part of it down which creates way more room. I have the Honda and the trunk is a well so even with the 3 rd row up it still is pretty roomy. I can put my Double BOB or my wagon in there with no problem.

K.,

We just purchased a Dodge Grand Caravan with stow-n-go. It has a ton of storage space behind the third seat. I have 3 children (11, 8, and 4 y.o.) and take care of 3 more (13, 6, and 2 y.o.). We all fit. My good friends have the same van we do, except they have bench seats and we have bucket seats. I wish the best in your purchase. My sister owns a Town and Country and it's also full of cargo space.

B.

I currently own an older Plymouth Grand Voyager and a new Town and Country Touring mini van, plus am a nanny and drive the family's Toyota Sienna everyday. They did have a Volvo station wagon but just try to snap in 3 full size carseats---no fun. That's why they got the Toyota. Since I just went through the buying process I'd say the things I like most are 1)the stow and go seats in the Town and Country. Both the second row which is captain's chairs and the third row all fold down flat into the floor. The Sienna's fold down in the back row but must be removed in the second row. My older Plymouth also has to have the seats removed although the bench seat in the second row works better for getting my son in and out. He is in a wheelchair and the handles are spaced better for him. All have wonderful space in the back. I take 3 bikes and a stroller and a cooler and 3 kids all around in the summer. The middle seat in the middle row of the Sienna has been removed (it seats 8) and in the back row I have the 2/3 seat flattened with the oldest in the other seat that's in the back row. In my Town and Country I flattened the back seats and had plenty of room for the wheelchair, cooler suitcases, etc. we needed for a trip out of state this past week-end. We have luggage racks but have never used them. 2) I LOVE the buttons on the key that open the sliding doors and trunk on my Town and Country. When your arms are full of a baby, diaper bag, purse, etc. you don't have to try to hold something in your teeth to get the door open. Just press the button and they slide right open. I didn't think I needed that until I saw how easy it made my life. 3)The ride in the T & C and the Sienna is much smoother than the Dodge Grand Caravan I test drove.
4) The second row windows roll 1/2 way down in the Sienna. They are just glass, not open/close windows in my other 2 vans.

We bought the honda minivan last year, it is great! I have three kids, one in a booster and 2 in carseats. There is plenty of room for a double jogger, hockey bags and golf clubs all at once. Plus the seats in back split for even more storage. The Toyota is very similar too.
We took out the middle seat in the middle row, my 5 year old hops in the back and straps himself in, and the 2 younger kids are on either side of the middle row. It is so convenient!

Hi K.,

What you need to know is there are different lengths in mini vans. I had a Dodge Grand Caravan when 3 of my kids were babies.(in car seats) I needed a new van because that one was 12 years old. So, when I was looking they all seemed to be short in the back. Look for XL's or Grand. Also, I found that some very back seats move and some don't. The one's that move will give you more cargo space when you need it and more leg room when you need it (but not both at once). I ended up with a Chrysler Town and Country XL, which is basically the same as a Grand Caravan. I have 4 children in it everyday and they are now 15,12,9 and 6 years old. We on many occasions have 2 more adults and still plenty of room for baseball gear for 2, 4 chairs to watch the games, extra clothes if it gets cold and a cooler. I love minivans!!

Good Luck in your search!! Oh, 2 of my friends went from SUV's to minivans because getting in and out was much easier.

we have a dodge grand caravan. that is the ticket..you need to get the larger size minivan. there is tons of room. plus, if you take out all of the seats, you can fit full sheets of plywood etc. our oldest is in college and you would not believe how much stuff we packed in there to get him back and forth! you will definitely have room.

Why not just get the minivan that you like the best and buy a tray for the stroller? If you purchase a minivan with a tow hitch you can buy a cargo tray that plugs into the hitch. You can get one for around $200 and then you could only put it on your van when you need to carry the stroller along. Here's a website address that has a couple for sale http://www.etrailer.com/c-cc2.htm I'm not quite sure what the dimensions of your stroller are but one of them would probably work.

We have 4 kids and know exactly what you mean about needing the mini van seating but the cargo space also. We currently have the Buick Terraza minivan - extended edition. There is a lot more storage in the back behind the 3rd row of seats but we are still considering moving up to a very large SUV. Good luck!

I have a Honda Odyssey. I have older kids, so I have to look at the seating space as well as the storage and last time we looked, the Honda had more room in the back than the Toyota. We have never had any storage problems and we've driven on many vacations taking all kinds of stuff.

Before the Honda we had a Grand Caravan and we had to get rid of it because we spent so much on repairs. Things like the air conditioning, the expensive items that shouldn't break after 3 years.

M.

We have three little ones also. Mine are 5, 4, and 1. We just (after tons of online research and also car shopping) got a Toyota Sienna, and I would highly recommend it. We got a 2005 LE 8 seat minivan. In the 8 seat version each of the 3 seats in the middle is like a captain's chair (with the latch system in each one), so it can fit 3 car seats across no problem (something I really liked about it. I can have all three kids in the middle row where I can reach them if necessary and don't have to climb over seats or wiggle back to get to one of them.) The other thing we were looking at, like you are, is cargo room. Even with the 3rd row all up there is a lot of room to fit a big stroller and more. And since we have all three in the middle, we can even fold the 3rd row down (which folds flat into the floor, not just folding over) and have much more room! They get great reviews and are very reliable.

I have 4 kids & have a full size ford conversion van (bigger than a minivan). Just another option for you to think about. Its great in the winter or rain, I dont have to get out of the van at all to strap everyone in. These vans are not easy to find so if you are interested send me a message. Congrats on baby #3.

We had a Dodge GRAND Caravan a couple years ago and they have a ton of cargo space. There are different lengths so ask your dealer. They also have the floor compartments to lift up so check that out. Good luck!

I see that you have a lot of advice, but i work at a dodge dealership& i am lucky enough to receive a company vehicle! I have 3 kids (18, 15, & 3!) and i absolutely love the grand caravan! It is roomy, the automatic doors are great, and the trunk space is outstanding! There are two different kinds: one where the seats swivel ("swivel & go") or the kind where the seats fold down into the floor ("stow & go"). I personally like the stow & go; backseats are more roomy & you cant beat the convenience for carrying things! I currently am driving the dodge journey. I like it, but the one i have only has 2 rows of seats (i like the 3 rows better!). I definitely miss my grand caravan! Now is also a great time to buy. Chrysler released a list of dealers that are closing, so everyone is trying to sell their inventory! Let me know if you are interested. I can see what rebates & incentives chrysler has available (wow that sounds like a sales pitch, but it isnt! I work in the office!!) good luck!

Definitely a MINIVAN!!! We have an Odyssey with our three kids (9 yrs, 5 yrs, and 1 yr) and we have MUCH more cargo room than any of my friends with SUVs. Trust me, I have bikes, trikes and strollers in the back of my van at all times, along with all of the snacks, bottled drinks, jackets, helmets etc.
Plus, with the minivan, the third row is actually functional (try getting into the third row of an SUV, and you'll know what I'm talking about), and for playdates, there's actually space for extra carseats!
Just about all of my friends opted for SUVs, and I've seen the rigamarole of them trying to get bikes and such in and out, and it's a nightmare.
We love our van, and there's sooooo much storage. Totally completely useful and functional, and the automatic doors are a Godsend when you're toting around those heavy infant carseats!
Best of luck!

I have a Toyota Sienna and there's enough room to stand up my double jogging stroller. (I was also able to put mine in the old camry too). I think the minivans have more space width wise than suvs. It might be harder but possible to fit 3 car seats side by side in an suv.

We went with the larger SUV which has a lot more cargo room. The Chevy Tahoe has alot, plus you sit higher which makes me feel safer. There is room for 3 car seats in the back. You can also get the 3rd row seat, which comes out in 2 parts. So if you just need room for 1 car seat, you can just put half of it in and still have the other side plus the back for cargo space.

Hi K., we have 2 Honda Odysseys and WE LOVE THEM! We also have a double stroller to lug, and we take lots of road trips and this thing has plenty of room! The third seat has a 60/40 split to add extra space for cargo if you need it. I think its the widest of the minivans. Its very comfortable and it has a middle seat in the 2nd row that is surprisingly large enough for a lager Mama to sit in between the kids to read them books or soothe a crier. That seat is pretty easy to remove and it stows in the floor right in front of the 2nd row. Check it out, I think you'll love it!
P.S. Always does great in crash tests and fairly inexpensive to insure.
P.P.S.I am not a Honda sales person, I've just found this car to be so perfect for our family!

I had a Ford Expedition years ago, and though it was nice, it left a lot to be desired when it came to storage room. I had a large stroller and it barely fit in the back. I now have a Pontiac Montana and the van has tons more room for storing things. not to mention double the gas mileage!
take the stroller wiht you when you go looking...i doubt you will find a van that wont fit it nicely and leave room for more!

I have a 2008 Dodge Grandcaravan and love it . I have a 5,4 and 18mnth and have plenty of room . I have a double stroller and 2 hockey bags and can throw grocery in the back as well. It has 2 bucket seats and the 3rd row , so my daughter is in the bucket and the boys in the back .

K.,
I always said I would never get a mini van. Then, when my twins came along I had to. After looking at many vans & SUV, we went with the Honda. My twins are 5 now and we recently traded in the van & I could just kick myself now!

R. C
Director with Baby Crazy
www.iambabycrazy.com/R.
Baby Crazy offers exceptional, reasonably-priced products,gifts and toys for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and the mom-to-be.We have a unique selection for the bath, mealtime, travel, bedtime and best of all ......playtime!

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