Best SUV for 3 Kids (3 Carseats)

Updated on March 03, 2010
B.M. asks from Chicago, IL
14 answers

Hello Moms!
I am currently pregnant with #3. We are trading in our CRV for a larger SUV because we will need more room for 3 car seats (my lease is up, so we need to get a new vehicle anyway!).

My children are 3 and 6 (and the 6 year old will be in his booster until he goes to college because he's so damn skinny!). They will be almost 4 and almost 7 when the baby arrives.

So...tell me...what do you love about your SUV?? Please don't suggest a minivan. We're just not ready to make that leap...I know, I know...we will want one eventually, but not yet.


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So What Happened?

Thank You everyone for the advice!

We have a few months to check out vehicles and test drive them before my lease is up and the new baby arrives, but you have all given me lots to think about.

Thank you, thank you!!

Featured Answers



answers from Peoria on

I have a Ford Explorer, I can get my daughters car seat, my other daughters infant seat, and another car seat in my backseat. I also have the third row seating and additional car seats can go there when I travel with my niece and nephew. Very happy with this SUV!!!

More Answers



answers from Detroit on

We used to have a Ford Escape. We could fit 3 carseats in the back. You do need to make sure that the booster seats seat belt connector is not next to the infants seatbelt so the older child doesn't accidently unbuckle the babies seat.



answers from Atlanta on

We have been looking at the Buick Enclave as it is unique from the aspect that it has Captains chairs in the second row. Therefore, you can put one child in the 3rd row and they can easily get back there themselves. Other big suvs, like the Yukon, have this feature but the Buick Enclave is the only midsize SUV (that I know of) with this feature. The Buick is the top end version of this car. The GMC Arcadia and Chevy Traverse are basically the same vehicle without some of the luxury. We have an Acura MDX today and this vehicle is slightly bigger and less money. Good luck.




answers from Chicago on

We LOVE our Honda Pilot. You could totally do 2 car seats on either side and the booster seat in the middle. Or you can put up the 3rd row and put your big guy in his booster in the back. It has great gas mileage for a V6 and is so easy to drive. Good luck!



answers from San Francisco on

We bought a certified used Acura MDX and we love it. You can fit 2 carseats plus a person in the middle row. The 3rd row hase good room too. If they buckle themselves then any child can sit back there. There are a ton of amenities and lots of storage room with both or one of the 3rd row seats down. It is a very smooth ride and does great in wet weather on small back roads. Haven't taken it in the snow yet.



answers from Charlotte on

Hi B.,

I bought a Lexus RX 330 because it becomes a 4 wheel drive vehicle when you push the SNOW button LOL! Wow, what a difference it makes driving in snow or ice! Cars were slipping and sliding on the interstate on Christmas night, on their sides on the side of the road, in the middle of the median - wow. Stressful to say the least. But we did just fine, thanks to this vehicle. We bought it used from the Lexus dealership in Schaumburg outside of Chicago. I really liked our salesman too. (I never like car salesmen, so that's saying something.) There's no good reason in my mind to buy a new one - all the depreciation is already taken out of the car if you buy it used.

If you decide on a Lexus, I highly recommend you purchase from a Lexus dealership so that you'll be able to get a Certified pre-owned car, which is really important. And if the previous owner brought the car to them for service, they know everything that has been done to that car, which is so helpful to you. Schaumburg's service department is great - they are honest and hard working. I feel lucky to have found them.

Just to let you know, I drove so many SUV's and this was the best drive without feeling like I was driving a boat.

Have fun!


answers from Spokane on

I have a 2005 Chevy Suburban and we love it! Ours actually seats 9 (we have 5 kids + 2 nephews) it has so much room for luggage or groceries! We live in Wa and it is great in the snow! It is the only car we bought brand new and am hoping to drive it till it dies....many years from now! It drives so smoothly and kinda like a luxury sedan, you know that feeling? It is a big SUV so you might not want one that size but if you can see yourself having any more kids...or can see taking cousins/friends with you guys lots of places it might be worth it for you.~We go camping every year and have taken 6 of the kids and 1 large dog and all the equipment that goes with it and it was a breeze fitting everything in:)

I used to have a 1991 Ford Explorer and it was my all time favorite "used car" ever...ran great, fit lots (but not enough for us),it was a 5 speed, had absolutely no "bells and whistles" but it was great, also excellent in the snow!

My sister has a 2002 Dodge Durango. It has the 3rd row seat. It fits 8 but does not have anywhere near as much room in the back for groceries or luggage as my suburban....and I personally do not like the window designs of Dodge's...they seem to have a big blind spot where the windshield meets the car frame on the drivers side?

Lots of friends and other mom's at my kids' schools have mini-vans and love them, we even looked at them when we were car shopping but I didn't like ANY of them... I guarantee my suburban has more room than most!



answers from Sherman on

I LOVE my GMC Acadia. We have 3 kids 4 and under and it fits 3 carseats plus extras just fine!



answers from Bangor on

We have a GMC Yukon XL, and we LOVE it! It has eight seats which is great. Granted, we have four kids and another on the way, but it's great for when they get older and want their friends to tag along someplace. Ours has power everything and DVD player in it, which is great for long rides. There's plenty of room, and it rides great. Awesome turning capabilities. I'd look into getting one of those if you can. Look online at like or something, though, because most dealerships don't do the third row seat option without it costing you a bit more. We used to have a minivan, but this is just so much better. Again, if you can get this vehicle, you won't ever need a minivan. I don't think I'd ever have another minivan after having my SUV. Good luck with your search!



answers from Chicago on

Hi B.~We upgraded our vehicle also when we had baby #2. Now with baby #3 almost here, I am soooo pleased with our decision.
We have a Ford Explorer xlt. It has 3 seats in the middle, and then a 3rd row that can be up, or level with the floor. That row seats another 2. I am able to fit 3 carseats in the middle row, but my oldest, who will be 7, usually prefers to just go in the far back so he has the extra room. It is very comfy. We just went a few months ago to Kansas and it was a great ride there. There is plenty of leg room in all seats. Your kids are about the same ages as mine. We will have a new baby, a 7yr old in a booster seat, and a 3yr old in a forward facing carseat, and like I said, I really couldn't be happier with our decision!
One suggestion I'd like to make, based on my experience---When you do go to check out vehicles, bring all carseats with you, even the infant seat and put them in as you normally would. That will give you a great idea as to how they will fit when you do install them all!
Good luck with your search & congrats on baby #3.



answers from Sioux City on

We love our Chevy Suburban! It's a 2005 and has bucket seats in the middle row so the 2 big boys can get to their carseats. It's SO easy for my husband or I to get to all the boys and buckle them in! I LOVE IT!



answers from Richland on

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my 05 GMC Yukon XL Denali!!! It seats 8 and there is TONS of space for storage! I do daycare and I can place 3 carseats in the middle row and 3 boosters in the back! :) It drives great and we figured we might as well go big and just do it once! Good Luck!



answers from Columbus on

Completely understand. I am NOT a minivan mom either. My parents always had vans when we were growing up & for some reason I have grown to despise them. I know, I'm weird. We only have two kids, but we have a large dog and are ALWAYS taking extra kids or people in general with us when we go places. We just bought our second Ford Explorer in the fall b/c we love it so much! This one has a 3rd row, but our first did not. I frequently fit three carseats across the second row when going places with a friend. The third row makes it nice b/c now we can take even more people with us when need be. I can now take my two, both in bulky convertible seats, my two nephews as well as my bil & sil places without having to take two vehicles. The second row easily folds down or the middle section between the carseats flip down to easily access the third row. There is still plenty of cargo room behind the third row.
Another option that I loved and seriously considered when we were looking to purchase this new vehicle back in the fall was the Chevy Traverse. It is a mid-size crossover. It has two different options.... either two bench seats for the second & third row.... or captains seats for the second row & bench for 3rd row. again seemed to have enough cargo space behind third row for the dog or a stroller, etc.



answers from Chicago on

We have a Yukon Denali and loooove it! It is like driving a bus, but all the room is great! I am 34 weeks pregnant with our third baby, so we need lots of room! P.S. We bought it used, it is a 2006, but only had 27,000 miles on it! Alt cheaper than a new one!

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