BIG Family/Advice For BIG Vehicle

Updated on January 13, 2008
J.H. asks from Georgetown, KY
4 answers

Hi-I am a mother of 4 plus step-son and expecting #5 in April. So yes a total of 6 kids soon. Right now we have a Toyota Sienna Mini-van-7 passenger. My problem: all together there will be 8 of us, none of the kids are big enough to ride up front. I can make my 7 passenger an 8 passenger. But first of all pretty expensive to do and have found it hard to find the seat to make it an 8 pass. Also, grandma likes to ride along pretty often. So, do we keep looking for the extra seat, buy an 8 passenger SUV or venture on up to a 10 or 12 passenger van???? Thanks for the help!!

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So What Happened?

Hi-I know this request was from some time ago but we finally bought a big 15 passenger van. Chevy Express and except for it being a gas hog, which I expected, I absolutely love it!!!!!!!!!

More Answers



answers from Cleveland on

ok.. First of all you have to ask yourself... "what do I use this vehicle for?". If you're like me, and use it for EVERYTHING,, you also have to consider where you're going to put that massive amount of groceries, that sports equipment, ( if your kids play sports,) if you want to allow one of your kids to take a friend when you go to the mall, chuckecheese, etc,, ALL that luggage on family vacations, or a weekend to visit the in-laws, etc... I have 4 kids and own a ford expedition. It seats 8. Usually with football pads & helmets for two, basketballs, soccer balls and pads, toys to keep the younger ones involved in something besides starting fights amongst themselves, to keep them satisfied while we're waiting for practice to be over, taking friends places, camping gear, homeschool stuff, ( IE books, microscopes, telescopes, etc...) and those marathon trips to cosco, sams club and farmers markets. Two dogs, a ball python who all of those usually go with me and my son ( his snake) and we're seriously considering one of those huge transport vans when my husband trades in his sonoma. The 10-12 pas. that you mentioned. Me? I like S P A C E .. and space to put everything w/ out my kids holding boxes of groceries or their equipment in their laps.
If you're planning to et a larger vehicle, why not try the new expeditions, or a suburban if you are not quite ready to go whole hog like me and get the big big van.
I wish you luck in your endeavor, and hope for the best for you and your family.



answers from Cleveland on

Hi J.,
We have a 1999 Chevy suburban that has close to 200,000 miles on it and it has been such a great investment. I do not have as many children as you, I have 3, but we also have two big Labs and we do alot of traveling. The Suburban had alot of seat space, but just as importantly it also had the most cargo space when we were looking around. I could fit my double stroller and a ton of other stuff in the back. Its very frustrating these days because everyone wants to get good gas mileage and do whats right for the environment, but when you have a big family sometimes you just have to buy a gas guzzler. What's the alternative? Two or three cars every time you go somewhere? Good luck searching.



answers from Dayton on

Most of the mom's on my large family board either go for an 8 passenger mini van for much better gas mileage or else with a Suburban/Yukon XL. In that you can have seating for 8 or 9 plus a lot of cargo room. Passengar vans are not too easy to find.



answers from Cleveland on

Must be the name J....

I am also the mother of 6 (including 4 step-children). We bought a used 2004 Suburban last May, and we absolutely love it. It has a built-in DVD player, which is great for long trips. Our kids range in age from 5-12, and there is plenty of room for all of them + tons of cargo space. We considered the 8-passenger Honda Pilot, but it was just too cramped. It probably would have been OK while our kids are small, but it would not have been a long-term solution.

The only downside, of course, is the gasoline expense. It doesn't get good gas mileage, and it costs a fortune to fill the huge tank (like $80 or so). But, our only choice was to continue taking 2 cars everywhere...which is just as expensive in the long run.

Hope this helps!

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