What vehicles for families?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by nrvna76, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. nrvna76 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2010
    This might seem like a stupid question but every time my wife and I think about buying new vehicles we start from scratch and don’t even know what body styles to pick. Used to be easy without kids because it really didn’t matter but now with 3 kids in car seats it becomes a math equation.

    Right now we have an older F150 that is long in the tooth, and a few year old Odyssey. The F150 became my commuter vehicle, which highlights its 12 miles/gallon. But we need something versatile for picking up Lowe’s orders or moving things around for my wife’s photo shoots. And clearly the Odyssey is the family hauler, but we don’t even use the third row because it’s perpetually filled with crap we don’t need with us all the time, it’s just there.

    Contemplating getting a Ridgeline for the family/versatility vehicle and a small hatch for commuter which could probably still fit the kids in a pinch, but who knows, at least the gas mileage would be great.

    Is this only a problem because I’m an nerd/engineer and I overthink everything? Which vehicle combinations have folks with kids gone with to meet all your family/commuting/home improvement needs?

    Thanks for any conversation!
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    This may sound outdated, but what about a station wagon?

    Several manufacturers still make them although they may not be directly referred to as that.
  3. radiologyman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2011
    We have 3 children too but only 2 needed car seats/boosters therefore we could easily get by with a midsize SUV and a Camry. In retrospect, I should have waited several months and leased a 3rd row SUV as kids like more space on long trips. I think a minivan will not be in the running for the next upgrade given that it does not handle that great in bad weather even thought it takes less gas than SUV.
  4. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I recommend the Rolls Royce Phantom. There's plenty of room for booster seats in the back, and the forward opening doors make ingress/egress much easier. Trunk space should be plentiful for the errands you mentioned as well.

    Hope this helps.
  5. nrvna76 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2010
    Yea, that could work for the family vehicle, could possibly offer awd, but that’s very similar function wise to an SUV and I wouldn’t know whether to pair it with a truck or a small commuter car. Lol

    That is a reason we are considering ditching the minivan. Glad to see you were able to get by with a midsize and sedan.

    Great recommendation. More expensive than my house.. however I did not specify so I appreciate the response!
  6. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    We have 2 children—both in car seats of some sort—with multiple activities. Our criteria were reliability, space, comfort, and dependability in all conditions.

    We have a Toyota 4Runner and more recently bought a used (1 owner, low mileage) Subaru Outback.

    We’re quite happy with them both and look forward to keeping them both for many years.
  7. nrvna76 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2010
    We decided to change from an F150 and Odyssey to an Acura MDX, and a Tacoma. Only picked the MDX because it was a great deal, we’re not usually luxury car people but that thing is awesome. Tacoma is definitely a lot smaller but all 3 car seats still fit.
  8. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Are Tacoma prices dropping any now that it actually has a bit of competition?
  9. nrvna76 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2010
    I don’t think so. The Tacoma is marketed totally differently than the Colorado, Canyon, and Ranger. They are all similarly priced but you don’t get much off msrp on a Tacoma like you do the others. But you can’t beat the resale value still. Something like %80 after 3 years.
  10. Zenithal macrumors 604

    Sep 10, 2009
    Toyota Highland or Honda Pilot get my vote for affordable, good value, and the ability to opt for 2nd row captain's chairs. Resale is good on them, too. Fuel consumption is fairly good for SUVs. Both are fine for all age ranges. The MDX is more or less an upmarket version of the Pilot, IIRC. Not a bad purchase at all.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 5, 2019 ---
    LOL The day Taco prices fall by a wide margin at the manufacturer level is the day pigs fly. You sure are a funny guy, Will. :p
  11. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Fixed that for you! ;)
  12. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    Well, it mostly goes without saying.

    Regardless, almost all vehicles are safe enough these days—especially mass-manufactured ones from Japan.
  13. a2jack macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2013
    Does your job require you to drive a new car ?

    You can get much more car/Suv for you money on the used market. A nice Audi off lease, or even a top of the line BMW will cost less than a new garden verity new SUV and be great fun to drive. a2
  14. nrvna76 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2010
    It does not. And I did go used, Tacoma and MDX. Jury will be out on their usefulness but my wife is in love with the Acura. We are not typically luxury car people. lol
  15. jeyf macrumors 65816

    Jan 20, 2009
    vehicles have become super reliable... mostly

    even a vehicle with say 150K miles is still just broken in. Buy a used or new vehicle that you really really like.
    my daily driver = 1992 Honda Civic VX (yes i have owned it for 20+ years)
    week end && good weather transportation = Honda S2000 ap1

    my next car will be an EV
  16. TotalMacMove macrumors regular


    Jun 18, 2013
    Toyota 4runner.

    The most reliable SUV you will ever have. Three in my family. Two of them over 300,000 miles, factory engine/tranny. Other one at 140,000 and running at 100

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15 June 2, 2019