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Suggestions For Family Vehicle


ICrappedMyPants
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The time has come to get a new family vehicle by the end of the year. The wife surprised me with a Father’s Day gift of finding out that we’re having our third child. We’ve been mostly thinking about either a Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna, or Subaru Ascent.


We’re looking for a reliable and safe vehicle as we keep our cars for a LONG time and safety matters. My other two kids are little, so we have bulky car seats and need the space of a larger SUV or mini van. Does anyone have any good experiences with vehicles that they would recommend?

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Member · Posted

Both the Honda and Toyota should be good for long-term reliability, both from reviews and knowing people who own them. My assistant owns an Odyssey and has for years, ditto a close friend. The Honda might be a tad more modern inside than the Toyota, but the Sienna will have AWD.

I'm not a huge fan of Chrysler, but they've been making minivans since the 80s, so I think they've learned a thing or two. Kia has also made some strides and isn't in the bottom feeder car category, so maybe the Sedona.

SUV, I'm a fan of the Ford Expedition if you need a big one. A friend of mine owned a Hyundai Santa Fe for years and years and really like it, if you want something a hair smaller.

 

 

 

 

 

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Chrysler Pacifica is awesome, as painful for me to say as that is.  Go drive a Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna first, that is what we did. Pacifica is way nicer and more bang for your buck.  Sliding doors with little kids is a life changer. 

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6 minutes ago, B.A. said:

Chrysler Pacifica is awesome, as painful for me to say as that is.  Go drive a Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna first, that is what we did. Pacifica is way nicer and more bang for your buck.  Sliding doors with little kids is a life changer. 

My only concern with the Chrysler is the reliability. I’m looking to get 200k+ miles on this new vehicle. 

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Where do you live?  If winter weather is a problem you might want to lean towards an SUV with all wheel drive.  We have a Toyota RAV4 - which is a little small for your needs IMHO - but it is extremely sure footed in the snow with just regular tires -  in snow in a lot of ways it drives itself - enough so  that I can focus mostly on steering .  Being retired we don't particularly need to go out in snowy weather but you likely will need to go out in it (if that is a factor where you live).

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Member · Posted
6 minutes ago, ICrappedMyPants said:

My only concern with the Chrysler is the reliability. I’m looking to get 200k+ miles on this new vehicle. 

They have a slightly better warranty than Honda or Toyota, though Kia has the best warranty. 

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22 minutes ago, Tabonga said:

Where do you live?  If winter weather is a problem you might want to lean towards an SUV with all wheel drive.  We have a Toyota RAV4 - which is a little small for your needs IMHO - but it is extremely sure footed in the snow with just regular tires -  in snow in a lot of ways it drives itself - enough so  that I can focus mostly on steering .  Being retired we don't particularly need to go out in snowy weather but you likely will need to go out in it (if that is a factor where you live).

I live in the suburbs of Chicago, but if we ever had to move to the NE to help my in-laws, then I’d likely need AWD. The wife really likes Subaru’s, but we have concerns about being able to get the kids in and out easily. I’m also looking for something that seats 7+ as we would try to have at least one more kid. 

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I recently borrowed my mother's Buick Enclave for the weekend, and that shit was the tits. Seats 7+ and has a ton of features. On the more expensive side, though, thats for sure. Super reliable though. She's gotten over 130k miles out of it and with regular maintenence and oil changes, it still drives like it is brand new.

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Member · Posted
14 hours ago, ICrappedMyPants said:

My other two kids are little, so we have bulky car seats and need the space of a larger SUV or mini van. Does anyone have any good experiences with vehicles that they would recommend?

You can buy slim car seats from Canada

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If you want 200k miles out of the vehicle, I'd suggest to spend the up front cash and get a Sienna or Odyssey.  While Subaru is generally reliable, the Ascent is a newly designed vehicle that's only been out a few years, and pretty big for a 4-cylinder turbo (might have a 6cyl option too?).

Kia just announced a new Sedona and it looks pretty promising, I agree with others that Hyundai/Kia have definitely leveled the playing field some.  Their warranties are great, but I still worry about putting 200k on them without frequent mechanic visits post-100k.

The new Pacifica has been glorified to the moon and back and offers some sweet features but I also worry about hitting 200k with anything associated to Chrysler and whether the company will even be around in 5-10yrs (hate on me if you want lol).

With respect to SUV versus Soccer Mom van, I fully encourage to go the Van route.  Sliding doors with a push of a button is a godsend when you're exhausted and dealing with 1-2-3 kiddos.  Some vans offer AWD too, I believe, if you're worried there.

Lastly, I'll just suggest doing some research before you pull the trigger.  While shooting for 200k I'd automatically focus on Sienna and Odyssey, I'd definitely research if any generations or drivetrains are more problematic than others (but that's just the anal/analytical side of me).  I tend to avoid drivetrains lacking reputation.  I mention this because as an example, when Chrysler changed their vans over to the 3.6 pentastar motor, the first few years had serious head issues around the 100k mark that weren't resolved until I think 2013ish.

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Member · Posted
On 6/25/2020 at 3:59 PM, Reed Rothchild said:

Soccer mom van.  Dead serious.

We rented a Santa Fe for a trip and it was pretty sweet 

Oh they don't still do those do they?  Talk about cliche... 😞 

One of my relatives waaaaay back when I was no more than 10 years old had a van that had a digital dashboard...I thought that was the coolest most futuristic thing ever! 🙂   So far this is the best digital dashboard I've yet found...imagine how futuristic it would be to be driving a mid 80s 'vette with this...

 

And perhaps this playing on the radio?

Way back when the year 2000 was a cool future year that excited the imagination! 😄

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Member · Posted
On 6/26/2020 at 11:27 AM, RH said:

You jest, but if you know anyone of the "quiverfull movement" it really is either this or 2x 14 passenger vans.

It'd be more fun though to convert a decommissioned regular size bus...you should see the cool ways they ("schoolies") can redo the interior!

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11 hours ago, Estil said:

One of my relatives waaaaay back when I was no more than 10 years old had a van that had a digital dashboard...I thought that was the coolest most futuristic thing ever! 🙂   So far this is the best digital dashboard I've yet found...imagine how futuristic it would be to be driving a mid 80s 'vette with this...

 

My dad's 88 T-bird and my aunt's 88 or 89 Buick Somerset had digital gauges. They look neat, but I'm not the biggest fan of them for speedometers and tachs.

The trend I see nowadays is analog speed and tach, digital everything else (fuel, temp, battery, etc.) Some cars even set it up where you can rotate the digital gauges with a switch on the steering wheel.

Of course, Tesla had to take it to extremes. 😛

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Don't rule out Acura and Lexus who are made by Honda and Toyota respectively.

The RDX is a hell of a vehicle. I would check it out if you're in the market for a mid range SUV. And they're responsibly priced new:

https://www.acura.com/rdx/pricing-and-specs

Lightly used ones are half the price too:

https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/link/271493496

Edited by RegularGuyGamer
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