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Old 01-27-2010, 10:30 AM   #21
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I did read the op. Having a dog and luggage shouldn't call for a large car.
You missed the kids and the strollers. Try improving your reading comprehension before replying to threads.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:36 AM   #22
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We've got a Kia Rondo, it may work for you, it can seat 7, though you might want something a little bit bigger, especially if another kid would be added in the future. Either something bigger, or get a luggage carrier for the roof rack.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:40 AM   #23
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We've got a Chevy Equinox and are quite happy with it. The back seat is adjustable so you can keep the kids closer to the front when they're in car seats, and slide it back when they're old enough to think kicking the front seats is a blast. Fair amount of room in the back hatch as well. With a Thule rack you could comfortably haul a dog, 3 kids, and luggage.

For a larger option, the Traverse is nice too. It has 7th row seating, and doesn't quite look like a minivan. We test drove one and liked it, but we didn't need anything that big.

I think they've got about $7000 cash back right now with the olympics, which makes them both very price competitive too.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:46 AM   #24
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Just buy the minivan. Once you enjoy the sliding doors (and automatic ones at that) you will wonder why you didn't go that route earlier. Lets face it...you have a wife and two kids. Its not like you're out picking up women anyway (unless you're Tiger Woods) and the van is just plain convenient. The kids can climb in by themselves, there is lots of room and it drives nice enough for the family.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:49 AM   #25
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The dog is a chocolate lab. His dad is 110 lbs and I expect him to be pretty large as well. Two kids and the dog might still fit. Three kids and a dog is not going to happen.
I'm in a simlar situation. Wife is 8 months along with the first child and I have a Samoyed who's my little dog, 60 pounds, and a sheppard cross who's 100.

I was looking at the new Ford F150's as the Supercrew has a hell of a lot more interior room than any Car or small to mid sized SUV that I've seen. They had some decent incentives on too right now to buy as well.

Living in a town with a Lake and having inlaws who have a pretty good size RV, pulling a trailer or boat is likely in my future too.

It's not the "smartest" choice but everytime I've owned a house you have junk to haul, or you decide to redo the floors, or fix up the land scaping, and a truck is handy to have. But for me my commute to work is like 3 kilometers so since I drive like 2400km a year going to and from work the fuel economy is something I could live with. So for myself it may be a decent choice as the vehicle can do a lot of things.

But at the end of the day I'll decide against it as my current compact SUV can still get us by and a luggage rack for it and inconvenience of being a bit cramped is a lot cheaper.

I did look at minivans, and one of those would be a better option than the Rav4. But where we live we are forced to make supply runs once in awhile and all wheel drive is something I'd like to have. If you want an AWD Toyota Sienna.....shell out 45 grand, or good luck finding a used one. Which leaves me buying a Dodge.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:50 AM   #26
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Just buy the minivan. Once you enjoy the sliding doors (and automatic ones at that) you will wonder why you didn't go that route earlier. Lets face it...you have a wife and two kids. Its not like you're out picking up women anyway (unless you're Tiger Woods) and the van is just plain convenient. The kids can climb in by themselves, there is lots of room and it drives nice enough for the family.
and is great to camp in when you remove all the seats...
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:52 AM   #27
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A minivan is the ultimate family vehicle. They usually have more cargo space than a full sized SUV, better fuel economy, and are safer. I'm a car guy, and even I can admit that they just make a lot of sense. I'm not sure why everyone hates them. I believe the Toyota Sienna is packing something like 265hp. We had one for a rental in Florida and were burning civics off the line all day.

If I didn't need that much space, I'd go for a wagon. VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Subaru all make pretty solid wagons of various sizes.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:52 AM   #28
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and is great to camp in when you remove all the seats...
Yet still sturdy enough to contain someone trying to claw their way out! (In before Locke!!!)
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:56 AM   #29
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Just buy the minivan. Once you enjoy the sliding doors (and automatic ones at that) you will wonder why you didn't go that route earlier. Lets face it...you have a wife and two kids. Its not like you're out picking up women anyway (unless you're Tiger Woods) and the van is just plain convenient. The kids can climb in by themselves, there is lots of room and it drives nice enough for the family.
My wife contends that driving in her cousin's minivan last fall in Vancouver made her car sick. I'm not convinced it's the minivan so much as some combination of her cousin's driving and being in Canuck country.

A minivan seems like the obvious choice but I feel obligated to look into all other options first before I turn in my testicles.
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:57 AM   #30
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My wife contends that driving in her cousin's minivan last fall in Vancouver made her car sick. I'm not convinced it's the minivan so much as some combination of her cousin's driving and being in Canuck country.

A minivan seems like the obvious choice but I feel obligated to look into all other options first before I turn in my testicles.

I know the feeling. But seriously for the convenience alone its worth it. Why do you think that so many others drive them? Its not that they think they look cool or anything like that!
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Old 01-27-2010, 10:59 AM   #31
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you probably already know this, but for those that don't, http://www.edmunds.com/ is a great resource when car shopping
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:01 AM   #32
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A minivan is the ultimate family vehicle. They usually have more cargo space than a full sized SUV, better fuel economy, and are safer. I'm a car guy, and even I can admit that they just make a lot of sense. I'm not sure why everyone hates them. I believe the Toyota Sienna is packing something like 265hp. We had one for a rental in Florida and were burning civics off the line all day.

If I didn't need that much space, I'd go for a wagon. VW, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Volvo and Subaru all make pretty solid wagons of various sizes.
This is 100% FACT!
And that was with 5 dudes, and a bunch of luggage in that sucker.
I'm actually fairly suprised that thing still had tires on it when we dropped it off.

As for the OP.
Yeah, minivans aren't cool, but damn are they handy.
Whenever Hulk, myself, and a few buddies do our Flames road trips, we almost always rent a minivan, because when it comes to space, confort, gas milage, and cool things like DVD players, they are pretty much the best of all worlds.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #33
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We were going through the same thing last summer. We have 2 kids under 5 and our Toyota Matrix wasn't giving us enough room anymore. I was leaning towards the Ford Edge, but my wife really wanted something with a 3rd row of seats. Eventually we (reluctantly) decided on a minivan. We went with a Dodge Grand Caravan. They were giving good deals last summer (probably still are). So far its been great. We went out to Kelowna for 2 weeks last summer and was able to take way more stuff than we ever could have with the Toyota. Plus when we were there we were able to take one vehicle when we went out with the relatives having the 3rd row of seats. We got one with a DVD player which is great for long drives with the kids.

I have steered clear of American cars for years and am still not sure of the reliability of Dodge, but it's been okay so far.

If we'd have been willing to spend more money, I think the Rav4 or Highlander would have fit the bill.

Good luck!
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #34
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Any more babies/ animals on the way?

If yes, get a fullsize van :-P

If no, get a minivan. Trust me. They're actually pretty fun to drive if you pretend it's a sportscar... get a Dodge.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:37 AM   #35
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^ You may just want to challenge for the minivan land speed record which currently sits at 121 mph held by our rental Toyota Sienna.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:40 AM   #36
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^ You may just want to challenge for the minivan land speed record which currently sits at 121 mph held by our rental Toyota Sienna.
This is also 100% FACT.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:46 AM   #37
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I'm in the same boat. Current lease is coming up at the end of the year and the warranty expires in June. I don't really want to risk the thing breaking down in the 6 month span that we'd be driving without a safety net because its been in the shop on four separate occasions for four separate issues that would have cost >$1k each time. Yikes.

I was hoping to keep the cost to 35k or so, but everything I really liked was 50k+ new.

Now I am getting resigned to the idea that I might have to buy used to get something I really want at a reasonable price.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:14 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by GreenTeaFrapp View Post
You missed the kids and the strollers. Try improving your reading comprehension before replying to threads.
Heed your own advise. I read everything he pointed just fine.

Try living like the other 5.5 billion people who have families and don't own big cars.

a 5 seater sedan is accomodating of 2 small children, a dog, luggage and strollers.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:27 PM   #39
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Toyota's released a new 2011 Sienna - very nice if you ask me. They've even got an SE package for those who want a little more sport in their driving... revised suspension and exterior.

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:33 PM   #40
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I'm a car guy and our family car is a minivan (Sienna). They completely rule for all the reasons said above. And yes, the 266 hp engine lets that thing scoot. Also, the new Sienna is even better. There's a lowered sports-tuned version, and the second row seats recline like lazyboys with a foot rest that comes up. I mean come on, that's the best ever.

Plus even our minivan outhandles any SUV or truck any day of the week. I always wonder how self-proclaimed car guys can drive SUVs and trucks considering how crappy they handle compared with cars. A minivan splits the difference, plus is easier to use in every way for a family. They are also cheaper, so you get more bang for your buck and better fuel economy.

It can also tow 3500 pounds which is great for our 12' tent trailer.

Crossovers have a giant footprint (i.e. they take up a lot of space in your garage and in a parking spot), but that somehow doesn't translate into much room inside. I think they're completely pointless, ugly vehicles that we'll all be laughing at in 10 or 15 years.
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