monkeyskids's picture

Large Family-Large Vehicle/When do you downsize?

Sorry for the blog hog this morning.

Curious though. Dh and I have 6 kids ages 12-20. My 4 live with us (12,15,17 and 19) his do not (17 and 20). In the past year, we have gone on one trip where we had 4 kids. My 17 yo is graduating, staying home to go to college. 19 and 20 yo will be in college. Dh's 17 yo who knows. I currently drive a 9 passenger suv but am looking at trading it in during the summer. I keep looking at 7 passenger vehicles and am really debating if I really need one anymore. Obviously don't "need" it but you know what I mean. I'm thinking 5 passenger is fine, if we go somewhere with more of the kids, they can all drive or dh can drive. In the event we take a family vacation with more than just two kids, we can either fly, rent a larger vehicle or take two.

advice.only's picture

Test drive the smaller

Test drive the smaller vehicles first. DH and I have talked about downsizing, we have a SUV that seats 8 and we were looking into the smaller SUV's that only seat 5.

My mom purchased a smaller SUV and let us use it when she went on vacation, I thought I would love it, nope I hated it. The front seating was set up more like a car, so no more room and the console was really compacted. The headrests were annoying and couldn't be positioned back, only up and down. It did drive well, and got better gas mileage, but I just felt so confined. So that's just my two cents.

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monkeyskids's picture

I had not thought about that.

I had not thought about that. I love my suv because it drives/looks/rides like a truck. Cars scare me!

advice.only's picture

Exactly I told DH that we

Exactly I told DH that we might just get the next size down from our SUV because it still has the truck type feel in the front seating.

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Call me Chardonay

StepX2's picture

Same here. I like being able

Same here. I like being able to look at the traffic ahead from the vantage point of the lift you have in a truck or larger SUV. Last time I rode in someone's car, I felt like my butt was dragging on the street and as I looked out the window my face was mere inches from the road it seemed.

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mustang2008's picture

I have found that you buy a

I have found that you buy a car based on your daily needs. So it sounds like a 5 passenger would be right for you.

When or if you need a 7 passenger vehicle then rent it for the time needed.

Acratopotes's picture

I m one person.. I have a

I m one person.. I have a SUV, normal 5 seater, but the back has 2 folded jumper seats in....

I will not go smaller....

thus I can drive either 5 people or 7 people

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Justkeepsteppin's picture

I had a 2014 Ford Explorer.

I had a 2014 Ford Explorer. It was smaller, still felt like a truck, and seated 7. The third row seats folded down for extra cargo room. I loved it.

I traded it in last month for a Chrysler mini van... It wasn't practical with 4 kids under 11. It was too hard for the little ones to get into the third row with out help. After a year or so of having it I just gave up. We needed a minivan. Now I'll be driving the mini van until at least 2 kids are driving.

I wouldn't recommend going to small considering you've been driving a very large vehicle for years.

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ESMOD's picture

I would stay with a larger

I would stay with a larger vehicle. You will rarely regret the extra space and any difference in fuel mileage is likely to be pretty small.

Brick's picture

Suv with 3rd row.

Suv with 3rd row.

downsouthinTX's picture

SO had a truck that fit 6. he

SO had a truck that fit 6.
he now has a truck that fits 5.
he was hesitant because there are 6 of us.
BUT SD17 is 17...shes not with us much and probably wont be joining us on much "family" things anymore. she will live at home but has her own car. she will be in college and working.
i told him why invest in a vehicle you will own for 5+ years for 6 months worth of life circumstances?
it didnt make sense.

once the kids reach SR yr of HS and you need a new car...and they drive and have their own car...then you can downsize.
you really only need to worry about the 12 and 15 yr old. your 17 yr old will have college and work etc and if given a choice of weekend with friends or extra hours at work or a weekend trip with mom/dad which will they most likely choose?...you know.

i think you are safe with a 5 passenger. think of this...how long will you own the next car? 2 years? 5+ years? buy it for what you WILL use it for the MOST not what you will use if for, for 6 months.

i used to drive an SUV for years. i love having a car that i fill up for $20/week.

when we took our summer trip we rented a mini van. it was more comfortable, better on gas than any SUV and we didnt rack up the 3500 miles on our own cars. it was less than $600 to rent for 8 days as well.

if you find yourself wanting to bring adult kids on a trip, just rent.

DaizyDuke's picture

In my 20's I had sports

In my 20's I had sports cars... I had a Dodge Stealth, a Mitsubishi Eclipse, and an Eagle Talon, then I got my first SUV, a Chevy Blazer, which I traded for a Dodge Durango. After I sold the Durango I got a Subaru Outback and I hated it. Didn't feel safe, and it just felt weird driving a car! I bought a Mitsubishi Outlander last year (it's a crossover with 3rd row seating) I love it! It's bigger than a car, but not as big as a Durango. And it's not like I NEED the space, I just like the space. A good friend of mine bought a beautiful Ford Mustang last year. I sat in it for 2 seconds and was like nope it's a beauty to look at, but I could never drive it. Too claustrophobic!!

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LadyFace's picture

In my early 20s I had a

In my early 20s I had a Oldsmobile cutlas. Some douche in an Eclipse rear ended me on my way to work. His car was totalled. My car had nary a scratch lol. Smiling

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Keep on keepin' on!

monkeyskids's picture

I tend to leave my hitch on

I tend to leave my hitch on my vehicle in the winter. For the sole reason that too many people do not know how to drive in the snow. If they rear-end me with my hitch on, very little damage to my truck vs a totaled car.

DaizyDuke's picture

haha! DH said he had his

haha! DH said he had his Grandma's Olds Cutlass when he was late teens/early 20's he LOVED that car!

I got into a ridiculous one vehicle fender bender with my Stealth.. which is where the nick name "DaizyDuke" came from lol

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LadyFace's picture

Dup.

Dup.

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Keep on keepin' on!

monkeyseemonkeydo's picture

I'd say downsize to the 5 and

I'd say downsize to the 5 and get better gas mileage. You can always rent a van in the event of a large trip.

I just walked out this week w/a shiny new Subaru Outback. They are PHENOMENAL vehicles, top line safety, reliable, great gas mileage on the 2.5, great cargo space for traveling, or pets or gear, look into it, seriously I've been waiting for almost 2 years now to get one and now was the time.

You won't be disappointed. It's a very roomy 5 passengers, the interior is quite wide. The perforated leather seats are great (in the limited edition all seats are heated too w/the touch of a button.

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DaizyDuke's picture

Our 2005 Outback currently

Our 2005 Outback currently has 260,000 miles on it! Sure we've put some money into it, but the body is pristine and engine is great so DH doesn't have the heart to get rid of it. It's our extra 3rd car we beat around in when we don't want our new cars to get dirty or scratched or just save from racking up the miles on them.

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monkeyseemonkeydo's picture

That subie is only 10 years

That subie is only 10 years old, even w/that mileage it sounds great, hang onto it indeed! THat's why I got a Subaru Smiling

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Gimlet's picture

Agree! DH bought an Impreza

Agree! DH bought an Impreza Sport and he loves it. I love the older Outbacks (the new ones are also gorgeous but more car than we needed) too. I would hang on to that car until it wheezed its last breath.

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SuperJew's picture

I upgraded to a 5 seater suv

I upgraded to a 5 seater suv that's slightly roomier and am looking at something with 7 seats. Even though the two middle kids are almost ready to drive, the little one has an active social life and I find myself volunteering to drive for field trips and such. Having the extra space will be helpful. You'll never regret the extra space.

--figureditout--'s picture

I currently work as a liaison

I currently work as a liaison between the dealerships and customers. I have people on waitlists for pre-owned Subarus. I hear great things about Kias as well. A lot of people love the Nissan Rogue; it's a small crossover that seats 5. The Chevrolet Equinox is also a great seller. It's big brother/sister, the Traverse seats 6-7 and sells well.
I currently have a Dodge Charger. After all of the BS Dodge has put us through, I will never buy another Dodge.

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monkeyseemonkeydo's picture

figured, yes finding the

figured, yes finding the pre-owned Subaru, especially with what you want it equipped with is like finding the Unicorn I've found.
I've driven an Equinox before for a rental, I do like that car even though I'm not a Chevy fan. I typically don't like Ford/Chevy/Dodge, etc and go more for Toyota/Honda and now, well Subaru.

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monkeyskids's picture

The Subarus seem still

The Subarus seem still car-like to me. I'm used to and like driving a large SUV. How are they compared to Yukons or Expeditions?

DaizyDuke's picture

That's why I've never really

That's why I've never really been thrilled about driving our outback.. it's too car like for me. BUT I think the newer ones are a bit spacier more like a Crossover.. but still way smaller than a Yukon. I think the Foresters might be a bit bigger?

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ღIt' all fun and games until someone doesn't pick up on the sarcasm ღ
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monkeyseemonkeydo's picture

monkey, to me it's more of a

monkey, to me it's more of a crossover type- feel in between. What I like is the PERFECT entry/exit not to low/tall to get in/out of the car.

How they compare to Yukon/Expedition, SHI*load of savings on gas for darn sure lol

I dont' LIKE big boats, I get annoyed w/drives w/them, they are monsters for parking, moving, driving around, they DO inconvenience other cars on the road. I can't count how many times I've had to find new parking because they take up two spaces, or back up and cause traffic jams because they are too big to turn into the lane. They cause everyone to have to stop/backup/find alternate parking-so in itself I find that intrusive/rude and entitled. Hate to say I categorize big vehicle users that way but know I'm not the only one. DOnt' see WHY I should be inconvenienced for you to have a big boat.
ore and more people are moving away from those type huge gas guzzlers anyways. I would go for something easier to handle/park/drive personally.

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AshMar654's picture

My mom only had a us two kids

My mom only had a us two kids and was driving a 5 passenger SUV when I was in middle school. Before my brother got his license she downsized to a two door Mitsubishi mirage. A little coupe car. She need something with a smaller payment and more gas efficient. It was right when my parents were separating. A year or two later my brother was driving had his own car and I can honestly say the three of us were hardly ever in the car together after that. She never regretted it. Eventually that car became mine and I had it for 6 years.

I am not saying go that small but I think you will like have the smaller SUV.

onwednesdayswewearpink's picture

I only have two kids and love

I only have two kids and love my suburban. It's like a land yacht.