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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Bonecrusher Doc's Avatar

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    Default What used car for a family of 8?

    2 parents and 6 kids: minivan, SUV, or full size van? Pros and cons? Thinking Nissan NV and other 12-seaters are too big but wondering if a minivan or suburban will be too cramped. I see some Ford Transit Passenger Wagons that seat 8-10 but only seeing them with the high ceilings which I'm not sure about...
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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Honda Odyssey is consistently ranked as the best minivan on the market, I'll say.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Generally speaking, Hondas, like the Odyssey, have good build quality and tend to be cheap to maintain. I don't have a lot of experience with that particular model, so I'm not quick to jump in and say, "yeah, that one."

    As for the Ford Transit, yeah a lot of them do have a high roofline. That model was designed as a cargo hauler or a shuttle transport and it shows. The passenger carrier easily has enough room, and they are available with a lower roofline, (one that passengers wouldn't be able to stand up in.) Keep in mind, it only has the sliding door so loading people up might be tricky.

    Something like a GMC/Chevrolet Suburban is the one that I'm most familiar with. I've never found them to be cramped, and they're based on GM's C series line of full-sized pickup trucks. Older models will usually have either GM's Small Block or Big Block Chevy engine and I think the 4L80E automatic transmission. These have been used for a many years, have good parts support and are relatively easy/inexpensive to maintain. Newer ones often use engines based on the LS platform but having an iron engine block instead of aluminum. Again, it's a good engine and will sometimes have AFM, (cylinder deactivation,) in order to improve fuel economy over the older Small Block/Big Block Chevys.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    What's the age spread and expected number of full family trips? 6 kids all under 10 is different than if the eldest ones are approaching driving age. In general a minivan, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are stand outs for their reliability, cover most trips since you'll rarely have all 8 passengers at the same time. If you have a second car to cover those rarer occasions, the ease of use of the minivan and the ability to spacially split up interpersonal conflicts can vastly outweigh difficulties of extra coordination.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Bonecrusher Doc's Avatar

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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Good point that the Transit only has the sliding door on one side.

    I already have an old F-250, and another large vehicle (like the Nissan NV Passenger) probably won't fit next to it in my small driveway.

    Most trips will be the whole family together.

    I was looking for something a little bigger than the typical minivan but all I could find was the Mercedes-Benz Metris, which had poor reviews and I could only find that in 7-passenger configuration anyway.
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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Yep, Toyota or Honda for reliability.
    We have 2 cars (and a tractor). My truck is an 04 Toyota with over 230k miles, and my wife's minivan is an 05 Sienna with somewhere over 130k miles. No need to "upgrade" any time soon for either vehicle.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    I have an Odyssey and I have driven with a full 8 people a few times. A bit cramped... but it worked. I donít know if the size would get to me if I had to use it daily.

    Someone asked about the ages... a major factor is that you canít fit 8 easily if car seats are involved. Unless the person sitting beside the car seat is really skinny.

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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aliquid View Post
    I have an Odyssey and I have driven with a full 8 people a few times. A bit cramped... but it worked. I donít know if the size would get to me if I had to use it daily.

    Someone asked about the ages... a major factor is that you canít fit 8 easily if car seats are involved. Unless the person sitting beside the car seat is really skinny.
    That's a good point. It's also a question of how long drives typically are, and how many people usual ride. If full 8-person loads are uncommon and rides tend towards half an hour or less, smaller options are fine. If all typically ride together or it's not uncommon to have hour-plus trips, bigger is better, extra space will be much more valued.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Bonecrusher Doc's Avatar

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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Using DIONO brand carseats I have fit three across the back of a Grand Caravan. But Grand Caravan, Town & Country, and Routan only come in 7-seaters as far as I can tell. Pacifica is too new for me to afford and I think it's a 7-seater too. I think Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey are the obvious winners. Not sure if Kia Sedona or any other brands even come as 8-seaters, trying to do research on Edmunds.com Used Car Reviews. I also have to check if Chevy or Ford have made any minivans in a while. Anybody ever drive an Uplander?

    Really I was hoping there would be something just a notch bigger in size than a typical minivan, but not as big as a full size van... Maybe we will just have to deal with being a little cramped. During the pandemic we're not driving much but maybe a year from now we could be back to our old road warrior/soccer mom ways...

    Looks like Enterprise Van Sales has the Ford Transit Passenger but still too pricey for me. My price range is more like $10k-$20k, hoping for something 2008 or newer with not much more than 100k miles (but I recognize we don't want to discuss individual vehicles for sale here).
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    My all time favorite has still been my Suburban. Sure, it's not the most fuel efficient, but for the room, the price, the comfort, plus all the great places it took us to and with room to spare, it was *way* better than any 8 person mini van

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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    My all time favorite has still been my Suburban. Sure, it's not the most fuel efficient, but for the room, the price, the comfort, plus all the great places it took us to and with room to spare, it was *way* better than any 8 person mini van
    "For the price"? It's 20k more than the Odyssey, not counting the amount of money the fuel efficiency difference stacks on top of that. You could get an Odyssey and a Civic for the price of a Suburban, so the Chevy had better have something going for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by truemane
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  12. - Top - End - #12
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Bonecrusher Doc's Avatar

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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Thanks everybody. I'll be checking the Siennas, Odysseys, and Suburbans!
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    Titan in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Fury View Post
    Generally speaking, Hondas, like the Odyssey, have good build quality and tend to be cheap to maintain. I don't have a lot of experience with that particular model, so I'm not quick to jump in and say, "yeah, that one."
    My CRV's been great, but it's on the small side for eight, going with the more-passenger options sounds like good advice. They do hold up very well, and it would be worth giving some a test drive to see if they are enjoyable. Either the vans or the larger SUVs are solid, but vans might be easier if carseats are involved.

    If going with vans, dual sliding doors is also frigging gold.

    If you go with the vans, the Grand Caravan is....awful. I've owned one, and known others who have as well, and the sheer quantity of breakdowns was insane. Towards the end there, I had at least a semi major repair every month or two. It's great on space, but the reliability is simply not there.

    If you go with SUVs, I'd suggest a Honda Pilot. I test drove one, and decided it was literally too big for me, but if you're after tons of seating space and some cargo room, but looking for something that's not a full on van, it's a solid option.

    Whatever you go with, research the model years. Sometimes there are particulalry good/bad model years. This was definitely a thing with the CRVs, with older models being less beloved.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    I have to say, I'm very pleased with my Pegeot 2008.

    That said, the SUV 5008 or 3008 are a bit more spatious.

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  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What used car for a family of 8?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    "For the price"? It's 20k more than the Odyssey, not counting the amount of money the fuel efficiency difference stacks on top of that. You could get an Odyssey and a Civic for the price of a Suburban, so the Chevy had better have something going for it.
    Yes, I'll give you that a new Suburban is, erm, pricey. But the OP is looking for a used car and if they are looking at say, a 2010-2013 vehicle, a Suburban is nowhere near as expensive (and certainly not 20k+ more) and you'll get the passenger space, the storage space, the safety, and comfort. At the cost of less than ideal gas mileage. As a daily driver, certainly not the car for you. For hauling around 8 passengers and their associated baggage train...can't be beat (IMO, obviously) ;)

    Of course living here in Europe now, it's a non-starter. Parking and small roads are a no-go, not to mention fuel prices (and maintenance). Still... would love to have one again!!

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