Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Cars for Moms - comments, concerns and wants!



  • If you look at small or mid-size SUVs, you will find that even those that seat "three" in the back are very tight... too tight if you use car seats or sometimes even boosters. It's critical to bring your kids/car seats with you to the test drive.

    I have a Highlander with the third-row seat but can't imagine getting three across the second row.

    Also be aware that the third row is very small and difficult to access in a lot of these cars, particularly in the RAV4. I also think the Freestyle would be a good choice.
  • njmom91njmom91 Posts: 20
    Thanks, definitely looking at a Freestyle, for two reasons: the dealership gives a loaner car when it is in for service, and as a single mom I can't be without a car and two: the local toyota dealerships have HORRIBLE reps. Don't want to mess with it. I know third row is tight/difficult, but it's not for constant use, just the occasional ride for friends/play dates.

    Hope to take two of the three kids with me Monday to see how they fit. Only need two in boosters and one for only a year so short term tight fit in the middle is okay(and my oldest is very skinny!). A year after that my oldest can ride up front, so the younger ones will have more room.

    So many things to consider!
  • njmom91njmom91 Posts: 20
    Finally got to test drive a Freestyle, went well, but it is REALLY hard to get to that third row.

    Suzuki's XL-7 is now on the radar too. Will check that out soon. I am a bit worried about the TCO numbers, anyone know why they are so high when the MPG is so much better then most in the mid-size SUV class? I'll post this on the Suzuki board too.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Did you fold down & flip forward the 2nd row seat to get into the 3rd row?
  • njmom91njmom91 Posts: 20
    The model I looked at (and I want) has the bench in the middle so the fold and flip option was not available.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Then how did you get into the 3rd row, if you did not fold and flip forward the 2nd row?
  • njmom91njmom91 Posts: 20
    Then how did you get into the 3rd row, if you did not fold and flip forward the 2nd row?

    I folded, and then climbed over. The sales man was not at all familiar with the model so there might have been an easier way, I just didn't see it.

    Suzuki is off the radar, the closest dealership is a good 25 minutes away. Too bad.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Okay...well if you just folded it and climbed over the 2nd row seat, I can see how it was difficult. The whole 2nd row seat flips forward and when you do that it's really easy to get in the 3rd row.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    Concur. As a Freestyle owner with a 2nd row bench, third row and 3 kids, it is one of the easiest vehicles to access the third row (minivans aside where access can be done between the seats). The split bench simply folds up. It is better IMO than Volvo XC90, Pilot or Highlander. The FS also has more usable leg and headroom in the 3rd row than these three - and least expensive. I think you will find that Suzuki, Rav4, Equinox, Torrent etc etc are all much smaller.

    Suggest a relook - with a salesperson who knows how the seats work.

    On another note, all our 3 kids grew up in the middle row of a Volvo wagon (third row in the back) and we are still using it. Even had three child seats across the middle at one time. Doubt it fits the $25k criteria though.
  • njmom91njmom91 Posts: 20
    Went to another dealership, this time the guy knew what he was doing and not only showed me the flip and fold feature, but how easy it is to put back. Really makes a difference.

    Got a price quote but I'll post that in the Ford Forum.

    Thanks everyone!
  • chrisducatichrisducati Posts: 394
    my neighbor just bought a Mazda 5. while it only holds six it is compact enough to get through traffic nicely. Might be a thought of some moms
  • mirde98mirde98 Posts: 95
    Also try the Mitsubishi Endeavor or Montero. Reliability is a plus on those models.
  • Help, I don't know what to buy. I have 2 toddlers and until lately, the youngest has been in her infant seat and can sit in the middle so we can still take one extra passenger with us. She is now ready for a bigger seat so the two will have to be seperated, plus, my brother-in-law is moving in and will need rides.
    I need something that has that 3rd set of seats. What do you like, SUV or Van?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,824
    Personally, I prefer the crossover with 3rd row seating. The one that comes to mind is the Pacifica. 2nd row seats are separate, 3rd row is a bench seat.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • suydamsuydam Posts: 924
    The bliss of have room to separate fighting siblings, plus escorting not just one but probably more of their friends, added to the ease of getting car seats in and out, and the requirement that the 3rd row be something that growing children can sit in, can only be solved by a minivan. Bite the bullet! You'll love yourself. And after they are all in high school and driving themselves around, you can drive something fun again!
  • Having been there and done that, I'd suggest a minivan for this reason alone: if your back starts to bother you (and mine did after carrying arounda sick toddler all day) you can actually kneel in the minivan and fasten your tykes into their car seats. Better yet, with some, you can put down one of the middle seats and kneel-walk on the floor to put on seat belts instead of the contortions you usually go through with SUV's to put them on.

    Plus most mini's get much better gas mileage than SUV's.

    Now that my kids are older and can put on their own seat belts, I have a Freestyle which is moderately priced AND has a reasonable amount of room behind that third row. And still better mileage, on average, than a full SUV.

    Good luck!
  • Ford Freestyle

    Never sat in the third row, but it is very nice inside. The ride is good. This is a very underrated vehicle in my opinion. It is one of the best at what it does.

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    Saturn Outlook

    No need to say anything else about this vehicle and its siblings. Fuel economy as good as minivans. Most space in their respective classes. Only this one is on sale right now.

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    There is a large real-life gallery of pictures here:

    Image Hosted by

    But here is an animation of how the seats work:

    Image Hosted by

    I will post pictures later of the GMC Acadia, which should be out later.

    Another vehicle to consider would be the Mazda CX-9, something I am surprised I have not heard much about. It looks very good!:

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    Oh, yes! It's a pretty one for sure.

    I'll look for Pacifica pictures if you want. Those should be easy to get these days. (Both he pictures and the cars.)
  • Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by


    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by

    Image Hosted by
  • We're expecting our first child in november, and we have 2 dogs (boxer and a lab) that will occasionally travel with us. We like the freestyle, but a friend just recommended the mazda 5, any thoughts?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    You certainly shouldn't go wrong with a Mazda 5. Nice car.

    Without having tested a Freestyle I will tell you one thing. If you are buying new it will take an enormous depreciation hit right off the bat. In addition to the normal hit new domestics and some other makes take you have the additional factor of Ford's dropping the Freestyle name in the fall. This doesn't make the Freestyle a bad car - not at all. It just lowers the value of it if you want to sell because in general people don't like buying a car that is no longer made and most won't realize that the new TaurusX is just the Freestyle.
Sign In or Register to comment.