Monday, June 16, 2008

Wanted: Two Cents

Specifically, yours. Here's the dealio: our car is blowing gaskets and whatnot left and right, and now has a broken window and missing stereo TO BOOT. So we're thinking... Maybe now's a good time to spring for a new mode of transportation, since once we hit child number three we're going to need a more spacious vehicle anyways. So if you are currently driving a minivan, an SUV, or some other form of seven-passenger vehicle, what do you think of it? Are you in love with it and want to marry it, do you hate it with the fire of a thousand suns, or are you somewhere in between? Be sure to give SPECIFICS, here- make and model, obviously, year of the vehicle, and what exactly about it has won you over or turned you off.

AND ALSO: Has anyone ever had experience with having AC installed in their (old) home for the first time? We're talking, having the ductwork run and everything, not just buying a unit and hooking it up.

23 comments:

RachelAnn said...

Look into a Honda, they last a long time,retain their value better than any other car, are good on gas,and fairly cheap to repair. The Odessy is supposed to be pretty good.

Valley Momma said...

I have an '05 Dodge Grand Caravan... and I LOVE it. LOVE IT! It drives like a car, but has TONS of space. The seats fold down flat and everything. I have power doors and a power back lift gate thingy too. WONDERFUL when you've got your arms full of kids. The newest models even have the middle seats that swivel to face backwards with a little pop-up table. Very cool. So far, no problems with it all. :) Have fun car shopping!

Jana said...

I have an '05 Chrysler Town & Country (basically the same thing as Valley Momma's Dodge) and I love it, too. We bought the top of the line model with the GPS system, DVD player/TV screen, back-up beeper system, but we only got the top of the line because that's what was available at CarMax (which I HIGHLY recommend you check out - best car buying experience EVER). We test drove the Toyota & Honda versions, too, and liked them just as much, but we got a better deal on the Chrysler.

Good luck!!

Annie said...

We have a 2006 Honda Pilot. We love it. My hubby is violently opposed to minivans, so this was our compromise. We looked into a 4runner, but not as spacious, and I felt like I was driving a truck. Gas mileage is decent for an SUV--it gets 18 miles/gallon. I have heard tons of wonderful things about the Honda Odyssey if minivans are your thing.

Mimi said...

We bought a 2008 GMC Acadia (SUV) last year. I like it, but not exactly in love with it and here's why:
-good for two kids, but I don't think three will work in it, as the third row seat is pretty hard to get to.
-I always wish there was more cargo space, especially when we are going out of town for the weekend and there is so much darn CRAP to take, we usually have to fold down the third row in order to fit it all in.
-On the other hand, it's a great-looking car that is fun to drive. It also gets decent gas mileage for a large SUV.

k's mama said...

My inlaws have an 06 Chevy Uplander. Its pretty nice as far as minivans go, and gets great gas mileage (I think they said upper 20's). Only downside I saw was that the back seats didn't have a lot of leg room for an adult or older child. It is reliable - has made three trips from TX to MT and back and is still holding up just fine.

SLynnRo said...

Obviously, I'm no help here. But I think those aforementioned Pilot things are cool and not overly mom-mobilish.

Shelly said...

We have a 2007 Toyota Sequoia and LOVE it. It's big enough to haul around the obscene amount of kid stuff required for any excursion, as well as the 200+ pounds of dog we have. The gas mileage is harsh, but really not bad for a big hoss of a thing.

That being said, I have my eye on Honda Odessy.

Newlywife said...

First, I love the blog! Second we are in the same boat re: suv. I thin are going with the Hybrid Ford Escape (too small for you, we only have one!).

As for the AC in an older home...I HAVE SO BEEN THERE. We had the duct work run, but wish we had just gone with the flexible hose new fangled special installation of AC. Check it out, because it is a lot less destruction to your home and works just as good. It is like a flexible pipe that they can run throught the wall without ripping everything apart.

Hope that helps!

Erica said...

I got a Kia Sedona back in October and I'm in love with it and want to marry it.

BUT - it costs me $70 to fill it up at $4.00/gallon gas.

Lettie said...

We bought a 2007 Honda Odyssey last summer while expecting our 3rd kiddo. I really like it and I'm not a minivan type of person. We have the EX-L model (which comes with the leather). This is our first car with leather and I can't rave enough about it with the kids. So nice to just be able to wipe the seats clean. We get great gas mileage, have plenty of room and are very pleased with all of the features including being able to open the sliding doors (both sides) with the key fob. The only thing I don't like about it is I'm unable to open the tailgate with the key fob. This is a feature that is only available on the Touring model which we didn't want to spring for. We had looked at some of the larger SUV's and found that there wasn't much cargo space with a third row except for a Suburban which doesn't get great gas mileage. We have friends who have the Honda Pilots and love them except for no cargo room when they have to use the third row. I know with the 3 kids we are always hauling something in the cargo area (mostly a stroller) and the Odyssey has more than enough room for my large stroller and all of my groceries, etc. We have taken it on a few long trips and it has done extremely well. I also have a lot of friends who have the Odyssey as well (year models 2004-2008) and they all love them. Hope this helps.

Jess said...

My best friend had a Honda CR-V and we both adored it. Spacious, comfortable, easy to drive, not too terrible on the gas guzzling. Of course she didn't have kids and I don't know how well three of them would fit in there. Also, what's this about child number three? Have we discussed this before?

JMC said...

I have a Mazda MPV 2006 model, but I think it's the last year they made the MPV. They have a CX-9 and a CX-7 now, that are like a cross between an SUV and a minivan and are NICE, but they're pretty pricey.

I LOVE the van, but I had 3 kids crammed in the back seat of a sedan prior to that, so anything with more seating would have had me rubbing my naked body all over it. I've heard good things about the Toyota Previa, but I've never driven one.

d e v a n said...

I have an '06 Kia Sedona and I adore it. It's my boyfriend. (don't tell my husband.)
The seats are awesome, it's easy to drive, has cool features and TONS OF ROOM. It also had the highest safety rating possible the year we bought it. I'm assuming it still does for the new models. Also, it's cheaper than other brands, because of the KIA name I'm assuming. Still, I love it. LOVE.

Shelly said...

We have a Ford Excursion and I think my hubby and I are both having an affair with it. It's a 2003 Limited edition. When we bought it, the saleslady said, "It's like riding in your living room." It handles great, though, and has room for *everything* and everyone.

jennifer, playgroups are no place for children said...

We have an 05 Pilot and LOVE it...HOWEVER! It's not for a family with more than two kids. There is NO SPACE in the back if you use the third row.

I hate to tell you, but I think you're going to have to buy a *gasp* minivan.

bananafana said...

We're looking into vans too - right now the top on my list is the odyssey having driven friends' and heard great things about it. I just don't like the price tag
On the AC - my parents had it done in their old old house and it wasn't bad. The ceilings in the basement weren't finished and they managed to do all the ductwork through the backs of closets for the top floor of the house so there wasn't much ripping up of anything

Momma Mary said...

We just bought a minivan. We looked at all but the KIA, and found that the Dodge/Chrysler was the best. We thought the Honda looked 'cheap' on the inside, and everyone says they get great mileage, BUT they didn't get any better than the Town & Country we did end up getting. I LOVE the fold flat seats, the navigation system, the new body style. I really really like my car. We have a HUGE (over a foot) height difference, so we got one that has memory seating. He unlocks it sets to his seat preference, I unlock it sets to mine automatically. I. Love. It. Hop on over to my blog. I wrote about it a bit. But I love the minivan. Even though I said I'd never drive one.

Oh, and leather is MUCH easier to clean sour milk out of than cloth -- so go for that in seats.. and get a REALLY good under seat protector. Without stitching for milk to leak through. :)

Bird said...

I just came by to say CUTE NEW PICTURE!

Swistle said...

We had central air conditioning put in, but our heat was central hot air, and so the A/C uses the same ductwork.

We have a 2000 Toyota Sienna minivan, which we bought used in 2005. I lovvvvvve it and want to marrrrrrry it, and the only thing I DON'T like is that it's 7-passenger so if I want another baby we'd have to give up the minivan. The Toyota Sienna is Consumer Reports's favorite, which is why we bought it.

I like the "feel" of it: it feels spacious inside, but it doesn't feel too big to maneuver. I'd thought it would be like driving a bus, but I was comfortable driving it almost right away. We have the kind that has two captain chairs in the middle row and then a back bench seat, and I love how versatile that is: we had the twins in the two bucket seats when they were in infant car seats, but now we have them in the back row, with Henry in one of the bucket seats.

We've had to have it repaired once, when the ENGINE LIGHT broke (that was awesome, to have to fix something that had nothing to do with the car itself, but with the thing that was supposed to ALERT us if something went wrong), but other than that it's been repair-free.

It has sliding doors on both sides, which one of my friends told me was essential and indeed it is---but I don't know if they even MAKE one-sliding-door minivans anymore.

The back seat folds down, and I remember the salesperson saying all the seats could be removed but we've never done it so I don't know for sure.

Behind the last row of seats is enough space for my double stroller plus a bunch of stuff piled on top of it. Between seats and in front of kids' feet is enough room for groceries for a family of seven. So: lovvvvvve it, want to marrrrrrry it.

Chelle said...

I have abig 'ol gas-guzzling Chevy Tahoe. Oh! Except my gas-guzzler is of the flex-fuel variety and thus I am running on ethanol and paying about $2.70 a gallon. For the same gas mileage that I got in my much smaller Blazer last year, I gained a ton of space and some really cool entertainment features.

And, did I mention, $2.70 a gallon for fuel?

artemisia said...

Oh, I am no help at all. I have a Civic, and even though I HATE vehicles and vehicle ownership WITH A PASSION, I do like the car. It has run wonderfully, has retained its value, etc. I would think the Honda vans would be similarly well made.

Marie Green said...

We drive a 2000 Dodge Grand Caravan and we are happy with it. It seats everyone comfortably, gets great gas milage, and needs minimal repair work.

The newer models are even cooler!