Alternative to Bongo? Alhambra? For 4 car seats, 2 adults, 2 dogs, double buggy...

(24 Posts)
Thirstysomething Mon 01-Jul-13 16:24:04

We have a Bongo and although I love it, it is a pain in the neck getting toddlers in and out of it - especially with an 8 month bump getting in the way. I wish it had doors on both sides and I wish that it was easier to get into the rear seats and get the seatbelts. I think this would be easier with a split rear seat - but we have the fixed sliding rear seat because we thought it would give us more boot space.
I am dreading using it with a baby seat which I will have to take in and out to get kids in the rear seats. At the moment I have 6yo in the corner rear, 4 yo in the sliding door side rear, 1 yo in non-door side of the first rear row (if you know what i mean) and will put baby on the near side of the front rear row - but as I say, will have to move the baby seat every time to get kids in the rear rear... aaaargh.
Still looking for the perfect seven seater, which can fit four kids, two or three adults, plus dogs and double buggy in the boot...
I don't think it exists! I was just looking at the Mumsnet best 7 seaters and the Seat Alhambra looked as though it had a decent amount of boot space with all the seats up? Anyone got one?

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 16-Jul-13 09:41:44

We went from a Bongo up to a Tourneo, which is just luxurious in terms of space. (Highly unluxurious in other areas, lol.) We usually have it with the middle row of seats out, so 6 seats for the 6 of us - no car seats now but mostly adult-sized children - plus room to chuck in bikes, dog, etc.

Expensive to run though - insurance is a lot more than the Bongo, though fuel is a little cheaper, and Ford parts easy to come by.

Just starting to think about downsizing though, as lots of our journeys now do not involve all 4 kids, which is why I ventured in here.

Thirstysomething Sun 21-Jul-13 14:40:14

Thanks! Anyone else had four kids in a Bongo with car seats? Which configuration did you use?
Or anyone else with Alhambra have any comments?thank you so much

RandomMess Sun 21-Jul-13 14:43:50

I've got an older alhambra and wish I could upgrade to the newer model with sliding doors grin

They are all full size seats so you could do 2 plus 2 configuration when you don't need the extra seat. Certainly no problem having the 3 car seats in a row in the middle. reasonable boot space with rear seats in.

5madthings Sun 21-Jul-13 14:43:56

Not an alhambra but had a vw Sharon which is the same, it was fine, we now have acitreon c8 which I love as it has slide doors.

Boot space is always an issue, what type of pushchair do you have? Can fit a nipper 360 in OK, or bugaboo frog.

AlphaBetaOoda Sun 21-Jul-13 14:46:00

We have baby behind driver, toddler & preteen in back row ( erf & booster) and teen next to baby.

Alhambra is similar to galaxy & sharan and none had enough space for us to do what we want.

5madthings Sun 21-Jul-13 14:46:04

The citreon has full size seats as well and each seat can be taken in/out on its own the vw Sharon was thge same.

We have five kids so tend to keep all the seats in but its fine as the back two get in/out through boot, one still in high backed cats eat and I can reach to do up seatbelts and I am a short arse 5 2.

Thirstysomething Sun 21-Jul-13 15:37:11

Thanks! 5 madthings, sounds much easier than Bongo... But Alpha I know what you mean about space. Do you have split or sliding rear seat in your Bongo?
I was thinking we could put baby seat in behind driver, but then would have to have booster and oldest child next to baby so younger ones can get into rear row... Which would be a struggle with 18 month old car seat straps to do up. Urgh. Cars.

AlphaBetaOoda Sun 21-Jul-13 16:01:08

Sliding rear seats. I either lean over from boot or climb in.
Toddler gets in, I fasten baby in then lean in or over to do toddler

HystericalParoxysm Sun 21-Jul-13 16:20:23

VW Caravelle. Expensive but worth it!

5madthings Sun 21-Jul-13 16:30:01

Yes a Caravelle is our dream purchase!

FriskyHenderson Sun 21-Jul-13 17:05:08

I dream about the perfect car.

Sliding doors.
Last row of seats that fold completely and individually into the floor - none of this taking them out or just putting the back down.
Middle row that somehow allows access to the last row even if fitted with car seats.
Front seats that can swivel to face the back for those picnic moments.
Full DVD screen system doodah.
Air con/heating that works in the back.
Stereo with a front/rear fade thing, so I don't have to listen to One Stupid Direction and they don't whinge about the Archers I really want a taxi glass screen but I know that's asking too much

And it has to fit in an ordinary car parking space.

I dream an impossible dream grin

AlphaBetaOoda Sun 21-Jul-13 17:29:18

Frisky - bongo does some of those wink

DorisIsWaiting Sun 21-Jul-13 18:54:20

we have a sedona which meets quite a lot of your requirements ( although I don't think they are making them new anymore!)

Sliding door 5 separate rear seats (all individually removable) reasonable boot space ( although may not be big enough for dogs unless you take out one of the back seats...) rear seats have a small gap to slide through if the are both up.

FriskyHenderson Mon 22-Jul-13 14:29:07

Alpha - Really? The OP doesn't rate it much wink

AlphaBetaOoda Mon 22-Jul-13 15:30:56

frisky
Main thing I don't like about it is the automatic and its more sluggish than I'd like.Also I'm not a fan of loading up children & seats but that's in any car!
Off your list Bongo has

Sliding doors.
Front seats that can swivel to face the back for those picnic moments. (Well they fold back and make seats facing oop way.
Air con/heating that works in the back.
Stereo with a front/rear fade thing,
And it has to fit in an ordinary car parking space. ( well it does in a car park, slightly longer than a 'normal' car in the front street but v easy to park!)

I dream an impossible dream

HystericalParoxysm Mon 22-Jul-13 15:55:58

Caravelle does most of the things on that list too....!

AlphaBetaOoda Mon 22-Jul-13 16:25:42

Yes I liked those too!

Thirstysomething Wed 24-Jul-13 07:43:49

Does Caravelle fit four car seats in the back? Must have a look... Although if expensive is out for us. Just had £2,000 bill after bongo engine blew up nooooooo

AlphaBetaOoda Wed 24-Jul-13 08:35:06

Ouch sad

duchesse Wed 24-Jul-13 08:43:53

The Grand Caravan is pretty good. Bigger than the Galaxy equivalent, the seats fold into the floor when not required, leaving enormous storage space when they're up. The problem with the grand caravan is that its fuel economy is also American.

KittieCat Wed 24-Jul-13 08:53:14

Having read the first bit of the title I really wish this thread was in Baby Names...

HystericalParoxysm Wed 24-Jul-13 10:59:49

The Caravelle does take 4 car seats in the back and still has room for a large double buggy and my dogs.

Thirstysomething Wed 24-Jul-13 20:32:31

Lol kittiecat

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