i'm expecting number 2 in feb 2010 and my DS will then be 3. i also have two step children in their early teens and i'm trying to solve our potential transport issues!
they live far away and don't visit frequently but are here for a few weeks when they come, about 4 times a year.
at the moment we have two cars but i'm wondering if we could consolidate to one that would take all 6 of us next year? for the most part, it will only be me, my hub and two children but is there something that can accommodate the older two as well so we don't have to travel in convoy?!
i'm keen to avoid the typical people carrier big van style (ie Galaxy) but can't think of any alternatives?
We have a mid-size people carrier, ie one step down from the Galaxy (its cheaper!)
Ours is a VW touran, with 2 extra seats fitted, so total 7. The 2 extra seats are in teh back, they make the boot a bit small when they are folded out, and they dont have a lot of legroom, but we find this an acceptable compromise. It would be OK if you put the teenagers in teh middle row (unless they prefer to be at the back, as my older children unaccountably do), and a smaller child behind.
you can fold the 2 rear seats down to make the boot huge, or you can fold just one of them down.
We have just got a fiat multipla which we love, but we are now getting rid of a dihatsu hijet, they are tiny little mpv's but very economical to run, and if you only need the back two seats occasionally you can fold them up out of the way and have a huge boot
Cargirl we just got back from 3 weeks camping in france with ours people were agog when we unloaded four kids and a tent and camping equipment. Got to sell it now though, im hoping it will get snapped up as we are only asking £500 for it.
We have a Volvo V70 estate with 2 extra rear facing seats in the boot area - they flip up when needed. They've been great for fitting in extra children on school runs etc. Not so good for long journeys though - but might be worth considering if you have ad-hoc needs.
Only downside of the Zafira is the ones sat in the boot are in the crush zone (v bad if in an accident) and it's virtually impossible to get 3 car seats across the middle row without suffering buckle crunch.
4andnotout I did a 500 mile round trip to the north and back in mine, wasn't keen to do it again!
The foldable back seats in the touran are also fairly near the back. I asked the dealership about this, and they said that the back is curved outwards for extra strength, so that the seats arent in teh normal crumple zone.
In any car which only has a space a few inches deep behind the third row, those seats are in the "crumple zone" - & that goes for cars like the Espace & Galaxy too, not just the smaller ones (although I think all such cars are stronger at the back now than they used to be).
The only ones which don't have seats in the crumple zone are the super-long ones with a decent luggage space like Previa, Grand Voyager & Grand Espace, & probably the 3 seats across ones like Multipla & that Honda (FRV?).
Cars like the V70 with rear-facing seats are arguably slightly safer, both because the seat backs are nearer the middle of the car, & because in an impact a child's head would be thrown back against the head-rest instead of forward into space; but they are less pleasant for a child to travel in because there is virtually no moving air in the back.
Whatever you get will be a compromise, wethree, so test drive them all & see which suits you best
I could see the truth of his words myself, as it has a thick bit that curves outwards, which is indeed stronger than a straight bar across the back. the dealer has a very good reputation in our town, most of their business comes by recommendation and they are very serious. eg they advised me not to buy various VW extras, cos you can get them cheaper elsewhere.
anyway, the touran is german, and now that I work with german engineers, I appreciate the annoying lengths they will go to to ensure a good product. so I tend to trust VW.
The extra seats are an optional extra, we bought our car second hand from a volvo dealer, and they swapped the seats in from another car, so it was fairly straightforward to get hold of one. Pics here - www.pistonheads.com/sales/1131709.htm
Hi, I have a Zafira which I have been using for my childminding for the past 2 years. Has been a great car and is amazingly flexible space wise.
As I have decided to stop childminding I am now selling my car as hubby has an estate if we need space. Please let me know if you are interested.
Details: 1.6 Life, aircon, blue metallic, 55reg (old shape), only 21k miles, tax and MOT from 1st Aug, v good condition. asking around £4,400 ono. Please contact my husband on 07917 367838 if you want pics etc!