Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
10/13/21 3:00 p.m.

Let’s talk cars, Mini-Vans and SUV’s that have third row seating.  My family has a need for a daily driver that has the capacity to occasionally haul seven people (think alternating car-pooling days).  What’s available that I may not have thought of?  I have three requirements:

  1.  Must be able to occasionally haul 7 people (third row)
  2. Good mileage (would really like low to mid 20’s mpg)
  3. Consumes regular unleaded gasoline, not the $$$ premium.

Budget’s under $3,500.  I’m thinking Volvo Wagon with the folding rear facing seat.  What other options are there?

JAdams
JAdams GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/13/21 3:06 p.m.

Ran here to say Suburban but then saw #2 sad

These days the $3500 budget really is tough. I'm looking forward to what the hive comes up with.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/13/21 3:08 p.m.

I know of a Honda odyssey that has been owned since new by a friend of ours. She is looking to sell it now for peanuts because it is at 200k miles and the maintenance is over her head. Just saying. She asked me if I want it (and of course I do) but I don't have any use for it now so I think I'm going to end up helping her sell it. If you are interested let me know.

 

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
10/13/21 3:12 p.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

I'm sending you a text.

Sonic
Sonic UberDork
10/13/21 3:13 p.m.

Lesser known minivans come to mind.  Mazda MPV, first gen Honda Odyssey, things like that. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
10/13/21 3:20 p.m.

iT's going to be hard to find ANYTHING for $3500 in this market. But the FWD Sorento/Sante Fe (not sport), 11-16-ish era are right there. Low to mid 20's on the highway. Seats 7. The rear most seats are actually habitable for actual human sized humans. Inlaws have had their 15 now for 6 years and is been a tank.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/13/21 3:21 p.m.

Don't you already have a Roadmaster/Caprice wagon that fits all those requirements?

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
10/13/21 3:25 p.m.
maschinenbau said:

Don't you already have a Roadmaster/Caprice wagon that fits all those requirements?

Had.  Sold it to Garaithon.  He's LS Swapping it now.  Here's his build thread: The White Whale

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
10/13/21 3:44 p.m.

You might be able to find a Merc R class in that range, or close to it.  We have put about 100K miles on ours and over all it has been good.

Toyman01 + Sized and
Toyman01 + Sized and MegaDork
10/13/21 3:51 p.m.

With those requirements, you are in minivan territory. They wont get 20s around town but they will be close. 

Ease up of the fuel economy and you can pick up a nice high mileage Suburban at that price. It will get 15 or so around town and 17 to 19 on the highway if you keep your foot out of the tank. 

Somebeach (Forum Supporter)
Somebeach (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
10/13/21 4:04 p.m.

R class IAAI
 

having some copy and paste issues. But was looking on IAAI.com and happened to see a R class. 

evildky
evildky SuperDork
10/13/21 4:23 p.m.

Rav 4 and Highlander both had optional third row seats. Camry wagon had optional rear facing third row.

buzzboy
buzzboy Dork
10/13/21 4:27 p.m.

I've seen S123s for that price in rough but well running condition. It'll do 25mpg mixed no problem. Consumes regular unleaded diesel fuel.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
10/13/21 4:32 p.m.

As others have said, minivan is probably your best bet based on your price/MPG requirements. Don't overlook the Sienna, Dodges, Kias, and the Mazda5 options as well. 

Odyssey is going to be tough in that price range, but I wouldn't go earlier than an '07 (they got the beefier transmission starting that year). And go LX or EX to avoid the VCM headaches.

 

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/13/21 6:09 p.m.

Ditto on the odyssey and skip tourings as well so you don't PAX (or find one that needs tires for cheap and de-pax it). The VCM can be deleted with a few kits but the motor mounts are a PITA

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/13/21 6:38 p.m.
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) said:

Odyssey is going to be tough in that price range, but I wouldn't go earlier than an '07 (they got the beefier transmission starting that year). And go LX or EX to avoid the VCM headaches.

IIRC the cylinder deactivation ring problems didn't show up until 2011.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
10/13/21 6:51 p.m.

 

Thanks for all the leads guys.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
10/13/21 6:52 p.m.

I don't speak Honda. What do PAX & VCM mean?

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
10/13/21 10:46 p.m.
Indy "Nub" Guy said:

I don't speak Honda. What do PAX & VCM mean?

PAX is a Michelin run-flat tire option.  They're pretty expensive, ride poorly, and don't last very long, so many people dislike it.  It uses special wheels, so if you want to put normal tires on instead you need to replace those too.  IIRC they were standard on the top trim level ("Touring", I think).

VCM is cylinder deactivation for fuel efficiency (turns it into an I-3 at cruise/low load).  It adds 1-2 mpg, but there was a problem on the later vehicles where it would wear out the rings on those three cylinders.  Generally speaking, the "EX-L" and higher trim levels had it, the ones below that did not.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
10/14/21 6:17 a.m.

In reply to codrus (Forum Supporter) :

Thanks yes

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
10/14/21 7:31 a.m.

The VCM on our 06 was still a PITA even though the "bad" problems were later. Active motor mounts at $500/ea that go out every 50k gets old (plus another $500 in labor if you don't like dirty). The last time they took a E36 M3 I replaced with the mechanical EX mounts and deleted the VCM. Lost about 1mpg highway but worth it to not have the motor bouncing around.

Mine is still on PAX but it's because my wife doens't change tires and I travel a lot (at least used to).

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/14/21 8:12 a.m.

Rear facing 3rd row like Volvo wagon but no one thinks to go looking for these, made until 2005

Rusty but cheap sample

 

Then, in 2007 there was the Ford Taurus X. See my comments in this thread

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
10/14/21 8:20 a.m.

The Kia Rondo is sort of a Kia Optima stretched tall to make a wagon.  A third row was optional. The whole thing is similar in size to Mazda5 so third row is tight but possible for kids 4-12-ish.

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