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Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/11/14 11:22 p.m.

Absolutely nothing will fit 3 car seats that is remotely interesting to drive, so now it's replace the Mazda5 with 2 cars. A big 3-row V8 tow pig, a car trailer, and whatever random sports car I feel like screwing around with.

Looking at 02-12, three row, tow-capable, AWD/4WD SUV's. The Jeep Commander jumps out as being pretty cheap for the equipment, especially with the Hemi. Suburban is meh. What else is there?

Ideally I'd buy an old Grand Wagoneer, buy the 3rd row conversion, and have money in the bank. SWMBO hasn't caved to that one... yet.

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Dork
3/11/14 11:30 p.m.

If it was me, I'd sacrifice the cool of an old Grand Wagoneer in a heartbeat for modern side-impact protection for my 3 car seats. I have no idea what the safety ratings on the Commander or the Suburban are; IIHS doesn't seem to list either one. However, I do believe that at least the 'burban can be tuned up a bit with suspension bits to reduce the "meh" factor.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
3/11/14 11:42 p.m.

buy a suburban, It'll get better mileage than the Grand Wagoneer and actually run!

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/11/14 11:45 p.m.

Yeah, Grand Wagoneer is a pipe dream.

Appleseed
Appleseed UltimaDork
3/11/14 11:49 p.m.

FJ60 with a Diesel? Massssssssive pipe dream, right?

curtis73
curtis73 GRM+ Memberand UberDork
3/11/14 11:54 p.m.

7.3L Expedition. /thread

Trans_Maro
Trans_Maro UltraDork
3/12/14 1:14 a.m.

Sorry, the correct answer is Diesel Excursion.

jsymonds
jsymonds Reader
3/12/14 2:31 a.m.

Smells like a steak and seats thirty-five!

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
3/12/14 6:30 a.m.
Trans_Maro wrote: Sorry, the correct answer is Diesel Excursion.

If it is a 7.3 I fully agree

mad_machine
mad_machine GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/12/14 7:37 a.m.

hate to say it.. but this is the time when you need a minivan. GRM had great things to say about the Honda Odyssey

bigdaddylee82
bigdaddylee82 HalfDork
3/12/14 7:47 a.m.

Tahoe/Yukon are available with third row if you don't want to go quite as big as a Suburban.

Trailblazer/Envoy with third row too, with 5.3L.

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stumpmj
stumpmj Dork
3/12/14 8:16 a.m.

What's wrong with a Burb? Used it's the same price or cheaper than a Tahoe, TrailBlazer, or any car based SUV. They all get the same mileage (especially when towing). They all basically drive the same. If you're going to go big, go BIG!

If it was my money, I'd skip the diesel Excursion. They're far more expensive than an equivalent gas Suburban and with the price of diesel, it'll never pay for itself and that diesel will cost a small fortune to fix compared to a small block.

4g63t
4g63t HalfDork
3/12/14 8:25 a.m.

Salute the Commander

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
3/12/14 8:35 a.m.

Toyota Sequoia.

doc_speeder
doc_speeder Reader
3/12/14 8:53 a.m.

You said big V8 tow pig. You want 8.1 2500 Burb. Didn't someone on here just buy one of these for a song?

Bobzilla
Bobzilla PowerDork
3/12/14 9:03 a.m.

3 across car seats in the back seat. Good fuel economy, R&P front end, good roll stiffness and they're less than $10k now used. That is, quite simply, the easy button. Don't waste your time with a 4wd unless you just can't live without it.

Even the puppies like it:

admc58
admc58 Reader
3/12/14 9:21 a.m.

diesel Excursion has no head rests in the 3rd row. the seat backs are short in the 2nd & 3rd row...think rear impact.

04 & up Yukon XL/Suburban interior is way better than Excursion. 5.3 tows reasonably well just not fast. Real people can fit into the XL/Sub in all rows. Mileage is going to be about 15 around town and 18 on the highway with towing package. Around 11 towing an inclosed something and 14 towing an open.

Edmonds has good reviews on the XL/Sub...I can't remember what year side door beams became standard in 2nd row.

I have owned 4 and will own more.

Reality check...If you don't need the towing get a Honda Oddssey and it will meet 95% of your family needs and get 25mpg on the highway...

Mazdax605
Mazdax605 SuperDork
3/12/14 9:27 a.m.

Suburban. I love mine, and will probably own more in the future. Mine is an 04 2wd TX truck. Great mix of towing and family hauling. I don't drive it much, but when I do I love it.

Chris_V
Chris_V UltraDork
3/12/14 9:42 a.m.

I agree with these guys on the Suburban. When you need it, you really need it. Mine's an '02 8.1 liter 2500 4x4 and it rocks. Torque for days for effortless towing. Comfy for driving to the store, and huge carrying capacity, even with the third row (though mine has the third row removed for more cargo room). I picked mine up for $6500 in good shape. You can find deals out there, though most owners don't want to part with them.

xflowgolf
xflowgolf Dork
3/12/14 9:50 a.m.

What's the budget? That can vary your options greatly. How much tow capacity do you need as well?

Xceler8x
Xceler8x GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
3/12/14 10:29 a.m.

Go fullsize van and be done with it. Also, you can sleep in it at the track. You could do a conversion van assuming you can find seats to strap the kids into. They're tow ratings are surprisingly high and the resale is loooowww. A great bargain for what you're looking to do.

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
3/12/14 10:37 a.m.

How much yow rating are you looking for?

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
3/12/14 10:42 a.m.

I'm looking for something similar that will be swmbo dd.

She likes the Chevy traverse/gmc envoy/Buick the best 5500 lb tie rating. The Nissan pathfinder has decent towing, but bang for your buck is burb or van

icaneat50eggs
icaneat50eggs HalfDork
3/12/14 11:00 a.m.
Javelin wrote: Absolutely nothing will fit 3 car seats that is remotely interesting to drive,

To quote Big Bang theory, you couldn't be more wrong Big burb, fun driving

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/12/14 11:10 a.m.
Trans_Maro wrote: Sorry, the correct answer is Diesel Excursion.

Yeah, no. I sell parts for a living, and there's no stonking way I'd ever own a diesel pickup now. I must sell 10-20 fuel filters a day (at $30-$50 a pop), 3-4 complete front end rebuilds, and numerous $300-$800 modules. This is across all of the big 3.

mad_machine wrote: hate to say it.. but this is the time when you need a minivan. GRM had great things to say about the Honda Odyssey

I'm replacing a minivan! The 2+2+2 seating really stinks in the vans, and the only 3-wide 2nd row ones are stuck in vans with horrendous transmission issues. Anything new enough to have good seats and not have drivetrain issues (Pentastar Caravan) is way outside my price range. Honestly, if the Mazda5 had a 2nd row bench I'd just get another one and be done.

admc58 wrote: 04 & up Yukon XL/Suburban... Reality check...If you don't need the towing get a Honda Oddssey and it will meet 95% of your family needs and get 25mpg on the highway...

Yeah, the 04+ Tahoe/Yukon is looking decent. And again, NO on the minivan! If I was going to get something that was just going to fit the fam, I'd get another Mazda5 or one of the numerous wagons I've been shopping. And since I can't do that (and I don't want to drive a time-bomb transmission with 150K+ on it in an Oddy or a Sienna), then I might as well have towing capability to haul the Javelin around, and that means real truck.

Bobzilla wrote:

Thanks, but no. The reason I've been looking for hatch/wagon/van/SUV is that A: I live in the Pacific NorthWet, and 2. It's really nice to have that rear flat area to change the baby, have the toddler use the potty, haul car parts in the dry, etc.

Xceler8x wrote: Go fullsize van and be done with it.

I've been thinking about those. Seems like everything for sale in my range is a cargo van/panel van, or a really nasty conversion van. I'm keeping my eyes peeled though (plus, Dajiban!)

xflowgolf wrote: What's the budget? That can vary your options greatly. How much tow capacity do you need as well?

$8,000 - $12,500, and ~7,000 Lbs.

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