Big Family, Big Cars, Big Prices

November 15th, 2013

family car decal

You’ve seen the stickers on the back of Suburbans everywhere. You know the ones, the little caricatures¬†of each family member happily bouncing soccer balls or petting a puppy.

There’s usually a mom, a dad, 4 kids or more and two pets. Presumably they are all in the vehicle at the same time, and I’d almost guarantee they aren’t nearly as happy as their sticker-selves represent.

A lot of crying and yelling happens in the back of those Suburbans, I’m just sayin’.

For large families in need of a 7+-passenger vehicle, the choices are surprisingly ample. Expensive, but ample.

I really do miss the days of the traditional station wagon. The long and low vehicles with room for 6 people before even accessing the rear-facing “way back” seats were a staple of my childhood. I wish my kids could experience them. Instead, we have modern SUVs with cramped front-facing third-row seats that position children close enough to bite each other’s ears off.

I find myself in the position of maybe needing a car that can hold 6-7 people, but I really don’t want to buy new. I need something that can handle winter weather and keep kids comfortable enough that they don’t pass the time by pinching one another.

A Suburban might make sense, but 13 miles per gallon does not. Plus, the affordable ones I find have 150,000 miles or more. That’s a lot for an older Chevy engine!

I’m a huge fan of Subaru, and I like the Tribeca, but only the 2008 model year and up, which makes them more expensive.

A minivan is out of the question, mostly because I require all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive. I also require not having a minivan.

I’ve owned a Honda Pilot in the past, and I’d consider getting another if the right used deal came along.

So far in my research, I’ve found that it’s hard to find a used AWD 7-passenger vehicle with under 150,000 miles and priced below $10,000. So that’s where you come in:

What’s your favorite AWD 7-passenger vehicle?¬†


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Chevrolet Suburban
Used Subaru Tribeca
Used Honda Pilot

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  1. Randy
    November 17th, 2013 at 07:29 | #1

    An older Diesel suburban might fit the bill. Still not cheap, but they seem to last forever if taken care of, can tow a house (trailer), and get pretty good mileage. With dual tanks, being able to go 700 or 800 miles on a big gulp of Diesel isn’t bad, either. Also, don’t forget those full-size vans. You can get a big family inside, all their stuff, tow a trailer, and still get that Diesel mileage.

  2. Tim
    November 15th, 2013 at 22:30 | #2

    Ford Flex I have a 2009 seats 7 with good gas mpg you can pick one up for around 20,000 or less I tow a dual quad trailer with the 3.5L no problem or opt for one with the eco-boost if you want to do some heaver towing.

  3. Cory
    November 15th, 2013 at 12:01 | #3

    I have an 11 chevy traverse and love it. they started making them in 08 so that may be a good option for you. reliable and 20-22 mpg. I can tow with it and it’s great in show.

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