No, I won’t be driving a people carrier, thank you

So we’re expecting a third child and we know already that three car seats do not fit in th back of our Honda Civic. We love this car (especially the customised additions to the side where I drove into our front wall three times… oops!) and we bought it just before the toddler was born so there are some special memories linked to those seats which are now covered in crumbs and comics. This car took me to the hospital and brought my son home. This car is special. All cars are special. But not people carriers.

We need a bigger car.

Before I begin, I want to say that I have nothing against people carriers, or the people carrier drivers. I’m not particularly knowlegable about cars but I’m guessing that they are pretty spacious and very handy for when you have kids. It’s just that people carriers aren’t me. I’m not necessarily a flashy person but I do object to feeling and looking like I’m driving a mini bus, just because I have more than one offspring.  Plus, I’m a self confessed rubbish parker and I’m willing to bet that my poor garden wall would need to be ‘extended’ even further if we brought home one of those vehicles. So we’re going car shopping. And I don’t know where to begin.

We decided we would need a 7 seater, to give us plenty of room for luggage when we go down to my mums and elsewhere, and to give room for bringing the Big One’s friends home from school now and then. A quick google search provided great results. For people carrier people. Turns out, its not as easy as you would think to find a car that fits three car seats in the back and still looks nice too.

I like the Quashqai +2 but apparently there are engine issues. A family member ended up getting rid quickly because it was always in the garage. I haven’t heard of any other problems with these cars though, and they look really nice… I suppose it is about looks in this case. Oh my goodness, I’m a shallow car buyer.

Other cars that made the shortlist include the Ford C-Max Grand, which has sliding doors and seats which move to make an aisle down the middle; the Volkswagon Touran, which is very van-like and not acceptable at all and the Toyota Verso. That’s it. Three cars. A girl needs more choice than that.

So, car experts- what do you think? Can you save me from people carrier hell?! You know I’m only kidding, right? But seriously, I don’t want a people carrier. And I don’t want to sell one of my kids. What do I do?

 

 

*This post has also appeared on www.motors.co.uk

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30 responses to “No, I won’t be driving a people carrier, thank you

  • Blue Sky

    Be careful! Your words may come back and bite you! As a car nut I would have said similar stuff, but due to needing to meet the needs of a child with a disability I have had to swallow my pride and buy first of all people carriers and now a granny mobile (citroen berlingo) .

    As to other cars you could consider, ones that Jeremy clarkson and I agree on include the Honda Stream, the Mazda 5 Or how about an old fashioned station wagon? Some estates can still be got with 7 seats.

    Best of luck with your decision x

  • Catherine Ross

    We’ve got a Mazda 6 estate. We had exactly the same requirements as you; three seats across the back and enough luggage space for buggies/bikes/bags etc. My husband wrote off people carriers straight away and narrowed our choices down to a few estates: Ford Mondeo, Audi A4, VW Passat or Mazda 6.

    I have also heard of an all in one car seat that fits three in together. I haven’t researched, but might be worth looking into.

  • Melksham Mum

    Hi, unfortunately I do not have one myself but how about going down the Chelsea tractor route and get a Landrover Discovery? You could also just drive over the garden wall! x x

  • Vickie

    Toyota has a rubbish rep, you have to get the correct engine to make sure that you don’t get a lemon, hubster is in bed so can’t remember which one it is now.

    A lot of estate cars will do what you are asking for and to be honest have more space than a Ford c-max if I am being honest. Have you ever sat in the back, small doesn’t cover it.

    So to me when you say you don’t want a people carrier what is it you don’t like about it baring in mine to me Touran is in the MVP category.

    The other cars I can think of off the top of my head include, a 307 estate tend to come with the Anchorage for 7 seats http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201130405884205/sort/pricedesc/model/307/make/peugeot/page/2/quicksearch/true/radius/1501/postcode/ch620bp/advert-type/featured-listing/dealer/2564/usedcars?logcode=flp

    just be careful when looking at this car and make sure you buy 05 plate and above.

    A C4 Picasso now come with 7 seats
    http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201128402746257/sort/pricedesc/make/citroen/model/c4%20grand%20picasso/postcode/ch620bp/radius/1501/advert-type/hl-nthcar/dealer/129333/usedcars/advert-type/hook-advert?logcode=hlp

    Mazda 5 also has folding back seats
    http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201130406055415/sort/pricedesc/model/mazda5/make/mazda/postcode/ch620bp/page/2/radius/1501/advert-type/featured-listing/dealer/7697/usedcars?logcode=flp

    I would need more of an idea of what it is you don’t like before I throw anymore ideas about, I looked and looked for 7 months for the right car, so if I can help just shout!

    • ghostwritermummy

      Wow thanks! I thought Toyota were good for engines?? I want a car that looks like a car rather than a van. I also like the design of the quashqai but not necessarily a 4×4 as they look like monster trucks sometimes. Space wise, i have a 7 year old, 2 year old and a baby to fit in, plus double/ single pram and all the rest of the stuff you need for weekends away. general day to day will see all kids and me in it for school run. I want something that isn’t too big really. My Honda Civic jsut doesn’t fit 3 seats comfortably.
      XxX

  • Sarah

    have to confess to giving in on this one, loved my old car but needed a bigger car for the 3rd child & related paraphenalia, needed the option of extra seats and boot space, ended up with a peugeot 807, it is big but it is fantastic, kids love it and I feel very safe and most of all it fits us all & some.. as for parking well I’m still cautious, more out of worry than necessity. Embrace the mini bus type vehicle, it might just be the best car decision you make 😉

  • TheBoyandMe

    (Trying not to be a stroppy-arsed people carrier driver) Have you ever sat in one? I love my Scenic which is the same size as my dad’s Picasso and shorter than my husband’s Laguna. For me not having to bend down to get in & twist my torso (when I had SPD) was amazing. I still have a baf back and so the fact that I don’t have to anything other than sit in it at the same height as I was standing is brilliant. Far easier to get The Boy in & out as well as I don’t have to bend down (especially as we have an Axiss car-seat which rotates around to face the road when you get them out), again saving my back. Ironically it won’t be big enough (boot space wise) if we have a second so we’ll be looking to get an Espace!

    • ghostwritermummy

      Nope, never been in one I have to admit. But have never needed to, to be honest. Our car at the moment is perfectly fine for 2 kids. I seriously doubt I could drive one though, let alone park it!!
      XxX

  • alysonsblog

    hahah this is sooo gonna come back and bite you on the ass – I’d be willing to bet that within 3 years you are considering it – those mid cars are neither use nor ornament when you have 3 children for this reason, the children get shoehorned in together and fight like cat and dog, the 2 seats in the boot are useless as you actually do need the boot space to travel anywhere with 3 children, and the seats in the back are notoriously difficult to get into and not proper ‘seat’ so therefore not terribly comfortable. I defy anyone to drive a Chrysler Grand Voyager with 3 or more children and tell me that they prefer a mid size, its just not practical and no Im not ‘that’ type of person either, Ive had sportcars, convertibles, and fancy cars but with 3 practicality plays higher than style

  • alysonsblog

    what about a Volvo V70 – that might work for you, at least thats big enough

  • Jayne

    I honestly think you should go and have a look at a VW Touran before you write it off. My brother in law drives one and it doesn’t feel at all like a people carrier, more like a large car, and you can even remove the two rear seats in you want to. They’re lovely cars, I’d happily drive one!

  • Froginthefield

    Volvo Estate or x-Type Jaguar Estate.. get one a few years old and they are cheap and wonderful!

  • Mostly Yummy

    Ha! Everybody seems to be saying the same about eating your words and I don’t want to say it too BUT we were the same in resisting a people carrier and within a year had to eat our words and have a KIA people carrier that we love! We tried the Chelsea tractor route with a Volvo and Discovery before we admitted defeat and yes, they have the seven seats but when they are all in use, there is just no boot space. And travelling light with children is never an option. The KIA we have now is fab. Big but not van like I promise! Decent boot size, seats can be put down or even taken out, sliding doors.. I’m a people carrier convert, can you tell?! 😉

  • Lexi

    Hi there, I am a driver of a people carrier and I bloody hate it! I was in a similar situation to you. I didn’t want one at all. I’m not a flash car person at all but just the words people mover/carrier sent shudders down my spine. But I was told “no no, once you get it you’ll be converted, just wait and see”. So, I crumbled, and got a Ford SMax 3 years ago… And guess what, I STILL hate it! More than any other car I’ve ever owned. Yes, I can’t deny, it’s great for the kids space wise and has lots of quirky family friendly stuff but I still hate it and can’t get past the people carrier thing. As a result, I’m constantly scratching and scraping it as pyschologically I guess I just don’t like it enough to care. So, we’re looking to change too. Volvo as suggested earlier is good shout or if you can cope with a big car 100% look at the KIA Sorento I think it is. My friend has one and says it’s the best car she’s ever had and is gorgeous!

  • breitideas

    We have a peguot 807. No its not sexy, and yes it is a people carrier, but its got 8 seats! And a fridge! And parking sensors! The really great thing is that it looks like a taxi – no dirty looks when you ‘accidentally’ find you’re in a bus lane…

  • mrsshortie

    We got a Volvo XC90 last year when we realised we wouldn’t be able to comfortably fit in the mondeo. I think it was also NJ’s mid life crisis, he wanted a big 4×4! But it has proved great, the car is great to drive (I wasn’t one to drive the mondeo), and we get all 3 kids in the back, 2 booster seats and a baby seat, and now TJ is in a forward facing seat she can sit in the middle and the other 2 are seperated – definately great!

    Hope you have fun looking and trying out cars, NJ was another NO NO to a people carrier, although I think he may change his mind for the next car just because of price!

  • Froginthefield

    Don’t do it.. if it won’t go in a Volvo Estate you don’t need it!

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