3rd row seat dilemma....

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Here is my dilema. We have 4 boys (10, 9, 8 and 2), which makes 6 in total with me and the wifey. You can probably see where this is going....as the TB only has seating for 5. Short of shoving the naughiest kid in the trunk (which may well be me on most occasions :lipsrsealed: ), we can't carry that many people.

I have seen a company online that manufacures 3rd row seating for regular SUV's, but at $1,000 for the model with shoulder belts and head rests, this is not inconsiderable. My debate is whether I should dump a grand into a 10 year old vehicle with 132K on the clock. Logic says no, get a vehicle that better matches our needs. But, I could potentially lose more than that in the trade-up shuffle. Of course I would prefer a vehicle that is meant to have the 3rd row seat option, but money is a bit tight for anything much newer than what we already have.

On the plus side, out TB seems to be pretty happy and pretty reliable. Gas mileage is pretty decent by TB standards too.

Finances will be better in 3 years time when the youngest goes to free daycare (school) and frees up a decent chunk of change. What to do until then..?? Put a bit of cash in the old gal and limp along for 3 years..?? I don't like the idea of taking 2 cars everywhere, and stayinhg at home and going nowhere is no fun for growing kids either.

Alternatively, I could try and sell the TB privately, then hunt for a good deal on a 3rd row seat vehicle. Could take time and no guarantee of either a decent price for ours or a deal when buying.

What would you do..??


Thanks. Dave.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
You're asking what would we each, individually do. I would retire the TB and move to a Lambda being a Traverse, Acadia, Enclave or Outlook as they all have third row seating. Not a huge fan but they have some nicer elements but mileage is unacceptly poor given that replaced our 360's with the promise of better mileage. The Outlook being a Saturn is the cheapest and they made them until 2010. You can get a stripped down version of all of the above except maybe the more expensive Buick for well under 20k. If that wasn't feasable, I'd listen to my more practical side and buy a mid 2000's American Minivan that has severely depreciated for under 10k. I still have a 2000 Olds Silhouette (Made by Chevy and Pontiac until mid 2000's). I've had it for the better part of a decade and has been the best, lowest cost vehicle I've owned since the 1980's. Here's the summary of what has gone wrong or been repaired in a decade of ownership and hard, hard use:__________________ If that was out of the question, I'd get an inexpensive Extended 360 but the lower mile ones are getting harder to come by. At the end of the day, your budget will dictate much of your decision.
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
davenay67 said:
Here is my dilema. We have 4 boys (10, 9, 8 and 2), which makes 6 in total with me and the wifey. You can probably see where this is going....as the TB only has seating for 5. Short of shoving the naughiest kid in the trunk (which may well be me on most occasions :lipsrsealed: ), we can't carry that many people.

I have seen a company online that manufacures 3rd row seating for regular SUV's, but at $1,000 for the model with shoulder belts and head rests, this is not inconsiderable. My debate is whether I should dump a grand into a 10 year old vehicle with 132K on the clock. Logic says no, get a vehicle that better matches our needs. But, I could potentially lose more than that in the trade-up shuffle. Of course I would prefer a vehicle that is meant to have the 3rd row seat option, but money is a bit tight for anything much newer than what we already have.

On the plus side, out TB seems to be pretty happy and pretty reliable. Gas mileage is pretty decent by TB standards too.

Finances will be better in 3 years time when the youngest goes to free daycare (school) and frees up a decent chunk of change. What to do until then..?? Put a bit of cash in the old gal and limp along for 3 years..?? I don't like the idea of taking 2 cars everywhere, and stayinhg at home and going nowhere is no fun for growing kids either.

Alternatively, I could try and sell the TB privately, then hunt for a good deal on a 3rd row seat vehicle. Could take time and no guarantee of either a decent price for ours or a deal when buying.

What would you do..??


Thanks. Dave.

When you travel with all four kids, will you be traveling without cargo of any type (suitcases, gym bags, groceries, toys, pool gear, etc.)? A 3rd row in a SWB Trailblazer will eat up most of your cargo space, assuming you want the kids to have legroom.

I don't know your financial situation, but if it was my decision, I'd look at a Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, a (new, current generation) Ford Explorer, and a Mazda CX-9. Tahoes and Expeditions are off the list because the third row seats in them are pretty lousy, especially compared to their unibody competitors. If I needed a body on frame vehicle with seating for six, I'd get a Suburban. There's also the dreaded minivan. Ugly and about as cool as herpes, but minivans are practical.

And school isn't free - that's what your property taxes pay for. :wink:
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
there are many variables to consider.
I understand from your sig that this is your wife's DD.
What is your DD,will it seat 6 comfortably?

I figure the jump seats in the rear will work great in a pinch(kids friends etc) but I'm not sure I want to use them every day. I also expect that it cuts down on room for groceries (6 people have gotta eat) and for luggage for trips.
A jump seat might be great for a spare car that isn't the main means to transport 6 folks but If your car is something that won't seat all of you, I think you've got to think about another vehicle whether it is an EXT, Suburban or even a cough, cough mini-van.

We had a similar dilema a while back. We have a SWB with 3 kids and 2 were in car/booster seats. I drove a regular cab S10.
If we had any trouble with the TB, the S10 wouldn't carry everyone. I ended up selling my S10(I loved that truck) and getting a mini-van. I ended up with the TB and my wife with the mini-van. She hates the idea of the mini-van but it actually works great for us right now.

Our oldest is now 19 and rarely rides with us and only the youngest is in a booster seat any more so I expect we'll trade the 10yo van for something a little better on gas this fall. We might even keep the van for a spare car and just buy a car. With kids and their friends a car with additional seating is great.
 

Uncle Blazer

Member
Dec 8, 2011
263
I am/was in the same situation. 3 kids, all still in car seats (at one state or another). Got the LWB. If you like your TB(and i assume you do), look for and EXT.
 

DucatiSS

Member
Nov 19, 2011
369
I have no experience with these, but it might be worth a look at.

Chevy Trailblazer



It looks like they even have a single seat option for less.
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Thanks for all the replies, folks.

Everything you have suggested has swirled through my head. The interesting fact is that no-one so far thinks the aftermarket 3rd row seat is a good option. So you are backing me up in my doubts about that being a good option.

The Traverse would be my first choice....but a little outta my price range right now. I really like the TB, but I am not married to Chevy, so a LWB is not necessarily the first choice. The minivan route keeps coming to mind, and won't go away no matter how much I keep trying to forget.:biggrin:

My DD is a VW Passat, so only 5 seats there too. In fact, my wife loves that car and she has taken it as her daily driver. I am on my motorcycle for the summer and the TB is currently benched, getting used only for trips to the hardware store. For this reason alone, something like an Expedition (thirsty and cheap) is also an option.

Thngs like Honda Pilots have been around long enough to be in our price range, but the mileage is typically stratospheric....plus I hear early tranny's were NOT typical Honda reliable.
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
DucatiSS said:
I have no experience with these, but it might be worth a look at.

Chevy Trailblazer



It looks like they even have a single seat option for less.


This was the aftermarket seat option I was considering.

The more I think about it, the more another vehicle seems the better option....I just hate buying and selling vehicles....ARGH..!!
 

DucatiSS

Member
Nov 19, 2011
369
davenay67 said:
The interesting fact is that no-one so far thinks the aftermarket 3rd row seat is a good option. So you are backing me up in my doubts about that being a good option.

The only person that knows if financially it will make sense is you and your wife. The single seat option looks to be around $400, a small price to pay to legally drive with all the kids in a vehicle that you already know. If you are looking at new, you shouldn't have to worry about buying someone elses problems. Buying used is always a crapshoot.

If you want out of your truck and the itch to get something else needs to be scratched, then go for it. Do not let a bunch of us forum guys with unlimited internet checkbooks (meaning it ain't us making the payments, LOL) make you buy something that doesnt make sense. :biggrin::twocents:
 

strat81

Member
Dec 29, 2011
399
davenay67 said:
Thngs like Honda Pilots have been around long enough to be in our price range, but the mileage is typically stratospheric....plus I hear early tranny's were NOT typical Honda reliable.

Used Honda Pilots are made of gold. At least that's what the prices reflect.

And they're not that big. I wouldn't want to sit in the third row of one.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
DucatiSS said:
Do not let a bunch of us forum guys with unlimited internet checkbooks (meaning it ain't us making the payments, LOL) make you buy something that doesnt make sense. :biggrin::twocents:
Oh, man. :no: Don't TELL them. :confused: One of my biggest joys in life is to goad folks into the poorhouse convincing them to buy something for MY enjoyment. That's how I got you to buy an SS when you really only wanted a clapped out I6. :raspberry: Ooops. Now the cat is WAY out of the bag. :redface:

:rotfl:
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
davenay67 said:
The minivan route keeps coming to mind, and won't go away no matter how much I keep trying to forget.:biggrin:

I have to say the minivan has been our most practical car ever. Much moreso than any of our three 360's. I could probably fit a Honda Pilot in the cargo compartment if I tried but can certainly fit 4x8 sheets of plywood. Great gas mileage (6 cylinder), have carried over a ton of bricks in it, towed over 4,000lbs many times, can carry 7 passengers, short front end is great for parking, plus heated leather and even the AC has never needed any service. Literally the only down side of the GM minivans is the unfortunatly poor crash test ratings. The beauty of minivans is it seems at one point or another most folks with kids I know have owned one. In other words, you get a pass for driving one. The fact is though that I drove it as my daily driver for a couple years for the mileage and simply don't care what others think. Oh and the best part is that the kids can't door ding your own cars in the garage.
 

Jkust

Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
jbones said:
Whatever you get make it memorable for them. I grew up in the rear facing third row of a 67 & 69 Catalina, was awsome!

K-Car station wagons with fake wood here.
 

Short Bus

Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
jrSS said:
Find a decently priced lwb 360.

A LWB 360 doesn't exist, the LWB is a 370 (because we're just a little better) :raspberry:
 

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