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Posted: 1/21/2017 5:26:44 PM EDT
Quick Backstory.

Bought a nice 2007 Ridge line, its ok, but small. I have two kids now both under 9. Soon to have a 3rd. Ridgeline WILL NOT work anymore.

So we are looking at a:

2012-2014 Toyota Sienna AWD UAV (Urban Assault Vehicle)

or 

2011-2013 Tahoe/Suburban/Expedition.

I live In PNW so we get decent snow in the winters, but roads are pretty well taken care of.

4 door trucks are out due to possible friends and dogs.

Any input?

Also which would be safer?
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:33:27 PM EDT
[#1]
As long as the senia has captains chairs in the second row (makes third row ingress/egress easy even with car seats.) imo you will get much more for the same money, assuming you don't need the towing capability of a full size SUV.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:35:46 PM EDT
[#2]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
As long as the senia has captains chairs in the second row (makes third row ingress/egress easy even with car seats.) imo you will get much more for the same money, assuming you don't need the towing capability of a full size SUV.
View Quote


Don't need the towing, and Captains chairs would be mandatory.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:36:22 PM EDT
[#3]
Can't go wrong with a Suburban...When we had kids ours was great...
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:39:27 PM EDT
[#4]
The electric steering in the Sienna of that generation is absolute junk.  You lose all feeling of the road.  I completely lost interest after driving one.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:42:02 PM EDT
[#5]
My kids have a Honda van. Don't know the name of it. But it is a pretty good one. The mini van is the way to go if you don't tow the boat or 4 wheelers  every other week end.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:44:43 PM EDT
[#6]
I just got a Sienna and it is great. No middle row in mine though as that is for my wheelchair.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:45:26 PM EDT
[#7]
I will put this as simple as I can OP, there is a reason why there are so many Suburbans on the road, there is a reason why they have been the best full size SUV for so long...
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:46:28 PM EDT
[#8]
We have 4 kids, 2 off which are still in car/booster seats. We were in the market about 3 years ago and bought a Town and Country touring-l with a few options on top of the package. For a Tahoe/suburban/expedition with similar options we would have paid an additional 20k. I can fold the back seats flat into the floor and fit full 4x8 sheets of plywood on the floor. The stow and go seating is configurable in lots of ways to get the most utility out of space in it. We went to the mountains in it last fall, 2 adults and 4 kids along with luggage for a week and a collapsed double stroller, comfortable the whole way there and back. When we have to replace it, as long as something similar is offered we'll be sticking with the minivan. It's funny, we seem to have started a trend among our friends with more than 2 kids, since we got ours, three other family's have moved from full and medium sized suvs to minivans.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:46:38 PM EDT
[#9]
Don't bother with the Tahoe length, go Suburban, the extra 20" are extremely worth it so you can bring more than two bags of groceries when using the third row.

Kharn
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:46:56 PM EDT
[#10]
I vote for the 'burban.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:49:40 PM EDT
[#11]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I will put this as simple as I can OP, there is a reason why there are so many Suburbans on the road, there is a reason why they have been the best full size SUV for so long...
View Quote
suburbans are great, but for us the cool factor wasn't worth the price difference for the same features. Let's face it, probably 80% or more people who drive suburbans or tahoes drive them for the looks.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 5:59:37 PM EDT
[#12]
Does the suburban have more room than a van? And are they harder to drive? It will be mostly my wife's DD
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 6:04:17 PM EDT
[#13]
They really are two different classes of auto.
Is this for the wife ?  Back in 2007 we needed to replace our 1999 , 2500 Suburban. Good truck 200k with the normal issues and maintenance.
My wife didn't like to drive the Suburban " too big" . She drove it when she had too but when it came to get a new auto she didn't want another.
she looked at the Sienna but wanted more of a truck (big dogs) so we went with a highlander.
Highlander sits a little more truck like.

We both drive highlanders now, both have been trouble free. 2007 and 2016
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 6:05:47 PM EDT
[#14]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Does the suburban have more room than a van? And are they harder to drive? It will be mostly my wife's DD
View Quote

Both Suburbans I owned, including an 03 8.1 3/4 ton drove as good if not better then any full size pickup and much better then any full size van I have ever driven...but I haven't driven a van in a long time...
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 6:32:21 PM EDT
[#15]
Toyota is the answer.  The 2007 Sienna I had was a total tool, completely handy for child, wife, big fat dog.  Ran great, no problems at all.  It is completely a functional vehicle with no room for illusions of macho anything, but it was just what we needed.  Highly recommended.  No way would I subject myself to another GM product, especially one of their road whales.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 6:36:27 PM EDT
[#16]
Well i would LOVE a Sequoia but those are sooo damn spendy.

It looks like the Suburbans run about $15k-$20k more than comparable Sienna!

that narrows it down some.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 6:51:19 PM EDT
[#17]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Toyota is the answer.  The 2007 Sienna I had was a total tool, completely handy for child, wife, big fat dog.  Ran great, no problems at all.  It is completely a functional vehicle with no room for illusions of macho anything, but it was just what we needed.  Highly recommended.  No way would I subject myself to another GM product, especially one of their road whales.
View Quote


Ditto! I had a 2007 AWD(skip if you don't drive in the snow) it was great trouble free vehicle. I put 189,000 miles on it with little more than brakes, gas and oil changes. It's also a great Grey man car, who is going to look at a Sienna and think that guys got a couple thousand dollars worth of rifles and handguns the back.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 8:48:01 PM EDT
[#18]
We have 3 kids, 4,5, and one that is 2 weeks old. I went with a sienna cause I don't need to "look cool or manly" I need something that works for a good price. Van has all the room we need and more, gets great gas milage, is reliable, and from everything I have read is pretty damn safe.

Plus like you have seen the Suburban is going to be more money. My van is an 05 with 150k is the top of the line model and picked it up for 6k. Buddy of mine just got a 2012 sienna top of the like 60k miles for 18k.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 8:54:54 PM EDT
[#19]
I gave my wife the option of a van or a suburban. She has a Honda Odyssey now and loves it. The sliding doors are definitely worth it. Also if you really don't get that much snow I would skip the AWD and just get snow tires if your that worried about.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:01:06 PM EDT
[#20]
Get the Sienna. You can read my thread about ours here.  It's a fantastic van, although I recommend you get at least a 2016 if possible.  Our 2014 Sienna only had one set of LATCH connectors in the 3rd row.  Our 2016 Sienna has 2 sets of LATCH connections in the 3rd row.

Our 2014 Sienna was actually totaled earlier this year (my wife was T-boned, thankfully no kids in the car). We replaced it with a brand-new 2016 Sienna.  We do not have the all-wheel-drive version, but one of my friends does and they love theirs as well.

The fold down screen is pretty nice, you can play Blu-rays and various media types off of an SD card; I think it accepts up to a 256GB card so you can permanently keep plenty of movies in the car.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:06:41 PM EDT
[#21]
Toyota 4Runner w/ 3rd row seats. Thats what I have and it works for a family of 6 just fine.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:07:17 PM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
I will put this as simple as I can OP, there is a reason why there are so many Suburbans on the road, there is a reason why they have been the best full size SUV for so long...
View Quote


Because they didn't have any competitors before 1997?
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:10:09 PM EDT
[#23]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Well i would LOVE a Sequoia but those are sooo damn spendy.

It looks like the Suburbans run about $15k-$20k more than comparable Sienna!

that narrows it down some.
View Quote


If you need room, the Sequoia sucks compared to minivans.  The third road is practically useless if you are not stuffing small kids or midgets back there.  I grew up with suburbans and full size vans.  Unless I needed towing or off-road ability, I would go with a minivan 100%.  Sliding doors give you a retarded amount of room to access car seats and your kids cannot bang them on other cars.  The short nose gives you great visibility and easy parking.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:14:42 PM EDT
[#24]
I have the Expedition EL. I will be getting another in another year or two. Having the extra clearance and truck abilities aren't a real requirement for me 24/7, but not needing to borrow/rent a truck a few times a year is a big help. Also, there is VERY limited storage when you go on a family trip if you are thinking of using the 3rd row in a van. That means rooftop storage or trailer/hitch mounted storage.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:16:31 PM EDT
[#25]
Suburban Tahoe Expedition. Really anything that is built on a truck frame.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:17:41 PM EDT
[#26]
Last year when our third was in the oven we went from a 4Runner to a 2010 Suburban ltz with about 80k on it. It ran 27,500.

In our testing etc, we figured it would work better for us. Three in car seats, forget the Tahoe, used the burb isn't that much more and the extra room lets you do things like grocery shop and carry all the extra stuff (Christmas gifts etc) easily.

We decided the ltz was worth the extra $$ since it comes with some nice add one that make it easy for
Little women like my wife. They have adjustable gas and brake pedals, power lift gate, reverse camera and captains for the second row.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:24:16 PM EDT
[#27]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Does the suburban have more room than a van? And are they harder to drive? It will be mostly my wife's DD
View Quote


In terms of usable space, NOTHING has more than a van.

Vans can carry equipment like lawn mowers and snow blowers without folding the handle bars down, and they can carry things like washing machines, dryers, or bicycles standing up. Depending upon the specific vehicles you're comparing, vans are more likely to be able to accommodate fully grown adults in the 3rd row. There are reasons why the Suburban style "panel truck" died, why commercial fleets buy vans for hauling things, and why personnel transport services use vans instead of Suburbans outside of VIP applications.  

Comparing the Suburban to the Sienna for driving dynamics isn't fair to the Suburban. It's a truck based, body on frame vehicle, and the Sienna is a more car-like unibody vehicle. They are also in different size classes. The Suburban is more comparable to a full size van like a Ford Transit, whereas the Sienna is more comparable to Chevrolet's Traverse. The Sienna will be more responsive and more forgiving.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:28:52 PM EDT
[#28]
Minivans are so much easier to get in and out both for the adults and kids.

We bought a Honda Odyssey  before we had our first kid and now we have a 2013 Sienna, base model.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:36:25 PM EDT
[#29]
Aren't the Sienna's made in America!!!

Make America Great OP get the Sienna
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:38:12 PM EDT
[#30]
We bought a Sienna in 2004 when the redesign came out. It was an outstanding vehicle but had a bad habit of going thru tires. Lasted us 10 years and somewhere around 140K miles.
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 9:51:54 PM EDT
[#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
The electric steering in the Sienna of that generation is absolute junk.  You lose all feeling of the road.  I completely lost interest after driving one.
View Quote
^ listen to this guy. 

I love Toyotas.  Always had good luck with them, except for the Sienna.  That's the only Toyota I would not recommend. 

The Sienna is built on the Camry platform.  And the Camry is one of the best cars made.  But there are some issues with putting a large vehicle on that smaller car platform. 
 - Sienna and Camry use the same brakes.  So the heavier Sienna wears out brakes every 20k miles or so.  And ours needed major brake work at 50-60k miles. 
 - Sienna and Camry use the same transmission.  So the heavier Sienna wore out out transmission at 80k or so. 
 - The interior of our Sienna was cheaply made.  Doors and plastic pieces frequently broke. 
 - Wheel covers - Ours had steel wheels with cheaply made factory plastic wheel covers.  They were always flying off.  No big deal, I just bought replacements (set of 4) on Ebay. 
Link Posted: 1/21/2017 10:03:56 PM EDT
[#32]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Also, there is VERY limited storage when you go on a family trip if you are thinking of using the 3rd row in a van. That means rooftop storage or trailer/hitch mounted storage.
View Quote
you aren't the first person I've seen post this and I just don't see it, as posted above we purchased a 2014 town and country a few years ago and have taken it to the mountains for a week for 3 years running in late fall on vacation. 2 adults, 4 kids, and luggage (including pillows/bedding and cold weather gear) and a double stroller (those things take up a lot of space even collapsed) with no problem only utilizing the rear cargo section. It holds a lot more than people give it credit for, maybe because it is sunken about 12-14 inches below floor level. There are also large compartments for storage in the floor between the front and middle rows of captains chairs, which we don't normally use (we have weatherbeater floor mats that make them hard to access) but you could put a pile of stuff in there too if needed.
Link Posted: 2/17/2017 3:09:19 PM EDT
[#33]
Alright, I have cash now, decisions coming on quick!


There is a nice Tahoe nearby for $24K  with 86K miles, but it has had an accident on the carfax, clean title though.

But, around that price range I can find a 2011-2013 Sienna AWD <65K miles all day.
Link Posted: 2/17/2017 4:06:24 PM EDT
[#34]
No other input?
Link Posted: 2/17/2017 11:00:45 PM EDT
[#35]
Several Tahoe owners I know regret not getting the Suburban.
Once the Suburban owners learned how to parallel park such a gigantic vehicle, they never looked back.

Kharn
Link Posted: 2/17/2017 11:17:12 PM EDT
[#36]
Wife Unit drives the '13 Sienna AWD. Safe conveinient people hauler

I have the 100 series Landcruiser. Will fit the entire family and make it from Ohio to Alaska if I asked. But not the best for day to day operations...

Family of me, Wife Unit, and four kids (girl - 9, girl - 7, boy - 2.5, girl - 0.4).
Link Posted: 2/17/2017 11:20:58 PM EDT
[#37]
Suburban/Yukon xl, expedition, or an older excursion in good condition. No preference, just see what you can get the best deal on.
Link Posted: 2/17/2017 11:33:10 PM EDT
[#38]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Suburban/Yukon xl, expedition, or an older excursion in good condition. No preference, just see what you can get the best deal on.
View Quote


Had the Excursion. Wife would drive it only if she had to. Don't get me wrong, I loved the thing and really do miss it on occasion. However, the thing is just not practical as a DD. Brodozer overkill...

The Sienna (AWD) works as designed. Safe hauling of the squirts with a minimum of fuss in most conditions. For anything more rough than 8" of snow or the Oreville dam busting loose, I have the Landcruiser (100 series), which will still fit my family of six.  

Don't get me wrong, I miss the brodozer Just not practical.
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