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Smallest car, van, SUV or whatever with third row seating

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I am at a loss as to what to look at. I have been thinking a Mazda CX5, but am unsure it has sufficient space. Basically, my wife is looking for third row seating for our kids, and their friends, but she is an unconfident driver, who is 5 feet even in height, and she needs good visibility out of the car. She currently drives and older Mercedes C Class that her mom gave her, and although she wants something bigger, she is scared to drive something bigger. Therefore, I am trying to find lots of seating in the smallest exterior package possible with the best visibility out of the car. Any thoughts?

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Coupe / Sedan / Hatch

Car Needs: Family transporter

Need minimum of 7 seats

Will consider new cars only

Maximum price: US $ 50000

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Response from mkaresh

3:10 pm May 18, 2014

Sizable budget, but not quite large enough for a Merceces-Benz E-Class wagon, or I'd suggest that.

I assume you want luxury features given the amount, so the new Nissan Rogue is out. Can't get a third row with leather. Rearward visibility also isn't the best.

The Kia Sorento might fit what you're looking for, as it's also shorter than most crossovers with three rows.

The related Hyundai Santa Fe is larger and roomier than the Sorento, but drives even more like a car. Could be a good fit.

The new 2014 Acura MDX probably drives the best of the bunch, but could push the limits of your budget. It's also having a glitchy first model year (minor electrical stuff, mostly).


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Kia Sorento
Hyundai Santa Fe
Acura MDX

Response from mkaresh

3:14 pm May 18, 2014

Among vans, Mazda offers the Mazda5 (odd styling, not best mpg, but great vehicle otherwise) and Ford has the new Transit Connect (compact cargo van dressed up for passenger use, very roomy). The latter should drive somewhat like a Ford Focus or Ford Escape, since they're all related.

Back on crossovers, Mazda also offers the CX-9, but it's pretty large.


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Mazda Mazda5
Ford Transit Connect
Mazda CX-9

Response from Member2217

1:56 pm June 30, 2014

Transit connect is an interesting idea. I had not thought to put that on our list. The CX 9 is definitely too big, and the rear visibility is poor. These are some good ideas. I am not sure if she will end up in something larger, or just another sedan, but these are good ideas for looking. Thanks.


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