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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Guys,

I have a <1 year old and twins shortly on the way... essentially triplets. I was wondering how easy it is to manuver multiple child / infant seats in the R class.
How much ducking and twisting and stretching do you need to do to get the infants in the third row? How is the storage space behind the third row? Can I get a double and a single stroller back there? My wife wants the option to sit in the second row to watch over the kids if necessary.
I have been shopping for a while and can`t seem to find a vehicle that checks all the boxes.
As much as I want to buy a US vehicle (US military stationed in Japan), the US minivans I can get here really have some cheap interiors and the large SUV are large on the outside with not alot of room on the inside. Also I have to drive the vehicle in Japan... forget about parking or driving an Escalade.
I am down to three choices... the R class, the XC90 (but it is due for a model change in 2010) and a super duper Japanese luxury minivan (but I can`t stomach the 10% tax and the cr#ppy exchange rate). I would crawl around in one with my infant seat here but the R class is extremely rare here and I can`t seem to find a dealer with one in stock.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks

InJapan
07 E350 Aventguard S, J spec
03 M3 Cab, US spec
93 RX7, 443 RWHP, in storage
 

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I do think a minivan would be a better choice in your situation. With 3 babies, it would be much easier to have the sliding door instead of the wide swing doors on the R and it is going to be tight to get a double and a single stroller in the back. Also, I think your wife pretty much have to seat in the 3 row to take care of the 1 year old (3rd row) and the two twin (rear facing in the 2nd row).
 

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I would agree with THR500...

Having driven minivans for 17 years (with little, middle and big kids) and now having an R-class, I would recommend a minivan for your situation.

There is more room in a minivan for scrambling around the interior (both accessing at rest as well as moving around while the vehicle is in motion - a no-no, I know, but sometimes a necessity with a baby).

The R is great for adults and teenagers as each passenger has a lot of individual room but it's not easy to manoeuver from row to row without scooching the seats forward, something you cannot do with a baby seat in it.

With 3 babies in baby seats, you'll be happier with a van, even if it has a cheap interior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well,

I will defer to you guys. I guess I can look at a Caravan town and country or the new Toyota Alphard FT-MV.

Thanks
 

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Well,

I will defer to you guys. I guess I can look at a Caravan town and country or the new Toyota Alphard FT-MV.

Thanks
Not sure about the Alphard FT-MV (future model?). I have seated in a Alphard before (3 years old model). It is a very nice van, but the space behind the 3rd row is tight also. I think the Caravan/ T&C or a Honda Odyssey would be the best bet. I know, the Alpha looks a lot nicer inside and out.
 

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Guys,

I have a <1 year old and twins shortly on the way... essentially triplets. I was wondering how easy it is to manuver multiple child / infant seats in the R class.
How much ducking and twisting and stretching do you need to do to get the infants in the third row? How is the storage space behind the third row? Can I get a double and a single stroller back there? My wife wants the option to sit in the second row to watch over the kids if necessary.
I have been shopping for a while and can`t seem to find a vehicle that checks all the boxes.
As much as I want to buy a US vehicle (US military stationed in Japan), the US minivans I can get here really have some cheap interiors and the large SUV are large on the outside with not alot of room on the inside. Also I have to drive the vehicle in Japan... forget about parking or driving an Escalade.
I am down to three choices... the R class, the XC90 (but it is due for a model change in 2010) and a super duper Japanese luxury minivan (but I can`t stomach the 10% tax and the cr#ppy exchange rate). I would crawl around in one with my infant seat here but the R class is extremely rare here and I can`t seem to find a dealer with one in stock.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Thanks

InJapan
07 E350 Aventguard S, J spec
03 M3 Cab, US spec
93 RX7, 443 RWHP, in storage
With the minivan, you are not going to fit a double and single stroller in the back unless you're talking about the umbrella strollers. Same for the R, but even more so.

I agree with THR in that your kids will probably need to sit in the 2nd row since they will be infants, with your wife in the 3rd row. I think the R is more spacious than the minivan's (Odyssey & Sienna) but will have more of the hidden storage and "entertainment packages" more easily available to you, I still think the R is much better. My youngest sits in the 2nd row, w/ my wife while my 2.5 & 4 year-olds sit in the 3rd row. I am able to push the 2nd row chair forward in step into the back to buckle them in, as easily as if I were in the minivan (which would require me to do the same), and when we go to outings, I am able to pull the car seats outs, put the 3rd row down and let the kids watch the DVD monitors in the 2nd row headrests.

If you really need the carry a double and single full stroller...well better look at how you're gonna start parking that Escalade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was thinking that I could put the older girl in her foward facing seat in a couple of months in the second row, the twins in the back seats and use the non occupied 2nd row seat as the access point for the 3rd row. I use the Combi connection system so the strollers are not quite umbrella size but still pretty compact. I guess I could just go with a double stroller and just carry the older one around until she starts walking.

The new Alphard comes out next weekend and I will be crawling around in that thing with the baby seats.

With the standard Escalade (non ESV), the space behind the 3rd row is disappointing... I think it is smaller than the R class. Manuvering in the SUV is also difficult with the infant seats... step up into the SUV and then twist.. shimmy between the 2nd row seats while ducking and then place the infant seats into place. I was not impressed with the interior space.

I don`t think there is a perfect vehicle for my situation. I have resigned myself to very short trips until the kids get a little older.

So, now I`m getting the feeling that the R class might be doable.
 

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don't forget that you can increase storage quite a bit with the optional roof rack. stroller on the roof perhaps, with/without container...
 

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get a larger minivan (Town & country, odyssey, sienna). When your kids are in boosters, get an R-class. Can't get in the back if a car seat is in the 2nd row in the R. My oldest and youngest sit in the back of my R (oldest helps buckle the youngest) and the 6 yr old is in a booster behind the driver. we keep the pass side 2nd row flipped up.

you can pack a house in the back of the sienna. the R class trunk is small-time. In 3 years you can get and R and you'll keep the van which is useful for long trips with the DVD and all the luggage/crap.

BTW the middle 2nd seat in the 7pass R-class is useless unless you have kids just out of booster seats... cant put a car seat there no anyone with a large *ss.

Take 3 car seats to the MB dealer on a slow day and try it. i did :)
 

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Unless you can get the swing-out door wide open, it's going to be hard to get that infant seat in and out of the car. Sliding door is the best for the situation.
 

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I was thinking that I could put the older girl in her foward facing seat in a couple of months in the second row, the twins in the back seats and use the non occupied 2nd row seat as the access point for the 3rd row. I use the Combi connection system so the strollers are not quite umbrella size but still pretty compact. I guess I could just go with a double stroller and just carry the older one around until she starts walking.

The new Alphard comes out next weekend and I will be crawling around in that thing with the baby seats.

With the standard Escalade (non ESV), the space behind the 3rd row is disappointing... I think it is smaller than the R class. Manuvering in the SUV is also difficult with the infant seats... step up into the SUV and then twist.. shimmy between the 2nd row seats while ducking and then place the infant seats into place. I was not impressed with the interior space.

I don`t think there is a perfect vehicle for my situation. I have resigned myself to very short trips until the kids get a little older.

So, now I`m getting the feeling that the R class might be doable.

That is what I have done. I have my car seat in one of the 2nd row seats, my older kids in the 3rd row, and use the un-occupied 2nd row seat as the access point. It's the exact same set-up you would have if you got a mini-van. Believe me...I compared them exactly the same. The better point of the R is the ease of entry/exit due to the lower body.

I have been experimenting with the set-up now that my youngest is getting ready to be forward facing at 1 year-old. I will have the car-seat in the passenger 2nd row seat, a booster in the driver side 2nd row, and the car-seat in the 3rd row. With the booster, the seat folds for access easily, and there is no impediment.

You'll get more bells and whistles w/ a van, including the hidden access compartments, etc. But as for cargo room...it's essentially the same.
 

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Here is the spec:

Cargo volume behind 3rd row:
Town and Country: 32.3 cu ft
Odyssey: 38.4 cu ft
Sienna: 43.6 cu ft

R: 15.3 cu ft
 

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Most of the cargo room behind the 3rd row comes from the recessed area where the 3rd row would fold down flat into. It comes in very handy, groceries and strollers (umbrella & single fold), but you won't fit a double(non-umbrella type) into any of them w/ the 3rd row in place. I tried, the rear hatch won't lock, and will open unexpectedly or you'll get a door open alarm.

Is there some more space? Sure like I said you'll get more storage and bells & whistles. You may even have a few more inches cu. ft. wise, but for all practicallity(sp?) for stroller and multiple kids stuff...it's just about the same in that it just won't fit in either.

I rode in a buddies Sienna yesterday and there is a little more room from the 2nd to 3rd row, but it's maybe about 6 in.'s difference. The biggest difference was the headroom in the 3rd row. However, when I'm taking my boss or know I'll have customers in the car, I've never had any complaints or have seen any problems for people under 6'2" sitting in the 3rd row. Getting out was fun...but that was another story for them. :)
 

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if this is the primary child hauler, you would be CRAZY to get the R. you will be very unhappy. we have an odyssey and an R. The R doesnt hold even a fraction of what the minivan holds behind the 3rd seat. you can pack luggage for the family for a wknd and a full double mclaren stroller in the ody or sienna behind the 3rd seat. the R wont even hold the luggage let alone the stroller....With the kids in boosters now, we like the R for its road manners and power (both better than the ody), but only for long drives and the 3rd seat has to be folded for storage. The ody holds us and 2 goldens for wknd trips without a problem. With infants, you CANNOT move from the front to the 2d or 3rd rows. In an ody or sienna, you can just about walk back to tend to the kids....with car seats in the 2d row (and thus cant fold the seats), you are forced to squeeze between the center armrests to access the 3rd row.....horrible design and very hard to reach back and strap a 3rd child in. BUT THE PREMIUM MINIVAN. We are getting rid of the minivan soon in favor of a yukon xl but have never regreted the 5 years and 60k miles that we have driven it....it is nearly perfect with young kids....while the R500 is not nearly as convenient and not worth $60k, it was worth the $42k it sold for at the end of 2007 and is a very good backup family hauler. For skiing, 2 young children and 2 dogs, the new yukon Xl IS the car of choice....
 

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For what it's worth, I'll throw my two cents in (again):

I drove vans (Chryslers and Fords) for 17 years with two kids (babies through to teens) and a dog. While I absolutely adore my R, I would not get one if I had two or more babies. Despite what anyone can tell you about "apparent" space, the total capacity of a van far outstrips the volume of the R.

You will get a LOT more gear into a van. Simple as that.
 

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having a mini and the R was sort of the best of both worlds with infants and then toddlers. although now that the ody is 5 yrs old and the kids can get in/out easier, i m more than ready to ditch the ody in favor of a yukon XL.
 

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Actually in the sienna you could take a graco side-by-side double stroller and a regular stroller no problem in the back, you could even keep the regular stroller open and fit it with the double folded! The rear of the Sienna/T&C and the Odyssey is HUGE. The other minivans are smaller. There are 3 size classes. And the T&C and Sienna have AWD options,.
 

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I agree. The Odyssey and the Sienna have more room than the R.
I know nobody wants to be in any car accident but which one is safer in a car accident though?
 
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