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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be in the market for a new vehicle in the next 6-9 months and I am looking for something with more utility [space] for our now 3-month old daughter. I'll be leasing, so I will have this next vehicle until she just about turns four. The dilemma my wife and I are having is predicting how much space we are going to need in the next few years. This is our first child, so I really don't know what our needs are going to be. It would be easy to get a minivan and know that I have more than enough room, but my wife and I are not ready for that step yet, and I would rather get a vehicle with the smallest footprint possible, yet still have the utility we require.

Right now, the Murano is at the top of my list, but I am concerned that it doesn't have enough cargo space in back for everything I might have to carry with us when we go out.

So, for those of you with kids, I need your help. How much "stuff" should I expect to be carrying with me on a daily basis over the next three years. A stroller of some sort is a given, but what else do most of you carry in your cars when you venture out with the little ones? Thanks!
 

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Having replaced my Grand caravan for a Murano I can give you my observations. The Mo is just 6" shorter that my grand caravan and 2" shorter in height, but I find that the Mo has almost the same room as the van. The rear seat configuration would allow you to fold over the right rear seat and still have room for 2 kids on the left side. You should have lots of room for all. The rear seat area is huge in comparison to the van which would allow you to look right at your kids while strapping them in.

You did not say anything about camping but with an addition of a car top carrier to handle your camping gear you should be good to go.

I hope that this heps, let us know of your final decision
 

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Thanks for the info and the question

My wife and I are planning a family right now. We'd like to have a baby in the next 9 - 10 months :p so that was part of the reason for us getting into a MO now. I knew my Audi A4 (as much as I love it) just won't work very well with a baby seat in back. The trunk is pretty generous as far as sedans go, but the back seat is tiny.

My brother has an Lexus LX470 and I swear the back seat room is smaller than the MO. It's a taller vehicle, so his kids need to be lifted into their seats (the kids are 2 and 5 years old.) Looking at the amount of stuff they carry, I'm almost certain that the MO will have no problem carrying 1 or 2 children and the associated gear.

Bob
 

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Depends on how big your stroller is. We had an infant car seat at first and the matching stroller was able to fit North to South in the back, leaving enough room on one side for other stuff. Now that she'd grown, our new car seat (britax marathon) doesn't fit nicely unless the seat is reclined. Now the stroller has to lay East to West taking up space.

But the a lot of leg room in the back seat where we have a lot of items that we leave on the floor in front of the car seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Our A4 works right now, but there are too many times where the trunk is full of stuff from a day's outing and a stroller. I know as time goes on, and we have to carry more kid stuff, that we will need more space.

I plan on keeping the child seat in the middle, since it is the safest position in the vehicle, so I won't be able to take advantage of the added utility of folding down part of the rear seat. That is why I am concerned.
 

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We have 2 kids, one 4 the other 1 year. So far no problems. You'll free up loads of space when the pack n' play is not needed. :p

I will need a ski rack/Tule rack on top for skis in the winter and I do mount bikes on the roof. Sometimes I do wish we had a mini-van however for the few times it would help out, I'm glad I didn't get a mini-van.

One thing that is nice about the mini van, if you want to go out with kids AND another couple that has kids you can't be the mini-van. Just depends on your life style.

PS My 4 year old just loves the MO, "Very fancy car dad" she says.
 

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Shappy,

The MO will provide more than enough room for your family.

I am constantly hauling around 3 teenage girls and all their related stuff. Just last week I had to take one of their boy friends home with his bike in the back.

"Daddy, we need a ride home from the mall, and can you take Kaley home too?"

A 3 month old and a stroller? No match for 4 teenage girls and a mall shopping trip!

When my oldest was a baby my Wife drove a hatchback Ford Escort That car was filled to the gills but we managed just fine.

Side Note: My youngest was 3 months old yesterday, she just turned 13... It flies. Treasure the moment!

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Gonzo said:
We have 2 kids, one 4 the other 1 year. So far no problems. You'll free up loads of space when the pack n' play is not needed. :p

I will need a ski rack/Tule rack on top for skis in the winter and I do mount bikes on the roof. Sometimes I do wish we had a mini-van however for the few times it would help out, I'm glad I didn't get a mini-van.

One thing that is nice about the mini van, if you want to go out with kids AND another couple that has kids you can't be the mini-van. Just depends on your life style.

PS My 4 year old just loves the MO, "Very fancy car dad" she says.
Actually, now that you mention it, this:



should cover any extra room needed for vacation stuff. I feel much better now! Murano, here I come...lol
 

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It used to be that you didn't need a frickin' bus for just 1 or 2 kids. What happened?

There were 5 of us in our family growing up. Our biggest car for a LONG time was an Oldsmobile Cutlas Sierra. Yeah, we fought in the back seat, but somehow my parents managed to fit us all in there, even with a carseat for the littlest one and all the crap in the trunk.

By the time my dad got his first SUV, my older brother was just about to leave for college.

My wife's parents had 5 kids (spaced way apart, but still). They had a VW Rabbit, a VW Beetle, and a Ford sedan (don't remember the model). The Ford has ALWAYS been their biggest vehicle. They made it work. And it wasn't because they couldn't afford anything else, but they just didn't NEED anything else.

Americans these days.... :rolleyes:
 

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Just remember that the extra load placed on the engine and tranny as the reasult of drag created by one of these car tops is equivalent to towing a car. So you will need to do more frequent oil changes as well as CVT oil change at 30,000 mile intervals.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
zebelkhan said:
Just remember that the extra load placed on the engine and tranny as the reasult of drag created by one of these car tops is equivalent to towing a car. So you will need to do more frequent oil changes as well as CVT oil change at 30,000 mile intervals.
Thanks, but I'll be leasing and it will most likely be back to Nissan before 30K miles. :2:
 

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I'ld get a mini van.

While it is true that the Mo can nicely handle 1 baby, two would break the bank.
And "accidents" do happen...... until you figure out what is causing them.

Been there, done that.
Get a minivan.

Homer
 

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shappy0869 said:


Thanks, but I'll be leasing and it will most likely be back to Nissan before 30K miles. :2:
Another good reason to NEVER buy a car that has been a rental or lease return...:D
 

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Well.... I have 3 teenage sons and a 90lb black lab. We can (and DO) make frequent trips together to our summer home, which is a 5 hour drive. There is loads of passenger area in the back seat and we mount a Thule for these road trips.

A few years ago we rented a Crysler mini van for one of the trips (as we were thinking of buying one) after which I vowed I would NEVER own one. Again, lots of passenger space, but one of the kids opened up the back door, and all our stuff fell out. :28:
 

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I have a 20-month old and say that you'll be fine with a Mo. But like tqt said above, your available cargo space will be dictated by what stroller you have and how you stow it. We have a Graco stroller that folds in 2 onto it's 4 wheels. It takes up a LOT of space unless we put it on its side and put in a pack 'n play. But then we wouldn't be able to close the cargo cover. There is plenty of rear leg room, where we use to keep a booster seat and extra baby items.

In any case, you'll be happy to drive a Mo and hapy to have enough space to hold your baby things.
 

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I'd have to disagree, actually. I've owned my Mo for a little over 2 years now, which means my kids were 5, 3 and 1 when I bought it. I managed to fit 3 car seats (snuggly, mind you) in the back.

I also had a rather large stroller in the cargo area (which we never used) in addition to all the other stuff.

We also manage to make trips to PA where my girlfriends parents live and the back cargo area has plenty of space for everyones luggage. Only once did I have to pile it up so high I couldn't see out the back window, and that was because my GF went on a shopping spree with her mom one time.

So, my hoest opinion, there is entirely more room than you would ever need with just 1 child. Even on camping trips or get-aways, you wouldn't need the roof thingy.

hfelknor said:
I'ld get a mini van.

While it is true that the Mo can nicely handle 1 baby, two would break the bank.
And "accidents" do happen...... until you figure out what is causing them.

Been there, done that.
Get a minivan.

Homer
 

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I agree, if you do have an accident and it turns into two, the first one's likely to be out of the stroller by the time the second one comes along. It seems like an eternity, yet flies by.

I took a 1400 mile trip with my Murano the first summer, with me, my wife and then 7 year old daughter. We filled the Murano and it could have been a bit bigger, but still, no complaints. That was the only time it even crossed my mind as an issue. My daughter loves the Murano and thinks it's the coolest vehicle on the road.
 

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zebelkhan said:
Just remember that the extra load placed on the engine and tranny as the reasult of drag created by one of these car tops is equivalent to towing a car.

Really do you think so? I can't image a streamline cargo cover offers that much resistance.
 

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My wife drives a '99 Town and Country. We have 2 kids, 9 and 7. You can, and we do,
pack a ton of stuff into that thing. We bring pillows, blankets, backpacks, luggage, air
mattresses, golf clubs, tennis rackets, food and drinks, toys, warm weather clothes, cold
weather clothes, towels, yatta, yatta, yatta. If you want to bring stuff, get a minivan.
For one kid, the Murano should do fine. If you had 2, you should still be fine, just
packing lightly (but still driving one sweet ride).
Good luck with your decision.
Glenn
 

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I have a 2 1/2 year old and have more than enough room. There is plenty of room in the back seat for a large car set (even enough to fit 2 adults on either side). All you need in the cargo area is a stroller and misc. diaper accessories.

I have all those items in my cargo area and have the cargo cover covering everything. Hell, we moved and I put my son's crib (disassembled mind you) and a bunch of other stuff in the cargo area w/ the seats down.

My name is Coness and I approve this car!
 
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