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We find ourselves in the market for a car with a 3rd row seat.
We have ruled out a minivan or a massive SUV, so are looking for
a small wagon type of car. I like the new Subaru, but it's a bit
pricey. Does anyone have a Ford Freestyle? I have never bought
an American car before, and am hesitant, as we need it to last
for the next 5-7 years. Any other recs for smaller cars that fit
no Expedition please
The downside is that you can carry a lot of people or a lot of stuff but not both. Most of the time we have the back seat folded down, which means room for our family of four and a nice station-wagon type cargo area, but tall like the Forester. When we need to carpool or bring my Mom along, we fold up the third seat. That leaves only a pretty small space behind the seat, but it fits a Maclaren stroller and a few bags/coats or some groceries.
The few times we have needed to carry a lot of people and stuff (big family road trips) we just rent a minivan or SUV. That way we don't drive more car than we need most of the time just for those few occasions it matters. And we don't have to spend $50 just to fill the gas tank. But we have some flexibility which is great when our kids want to bring a friend or we want to carpool. Love My Mazda5
We have the 6-passenger model with the split second seat because we needed to make a special place for the dog, but I think I would reconsider the 7-passenger option were I to go through that drill again. It has great headroom for my 6'4'' husband, and is very roomy in the back when I ride there when the grandparents come. We love the flexibility in seating configurations, where you can put just one side of the third row down and still have a nice seating area for another person. The wagon is very roomy and easily accomodates everything we ''need'' to take on a long road trip (which only expands now that we have the room). The only thing I wish it had was a better roof rack for a car carrier (we took six people, golf clubs and luggage on a weeklong trip and had to affix the clubs to the rooftop, which wasn't easy but we managed).
Like most vehicles, the gas mileage around town is not as good as advertised and the freeway mileage is less as well, however it is still significantly better than the Cherokee and it's not breaking the bank. We have the front wheel drive model, which gets better mileage from the AWD but is not great in snow and we need chains for the 3 times we go up to Tahoe or Oregon in the winter (and very rarely have actually needed to put them on). If you are really serious about a Freestyle, go to Edmunds.com or other places and read the message boards. I generally agree with what most people say. We love our Freestyle and would definitely buy another. It's a great compromise between an SUV and a minivan, and with much more room than a wagon. Freestylin' Evangelist
I haven't figured out our average city mileage but after one small trip and lots of around town driving, we got 27 mpg, which I didn't think was too bad for a V-6 of that size. Linnea
now that we're down to just one child we're thinking of getting a smaller car (though the back seat needs to be roomy enough for a teenage boy with long legs). i'd appreciate any recommendations re small wagons (subaru, toyota, honda, nissan or others) 1998 or newer. thanks! peggy
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