The Top 4 SUVs for Growing Families

interiorLet’s face it. Here in America, a car is not a luxury, it’s a basic necessity. With our wide-reaching cities and the harried schedule of our modern lives, the comfort, flexibility and privacy offered by the modern automobile is both an essential part of life, and a little slice of heavenly peace to brighten each day.

As a teenager, you fell in love with your first taste of four-wheeled freedom. As you moved through college and adulthood, you surely upgraded to models a little more befitting of your status. So now here you are in your late 20s, with a blossoming career and car to go with it. Whether it’s an Audi or BMW, Lexus or Infiniti, your ride tells the world who you are: your taste, your status, and your individuality.

Until that magic moment when all of this flies out the window: you have a baby on the way!

Suddenly, there’s more to be concerned about that simply style and performance. You’ll need to accommodate car seats, soccer balls, and strollers. You’ll need to load shopping bags from the mall into the back with a wriggling child or two in each arm. Family life means driving on snow and dirt, and hauling your trailers and toys. And above all, you’ll need the safest vehicle to protect your new precious cargo. This means 4-wheel-drive and superior crash protection.

In short, if the diagnosis is pregnancy, the prescription is SUV.

Luckily we’re on the job for you here at Mr. Money Mustache. I collected the best SUVs on the American market and compared them side-by-side to pick a winner.

2014 Toyota Sequoia Platinum

toyotaWith seating for 8, the $60,795 Sequoia does it all. Featuring a fully boxed load frame, a responsive 381 horsepower 5.7L V-8 engine, and a 5750lb curb weight, this family hauler is nimble, capable, and luxurious. With fuel economy of 13MPG around town and as high as 18MPG on the highway, it can help your family’s dollar stretch just a bit further, and who doesn’t need that these days?

2014 Ford Expedition Limited EL

excursionSure, it’s big, and it’s fast, with specs rivaling the Sequoia at the budget friendly price of $51,695. But what really sets the Expedition apart is the perforated heated and cooled front leather seats! What could be a better respite from a pounding day of errands than a cushion of climate-controlled air that soothes you back to sanity? Fuel efficiency is just as good at 13/18 for the 4WD model. Also sold as the Lincoln Navigator, with an even more distinctive selection of luxury appointments.

2014 Chevrolet Suburban LTZ

suburbanIt’s everything you’ve come to expect from a large SUV and so much more. High intensity headlamps and foglamps, Front Park Assist, 12-way seats, Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Assist, all powered by an EcoTec 5.3L V-8 with the ability to tow 8,000 pounds. Eco-Tec means you’re actually helping the environment as you cruise your way through each 33.5 gallon (126 litre) tank of fuel! But if all that tech-talk makes your eyes glaze over, let’s just put it this way: A very sweet ride that will be the envy of your block, with 16 cupholders for only $62,595! Also sold as the Cadillac Escalade with a more prestigious front grille for only a few thousand more.

2014 BMW X5 50i

bmwFor those with smaller families and a higher demand for performance, the venerable X5 may fit the bill. Featuring a 4.4 liter twin turbo V-8 that pours 450 horsepower into this SUV’s lightweight 4950 pound figure, the X5 will scream from 0-60 in about five seconds, smoking all four of its 19″ performance tires in the process. But with heated leather seating for 7 and available personal video screens for each passenger, your lucky children might not even notice what you’re up to.

Starting at under $70,000 with the Mocha Interior Design Package and the Executive Package, the X5 gets my personal vote for the best vehicle to prepare for baby. If cash is a little tight, BMW’s financing and lease packages can have one of these safe and roomy vehicles in your driveway for as little as $789 per month.

Although having your first baby is a challenging experience that will require many costly purchases, I hope I’ve at least helped with the most critical decision of all: what to drive.*





*Oh, and happy April Fool’s Day. The best family vehicle is a pair of bikes for the parents, each pulling a bike trailer. Second choice is a good small car (you can get kid seats that fit 3-across even in compact cars). And if you REALLY need something to carry a lot of people, get yourself a 2007 Mazda5 with a 4-cylinder engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. It comfortably carries 6 adults (tested it myself), burns a reasonable amount of gas, and is not a gigantic Douchewagon that will get you punched in the face by passing Mustachians. Just don’t buy one and then use the damned thing for single-person commuting!

  • Moonwaves April 1, 2014, 6:05 am

    Ha. You just made me nearly spit my lunch out all over my monitor. I was skimming the article, wondering if I needed to contact you to tell you your website had been hacked or if you’d already noticed. A real-life LOL moment. :) Thanks for that.

    • Aarchman07030 April 1, 2014, 6:15 am

      Hah! Same here–I thought either the site had been hacked or MMM had made some kind of soul-destroying deal with the Devil to get out of the Kiss lawsuit.

      Oh, me of little faith…

      • Nakka April 1, 2014, 2:30 pm

        Felt the same…for a minute. Hacker or he’s lost his mind :-)

        • Jacob April 2, 2014, 11:59 am

          LoL! I read the title…shook my head….and then remembered the date. Phew!

          Though, he neglected to mention the most important purchase with an impending child:

          A BIGGER HOUSE!

          3 beds / 2 bath is just WAYY too small. Nope, need a 3-car-garage, 5 bed / 3 bath with a den McMansion, preferably in an HOA. New “kid safe” furniture, extra storage for all the “learning toys”, and all the extra options and trims because those will help ease the stress of having a child. Lawn and maid service are mandatory, because HOLY CRAP you’ll be tired. And might as well have a live-in nanny, too.

          Two new SUV’s in the driveway JUST IN CASE one or the other parent has to take the kid somewhere, and make sure the DVD package is installed or OMG! it might be a nightmare-ish drive to the grocery store and back!

          Man, kids really are expensive!

          • Tom April 2, 2014, 6:59 pm

            1st paragraph- This doesn’t sound like MMM
            2nd – Has he sold the site?!
            First recommendation is a 2014 vehicle…. must be April Fools. Whew, had me a little nervous for a while there.

            • Shelby Kauth December 11, 2014, 9:48 pm

              I didn’t know the date on this one until I saw the footnote. I read the title, saw “SUV” and thought, “satire.”
              Then, reading the article, I thought “huh, he usually doesn’t run wuss quotes this long… Where’s the arguments?” before finally finding the footnote.

    • Deedee April 1, 2014, 6:54 am

      Same problem here….spit my coffee all over my screen :-D

    • Mr. Cash April 1, 2014, 11:42 am

      Haha, yep. Same here. Right now I’m suppressing laughter in my cube at work. I can tell already that this will be another MMM classic.

    • Schmidty April 1, 2014, 12:15 pm

      I also thought that you might have been hacked. Not for one second would a true Mustachian be fooled. Very funny!

      Looking forward to the nicer weather for cycling in. Bliss.

    • Mr. Cash April 1, 2014, 12:57 pm

      Hahaha, I’m sitting here in my cube at work trying not to laugh out loud. This is one of the best April Fool’s Day pranks I’ve seen today. Much better than whoever signed me up for cat facts…

    • PAULA GOULD April 1, 2014, 1:20 pm

      Me too!!! You got me good.

    • kai April 4, 2014, 1:44 pm


  • Frisco_kid April 1, 2014, 6:05 am

    I was simply stunned. All 2014 luxury SUV’s?! HAS MMM LOST HIS MIND…oh yeah it’s 4/1.

    Ya got me good

    • Free Money Minute April 1, 2014, 8:17 am

      Glad to know he hasn’t lost his mind and still has a sense of humor!

    • Richard April 1, 2014, 9:25 am

      I know… there are so many new luxury features coming out in the 2015 model years, you might as well wait or at least start planning to trade up later this year! Plus that gives you more time to apply for the credit you’ll need so you can borrow money to make your monthly loan payments! (of course if that fails there is always a friendly payday loan waiting to lend you a helping hand) Is this some kind of joke, suggesting that we buy one of these vehicles that’s already outdated? And publishing the prices so all our friends and relatives will know that we spent less than a hundred grand on a sweet new ride without even making them get out a calculator to figure out what the monthly payments they’re making add up to? Hopefully he comes to his senses tomorrow. If not we’ll have to hack the website to get a truly sensible message out there.

    • Elise April 1, 2014, 10:01 pm

      I found myself trying to rationalize what you were saying, and was SO relieved when I got to the end and remembered it was April Fools Day!

  • Doug April 1, 2014, 6:05 am

    Didn’t need to look past the date and title… hahaha

  • Kristen April 1, 2014, 6:08 am

    Kind of experiencing sticker shock here. I knew SUVs were expensive, but didn’t realize quite HOW expensive.

    We have a family of six, so we do own a minivan. But I don’t drive it a lot, and it gets way, way, way better gas mileage than an SUV. It also cost a heck of a lot less upfront (and we paid cash for it.)

    • Christine Wilson April 1, 2014, 11:26 am

      I second sticker shock.. My God.. people purchase these things??

      • Wes April 1, 2014, 12:28 pm

        Make it three on the sticker shock. If you’d asked me what a new SUV costs, I would’ve guessed $30k for a mid-range option. That they’re actually 2x as much is just stunning. I guess it’s an indicator of the fact that I haven’t bought a vehicle in 4 years…

      • Ron April 3, 2014, 3:43 pm

        Sticker shock for sure!

        Considering the median US household debt is about $70,000, it blows my mind that people buy those things. Nobody pays cash for an SUV cuz they don’t have cash!!!


    • Paul April 1, 2014, 1:20 pm

      Wow my 4×4 Suburban only cost me $5,000 and had 26,000 miles on it. It had been in a wreck and sat in a barn for 10 years, but it was repaired so you couldn’t even tell. We use it to deliver stuff from our farm to customers (1200-1500 pounds of beef and pork is a lot to pull with a bike for 50 miles to town) so it is even a tax write off.

    • Chris April 4, 2014, 3:25 pm

      Me too! I had no idea that one of those puppies cost 60k… omg.

  • Doubleh April 1, 2014, 6:10 am

    Thank goodness, finally MMM has come to his senses and realised that there is more to life than saving money and being efficient – that the luxury that comes from burning gas and hauling steel is just as important!

    Happy April

  • Joel M. April 1, 2014, 6:10 am

    That was great. .You had me until the word “Audi”.

  • Frugal in DC April 1, 2014, 6:13 am

    Haha, thanks for the laugh! I could tell it was an April Fool’s joke as soon as I read the post title. Luxury tanks with butt warmers and 16 cup holders…and what the hell is Front Park Assist?! *shaking my head*

    If I may, I would like to add to your note that public transportation is an awesome option too where it’s available. No stress for parents as others do the driving, and what kid doesn’t love buses and trains?

    • LucyBIT April 1, 2014, 1:33 pm

      Butt warmers and 16 cupholders?!? That is SO CLOSE to my dream of a bedpan and a catheter! Er, IV instead of catheter?

    • Peter H April 1, 2014, 8:25 pm

      Front Park Assist is that thing that goes beep … beep … beep beep … beeeeeeeeeeep when you get close to a wall, because your vehicle is too gargantuan to be able to park it in a normal space using your eyes.

  • Florence April 1, 2014, 6:15 am

    Bad MMM! I haven’t had my morning caffeine and didn’t catch on until the end by which time I was shaking my fist at the computer screen! Bad MMM!

  • Cindy Canuck April 1, 2014, 6:15 am

    Sheesh – you totally had me. Funny guy. Now I am going to go have a coffee so that does not happen again today.

  • Fool April 1, 2014, 6:17 am

    This article is going to confuse a lot of nonmustachians coming from a google search!

    • jab April 1, 2014, 9:55 am

      Trojan Horse, excellent idea !

    • Patrick April 1, 2014, 10:36 am

      Wow…this blog must be insanely popular. “Top 4 SUVs” google search and this article is already the 2nd result.

      That is CRAZY.

      “Top SUVs for families” and it’s still on the first page.

      • Fool April 1, 2014, 11:06 am

        He knows what he’s doing ;)

      • FrauSchnurrbart April 2, 2014, 2:12 am

        Top search result, today!

        PS: You had me until “hauling your trailers” (more than one? That’s definitely too many for a mustachian…)

  • Andres Salomon April 1, 2014, 6:18 am

    I know trailers are cheap, but long bikes are worth the price (especially if they’re replacing a car). It’s so nice to have my kid up front in a bakfiet/longjohn-style bike (bullitt, cetma, metrofiets), where we can have a conversation. Even longtail bikes (xtracycle, yuba) are a huge improvement, at least for kid hauling.

    • Joe Average March 3, 2015, 11:01 am

      Just make sure you have good bike brakes. Bought one of those discount store mtn bikes one time. Thought I was getting something good b/c I paid a little more than average for it. Suspension, cool paint job, etc. Used it to pull my eldest around the neighborhood in a bike trailer for exercise and giggles. Came down a big hill once and could not stop the rig. Stretched all the brake cables, gave myself nightmares, etc. ;)

      I’ve ridden thousands of miles on bicycles – ridden up and down mtns, off-road, had a bike up to 50-55 mph, etc.

      Never again did I tow the bike trailer with that junky bike. A year or so passed and the bike was falling apart. Creaked, wheels were warping, rubber was rotting, rust everywhere, etc. That bike’s toughest moments was riding around in my yard with the kids. Finally I scrapped it. Flipped it over loading it onto my trailer to run it the recycle center and on the bottom of the crankhousing was a sticker that said “no for trick or off-road use”. On a MTN bike. With suspension. My odometer read 65 miles and the bike was usable junk.

      Went back for a proper bike from a proper bike store and hundreds of tough miles later my bike is still super. I test rode it and the brakes were immediately SO good that I was sold.

      Don’t buy junk multiple times. Buy quality. Once. And keep it.

  • Matt April 1, 2014, 6:27 am

    Love this! I just wish somewhere in there you would have dropped the word “accoutrements”. That would have sealed the deal. :)

    Well done, MMM.

  • James April 1, 2014, 6:28 am

    I read this off my feedly app without seeing the authors name. First thought… What the heck?! TOUCHE! good constant reminder I need to constantly optimize.

  • Steve April 1, 2014, 6:32 am

    Nice try…I was confused by the title, read about 2 words and scrolled to the bottom. Thanks for the laugh!

  • EconNick April 1, 2014, 6:35 am

    You made my morning with this one, MMM! As I was reading, I couldn’t help but think, “What the hell is going on? Is this the twilight zone? Did MMM eat a trough of famous Colorado pot cookies?”

    Then it dawned on me.

  • Alex Alexander April 1, 2014, 6:36 am

    OMG – 16 cupholders???!!!

    • Janna April 4, 2014, 9:31 am

      I’m not sure I own 16 cups. Guess I’ll have to buy some.

  • Strabo April 1, 2014, 6:37 am

    No Porsche Cayenne or Mercedes G? They are a steal after all!

    • Jamesqf April 1, 2014, 10:48 am

      Or Range Rover. Nothing really says mindless status-seeking like a Range Rover.

  • Dan April 1, 2014, 6:38 am

    Holy mother of holy things! I had no idea those SUVs cost as much as a college education. I SEE THEM EVERYWHERE. WHAT IS EVERYONE DOING?!

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2014, 7:39 am

      Well, to be fair I picked the highest trim line for each of these vehicles, which adds $20k over the base model.

      You can’t blame the automakers for the strategy: since the target market is 100% clueless consumers, it is pretty easy to milk more money from people by adding more doodads and putting them into more exclusive packages. And the basic platform of most of these SUVs (save the X5, which actually contains some engineering) is just a pickup truck. The Sequoia is just a Toyota Tundra with seats in the back. The Expedition is the F-150 with lipstick, and Lincoln Navigator adds eyeliner. The Tahoe, Suburban, Yukon, and Escalade are just the GMC Sierra/Chevy Silverado truck with some fancy add-ons.

      The ultimate strategy if you actually need a truck is just a 2002 Ford Ranger 2WD manual 4-cylinder longbed. Add an full body cargo rack and you can outperform any vehicle here in the only way that is worth measuring: CARRYING LARGE THINGS.

      • Jamesqf April 1, 2014, 11:02 am

        Gotta disagree. Ultimate truck is the 80s to mid-90s Toyota pickup, 4WD unless you live in the flatlands, or just do hauling on pavement or decent dirt.

        Reasons? First, how many of them do you see still being driven, vs just about any other vehicle of the same age? They last.

        Second, some of us also carry HEAVY things (which may or may not be large). The Toyota will carry just about as much as you care to put on it – or more, if you care about braking distance.

        • CND April 1, 2014, 6:50 pm

          Totally agree! I had a 1981 4 cyclinder 4×4. Best vehicle I’ve ever owned. So fun and indestructible.

        • exranger06 April 1, 2014, 8:25 pm

          Umm, I NEVER see any 80s Toyota pickups around here. They all rusted away a long time ago. I do see tons of Rangers every day though. And a Ranger will haul just as much or more than the Toyota. I’ve hauled over 1300 lbs in mine several times. Aside from braking distance being slightly longer, I couldn’t even tell the weight was there.

          • Jamesqf April 2, 2014, 11:07 am

            Well, if you will live in a place where state & local governments dump tons of corrosive chemicals on the roads every winter…

            Honestly, I can’t recall seeing a seriously rusted out car or truck since I left the northeast.

      • kiwano April 1, 2014, 9:55 pm

        I always thought that the best truck is a friend’s truck… (I ain’t gettin’ a truck; I got the f’n generator–seriously though, friends share major pieces of capital that only see occasional use).

  • Mr. Risky Startup April 1, 2014, 6:40 am

    I remember driving (someone else’s) Suburban and Expedition, and even a few years back, amount of gas and money those trucks were using (25km/100 or 9miles/gallon) was almost comical (or tragicomical).

    Titanic was probably using the same amount of energy to move passengers. And, they will probably end up having the same destiny as well.

  • Gossmeyer April 1, 2014, 6:44 am

    I kept waiting for the punched in the face “punch line” and was rewarded at the end…but you had me going until I saw the gas mileage of the first vehicle.

    • Joe Average March 3, 2015, 11:05 am

      And the Int’l Terrastar I drive sometimes at work gets the same fuel economy. (Think delivery truck chassis with pickup truck bed).

  • smedleyb April 1, 2014, 6:59 am

    When I found out my wife was pregnant with our first child, selling the 3 bedroom 3 bath townhouse for the 4K sq. ft. mansion was the easy part (the thought of my child growing up in a house with only 3 toilets to poop in and neighbors right next door just didn’t sit well with me). Finding the right car to drive was not so easy — until now. Thanks MMM!

  • Chris April 1, 2014, 7:00 am

    I thought you had officially lost your mind until I got to the BMW and then realized it must be April Fools. Good job!

  • Michael James April 1, 2014, 7:00 am

    I think the Canyonero would make a good fifth entry. At 4 cars long and 2 lanes wide, it’s a must if you’re planning a large family.

    • Jonathan April 1, 2014, 8:14 am

      Smells like a steak and seats 35!

      • Willy April 1, 2014, 12:28 pm

        65 tons of American pride!

        (great call-back … haven’t seen that episode/heard that song in years. Well done!)

        • Andy April 2, 2014, 2:30 pm

          It’s a squirrel squashin’ deer smackin’ drivin’ machine!

    • climbbikeski April 1, 2014, 12:50 pm

      65 tons of American pride!

  • postconsumerlife April 1, 2014, 7:03 am

    Good one!

    And here I am checking Kelley Blue Book to see how much I can get for our minivan, so we can trade down to the used Suzuki Sx4 recommended in the Top 10 Cars for Smart People post.

    I may not have been one of the Smart People when we bought the minivan NEW (oh, the shame), but luckily I’ve wised up enough to be in on the joke this time around. So glad the joke’s no longer on me.

  • rod April 1, 2014, 7:06 am

    Got me! But what about Kenworth and Peterbilts? They even can haul shitloads from the mall, and can accomodate naps between stores. I understand they have got better on mileage also and less smog than years ago. go big or go home, right?

  • PatrickGSR94 April 1, 2014, 7:16 am

    HAHAHAH had me going there for a second! Luckily we have survived just fine with our only child with my 94 Acura Integra 2-door and my wife’s 96 Corolla. 340K and 260K miles respectively. I do wish for a 4-door car again (first car was a hand-me-down 89 Camry 5-speed).

  • Dan Wilcock April 1, 2014, 7:17 am

    Perfect. This reminds me of an amazing thing I saw last night, a luxury SUV driving down the road with its tailgate open and a large box strapped into the back. Inside the box: a motorized jumbo kiddie version of a luxury (Mercedes) SUV. Some parents actually WANT to imprint the “clown car” lifestyle on their kids. Poor kids,they’d be better off getting a bit of exercise on a beat up old bike purchased for a few bucks on Craigslist.

    • Mr. Money Mustache April 1, 2014, 7:32 am

      Wow, what a classic thing to see – I wish you could have captured a picture of it for us!

      It’s especially ironic when people have these trucks, and they still don’t even have room to fit stuff into them, which is the original purpose of having a truck instead of a car: carrying large stuff.

      The 4-door full-size pickups with luxury interiors and short cargo beds are another hilarious invention, like neutering an elephant and giving it high-heel shoes. People struggle to strap down a few sticks of lumber to a 300HP behemoth, while my 40-pound cargo bike trailer has an 8-foot flat cargo bed and can carry longer stuff using only leg power!

      • insourcelife April 1, 2014, 7:48 am

        That’s hilarious! I was talking to my neighbor about needing to figure out a way to get 2 pieces of 2x4x10 for my garden project and he offered me to borrow his pickup truck. He bought a 2014 extended cab Ram 1500, which is now at the shop yet another time for disappearing engine oil, so they gave him a loaner which is the same exact model. Anyway, it only has a 6 foot bed so the lumber will still stick out a lot. It’s a very nice offer, for sure, but these trucks are useless for an average homeowner. By the way, the solution to the lemon truck? “Gonna TRADE IT IN on a 2014 Tundra…” ‘MERICA!

        • Kenoryn April 1, 2014, 12:55 pm

          A hatchback where you can open the rear window and stick it out the back is handy. We can fit 8ft lumber in ours so it would only stick out 2ft. (Or, roof racks also work.)

        • kiwano April 1, 2014, 10:04 pm

          Another option is to get a length of rope, and tie the pair of 2x4s to the top tube of your bicycle. Another option if you’re not comfortable with that much extra length swing around from the front and back of your bike (and 10′ pushes my limits) is to tie one end to a dolly, and the other end to your bike (a rear rack works really well for this, and I’ve frequently moved 15 piece bundles of 10’x1″ EMT conduit this way).

          • Joe Average March 3, 2015, 11:24 am

            Alternatively look up a Brenderup 1205S.

            Add a top and extra set if sides making it taller if you like. We did.

            Any car sold in the USA ought to be able to tow this trailer. I have carried 1,000 lbs with mine behind a first generation CR-V.

      • Ken April 1, 2014, 10:22 am

        Great stuff love the sense of humor to break up the seriousness!

  • BNL April 1, 2014, 7:18 am

    You had me until… well… the second sentence. Well done.

  • Castle April 1, 2014, 7:20 am

    Well played sir.

  • newgirl April 1, 2014, 7:22 am

    I’m pretty new to MMM and I had a serious jaw-drop moment… is he really recommending a 70k SUV? dude. you’re funny.

  • Trevor April 1, 2014, 7:22 am

    Great post MMM!

    Top 10 cars for Smart People was the first post of yours I ever read. I then proceeded to go through your entire archives over the next 2 weeks, and that was almost 2 years ago!

    Thanks again MMM for always mocking the crap out how ridiculous we can be and shining a better perspective on the world! I am in a much better place 2 years later.

  • Posted On April 1, 2014, 7:23 am

    Bravo!! Well done, Sir!

  • Holly April 1, 2014, 7:25 am

    No hummer? Nice April Fools joke!!! =)

    • nicoleandmaggie April 1, 2014, 8:12 am

      Two problems:
      1. You’d have to get the Hummer used, which is just not cool.

      2. Even if they were still in production, you really need to get one of those over-sized hummers– the regular ones look wussy.

  • Ms. Must-Stash April 1, 2014, 7:27 am

    Must get one right away! The psychic damage caused by my child taking occasional rides around in a 12 year old Honda Accord must be prevented at all costs!

  • insourcelife April 1, 2014, 7:35 am

    When our son was born I sold my (old) BMW 330i and bought a used Mini Cooper hatch. Most people thought I was crazy, including my wife. A year and a half later I can tell you that the Cooper works just fine with rear-facing and front-facing child seats. It’s a blast to drive and gets 39 mpg in combined city/highway driving, which helps a lot on my daily commute. I posted a couple of entries on my blog about living with a Mini Cooper and a kid and those entries get decent traffic, so I’m not the only one doing this. At daycare though, most people pull up in one of the monster trucks on this list or something similar, drop of their one child and then climb into their tank to drive 20 miles downtown by themselves. If we have a second child I’m trying to convince my wife to get a used Mazda5 mini-mini van. She thinks it’s hideous so we’ll probably end up with one of the 4 cylinder wagons which is also a good compromise for a growing family.

    • AEBinNC April 1, 2014, 8:17 am

      Nice. I’ve considered the cooper in the past and will keep it on my list. Fuel efficient cars don’t have to suck.

      • Joe Average March 3, 2015, 11:32 am


    • Lorin April 1, 2014, 11:27 am

      We have 2 kids and a Mini Cooper Clubman – they fit fine. We had the car before the kids so I’m not sure that’s the conscious choice I would have made but no need to get rid of a good car when kids came along.

      BTW, count me among those who totally fell for the joke. I was waiting for the face punch and didn’t remember the date. Well played, sir!

    • Sarah April 1, 2014, 12:33 pm

      I have 2 kids and a mini cooper. When they were rear facing, I just reached in through the back hatch to pull them out. Got some looks from the perfect moms with giant mini vans. Still have the mini cooper 10 years later and my kids still fit in the back.

      • Julie H April 2, 2014, 12:55 am

        We went on a family road trip from Melbourne to Sydney (560 miles each way) in a Mini Cooper – when I was 18 and my brother was 16yo…four adults and a roof rack piled high. And we had fun, too.

      • insourcelife April 2, 2014, 11:49 am

        I’m all for pushing boundaries but our 2 door Mini Cooper hatch won’t work with 2 car seats in the back. I tried putting the car seat behind me and I have to move up the driver seat all the way to the front. At 6′ I barely fit there and since my car has a manual transmission, I can’t work the clutch for anything longer than a quick ride. My son sits on the passenger side now. So no long trips for us in the Mini if we have another kid. No worries though, we have a 4 door sedan and that will work just fine so I can keep my Mini Cooper for commuting.

        • Steve April 3, 2014, 12:48 pm

          The 2003 manual MiniCooper still works for our 8yo and 10yo in the back, but agree you’d only be able to get a carseat behind the passenger seat. Sadly, the day is soon coming where I’ll need a larger car – so I found this MMM post to be really helpful!

  • Andrew April 1, 2014, 7:52 am

    The title caught my attention, and then the first sentence felt a very unmustachian…but then I was thinking you must be using a sarcastic tone. Finally realized that, yes, today is April Fool’s Day! Oddly, I see many people driving these trucks, but DON’T even have a family to haul. Insanity.

  • nicoleandmaggie April 1, 2014, 8:08 am

    This is totally my favorite post today. Some of the other April 1st posts hit Poe’s law too close to be funny. This one is right on target.

  • AEBinNC April 1, 2014, 8:12 am

    I read MMM and get rich slowly through a RSS feed. When I saw the headline and first sentence or two I was pissed. I thought to myself, “What is this crap that GRS has been putting out lately. Have they lost their mind!” Then I clicked on it and realized I’ve been pranked. Whew, now I don’t have to open a can of whop ass on someone’s bad financial advice.

    • nm_dude April 1, 2014, 8:59 pm

      Hey AEB–is that just a Photoshop image> Or did you build/buy a Tiny Home? Very tempting and Uber-Mustachian if it’s your sole residence.

  • Sara April 1, 2014, 8:18 am

    I go into 4/1 with the knowledge that anything I read could be fake, but this was awesome. These articles and fake links are one of the things I love about today.

  • Juli April 1, 2014, 8:20 am

    Granted, I only have 2 small children to cart around, but you never know. Someday the entire Duggar clan might happen to drop by for a visit, and if I don’t have a vehicle that can hold every single one of them, I just don’t know what they would think of me!
    It is absolutely insane the size vehicles people drive. I have a friend at work, with 2 young girls. She had one of the smaller SUVs but it wasn’t big enough. So after just a few years of ownership, they traded it in for a Nissan Armada. That thing seriously looks like a tank. Her husband has a truck if they needed to carry anything for projects, and her kids are too young to be carting around sports equipment. I just don’t get it.
    I am of the opinion that you should get the least amount of car you can get away with, in the nicest condition you can afford. A Hyundai Elantra fits our needs perfectly, and the amount we save in gas over that co-worker (we both have to drive about 30 miles each way to work — I know, you can kick me out of the club now) is enough to fill a Roth IRA for the year.

  • TLV April 1, 2014, 8:31 am

    Has anyone actually fit 3 across in a scion xa already? We’re only on child two, but it’s clear that a third would require replacing our existing car seats with narrower ones to have any chance. I’ve already worked out the luggage problem for road trips, so having a specific plan for 3 car seats would leave us set unless/until #4.

    • Travis April 2, 2014, 11:47 am

      I tend to agree that getting 3 car seats side-by-side is really tough and depends on the seats. I can guarantee that our our seats can’t go 3 in a row…we have two Britax seats forward facing seats that convert to the booster next to each other in a Kia Sedona and there is no room for a small child between them let alone a 3rd seat.

    • racherin April 2, 2014, 12:44 pm

      Try Radions. They’re the narrowest carseat around, and they are good from 5-100 pounds. Britax, Graco, are all about 1.5 times as wide. I knew a family with a Honda fit who had three of them across, which is not a huge car.

      It also depends on the age range. Often the oldest can be in a booster seat by the time the third arrives (4 years, 40 pounds, and 4 feet), although that depends a lot on personal development – a lot of kids don’t reach 4 feet or 40 pounds until 5 or 6.

      There is a carseat website with all the widths of seats and cars to compare them.

      • Cheryl April 29, 2014, 8:51 am

        Agreed on the Radions. Also keep in mind that it’s not often that they would all be rear facing at the same time so many of the car seat techs recommend “puzzle piecing”. A quick search on the car-seat.org website came up with this link. It references the scion XB but also the Britax so thought it might work well for you. Otherwise post with your specifics (ages of kids, carseats already owned, etc) and they should be able to help you out.

  • Quinn April 1, 2014, 8:37 am

    This is the only funny April Fool’s joke I’ve seen all day. Hilarious! “if the diagnosis is pregnancy, the prescription is SUV.” Classic.

  • Heather April 1, 2014, 8:40 am

    Awesome article! ;) Here in UT, we have big families and snow. A sad recipe for SUV’s and enormous trucks. I’ve been hauling my family of eight in a minivan with no problem. Now that the older kids are leaving the nest, we do a lot of our driving in our (new to us) Prius with snow tires. It’s really hard not to yell our “Suckers!” as I breeze by in the commuter lane or fill up at the gas station.

  • Kenneth April 1, 2014, 8:40 am

    My how much we Mustachians have all grown up. I started reading MMM a couple of years ago, and the changes in my life have been spectacular. I am saving so much money right now it makes my head spin. I am just HAPPY because my finances are going in the direction I want them to go, and very fast. MMM probably doesn’t hear it enough, but thank you, Sir, for changing my life and the lives of most of your devoted readers.

    And it’s funny – I don’t feel deprived in the slightest. I am used to my frugalness now. And I still play as much golf as I want, work out 5 days a week, and have dinner out 4 days a month with DW for $25 a time. Life is good!

  • Rebecca Stapler April 1, 2014, 8:44 am

    Haha!! I’m reading this and thinking, “WTF?!”

  • Fonzico April 1, 2014, 8:58 am

    My (unknowingly super Mustachian) sister refers to the most of the other moms she interacts with as “The Escalade Brigade”. While she doesn’t enjoy the sensation of being looked down upon, she happily walks/buses everywhere, and pockets that +$60,000!

  • RubeRad April 1, 2014, 9:03 am

    Haha, I knew it had to be a joke, but I didn’t realize until the end that it was April Fools! Love it!


    you can get kid seats that fit 3-across even in compact cars

    Do you mean like a multi-kid car seat? That was one of my never-realized ‘million-dollar ideas’ that I had when we couldn’t fit three boosters/full seats in the back of our Golf. Does somebody make a multiseat?

    • Amy K April 1, 2014, 11:40 am

      The carseat I ussually see recommended for 3 across is something from Radian, e.g.


      Another mom at Daycare has a 1 year old, a 2 1/2 year old, and a 4 year old. They are 3 across the backseat in her Pontiac Grand Prix in a rear facing infant seat behind the driver, a rear facing convertible in the middle, and a high back booster behind the passenger. It looks really tight, but it works for their family. I couldn’t tell you the brands, just tossing it out to point out that kids age and progress though various sized seats.

    • TallMike April 1, 2014, 11:49 am

      Check out the Diono Radian R120 car seat. We have three kids in the back of our Toyota Matrix and we have friends with three across in a Toyota Yaris. Final note: I am 6’4″. It can be done!

      • RubeRad April 1, 2014, 1:11 pm

        Hmm, doesnt’ look like a multi-seat, so you’re saying it’s narrower than others? And pricer too, >$200 even from Walmart?

        Too late for me anyways, my boys are all out of supplemental seats and just using real seat belts.

    • Marcia April 1, 2014, 12:47 pm

      We haven’t figured out how to do 3 in the back of our Civic.

      We have been able to do 3 in the back of our Matrix though. I second the Diono Radian.

    • Brian April 1, 2014, 3:19 pm

      Would have been perfect for the three-headed knight from the Holy Grail when he was a wee lad.

  • Nick April 1, 2014, 9:08 am

    Love it! Great stuff.

    I also love having never owned a car ;-)

  • Caroline April 1, 2014, 9:21 am

    “Douchewagon” :D

  • Catina April 1, 2014, 9:38 am

    This was great! I thought maybe you were paid to write this & had crossed over to the dark side. Ha!


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