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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw the thread on a family of 6, and the general consensus was that a minivan was the better option.

Well, we’re a family of 8. But, instead of a minivan we’re looking at the Nissan NV or the Ascent. My thoughts are that if we’re going to be squished in a minivan anyway (which we definitely are in our Odyssey) I might as well get a vehicle I’d actually like to drive.

99.9% of the time I would have 6 or fewer people in the car, but on rare occasions (mostly road trips) we will have all 8.

I only have two kids still in car seats, one of whom can really be in a booster at her height/weight. My oldest is 14 and the youngest is 6months.

My question is just simply this: Is it even possible to use all 8 seats?
 

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I saw the thread on a family of 6, and the general consensus was that a minivan was the better option.

Well, we’re a family of 8. But, instead of a minivan we’re looking at the Nissan NV or the Ascent. My thoughts are that if we’re going to be squished in a minivan anyway (which we definitely are in our Odyssey) I might as well get a vehicle I’d actually like to drive.

99.9% of the time I would have 6 or fewer people in the car, but on rare occasions (mostly road trips) we will have all 8.

I only have two kids still in car seats, one of whom can really be in a booster at her height/weight. My oldest is 14 and the youngest is 6months.

My question is just simply this: Is it even possible to use all 8 seats?
I would imagine it can work only if you store your gear outside of the vehicle for those road trips (other than what can truly fit in the far rear behind the last row). The 14 year old will be a bit squished until your booster seat kid has grown. I think your strategy is not out of line but all of the options are trade offs at this point.
 

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Family of 5 here. One in a booster, one in a car seat soon to be booster, and 13 year old going on 14 next month. Our last family camping trip, all three kids in the middle row. The 14 year old in the middle. Thule box on top and gear took up the rear. Had to be a tad bit selective packing but it worked. Daily, two in the middle and one in the rear passenger side. The 6th passenger in the back would take up a quarter of the space in the back. 8 without more gear than a duffle for each and a roof top cargo holder you would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it possible to get a rfing car seat in the 3rd row? I’ve done that before in our vans and just put them in through the hatch. I have a Fllo if anyone happens to be familiar with that seat. I bought it because of its very narrow profile.
 

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I have a 8 seater with two LOs in car seats and to be honest because of the car seats the 3rd row is a bit useless due to the difficulty of getting in and out when when the seats are attached.
Agreed. When our youngest two were in big car seats in our Honda Pilot, we had to purposely put our middle child in the 3rd row passenger's side, youngest in the second row driver's side, and oldest in the second row passengers side with a booster. It made the space more functional for our needs. In rare occasions all three could be in the 2nd row but it was hard for the eldest to buckle in because of the oversized car seats.
 

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I saw the thread on a family of 6, and the general consensus was that a minivan was the better option.

Well, we’re a family of 8. But, instead of a minivan we’re looking at the Nissan NV or the Ascent. My thoughts are that if we’re going to be squished in a minivan anyway (which we definitely are in our Odyssey) I might as well get a vehicle I’d actually like to drive.

99.9% of the time I would have 6 or fewer people in the car, but on rare occasions (mostly road trips) we will have all 8.

I only have two kids still in car seats, one of whom can really be in a booster at her height/weight. My oldest is 14 and the youngest is 6months.

My question is just simply this: Is it even possible to use all 8 seats?
I cannot imagine living with the Ascent for a family of 6 if any are in car seats. We have a 2011 Honda Odyssey and a '19 Ascent 7 seater and family of 6 (grown teenagers now). The Odyssey seats feel a LOT wider, more space between the rows, the floor of the vehicle is so much lower (easier to get in and out), the sliding doors are easier for the kids in/out and tight parking spots, and you get room behind the 3rd row for 6+ rollie suitcases (space behind the Ascent is negligible). IMO the Odyssey is a much larger car than the Ascent, but its not nearly as cool nor does it have the off-road capability as the Ascent. I would ask to try the Ascent for 12-24 hour period and run your normal activities w your group before considering a purchase.
 

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How easy is it to get to the third row in general? I would ideally have at least one outboard 2nd row seat with no car seat.
Since the person that isn't in a car seat will be behind the front passenger, it is fairly easy to get in and out of the 3rd row. However, if I was any bigger than 5' 6"(me) and had to go in and out of the 3rd row, I think it would get old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would love to do a 24 hour test drive! That would be incredibly helpful. It’s not necessarily the cool factor that attracts me to the Ascent (although it’s undeniably better than the Odyssey by that measure!) but more so that I live in Louisiana where it is ALWAYS raining and I am really tired of hydroplaning.

The Odyssey has a lot of active safety features too, of course, but it also can’t beat the Ascent there.

However, the giant Nissan that I’m looking at is very stingy on active safety unless you go for their top of the line model, and even then it’s not very impressive. I just feel like I’m giving up a LOT for extra space, and I’m not sure it’s worth it.
 

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I cannot imagine living with the Ascent for a family of 6 if any are in car seats. We have a 2011 Honda Odyssey and a '19 Ascent 7 seater and family of 6 (grown teenagers now). The Odyssey seats feel a LOT wider, more space between the rows, the floor of the vehicle is so much lower (easier to get in and out), the sliding doors are easier for the kids in/out and tight parking spots, and you get room behind the 3rd row for 6+ rollie suitcases (space behind the Ascent is negligible). IMO the Odyssey is a much larger car than the Ascent, but its not nearly as cool nor does it have the off-road capability as the Ascent. I would ask to try the Ascent for 12-24 hour period and run your normal activities w your group before considering a purchase.
I'm a couple days late to this thread, but I was in a similar situation. Family of 6, mostly grown now, but drove Odysseys when the kids were little into their teens. Still have an Odyssey (200K, no more road trips!).

Four kids are now 19 - 25. We just purchased an Ascent with the understanding that we'd never do a road trip with the whole family (kids have jobs, family trips involve multiple cars and schedules). We've done long day trips together (PA - NY), which was OK, but any long trips requiring luggage would be impossible without a roof carrier. I can't imagine a family of 8 doing a road trip in an Ascent. Maybe if most are small... but as they grow, everyone wants personal space.

We love the Ascent... but also loved the two Odysseys we've had, they offered a lot more convenience and space for large groups / long trips!
 

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It sounds like you need a fullsize van, like a sprinter or Transit. Scratch the Nissan off your list. There are reason that their sales numbers are plummeting.

Personally, i wouldn't consider using the 3rd row of an Ascent on a regular basis, nor would I want to pack it with 8 people for a long time. The GVWR is 6,000lbs the curb weight is about 4500lbs. So you have a maximum of 1500lbs to play with. About 150 of that will be devoted to the fuel, so with the remaining weight, each of the 8 people needs to average 169 lbs, including any gear or luggage they carry with them. It's doable with young kids, but you're quickly going to be hitting that max weight limit.


If you really only need seats for 6 99.9% of the time, then just rent a fullsize passenger van when you need it.
 

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Not to take anything from the ascent, but make sure you've driven the Odyssey, it's definitely the best handling minivan out there. A good set of tires will do wonders against hydroplaning. Or if you really want the AWD and don't want to go with a huge SUV, there's the Toyota sienna AWD, although there's no driving enjoyment at all there.
It's good to have choices, but it's also a pain to have choices sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Part of the issue with my current Odyssey is that it’s of the generation when they used proprietary run flat tires in their touring model. They’re AWFUL tires, can only be replaced by the dealership, and even then only if you’re lucky, and they cost $500/tire.

I know Honda moved away from that silly system, but wow did it leave a bad taste in my mouth.

As for our crew, our current van seats 7 but that hasn’t been a problem once since then baby came home 6 months ago. It really would be exceedingly rare that we’d all be together, and renting a big van for road trips is definitely an option!

If price was no option we might get a Tahoe or similar, but there’s no way I could justify 70k on a car.
 

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Part of the issue with my current Odyssey is that it’s of the generation when they used proprietary run flat tires in their touring model. They’re AWFUL tires, can only be replaced by the dealership, and even then only if you’re lucky, and they cost $500/tire.

I know Honda moved away from that silly system, but wow did it leave a bad taste in my mouth.

As for our crew, our current van seats 7 but that hasn’t been a problem once since then baby came home 6 months ago. It really would be exceedingly rare that we’d all be together, and renting a big van for road trips is definitely an option!

If price was no option we might get a Tahoe or similar, but there’s no way I could justify 70k on a car.
Have you considered looking at the Chevy Traverse or Buick Enclave? They are both bigger than the Tahoe and cheaper. In fact the only way to get more space then the Traverse would be a minvan or Suburban or Expedition. The ride quality in Traverse is much nicer than the Ascent, more room, no CVT, and no obnoxious road noise on rough bumpy surfaces, and a much quieter cabin. The downside would be gas mileage in Ascent is slightly better. I traded a Traverse in for the Ascent since larger space was no longer a necessity. I had absolutely no problems w the Traverse and now wish I had purchased another one instead of the Ascent. I would suggest you test drive one.
 

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My sister had a Traverse and a short 2 hour drive in the 2nd row was horrible.

If you are not going to pack the Ascent full with 7/8 people every day, that's better. It makes the Ascent practical. There are certain things I like with domestic cars like GM, but honestly I prefer the Subarus.
 
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