I really love reading the minivan thread and all the differing opinions. We are lucky to have so many family friendly vehicle options but it can make the process of choosing one a little overwhelming. I am in the market for a new car because we are expecting our third and the car I currently drive does not allow for 3 car seats. I would love to hear opinions on what cars we should consider next!

Our non-negotiable requirements are that I can have 3 car seats across in the second row all with tether anchors, AWD or 4WD (DH needs it to get to/from work safely in the winter), third row for when we have extra passengers, great safety and reliability ratings.

My preferences are for it to be as small as possible with the best fuel economy we can get for the size. The third row would only be used occasionally and not for long trips where we need to carry a bunch of stuff (think trips to the beach, the zoo, parties etc.) so I really do not mind if the trunk space is minimal when the third row is up. I imagine the third row would be folded down the majority of the time. Affordability is huge too as I don't want to take out a loan. The more affordable, the more I am willing to compromise on the gas mileage because we are also planning to replace DH's car with a Prius V as soon as we can afford to, which we would use for longer trips and when we all go places. I am 100% open to buying used! I really do not need all the bells and whistles, just a basic car that will get me and the three kids around town and the occasional outings with grandparents.

In an ideal world, the Subaru Outback would have a third row or the Nissan Rogue with the third row would allow 3 across. I have researched several cars but want to come up with a list to check out and test drive first.

I really appreciate any suggestions and personal experiences! Thanks so much!