When my husband and I started thinking about adding a third child to our family, we also started thinking about what we were driving and the fact that my Jeep would not fit another car seat. So, we set off to see what the market held in terms of vehicles.
We drove a number of vehicles over the course of a week. We drove everything we could think of that would fit my husband. Did I mention that he is 6'6" tall? And 375 pounds? Many vehicles are not made for a being of his size.
His mother has a 2006 (or maybe it's 2007) Toyota Highlander Hybrid and she really enjoys it so she suggested we give one a try. We drove the 2008 and my husband was overjoyed - not only did he fit, but he could put the seat all the way back and our 2 yr old still couldn't reach to kick the seat! He could drive with all the room he wanted and not get kicked in the back. This is a very good thing.
The middle row not only has amazing leg room, but it is also quite wide. I have often ridden in the middle, between two car seats, and it is comfortable. We will be able to fit three car seats in there if a third child does arrive.
We put up the third row seating - something that is quite easy to do - and were impressed with the amount of room there was. You could still fit some cargo in the cargo area. Not a huge amount, but with an SUV that still feels smallish, I was impressed.
I've been driving it for three months now and I still love it. It handles great! It has many safety features. I've even had the opportunity to test some of them out driving on the snow and ice on our trip from Texas to North Dakota this winter. The brakes learn how you drive and when you slam on the brakes harder than typical, it will help you out to stop you even faster. It's quite impressive how fast you will stop and I'm positive it saved me from rear ending someone recently.
I enjoy the display that shows what gas mileage I'm getting as I'm driving. It's nice to be able to use that to tailor my driving to get optimum fuel efficiency. This is especially true with today's fuel prices. By doing this, I've been able to get a little better than advertised for in town mpg. My only complaint is that highway driving is unable to utilize the fuel efficiency of the hybrid.