By Sara Lacey on November 8, 2012
Update 11/13/2012: Today, Ford unveiled its seven-passenger Transit Connect Wagon; this article has been updated to reflect the new information.
What do you do when your family gets really big—bigger than a minivan can handle? With more than five kids, your vehicle choices narrow so quickly your head will spin. There are options for families of eight or more, though they can be counted on just one hand. However, there's something to be said for only having a few choices because it limits analysis paralysis.
Ford is adding a player to the large-van market with its 2014 Transit Connect Wagon (photo above), which was first announced in September. The tall van features minivan-like sliding side doors and room for seven passengers. The Transit Connect Wagon looks more modern than Ford's current large family hauler, the E-Series Wagon, and will use a standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder or an optional turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. Ford expects it to get an EPA-rating of at least 30 mpg on the highway. The Transit will debut at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and is scheduled to be on lots in late 2013.
If your growing family is bursting the seams of your minivan or three-row crossover, there are several options on dealership lots now. Be warned: Most manufacturers don't offer a plethora of nice-to-have features on these large family vans, but like having privacy while in the bathroom, you knew you'd lose that once you started having a family.
Chevrolet's Express looks more like a traditional passenger van than some of its competitors. Its stablemate, the GMC Savana, offers the same engine choices and seating capacities.
Until the arrival of the Ford Transit, large families can check out Ford's E-Series vans.
Although it's from Mercedes, the Sprinter doesn't add much in the way of luxury to the interior of this large family hauler. There's no wood trim or brushed nickel to be found in this van.
If you're looking for the antithesis of the traditional van, the NV's bold styling could appeal to you. It incorporates the square design cues of Nissan's Cube and Quest minivan. It's definitely distinctive.