Vehicles?

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ChristaM's picture
Joined: 01/11/04
Posts: 713
Vehicles?

Looking for advice so that we can start doing some research. So, what vehicles will work to hold 3 car seats? We have a mercury montego and it works with the ones the kids have (both Britax), but, I'm sure I can't fit an infant seat in there too. DH has a ford truck and that will work for all three seats (I think). But, we are likely going to have to get me a new car of some sort.

MJDttc's picture
Joined: 08/12/12
Posts: 1118

Have you thought of a minivan or an SUV? I think I will be selling my car (a Cavalier) soon too, and just use DHs Durango.

ETA: I hope your trip to Japan went well!

ChristaM's picture
Joined: 01/11/04
Posts: 713

I might have to have an SUV / Mini Van -- but we shall see. Still in Japan until Friday; but thanks for thinking of me Smile

Momma Leah's picture
Joined: 05/13/12
Posts: 1047

We have an Acadia with a third row seat and captain's chairs in the second row. DS is in a booster and we will move him to the back row, he can buckle and unbuckle with no trouble. The worst part, and it doesn't matter what kinda of car. DH is 6'6", and he has to have the seat all the way back, so whichever kid is behind hime gets squooshed!

.hilary.'s picture
Joined: 01/31/10
Posts: 1505

Diono Radians will fit three across quite easily, and they fit from 5lbs up so you don't need the infant seat. We have one and love it. It's possible a Radian will fit in between your Britax seats.

Joined: 10/12/04
Posts: 961

My Ford Taurus easily holds three car seats. It's 5" longer across the backseat than most SUVs we looked at. With Radians it's really easy but even with a Britax booster (Parkway?) and a Britax Frontier 85, I can easily fit a third seat back there when I drive friends/cousins.

akpufa's picture
Joined: 01/31/08
Posts: 3078

I'll be getting a new car also. Even with the slimmest seats, my back row would really be a press to fit 3 across then not to mention the lack of space for a stroller and whatnot (my umbrella stroller takes a good chunk of my trunk and forget about fitting a double in there). It's just not a family car and we've outgrown it. DH has a full sized Titan that fits three seats easily but it's a gas guzzler so I don't want to drive it (try 11 MPG!).

We're looking at Mazda CX9, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, and a few others with third row. We likely won't use the 3rd row for a but until DD can buckle herself bit it would be nice to have the option for other people to ride with us (frequent problem now).

sandraleigh's picture
Joined: 11/23/06
Posts: 2672

We made the change from a car to a crossover before #3 showed up. We drive a Chevy Traverse (8 seater). I wish we had gone with the 7 seater though. Having 3 seats in the middle row is nice for now, when I can have 1 side folded down (2 big kids in the back, baby in the middle on 1 side) but when #4 comes along, I won't be able to have one side folded down because both sides will have a carseat strapped in. My big kids will have to......climb over the seat? Just a thought for those of you looking at an SUV or crossover with a 3rd row. Go 7 seats not 8! The two bucket seats in the middle would be way better.

Get out there and test drive! Bring car seats to try out how they fit!

Joined: 03/07/05
Posts: 1595

Sandra, we had a 7 passenger Honda Odessy for awhile... It had the same problem you described though, because there were two seats in the back row between the tires, so they only way to get back there was to put the seats down in the row before... or climb over the seat when there were two carseats in place. We used that van with 4 carseats in it for almost a year. Yep, it was a pain!! When we got pregnant with #5 we bought a 15 passenger van. Problem solved!!!! LOL.

Anyway, you are pretty sure that this baby will be your last, right Christa? I would look for a 7 or 8 passenger vehicle that fits your needs. If you are in the city I would probably go with a mini van for the better gas millage than a sport utility vehicle. If you are in the country, then possibly a sport vehicle. Also, consider whether you would like an "extended back" vehicle. When we had the Odessy it had NO cargo space at all when we used all rows of seats. It was an issue. Right now, I almost feel like our 15 passenger van is about maxed out. We took out the back row so we could actually have a decent amount of cargo space (it's awesome). That leaves us with 3 benches that are suppose to seat 3. However, with the big carseats that we have installed (my oldest still needs a booster too) we can really only comfortably fit two on each seat. So, with 6 small kiddos we will have pretty much reached capacity... in a 15 passenger van as a family of 8!!

My dream vehicle (when the kids get a little older and don't need the big carseats) is an 8 passenger Honda Pilot... hopefully there is an extended back option. We are out in the country off of a dirt road (our driveway is all dirt too) and we really need our main vehicle to have 4 wheel drive. When the snow melts we have MUD!!!! Also, sometimes the snow gets a little deep. There are a few days each winter that we are unable to leave the house because we can't get out of our driveway without getting stuck. Oh well...

Momma Leah's picture
Joined: 05/13/12
Posts: 1047

"sandraleigh" wrote:

We made the change from a car to a crossover before #3 showed up. We drive a Chevy Traverse (8 seater). I wish we had gone with the 7 seater though. Having 3 seats in the middle row is nice for now, when I can have 1 side folded down (2 big kids in the back, baby in the middle on 1 side) but when #4 comes along, I won't be able to have one side folded down because both sides will have a carseat strapped in. My big kids will have to......climb over the seat? Just a thought for those of you looking at an SUV or crossover with a 3rd row. Go 7 seats not 8! The two bucket seats in the middle would be way better.

Get out there and test drive! Bring car seats to try out how they fit!

Amen! That is why I insisted on the captions chairs. I can just imagine the drama caused by trying to climb over seats!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

Followed from the Anything Board...

I've seen a lot of kids simply climb over the back of the back seat in minivans & SUVs. Mom opens the back & gives them a boost. It's also easy to put an infant car seat in a base back there. My friend with twins did that & put her older DD in the middle so she could get out easily in the drop-off zone at school. Just an idea...

And don't think you either can't put three seats in your current car without trying, or that something else will be better. I could easily get two Evenflo boosters and a Graco convertible in my old Ford Escort, and I'm pretty sure that three Radians would have fit just fine. My newer Ford Escape has only about an extra inch of seat space despite being three inches wider overall. Check the specs on models you're considering. I used Edmonds.com to compare different models, since I didn't want to get anything longer than my Escort.

ChristaM's picture
Joined: 01/11/04
Posts: 713

"PCCGirl813" wrote:

My Ford Taurus easily holds three car seats. It's 5" longer across the backseat than most SUVs we looked at. With Radians it's really easy but even with a Britax booster (Parkway?) and a Britax Frontier 85, I can easily fit a third seat back there when I drive friends/cousins.

Quentin is in a Britax Boulevard and Kendall is in the Britax Frontier 85. I will check out the Taurus -- We have the Mercury Montego which is the Taurus equivalent. But. with the latch positions, I'm pretty sure that three won't fit!

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4100

You can't generally put three carseats across in any car using LATCH because there's usually only four LATCH anchors. You'll need to use a seatbelt for at least one of them. It's not a big deal and no less safe. And when your daughter gets a bit bigger she can switch to a booster which only uses the seat belt.

akpufa's picture
Joined: 01/31/08
Posts: 3078

"Spacers" wrote:

You can't generally put three carseats across in any car using LATCH because there's usually only four LATCH anchors. You'll need to use a seatbelt for at least one of them. It's not a big deal and no less safe. And when your daughter gets a bit bigger she can switch to a booster which only uses the seat belt.

Ditto this with the added note that you need to make sure you have tethers for all seats requiring them (generally forward facing harness seats).

Joined: 06/08/08
Posts: 498

We just bought the Chevy town and country and I love it! It has the two captains chairs which makes it very easy to get into the back row. It also has plenty of cargo space. Good luck with your decision!