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Old 10-08-2010, 11:36 PM   #1
Nopinkertons
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Mazda MPV captain's chair

My husband's car is a 2000 Mazda MPV, and we are about to put a Scenera rear-facing in it as a backup seat. The second row are captain's chairs without LATCHes, so we will have to install using the seat belt.

My question, though, has to do with the positioning of the captain's chair. The MPV allows for the chair on the passenger side to be slid into the center of the car next to the other chair. With our infant seat we did this, since we'd been told that a center install is superior to an outboard install.

As we've used it, though, I've found myself wondering if this is really the best thing, because moving the chair into the center forces the seat belt to stretch across the gap, making it difficult (though not impossible) to get a solid install on the seat. It also makes it very, very difficult to get into the third row of seats. Admittedly, we need the third row very infrequently, but after watching my mother-in-law nearly garrote herself on the seat belt stretched across the gap, I worried about what this does to the car seat install (never mind the MIL :-).

Should we install the Scenera outboard? And, while I'm at it, does anyone with an MPV want to warn me off a Scenera b/c of fit and recommend a different inexpensive backup seat?

Thanks!!
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Old 10-09-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Mazda MPV captain's chair

Several of us here have MPVs. I have a 2000 & a 2003, and my sitter has a 2002. I've never installed a Scenera in the vans (or in any vehicle) but I've heard from my sitter (who has one) and here that it is a difficult rearfacing install, and that noodles are very helpful. I have a rf MyRide in the 2000, outboard behind the driver, and needed to use a locking clip to get a solid/non-tilled install.

I haven't used the passenger side captains chair slid to the center for installs. I've tried with several seats, but as you said, it is nearly impossible for someone to use the 3rd row. You might be able to get a solid install, though, when slid to the center if you try a locking clip.

Sorry I can't be more of a help!
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Old 10-09-2010, 03:02 PM   #3
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Re: Mazda MPV captain's chair

I have a 2006 mpv and I personally would not slide the seat to the center for a seatbelt install. I'm trying to think of the logistics of that and in my head it doesn't work so well. How old is your child? I have a scenera behind the passenger seat in the captains chair, seatbelt install and it went in just dandy, I didn't have any tippy issues what so ever. The current child is an older toddler so I have the seat at roughly a 35-40 degree angle with 2 noodles. For a younger infant you'd probably have to add noodles to recline further. For our van, pops is not allowed to drive when the kids are in the car so he needs the passenger seat back a significant amount. I wouldn't be able to recline it any more without hitting the passenger seat which isn't allowed on my model because of the advanced airbags. I'm not sure if I have a picture, but I'll double check.
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:01 PM   #4
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Re: Mazda MPV captain's chair

I have a 2001 MPV, as well as a RFing Scenera in that car (DH drives that car). I, too, would not recommend sliding the seat over and then installing a car seat. I just checked my manual to see if Mazda has any restrictions, and while it doesn't, the manual does not give specific instructions on installing a car seat in that position.

We currently have the Scenera installed behind the driver's seat using a large pool noodle and locking clip. I personally feel more comfortable with this set up than I would wondering if the car seat should be installed in the center, while at the same time trying to get passengers to circumnavigate around the stretched seatbelt while not disturbing my install. Make sense?

I know "ideal" would be to have the child in the center. However, real-life application does not always work with "ideal." Making sure the seat is properly installed outboard is always safer than having a questionable install in the center.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:57 AM   #5
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Re: Mazda MPV captain's chair

Thanks for your replies! Having the seat slid to the center wasn't making me comfortable, and so I am glad to see agreement on that. We'll switch to an outboard installation.

My son is 1 year old, so I think he does not need to have the deepest recline angle. Since it's a backup seat (we have a Marathon in the car our son rides in most often), and money's tight, we'd need a really compelling reason (such as, it just will not fit safely) not to go with the Scenera. Could I achieve the necessary angle with a towel?

Is a locking clip something that is sold separately? I can get the seat belt to lock by pulling it all the way out; does the locking clip achieve something else? Sorry for all the questions--our Marathon is installed with LATCH so I not very well versed in the ins and outs of a seat belt install.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:00 AM   #6
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Re: Mazda MPV captain's chair

A locking clip came with your scenera. It locks the seat belt, when the seat belt doesn't lock. Sometimes it is used to help with a tricky install also.
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Old 10-12-2010, 04:30 PM   #7
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Re: Mazda MPV captain's chair

I simply can't get a tight lock on my seatbelt installations, I can't force them to ratchet in any tighter to my satisfaction. The locking clip makes my installations a dream. I have even marked the seatbelt where the locking clip fits best, so that if I need to uninstall them, it is a quick re-installation.
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