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  1. #21
    Senior Community Member jennzee's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    I'd love to see pics. I've got a friend who just bought one last week. They've got 2 kids with one on the way and it didn't even occur to her to install their third seat to check for fit/ease of loading kids. She's a little worried now that she's had time to let things sink in. By the time the baby comes, her oldest will be a couple weeks shy of 4 years old and the middle child will be about 6 weeks shy of 2. She wants to start saving for new seats now if she's going to have to switch things up.

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  3. #22
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    What seats does she have at the moment? What are the kid's weights and are they RF and FF (and does she want to change any of that if she's getting new seats)?

    I've had several combos of 3 and 4 seats in my Mazda 5 but we might as well start with what she has.
    DS 06/2006 - Diono Monterey, Turbo Booster (for now - still shopping)
    DD 09/2008 - FF Marathon, Diono Monterey

  4. #23
    Senior Community Member BudgieStew's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Quote Originally Posted by deedeesmom View Post

    Probably a bigger minivan makes the most sense for 3 kids, but I'm 5 feet tall and don't feel comfortable with a minivan. This is partly because I've backed into things before because I couldn't see well enough out the back of a sedan -- haven't done that since I got a cushion to sit on, lol, but I am really scared of backing into something with a big minivan. Just don't want to drive something huge anyway.
    I'm 4 11 and find that sedans/small cars are hardest for me drive. Really. Too many blind spots. A van/SUV/CUV seems to suit me better. Odd I know. Although I tried a Honda CrossTour(with back up camera) and would consider it when the kids are older.

    Our Freestar van had a back up sensor which was great but when we got our Flex CUV with sensor and back up camera I swore I would never own a car without one. A car that has electric seat adjustments and power pedals or telescoping steering wheel are a short persons best friend to get the best view when driving.

    A friend has a Mazda5 and has three children all in seats still. If you want I can ask what her arrangement is.

    I know personally that a Mazda5 would not be enough space for our family of four. But it depends on what you use it for on a regular basis. Long road trips/camping trips/ extra kids/adults and what seems to be the constant transporting of my kids bikes this summer on top of all their other junk makes me really love the extra space in CUV.
    *DD N 5 Years 46 inches/44 lbs FF in a Marathon/Parkway SG/Turbo Booster/ and Harnessed Nautilus
    *DS H 7 Years 49 inches/51 lbs in a Monterey and Turbo Booster
    and a Harmony and Radian as back up seats

  5. #24
    Senior Community Member jennzee's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Quote Originally Posted by chay View Post
    What seats does she have at the moment? What are the kid's weights and are they RF and FF (and does she want to change any of that if she's getting new seats)?

    I've had several combos of 3 and 4 seats in my Mazda 5 but we might as well start with what she has.
    I'm not positive on any of that. We don't live near one another and don't see each other often....mostly keep in touch through facebook and blogs, so I only see pics of her kids....no clue on sizes, other than that they are skinny. The oldest also looks quite tall. She recently posted on her blog about the new purchase and I asked her if she had thought to try out all the seats before buying (since I've made that mistake once myself!). I do know that, based on pics from her blog, the 1 year old rides in a Scenera (couldn't tell if it was RF or FF), and they have a Snugride that I would bet will be used for the new baby. I don't know what the 3 year old rides in.

  6. #25
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    I'd probably put the 4 year old in the 3rd row. The only seat I've tried that doesn't work back there is a FF Radian but everything else has worked for me. If she's seat shopping the Nautilus and Frontier works (I haven't heard about a Maestro but that would probably be another option just check the install first).

    Baby and 2 year old 2nd row in whatever they have preferably both RF. The second row is a dream for car seat installs so anything should work. The 4 year old can go in before the bucket does and walk down the middle to the back.

    Once the baby outgrows the bucket it is possible to have 2 RF convertibles but it means the 4 year old has to duck under one to then walk down the middle or else load from the back with 1/2 the 3rd row down. I currently have a RF MA and RF RN in mine and always load both kids on the MA side. My 4 year old ducks under and then gets in his own seat and does his own buckles up while I put DD in. It sounds like a pain but it's all a game for him and even if I load him on his side he goes under his seat and around.

    The other option is to put the bucket 3rd row which I've also done and load it in from the back. A possible problem with this however is that the manual says the 2nd row has to be all the way back for car seats which doesn't give much room in the 3rd row. I can't remember if I had to move the seat up for my SS1 (and it's out on loan so I can't check), I always had adults in front so it didn't matter.

    One thing to note is that the tether goes under the 2nd row headrests but over the 3rd row headrests.

    HTH
    DS 06/2006 - Diono Monterey, Turbo Booster (for now - still shopping)
    DD 09/2008 - FF Marathon, Diono Monterey

  7. #26
    Senior Community Member jennzee's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Thanks....I'll pass that info on to her!

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  9. #27
    CPS Technician luckyclov's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    The Regent installs really nicely in the 3rd row of the 5 (you do lose vision out of the rear window, though), as does the Nautilus and Marathon (with SB install - there's no anchors). Those are the only ones I've tried, personally...when I had my 5. If you have a child in a belt-positioning booster, I'd toss them in the 2nd row because the seatbelts in the 3rd row are kinda high and pretty funky. I've heard pretty much anything installs well in the 2nd row - we never had any problems there.
    CPST & Mom to:
    Keep (11 yrs old, 57", 80 lbs), in an Olli, Ozzi & BB
    Sass (10 yrs old, 54", 76 lbs), in Santa Fe, Monterey & Olli
    Zilla (4 yrs old, 38", 36 lbs), FF in a PS, RXT & FR85
    Rollin' in a 2014 Ody, 2012 F-150 SuperCrew & Luigi, a peppy little 2012 Fiat 500

  10. #28
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    I can add that the Recaro Young Sport, and I'd assume the new Recaro combination seat, installs great in the thrid row too. My DD's old PW works really weell in the third row. I'm not sure why since so many have had problems, but that combo works great. I've been wanting to try the RYS as a booster back there too.

    The second row is great. DD can sit there in a NBB and the Radian does work there FFing, but NOT in the third row. :-(


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
    6 yr DS1 old in a Harmony
    4 yr old DS2 in a Nautilus and Radian
    18 mo DS3 rfing in a MyRide65

  11. #29
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Hi. So I've test driven the Mazda 5 and tried differrent carseat configurations. I remember reading on this post that the 2nd row seats must be all the way back when installed with carseats.

    Something others have not mentioned is that the manual states that seats must be all the way back on their track for proper car seat installation. If you follow this rule, I just don't see how you can fit a child in a car seat in the back row.
    Knowing this I decided to look it up in the manual and read the same.

    I intend to use the 3rd row for my 4 year old and found she has no leg room when the 2nd row seat in front of her is all the way back. The 2nd row seat has to be moved forward for her to be comfortable.

    So is this a safe situation? I didn't read any "warning" not to do it on the manual and I can't imagine how others with this car with 3+ children don't need to move the 2nd row seat forward for everyone to ride comfortably.

  12. #30
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Speaking as a parent here, not a tech.

    The statement about the seats being all the way back for car seat installations is open to interpretation, IMO. It is included as a "step" in the step-by-step instructions on how to install a car seat in the 2nd row. I personally interpret it as a basic suggestion for convenience, due to the way it is worded and printed. If you look at the other requirements and restrictions that are for safety reasons, the font is bold and/or in larger print, and the statement is VERY clear.

    For example, it says DO NOT INSTALL A REAR-FACING CARSEAT IN FRONT OF AN ACTIVE AIRBAG. It doesn't say "When installing a carseat in this vehicle, first place the carseat in one of the rear seating positions, then thread the seat belt through the belt path..." etc.

    To me, if the position of the 2nd row seat were a safety issue, it would say "VEHICLE SEAT MUST BE PUSHED ALL THE WAY BACK AND COMPLETELY UPRIGHT FOR CARSEAT INSTALLATION!" It doesn't. It just says "To install a carseat here, push the vehicle seat all the way back, thread the seat belt through the belt path..." etc.

    You don't even have to compare it to the wording for something as dire as rear-facing and airbags, though. Compare the wording for the 2nd row seat position and the way they illustrate how to route top-tether straps. Routing the top tether straps correctly is clearly a safety issue, and they address it completely differently in the manual than the vehicle seat position.

    Again, that's my personal decision and I what I choose to do for MY family. If someone asked me for my opinion on it at a seat check, when I was speaking as a tech, I'd tell them it appeared to me that the manual was unclear and that they should call Mazda and make their own decision.

    One last point - my dd rides in a car seat in the 3rd row, and sometimes the 2nd row seat is all the way back; either because one of her brothers left it that way and they're not with us to fix it this time (and I refuse to stop the car a do it..) or because I'm hauling something that needs the space. She prefers a bit more leg room, of course, but she definitely CAN ride that way. Usually she just crosses her legs.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  13. #31
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    My 7yo has ridden in a Regent in the 3rd row since she was 5yo. The middle row is always pushed all the way back. My 5yo has ridden ffing in the 3rd row in her Marathon since she was 4.5yo, almost a year. I rode in the 3rd row on several cross-country jaunts, with the 2nd row pushed all the way back.

    I can slip my feet under the 2nd row seat in front of me or slide them to the middle and hang them out in the aisle if I need to stretch. My 7yo does the same, when she doesn't want to cross her legs. My 5yo crosses her legs or hangs they over the 2nd row seat in front of her (plays footsie with her rfing sibling), or hangs her feet into the middle. It's the same as rfing for them and both of them rfed to 4.5yos. They do occasionally complain, but they're kids-- it's what they do. They complain more on the rare occasion that they ff in the 2nd row and their feet dangle.

    Also, I'm with Defrost on this, and my kids have occasionally ridden in the 2nd row in installed carseats with the car's seat pushed back only halfway (my 2007 seats lock all the way pushed back, and halfway).

    I get a lot of flack for "cramming" my kids into such a small car. But one thing we all LOVE about the 5 is it's small size. The only reason my kids wish they had a bigger van like their peers is for power sliding doors LOL!

    All that said, it's not for everyone
    2018 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda5, and 2001 Toyota Echo (we drive 'em forever)
    Kids aged 15-6, but none driving yet. Well, only golf carts.

  14. #32
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Yeah, since I have DS2 in a RFing coccoro in the 2nd row and DS1 behind him (usually) I don't have the second seat all the way back. I didn't see it in my manual either and honestly, like Defrost said, unless it is a "warning" I'd imagine it was just in there for all the people that would have trouble putting their infant seat in the 2nd row with the seat up that would complain. In my mind I'd rather my DS1 have more head excursion room than my DS2 have 12" between his seat and the front seat, but thats' my personal thoughts.


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
    6 yr DS1 old in a Harmony
    4 yr old DS2 in a Nautilus and Radian
    18 mo DS3 rfing in a MyRide65

  15. #33
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    To add some perspective (perhaps), when the vehicles are tested for compliance with the LATCH standards, the law requires that any seat that is adjustable be moved all the way back and all the way down. It's possible that is the origin of the manual instructions.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  16. #34
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    In my mind I'd rather my DS1 have more head excursion room than my DS2 have 12" between his seat and the front seat, but thats' my personal thoughts.
    This was my thought too. I think I will move the 2nd row up enough to feel like DD1 has head excursion room...in 5 months of course when DC # 3 arrives.

    Thanks for the advice!! I will be picking up my new 2010 Mazda 5 tomorrow!!!

  17. #35
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Thanks for the insight on the 2nd row positioning with carseats! I didn't get a chance to look at the Mazda5 manual when we test drove it the other day. My main concern was the leg room in the third row. I couldn't even sit back in the back seat with the 2nd row all the way back (it may have been because I'm 6 months pregnant). DD didn't complain, but it seemed really really tight. Good to know how it's stated in the manual. Thanks!

  18. #36
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    With my 3rd row kids harnessed in seats that are top tethered, I don't worry about the chances of head excursion into the 2nd row seat backs.

    I'm more concerned with passengers in the 2nd row having ample room between them and the front seat seat backs. DH and I are the occupants of the front seats and it's much more likely that our seat backs will fail and compromise the safety of the 2nd row occupants in a crash.
    2018 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Mazda5, and 2001 Toyota Echo (we drive 'em forever)
    Kids aged 15-6, but none driving yet. Well, only golf carts.

  19. #37
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    With my 3rd row kids harnessed in seats that are top tethered, I don't worry about the chances of head excursion into the 2nd row seat backs.

    I'm more concerned with passengers in the 2nd row having ample room between them and the front seat seat backs. DH and I are the occupants of the front seats and it's much more likely that our seat backs will fail and compromise the safety of the 2nd row occupants in a crash.
    __________________
    I guess I must be confused about head excursion in general. I thought that head excursion is reduced when there is more space between the seat the child is seating in and the seat in front of them (the reason why trucks aren't as safe right?)

    So wouldn't it make sense to give the 3rd row occupant equal room from the seat in front of them as the 2nd row occupant from the 1st row? Or even if it's not equal at least give the 3rd row occupant more than is given when the 2nd row seat is set all the way back? Does that make sense?

  20. #38
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2sweetgirls View Post
    I guess I must be confused about head excursion in general. I thought that head excursion is reduced when there is more space between the seat the child is seating in and the seat in front of them (the reason why trucks aren't as safe right?)

    So wouldn't it make sense to give the 3rd row occupant equal room from the seat in front of them as the 2nd row occupant from the 1st row? Or even if it's not equal at least give the 3rd row occupant more than is given when the 2nd row seat is set all the way back? Does that make sense?
    I've measured the distance between the seats and even with the space as narrow as safely possible (meaning, the 2nd row seat wasn't severely reclined) it's still well within the standard requirements for head excursion on carseats & boosters. I forget the numbers, but if boosters are required to crash-test with less than X inches of head excursion, the narrowest distance between the seats in the Mazda 5 is X+. Does that make sense?
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  21. #39
    Lulu-Bug
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    I'm sorry to hijack, but I'd love any input on this one. We currently have two kids - a 5 year old (he's currently in a Britax Boulevard, but we're going to be moving him to a Frontier, because it looks more like the booster he so desperately wants), a 20 month old who is RF in a Britax Boulevard (we have NO plans to have her FF anytime soon) and we are expecting twins next week. We currently have two Britax infant seats (one Companion and one Chaperone) for them.

    Is there any POSSIBLE way to make this work, even temporarily? This pregnancy has turned into an extremely high risk one and I've been in the hospital for weeks, which has become a fiasco and a large expense we hadn't counted on. We just don't know if we can swing a new car at the moment. I currently have my two in my 4Runner and the Mazda5 was just supposed to be DH's commuter car that we could all fit in if need be. We had NO idea we'd be having twins or we never would have purchased this car. Now that we have it, though, can we make it work?
    HELP!

  22. #40
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Anyone have 3 kids and a Mazda5?

    I think you can do it but you won't have room for much else.

    I'd put the 5 year old in the 3rd row. I'm guessing he's able to climb in and do up his own buckles and then you can tighten it standing at the door and undo the buckle if necessary from the door as well.

    I'd either put one bucket in the back or the RF Boulevard. I've loaded a SafeSeat1 through the back hatch. Its more challenging with an older baby but for a newborn it isn't too bad. Or you could do the Boulevard - my 23 month old climbs into her RF Marathon on her own (I'm not allowed to help her...). You could then kneel in the back and reach over to finish (I've also done that before). You will probably have to move the 2nd row seat up a bit so I'd avoid having the 2 buckets on the same side of the car since they take up the most room.

    Then the other 2 in the 2nd row. Good luck! Hope it works out for you.
    Last edited by chay; 08-23-2010 at 08:25 AM. Reason: changed to use names rather than abbreviations since you're new and have enough stress ;)
    DS 06/2006 - Diono Monterey, Turbo Booster (for now - still shopping)
    DD 09/2008 - FF Marathon, Diono Monterey

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