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  1. #1
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    Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    So we're having a baby in three weeks (or so!). We have a 2010 Mazda3 sedan. The back seat area is extremely small and the front seats angle back sharply, at least compared to my only ever previous car, a Saturn SL2.

    We have been having a horrible time trying to find a car seat that fits. Both my wife and I are fairly tall. I am the only driver, and I also have very large feet which tend to catch on the pedals if I have my seat up too far.

    We were originally hoping to find a convertible to use right from birth (all the infants in the family have been pretty big at birth) but aren't totally opposed to the idea of two, an infant and then a convertible.

    The only convertible we've found that fits in the middle with our seat position is the Britax Marathon 65. Note it doesn't fit there at infant recline level, but it does at the steeper RF incline.

    We have also found one infant seat that does fit in the middle, Baby Trend Flex Loc I believe is what it was.

    Also please note we're in Canada. Thanks for any ideas, suggestions, and general help

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  3. #2
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    Does your Mazda3 have a restriction against using LATCH in the centre seating position? Have you tried the Radian? It's the only fairly small seat I can think of that works well for a newborn. The only problem is that it can be difficult to install--both because it's difficult to get tight in some vehicles with the belt, and because it can install over-reclined in many vehicles. The Marathon is not an option for a newborn, because the bottom slots are much too high and because the manufacturer does not allow for it to be used with the harness coming out above the baby's shoulders RF.

    I do know that the KeyFit fits in the Mazda3 without the base, but that's an infant seat..if you want to go that route, it's an option. The Graco infant seats should fit, as well, without the base. Skip Evenflo, they have a rule that you need 1.5" between the seat and the vehicle seatbacks and an awkward handle positioning that doesn't help matters.

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

  4. #3
    Moderator - CPST Instructor QuassEE's Avatar
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    Does your Mazda3 have a restriction against using LATCH in the centre seating position? Have you tried the Radian? It's the only fairly small seat I can think of that works well for a newborn. The only problem is that it can be difficult to install--both because it's difficult to get tight in some vehicles with the belt, and because it can install over-reclined in many vehicles. The Marathon is not an option for a newborn, because the bottom slots are much too high and because the manufacturer does not allow for it to be used with the harness coming out above the baby's shoulders RF.

    I do know that the KeyFit fits in the Mazda3 without the base, but that's an infant seat..if you want to go that route, it's an option. The Graco infant seats should fit, as well, without the base. Skip Evenflo, they have a rule that you need 1.5" between the seat and the vehicle seatbacks and an awkward handle positioning that doesn't help matters.

    -Nicole.

    Abbi (9, Ozzi/Olli), Aiden (11, Affix), Mason (16), & Kyle (18) in '02 Protege5 & '11 Ody TE.
    It's like free money...Couponsurfers.com

  5. #4
    CPS Technician canadiangie's Avatar
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    Chicco keyfit will fit fine. I've helped with the installation of plenty in mazda3's.

    I would avoid the babytrend seat as the handle must be rotated back *and* locked into position -- it takes up quite a bit of room.
    dd1 - 8y6m, hbb PWSGL
    dd2 - 7y3m, hbb PWSGL
    dd3 - 4y3m, ff advocate/frontier xt

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    When DS was little we had a Graco SnugRide with it's base in the center of a Civic and both seats were able to be all the way back. I would think it would be somewhat comparable in size.

    If you want a convertible the Radian is a great seat but can be really hard to get installed and in some cars take up a lot of room so it might be a challenge. If that doesn't work I think your best option is a TrueFit (or True Fit Rebound). They also fit newborns and the top portion of it comes off for smaller kids which helps it fit at the 45 degree angle you'll need for a newborn. When the kid gets bigger and needs the top head rest you can easily make it more upright so they fit in tiny cars great. When upright it usually takes up the same amount of space as the Marathon you had success with. The only downside to it (compared to a Radian) is the lower RF weight limit but by shell and harness height they are very comparable and if you have a thin or average built kid 35lbs will get you pretty far.

    Marathons won't fit newborns as people have already mentioned above and you NEED the 45 degree angle for a newborn to maintain their airway.

    I'm also pretty sure you can't use LATCH in the center of your car so make sure you install whatever you get with the seat belt (you can check your vehicle manual to be sure).
    DS 06/2006 - Diono Monterey, Turbo Booster (for now - still shopping)
    DD 09/2008 - FF Marathon, Diono Monterey

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    I'd personally try a non-rebound TrueFit without the headrest. It uses a fairly minimal amount front to back space. It fits great in the back of my old Cherokee with a small back seat/minimal leg room. eg. If I were to sit back there I'd either need to turn my legs sideways or have them completely rammed into someones back -- and I'm no giant. By the time you need the headrest you should be able to move the seat more upright and it'll use approximately the same amount of space.
    DD1 - 9.5yr, 50", 60lbs and boostered
    DD2 - 6.5yr, 47", 53lbs and boostered
    DD3 - 3, 38", 33lbs and RFing

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    I also just noticed the 3 weeks until due date part of the post. As someone who's kids both decided to make an entrance at just over 38 weeks I'd suggest not leaving it to the last minute. Instead of due date should be due month (dd +/- a couple weeks)
    DS 06/2006 - Diono Monterey, Turbo Booster (for now - still shopping)
    DD 09/2008 - FF Marathon, Diono Monterey

  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic Keeanh's Avatar
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    I have an '07 Mazda 3 here right now. I can put my regular TrueFit in it and see how it fits if you want.
    17yrs, 15yrs, 13yrs, 11yrs , 9yrs (58", 75lbs, Incognito), 7yrs (46", 50lbs, Dreamtime), 5yrs (41", 35lbs, RN), 3yrs (30lbs, RF Marathon), NB (Peg 4-35)
    '14 Mazda5, '06 Chevy Express, '08 Toyota Tundra

  10. #9
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    The My Ride and TF both fit beautifully in the Mazda 3. I haven't had the TF at a newborn recline, but the MR would be pretty simple I would suspect. Both seats will fit newborns just fine.

    I'm not sure if the radian would fit between the front seats or not, and it's definitely going to take a large amount of front to back space even if it does fit between, so I wouldn't go with it in the mazda 3. It would never fit outboard without losing use of your front passenger seat.

    Last mazda 3 I saw allowed center UAS provided the child restraint manufacturer allowed it and an acceptable install could be achieved there. I don't recall what model year it was, but it's non-standard spacing and the buckle stalk is slightly in the way, but I have seen center UAS installs that are ok in there. I'm not sure about the model year that OP has though.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


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  12. #10
    CPS Technician
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
    Last mazda 3 I saw allowed center UAS provided the child restraint manufacturer allowed it and an acceptable install could be achieved there. I don't recall what model year it was, but it's non-standard spacing and the buckle stalk is slightly in the way, but I have seen center UAS installs that are ok in there. I'm not sure about the model year that OP has though.
    2010 Mazda3 as per OP
    Melissa ~ former CPSAC CRST & Mommy to:
    C (26/02/07, 58lbs) FF in Oobr & 2 HB TB & I (10/05/10, 30lbs & 35.5") FF in a RXT, FRXT & Nauti. Crashed & Retired G1 BV, TB, AOE & Roundabout 55. Mommy's got a '10 Dodge Ram 1500 & Daddy's got a '14 VW Passat.

  13. #11
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Mazda3 has a small backseat, and 3 weeks till due date!

    Quote Originally Posted by mam521 View Post
    2010 Mazda3 as per OP
    I just mean I'm not familiar with that model year and it's rules on borrowing UAS off the top of my head.
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


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