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  1. #1
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    Sep 2017
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    Vehicle suggestions

    We need a second vehicle. Originally we had decided on a used Honda Odyssey or Pilot but lately I've been wondering if we could go a bit smaller with a 5 passenger. This vehicle will be used to pick up from school, one mile there, one mile back. We already have a minivan. The big catch is that we have three kids AND I'm really set on a specific brand of carseat. I promise I did search around, and look up other brands, but I love my seats and I'm willing to be flexible with the car we pick. The only thing I need to put in the back is a citi mini, and I'm not even set on that. I could just pack an umbrella stroller and be done.

    So here are my kids and what they ride in: (They are all below average for height and weight, with small torso.)

    DS is FF harnessed in a Britax Frontier Clicktight. He's 7 yrs, maybe 50 lbs, and I'm not sure on his height, but a few more clicks up to go. Ideally he'd stay in the Frontier, but if I need the extra inch the parkway is fine.

    DD is RF in a Britax g4.1. She's a month shy of 3, maybe 33lbs and has 5 clicks up to go in her seat. I'd like her in a marathon or blvd, clicktight or regular is fine. Ideally she would remain RF.

    Baby is RF in a Britax blvd CT. She's the size of a 6-9 month old. I'd like her in a marathon or or blvd, doesn't matter clicktight or regular.

    I've been combing carseat sites and hip specs for any vehicle, and some, it seems on paper, would fit; But I know 5 seaters can be tricky and only really fit a family of 4. I know they say puzzling carseats can sometimes change how seats fit in cars as well, so I just want to make sure, since I'm not an expert, I'm not missing an option that would be more ideal.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy vmmatula's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Portage, WI
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    141

    Re: Vehicle suggestions

    I'd look into a Sonata or an Accord or something in that size range...they get great great gas mileage yet are roomy enough for three across. And the strollers you mentioned are definitely not a problem in that midsize car. It can be done in smaller models(I've done it in my Elantra, even a full size double stroller in trunk) but it's tricky to get the seats to fit so you'll maybe have to be more flexible on models according to what fits(but the gas mileage savings is noteworthy) You're not likely to get 3 across with a frontier in the mix...though I did have a marathon and a nautilus next to each other for a while. ff the MA worked better than RF though. you might want to consider Radians for the sake of space for a bulky frontier or even for him to buckle a booster later.
    I think the big problem might be finding two rfing seats that fit next to each other so your oldest can get to his seat without having to climb under or over the rfing seats.

    one thing to consider in sedans is that the middle is higher so if you put a seat like a marathon there, that sits up on a base, you'd be more easily able to get a rfing radian next to it cause it sits so low and with the outside seats being even lower, it shouldn't be as much of an issue. plus the base of a marathon/blvd is narrower than the seat so it'll be more likely to fit your older child's seat's shoulder area. make sense?

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy vmmatula's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Location
    Portage, WI
    Posts
    141

    Re: Vehicle suggestions

    also, I think a feature to look for if you're hoping to use the seats you already have is to find a car with no bolsters to interfere...basically that you want the seat back to be flat not curving toward the doors ...so it's maybe not as comfy for adults to sit there cause it doesnt' curve to cozily surround your back but it does make it easier to install seats closer to the doors when its flat. I believe most domestic cars have less cushioning in the bolster area so maybe a Ford Fusion?
    I just googled "back seat chevy malibu interior pic" to see if it'd help and I think it'll give you a good idea of the differences in bolsters. impala looks flat as the back of the seat goes toward the door but the Malibu looks like it angles toward the door. fusion looks good but camry didn't...
    that being said, you still can get 3 across in these, it just might take more work to get the seats installed closer to the doors so there's space in the middle for another independent install.

    Good luck!

  5. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    2

    Re: Vehicle suggestions

    Thanks so much. I like Accords and I've researched the Sonata, I would love to make a car work. I will check out the other cars you mentioned, that's very helpful advice. If I can find something that would work FF/RF/RF that would be ideal. I'm thinking that since it's just a mile, a 5 point harness might not be a must have. We just drive through residential streets at about 25 miles per hour. He sits okay, just not ideal for our main vehicle.

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