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  1. #1
    Senior Community Member rachelandtyke's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    1,716

    minivans with good 3rd row seat belt geometry

    We are getting close to needing to replace our 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivan (or our 2002 Subaru Legacy Wagon).

    My dream minivan would be a new Toyota Sienna, but budget may not permit. Ideally we'd like an 8 seater, but it may not happen.

    One of our big concerns is seat belt geometry, especially 3rd row. For example, our van is not great in that (but we just got rid of our last car seat, so it hasn't been a concerb). I thought I remembered reading that the new Pacifica didn't have good fit for kids in 3rd row.

    We have one in a HBB (6 1/2), one in a LBB (10), and one 5 stepping (14), so no worries about LATCH (it is SO weird not to have to think about that any longer!). The kids are on the small side. 14yo is almost 5'2", but only about 85 lbs. The seat belts in our 3rd row are forward a bit and don't hit her on the shoulder. We don't go many places where she needs to ride back there, but we want whatever new vehicle we get to have safe seating options for any of our kids in any seating position.

    If it matters, 10 yo is in TB LBB and 6 yo is in Chicco KidFit HBB.
    DD1: 14, finally five-stepping!
    DS: 10, LBTB, Harmony Youth Booster
    DD2: 6, Chicco KidFit, HBTB w/ SS

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
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    Re: minivans with good 3rd row seat belt geometry

    I have a Pacifica hybrid. While I don’t know about kids in the third row, adults have been comfortable back there, and the belts come from behind the seats. I tried a 4Ever in booster mode in the 40 side, and it worked well.
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer, Boulevard G4, and SureRide
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

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  5. #3
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
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    L.A. area
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    20,419

    Re: minivans with good 3rd row seat belt geometry

    The Pacifica fixes that issue but has other issues like head restraint incompatibility that make it difficult for car seats and boosters.

    Besides the Sienna and Odyssey the Sedona might be worth a look especially if you can look at used.
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

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  7. #4
    Senior Community Member rachelandtyke's Avatar
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    Re: minivans with good 3rd row seat belt geometry

    Thanks! I remembered something with the Pacifica, but didn't think about headrest issues (we still have the kind that come right out when there is incompatibility!) with DD2's HBB.

    Yes, we are expecting to get something used. (But I can still dream about my new red Sienna, lol!) I will tell DH to add Sedona to the list.

    The T&C kind of fell into our laps last time, it wasn't what we planned. But it had LATCH available for any rear seating position, so it was the perfect vehicle while we went from 1 to 3 kids and lots of carseats and rearfacing! But it just went over 200K miles, so we're at least trying to research and plan ahead.
    DD1: 14, finally five-stepping!
    DS: 10, LBTB, Harmony Youth Booster
    DD2: 6, Chicco KidFit, HBTB w/ SS

  8. #5
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Hartford County, CT
    Posts
    734

    Re: minivans with good 3rd row seat belt geometry

    Yes, I forgot about the headrest thing! The 4Ever fit great with the headrest folded behind it. The hybrid has removable headrests in the 2nd row, but the regular one doesn’t.
    -Reta
    Former CPST
    Mom of V, born 6/2014, FF in a Pioneer, Boulevard G4, and SureRide
    G dog, rescued 6/2016, in a belted SturdiBag

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  10. #6
    Moderator - CPS Technician
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    3,971

    Re: minivans with good 3rd row seat belt geometry

    We got a 2016 Sedona this summer, just couldn’t justify the extra thousands of dollars to get a comparable Odyssey (which I liked for the wider 8th seat). I will say that the 8th seat in the Sedona is preferable to the 8th seat in the 2019 Sienna we rented for a road trip this summer. For both vehicles we didn’t have any 3rd row issues (but only put two kids back there - both vans would be tight for 3 in the third row). 8 seaters are not as unusual as they were with previous generations, FWIW. When we bought our first minivan ~8 years ago we tried but ended up giving up on the 8-seater dream. With this most recent search we had no trouble looking exclusively at 8-seaters.
    Cutie #1 (13 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (10 years) riding in a Safety 1st Incognito

    Cutie #3 (7 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (6 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (3 years) riding in a Nuna Rava

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