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  1. #1
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    2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    My "little" guy is about to reach max capacity on the harness of his Graco (I don't recall the model). He is not ready for the booster so we need to replace it. He is just about 40lbs and is 38 inches. Currently, any seat we have him in his feet are kicking up against the back of the front seats.

    We had a Britax Marathon in there for a while but his legs were just too long!

    Can anyone recommend a seat that doesn't take up so much room?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Hi there. I'd look at the Graco Nautilus and the Sunshine Kids Radian. Neither sits up on a base, so they should give a bit more room for legs. The Britax Regent should do well also, provided the recline bar doesn't push it too far forward. The new Britax Frontier should be nice as well.

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Thanks! I have looked at the Nautilus online and it still looks like it takes up a lot of seat room - ie forces DS to sit so far forward on the seat that his legs hit the front seats.

    We will check them out in person and see what works.

    I also read about the SafeGaurd Go but not sure I like it as well for every day use.

    It is all so overwhelming!!

  5. #4
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    Unhappy Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    We went with the Frontier, ordered it, got it and loved it out of the box EXCEPT... it still forces his legs against the front seats. And we couldn't get the Latch to attach properly. When hubby tried to install it he said the anchors in the car were wider that the hooks on the seat.

    So... we are back to square one. Sad too because we really liked the Frontier.

  6. #5
    Senior Community Member myliljunebugs's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    You might want to take it to a car seat tech and have them help you. Did your Frontier come with the instructions allowing long belt path? If not there is a new installation allowed by Britax on their web site now. You will want to print it before going to a tech. Honestly I think any of the seats that will fit him for any length of time will be deeper like that, my son used to cross his legs. I hope you can make it work!

    Connor, 11 years, 5' 112lbs, seatbelt
    Ella, 8 years, 52" 60lb, FR 85, PW

  7. #6
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    I haven't checked the instructions to see if there were long belt path instructions. I will check that. And if not get them off the website.

    We did talk last night of two options to make the seat work better:
    One was taking to a tech - now how do I going about finding one?

    The other idea is to install it in the right outboard seat. We have been using the center since we heard it was the safest but now we are wonding if outboard would be ok and would allow the seat to work.

    Also, I was confused last night - the anchors in the car are narrower than the hooks on the seat.

    Thanks for all the help. This is all so frustrating and stressing me out.

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    You can't use LATCH in the center unless your car manual specifically states its okay and I'm almost positive VW doesn't allow center installation with LATCH (I had an Audi A4, so almost the same car, and you couldn't use LATCH in the center).

    This may have been one of your problems. I would try installing it in the center with the belt before moving him behind the passenger. If you still can't get a good install, then I would move him outboard.
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  9. #8
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by saa2006 View Post
    You can't use LATCH in the center unless your car manual specifically states its okay and I'm almost positive VW doesn't allow center installation with LATCH (I had an Audi A4, so almost the same car, and you couldn't use LATCH in the center).
    Interesting because with all prior seats we did use LATCH. (Graco SnugRide, Britax MA and the lastest Graco)

    We will try the belt install and see what happens. Thanks!

  10. #9
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    I'm not sure how similar they are, but I have a VW Golf and I've had several HWH seats in it. I don't think the Nautilus will solve the leg-room problem, nor would the SafeGuard or the Regent. The Radian definitely leaves more leg-room for the child in my car.

    One thing about the Regent, though, is that it's wide enough it allows the child to sit with their legs crossed, so it might work out better anyway.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  11. #10
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    What is HWH?

    Somebody told me they think the Golf and Jetta are similar. It was several years ago but the last time I rode in a Golf it appeared that there was more leg room than in my car... but maybe the driver was just short and had the seat forward.

    We are going to try some of the other suggestions and see if they help. If not I think we will try the Radian. I was looking at the demensions of it online and it appears that it might be a little better. Also want to look at the Regent. Though I am not sure he would be thrilled about crossing his legs - he likes to swing them.

  12. #11
    Senior Community Member steph's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by kq1226 View Post
    Interesting because with all prior seats we did use LATCH. (Graco SnugRide, Britax MA and the lastest Graco)

    We will try the belt install and see what happens. Thanks!

    It's not that it won't work, it's that it's not approved for use like that, in otherwords the car manufacturers haven't crash tested it like that so they don't know if it is safe in an accident.

    Hope that helps some
    Steph
    Mom to R (5-steps),
    E and A (riding in Nuna Pipas)

  13. #12
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Ah... that makes sense.

    Even though I know center is safest, I am assuming properly installed is more important. Therefore if we can not get it to work properly in center we will try moving it to an outboard seat before giving up on it. I really like the Frontier.

  14. #13
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Sorry, HWH = High-Weight Harness. It's shorthand for carseats with weight limits over 40lbs.

    Here are some pics I've taken of my Golf - you can judge for yourself if the leg room is similar.

    This is the amount of legroom left with a Husky (Regent) installed behind the driver's seat, with the driver's seat all the way back and only reclined a couple of clicks:


    (That's about 5 inches.)

    Here's the Radian in the same position:

    (This is about 8 inches.)

    These two carseats give the most legroom because they aren't up on a base like the Marathon. The SafeGuard and Nautilus are both up higher.

    Another consideration would be the Apex; it's not generally a favorite around here because it requires a vehicle headrest behind it, and there are other seats with higher harness slots. But if your vehicle has adequate head support (I'm guessing it does since my Golf does), it might be a consideration for you. It's also very low - doesn't sit up on a base.

    I just noticed you've still got the Frontier - I'd thought you had returned it already. I think you should be able to install it in the center of your car with the seat belt and the long-belt-path instructions. The nice thing I've noticed about the newer VWs is that they tend to be pretty easy for installing carseats.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    My DH had a 2003 Jetta and we had a Regent installed in it no problem (outboard passenger side). Although I cannot say what the distance was between the seat and the back of the passenger seat, as the passenger seat did not get used much (so it may have been a long way forward).

  16. #15
    CPS Fanatic Morganthe's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Up until 2 months ago, my dh's car was a 1996 Jetta which is considerably smaller than the 2000 models. I purchased the Radian in Oct of 2006 when dd was 3 years old & about 39" tall. She's now 43.5" and still is just as comfortable.

    The Radian fit our dd perfectly in the rear center seat (top tether, no lower anchors on the Jetta model). Dh's about 6'4 and long torsoed, so the seat was always as far back as possible + reclined so he could fit under the roof. She had no problem with leg room and she's a very leggy child.

    The one thing I always had to do was twist the female section of the seat buckle 3x because of the low belt path and pop out the "recline" option on the bottom. The Radian fit that car like a dream. DH never complained of her kicking him and I'd occasionally be a passenger in there too without any problems.

    hth
    My Munchkin -- Nov 2008--5 years, 45.5", 42lbs
    Current Stats: 12 years old /5'5/ 115lbs/ Seatbelt

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Phillip K. Dick

  17. #16
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: 2003 Jetta 5 point toddler seat?

    Quote Originally Posted by kq1226 View Post
    Interesting because with all prior seats we did use LATCH. (Graco SnugRide, Britax MA and the lastest Graco)

    We will try the belt install and see what happens. Thanks!
    VW does NOT allow use of LATCH in the center seating position. If you are installing in the center, you can only use the vehicle seatbelt.

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