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  1. #1

    Question Older Compact truck safety

    I'm looking at getting an older compact truck, i.e. Toyota Tacoma, Dodge Dakota, Mazda B-series, Ford Ranger, Nissian Frontier.

    I'm look at something around 1999-2000. I think that all except the Dodge Dakota has the flip down seats. Are these safe at all? I know the stats about the increase of danger by placing car seats in the front of the truck, so I want to avoid that at all costs. I don't mind waiting to save up some more money so that I can afford something with a better back seat.

    Any advice is appreciated. Also, I've been researching vehicals through, which is a great site, but I can't seem to find to detailed of information on safety information for these vehicals.

    The truck would not be our primary vehical, but in some rare instances, I would need to put one car seat in. So I want to be prepared for such instances.



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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy BrookeSLP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    What do you mean by 'flip down' seat. Do you mean the sideways jumper style seats, or a rear bench that folds down? The jumper type seats cannot be used with a car seat at all. The fold down bench can, but at least 80% of the car seat must be on the bench. My SIL has a '00 Dodge Dakota and a couple of types of car seats do fit on the bench in back.


  4. #3
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Kansas City, Missouri USA
    Luke, My parents have 96 Tacoma work truck. There is NO WAY a carseat would fit inthe back. I think they did change the model on the Tacoma though around the years you mentioned. And of course the Tacoma got a little bit bigger. You may be able to get a Forward facing carseat in there. But I doubt a rearfacing would fit, especially if you had passengers in the front. But, don't take my word for it. The best thing to do is to bring your carseat with you when you truck shop. That way you can make sure it fits properly in there before you buy the truck.
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  5. #4
    Admin - CPS Technician joolsplus3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Chesterfield, VA
    Yeah, anything with side facing seats in the back is a total no-go. Something like a Tacoma with fold down front facing seats is iffy (yup, bring your friend has one of those, and I can't get anything in the back to my satisfaction).
    What you want to look for at a bare minimum is headrests and lap/shoulderbelts. We had to put our friend's baby in the front seat (no airbag) and we sat in the back, and I didn't like my head that close to the glass, that's for sure.
    The occupant protection for people in those seats has been pretty bad thus far, but with properly used head restraints and lap/shoulderbelts (I'm thinking a lot of the statistics are guys going to and from work jobs and not buckling up... pickup truck drivers have the lowest rates of buckling up, and that's gotta have a big effect on how dangerous they seem to be)'s maybe not that bad. I'd use a booster with side impact protection as long as my child fits in one, once a harnessed seat is outgrown, too (pickups seem to have higher rollovers, from what I understand, you want to keep that noggin from bouncing around back there too much).

    CPST since 2003, pu"R"ple since 2008, three kids growing too fast since 1997, 1999 and 2006

    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good



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