Question Convertible car seat for Prius (2009)



My husband and I are new parents to a happy 4 month old boy. He is growing quickly and will soon be outgrowing his infant car seat. I have started some research and would ideally like to purchase one car seat for rear-facing, front-facing and booster. We live in a rural area and aren't near a store with much of a selection to look at so we're mainly looking online. We are interested in the Evenflo Symphony (LX or Elite - unsure at this point what the difference is). We like this one because it will stay with our son until he is 110 pounds.

Our main concern though, is finding one that is fairly compact and will fit in our Prius - either in the middle or behind the passenger seat. Is there a way for us to find something with the higher weight limit that will fit in our little car?

Thanks in advance.


Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
Hi there.

The Symphony is not compact. It has a single recline line that must be parallel to the ground at all times rear facing, making it larger front to back.

It also won't fit kids until 110 pounds, most outgrow the booster by height around six years old.

The Graco Milestone, though, sounds like it'll do most of what you want. It's longer lasting rear facing than the Symphony by height. Longer lasting forward facing with the harness by height. And then taller as a high back booster. Then you just buy a backless for the last couple of years (they run under $20 often). It's also far more compact.

You're using the seatbelt to install in the middle of your Prius?



Thanks for your response. I just looked at the Milestone and it doesn't seem that much different. I'm finding this research to be a little confusing and overwhelming. According to specs:

Symphony Milestone
Rear Facing Rear Facing
5-40 lb / 19-37" 5-40 lb / no height provided on Graco website
Front Facing Front Facing
22-65 lb / 28-50" 20-65 lb / no height provided
Booster Booster
40-110 lb / 43.3-57" 30 - 100 lb / no height provided
Size Size
23Lx21Wx25.5H 21Lx17.6Wx26H

So the Milestone is a little shorter and narrower; and barely taller. The weight ranges for the different stages are fairly similar.

The Milestone may fit a little better based on listed length of the car seat. Is this measured at the most reclined position? If we install it in the middle we will use the seatbelt as there is no latch. Install location will probably depend more on fit based on the car seat length.

Is there other information I need to be considering than just size? Like I said, I'm overwhelmed and confused with all the info.



Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
The Symphony is much shorter for the child. 37" rear facing height limit (newer ones have gone up to 40") OR 1" of headrest above the head in the second click up only. The Milestone allows for 1" of headrest above the head when the headrest is all the way up. To give you an idea of the size difference, the Symphony is usually outgrown rear facing by height around a 2T/3T shirt. The Milestone is so tall it's outgrown by weight first, but the height would be an 8/10 shirt.

Forward facing the Symphony's harness is outgrown around a 5T/5 shirt. The Milestone's harness, a size 7 shirt.

The high back booster for the Symphony is about a size 6 shirt. The Milestone about a size 8/10.

That's what I mean by the Symphony is much shorter.

The Symphony is also bulkier because it has a single recline line that must be parallel to the ground at all times rear facing.

The Milestone has a recline range and two recline positions for rear facing, so your options to help it fit at a safe and comfortable angle are more varied. Therefore it's more compact, fantastic in a more compact backseat.



Thanks so much for explaining that. I still don't think I understand fully (I guess that's to be expected for a newbie) but that makes more sense to me.


I guess I have another question. What is the safer position for the car seat? In the middle secured using the seatbelt or on the side secured with the latch?

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