Question Second kid, need convertible for 2006 Toyota Matrix AND another combination seat



Hello, I'm a long time lurker and also frequently refer people to your awesome forums! I'm now in need of your help. This morning I traded in 2 friends' expired car seats at Target's trade-in event and got 2 coupons for 20% off!!! I need to use them by May 11.
We have an almost-5-year old, 46 lbs and 43 inches, FF in a Graco Nautilus 65 in our minivan and a Chicco Nextfit (still, barely) in our 2006 Toyota Matrix, which is identical to a Pontiac Vibe and similar in size to a Corolla.
We have an 11-month old, 18 lbs and 28 inches, RF in her Keyfit30 still. She still fits fine, not even on the highest harness slot yet. I'd expect her to be about 40th percentile for height going forward.

I'd like help deciding what 2 seats to get. I'd like to get another convertible seat for the baby that will get her to 3 years old, and use the Nextfit for her in the other vehicle. I'd also like another combination seat for the 5 year old that will have a 5-point harness and convert to backless booster eventually.

The Nextfit does fit RF in our Matrix, only in the center seat though. We could use it for the baby if we got a skinny combination seat for the 5-year old. Graco Slimfit or Tranzitions? I don't think we can find a convertible seat that fits behind either of the front seats in the Matrix, as we're both 6'0" and we can *barely* fit in front of the Keyfit. Maybe a Combi Cocorro? What are the chances that will fit the baby until 3 years old? The Matrix does not allow LATCH in the middle seat, only seatbelt installs, and that one appears to require the belt to go behind the back of the child seat, if the belt is long enough. That seems to make putting the kiddo in really difficult??

I can pretty much use any seat in our van, a 2018 Odyssey. Very flexible with that.
Thanks for your ideas and help!!


Active member
Do you often al ride in the Matrix or would it be an option to just use the Odyssey when all 4 of you are together?

Even with a slimmer combination seat for the oldest, I don’t see side by side installs happening in the Matrix

Many convertibles have the ability to be more compact front to back than the KeyFit. Even the NextFit should be a bit more compact if you aim for a more upright install (bubble still within the lines).

That said, if the upright NextFit isn’t compact enough, the Graco Extend2Fit or the Britax Marathon ClickTight can be slightly more compact than the NextFit.

But if at all possible, I’d just put the oldest on the driver side and baby passenger side and then not use the Matrix if both adults are in the car together.

For the oldest, check out the Chicco MyFit. It doesn’t become a backless booster but those are so inexpensive (as low as $12). Other good options would be another Nautilus, Graco Atlas, Evenflo Maestro, or Cosco Finale.


Do you often al ride in the Matrix or would it be an option to just use the Odyssey when all 4 of you are together?
No, not very often at all, but we do need to be able to drop off/pick up both kids in the Matrix (with just the driver). The only time we put all 4 of us in the Matrix recently was on a snowy day because it has better snow tires than our van, but that won't be the case next winter. We could probably manage putting the NextFit behind the passenger seat, I hadn't thought of that.

Do you know if the NextFit allows it to be touching the seat in front just in case there is a short trip where we all need to be in there?

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