3 child seats in back seat?
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This is a discussion on 3 child seats in back seat? within the Interior Mods forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; I'm entering the market for a new car and the WRX (sedan preferably) is at the top of the list. ...

  1. #1
    Registered User cobrageek's Avatar
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    3 child seats in back seat?

    I'm entering the market for a new car and the WRX (sedan preferably) is at the top of the list. The issue is that I have 3 children under 6 which means I need 3 child seats. I can't fit 3 in the back of my Mustang (current 2nd car) and so I'm questioning if they will fit in a WRX. I know there are 3 belts, but is it wide enough for 3 child seats?

    Has anyone fit 3 child seats in the back of a WRX? Also, can somebody measure the width of the back seat for me? With the width I should be able to figure out if they will fit.

    I know I could drive to the dealer and try it out, but if you've ever tried to install car seats while keeping 3 kids from running in front of cars you will understand that this is MUCH easier

    Thanks for any help!

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    While I don't have three car seats installed in my 03 Wagon, I can tell you that it will greatly depend on the size of your car seats. The wagon may only have an inch or so of additional rear seat room over the sedan, but it makes a big difference. We have a Britax Roundabout (forward facing & pretty big) in the center right now and we just purchased a Peg Perego infant seat (rear facing & pretty narrow, eta on new kid - December 18). When I get home, I can put in the other seat and see how much room there is. I'll let you know tomorrow.

    I am with you trying to maintain the kids at dealerships. It was hard enough with just one trying to secure the car seat!

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    Moderator GV27's Avatar
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    Stick 'em in the showroom and let them climb all over the cars in there. The staff will love you for it!
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    OK, I threw in my other car seat and it fits, but...

    the rearward facing seat must go in the middle (where it should be anyways), otherwise whatever front seat the car seat is behind has to be moved forward quite a bit. It's pretty tight, but it looks like 3 seats will fit.

    Hope this helps.

  7. #6
    Registered User cobrageek's Avatar
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    Thanks for checking WRXRay! That's good news. I'm not surprised that the rear facing one needs to be in the middle. It's amazing how much space those rear facing ones take. We have ours in the middle seat of the mini-van now and that seat must be all the way back and the front passengers seat must be all the way foward

    Do you have a sedan or the wagon? I meant to measure the car seats that I have in the mustang (only 2 of them) right now to get an idea of their width, but they're smaller than the ones we have in the mini-van.

    Can you do me another favor and measure the width of the back seat? That would give me an idea about car seat sizes that would work.

    Thanks a ton for your help.

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    No problem!

    I have an 03 wagon. I'll measure the width at lunch.

    Ray

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    Here's what I measured.

    The seat bottom width from end to end is about 51 inches. Measured at the widest point of where my Britax is situated (about 3/4 of the way up the rear seatback), the maximum width is about 53 inches.

    Also, if you are using even one booster seat, the installation should be pretty easy

    Ray

  10. #9
    Registered User cobrageek's Avatar
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    51 inches. That's pretty good. That would leave 17 inches per seat. I was intending to head to my car at lunch and measure the seats but I didn't make it. I'll be sure to check tonight and get an average size.

    The booster seat would help significantly. We're still using a regular seat for our oldest (4) because she's fairly small, but I'm pretty sure we could put her in a booster soon. That'll probably be OK before we get around to buying a new car.

    Thanks for measuring! BTW, do you know how much smaller the sedan seat is compared to the wagon? Thanks for the help!

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    I believe the width is the same, but the legroom is about an inch or so more.

    FYI, we just bought a Britax Marathon (up to 65 lbs) for our 4 year old, and that thing is a monster. I think it is a permanent fixture in my wife's 4Runner. My kid is too wild to be in a booster at this point. I can't believe I am saying this, but I am beginning to see why people buy minivans

  12. #11
    Registered User cobrageek's Avatar
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    It's funny to hear you say that. Exactly where I was a few years ago. When my wife and I first got married we were determined to never own a mini-van. When we started planning a family and wanted a family car (had a pick-up and an RX-7) we decided to get an SUV (mitsubishi montero).

    The Montero worked OK with the first kid (one seat in the middle of the back seat) and we assumed it would work fine with the second. But the rear wheel wells made it such that the seat belts couldn't be made to hold most car seats correctly. We'd also gotten tired of hoisting the kids up so high into the thing and paying for the extra maintainance of the 4wd (which we never used). We also missed the hauling ability of the pickup becuase the back of SUV's are surprisingly small.

    After dealing with the montero with 2 kids for a couple months we looked at a honda Odyssey. It drove beatifully, didn't have extra 4wd stuff, got better gas milage and could haul 4 times more stuff than the montero. The final selling point was that our oldest (had just turned 2) could climb in on her own! I don't care that I drive a mini-van anymore. It is the absolute most functional and versitile vehicle I've ever owned. I really think SUV's are miss-named becuase they're not nearly as "utility" as the name implies. That's really the role of the mini-van.

    Sorry for the ramble, but this was an amazing discovery for me when it happened

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    I know exactly where you are coming from. My brother in law just picked up a Honda Pilot...my wife is in love (with the Pilot, not my brother in law!). Three rows of seats, nice NAV system, AWD, 240HP, for about 30K. Lucky for me she also likes the no car payment option we have on the 4Runner. If the thing would ever die, or at least have one mechanical problem, maybe we would look at getting something else.

    Anyway, glad I was able to help you out.

  14. #13
    Registered User cobrageek's Avatar
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    Just to finish up this thread I did go and measure my car seats. We have 2 with the bar that pulls down in front and at the widest point (the bar mechanism) they are 19". We have two others that don't have the bar, one is 17" and the other has a really wide shoulder area and is 19". We do have a booster in the atic that I didn't measure but I'm guessing it's closer to the 17 range and I didn't measure the infant seat but I think that one is smaller as well (except maybe for the handle connections).

    If we have 51" to play with that leaves 17" per car seat and possibly a touch more depending on where the seats are widest. One other positive note is that not only are their 3 seat belts in the back seat, but there are 3 standard child seat anchors in the back - so they obviously intended you to be able to fit 3 in there.

    So it looks quite reasonable to fit 3 but I may have to be a bit picky on which car seats and/or make use of smaller infant or booster seats. Now I just have to find a dealer who is trying to off-load a nice WRX and has 0% financing

    Thanks again for the investigation help!

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    There are actually only two LATCH setups in the back - one each in the two outer positions. Only the new car seats are compatible with this. The center is only the lap/shoulder belt arrangement. There are three tether connection points however, and in the wagon, the center tether location is on the ceiling near the top of the hatch. It can be slightly annoying seeing the strap in the rear view mirror (especially when you want to get a good look at the guy you just blew by!! - without the kid in the car of course...)

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    Looks like someone is ready for a minivan

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