I've always liked having the kids close at hand, particularly on long trips. As babies, I had them immediately behind us in the captain's chair that I'd moved to the middle (I think most current vans have this option). That way I could hand things back easily. Recently the kids have moved to the very back at their request, and it's kind of nice to have the ability to place other adults in the middle seats, but they're 2 & 4, and keep each other occupied back there. As babies, I definitely prefer the mid-section.
my mom has a caravan and we put PJ behind me in the second seat, we can also pull out the 3rd seat and put it where the second seat goes and he rides in the middle, but him and Cathryn started to get into space issues, so now she rides in the back in the 3rd seat.....
We have a Caravan and the car seat is located behind the passanger seat. We have two bench seats (no captain's chairs in the back). When we load into my ILs minivan, we put the carseat on the Captain's chair behind the passanger seat. Ds#1, who is in a booster that is easily movable, can choose where to sit, but usually wants to be in the way back Grown-ups in the front and whatever seats are left :
Mama to three small people; wife to one big person; pet-person to cats and dogs..."Be the change you want to see in the world"-- Gandhi