s/o Good Family Cars for 3 in carseats - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-13-2008, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I do not want a minivan, but will soon have 2 in boosters and 1 newborn. We are in the market for a new vehicle. We had decided on another Honda Element (which seats 4), but since then have gotten a completely suprise, unexpected BFP.

We are looking to spend in the neighborhood of U.S. $15-25,000.

We like the SUV style and prefer Japanese vehicles. No American!!! (I find them less reliable)
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#2 of 12 Old 08-14-2008, 12:21 AM
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How about Korean? We have a Kia Rondo that we LOVE : We got the 3rd row option and our oldest sits in the back (can't fit three carseats in the 2nd row) However, I believe the Sportage and another one of their larger SUV's can fit 3 in the front row. We got the Rondo because it gets better gas mileage than the bigger ones, and its not a minivan!
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#3 of 12 Old 08-14-2008, 03:01 AM
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If you choose the right carseats you can get three into nearly anything. We have three Radians in the back seat of a VW Golf TDI.

We didn't want to get a new car when baby arrived. DH hates minivans, and barely tolerates SUVs. We're spoiled to the 1000km (620 miles) that we get per fill up with the Golf.

Julie - Mom to Elizabeth (Libby) age 6, Penelope (Penny) age 5, Elliott age 29 months, and Oscar who is 1 year old!
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#4 of 12 Old 08-14-2008, 01:23 PM
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Two boosters and a car seat is tricky, because you have to reach around those boosters everytime into the tight spot to buckle the kid.

Three carseats are easier, because you only have to squeeze them all in there one time, then the rest of the time you are buckling on top of the seat.

I know when our third was born, and my 5 and 6 year olds weren't able to buckle thier own seatbelts anymore, and my knuckles were scraped because the buckles were so hard to get to, it was very difficult. I moved the oldest out of a car seat, and then scooted the infant seat as far onto his side as possible, and that helped make buckling the other booster a little easier.

Could your older kids move back into seats with 5 point harnesses? I think that really does make it easier to find a car that they don't only fit in, but that are not too hard to get kids buckled into.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-14-2008, 04:34 PM
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Moving to Family Safety
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#6 of 12 Old 08-14-2008, 08:39 PM
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I have the same question!

I'd like to fit three carseats (marathons) across a backseat, without having to get a minivan...

I'd also like at least 20+ mpg

Am I dreaming?
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#7 of 12 Old 08-15-2008, 08:46 AM
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We fit 3 across in carseats in a Mazda Protege. All mine are forward facing, though I know people have done a combo of FF/RF.

What I've done that works:

Graco nautilus / Radian 65 / Marathon or FPSVD
Marathon or FPSVD / Radian 65 / Marathon or FPSVD
Graco comfort sport / Radian 65 / Marathon or FPSVD

Check out http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=33226 for more suggestions!
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#8 of 12 Old 08-15-2008, 06:28 PM
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From that thread sure looks like 3 marathons would fit in a GMC Envoy or similar sized vehicle.......not sure about a comparable non-american SUV's.

I don't think it is impossible and 5 points would make it easier as does rear facing one seat for a long time does too.
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#9 of 12 Old 08-16-2008, 12:33 AM
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We have a Pontiac Vibe and I have done three across successfully, in a Graco Cargo, an Evenflo Chase and a RFing Marathon. You could definitly make it work with the narrower boosters. I love our Vibe! That said, we now have a Ford Windstar as our primary family car and dream of the day we sell it for a Mazda 5 or a not-yet-on-the-market-in-the-US high mileage van!

sleepytime.gifC.- WOHM, CPST Instructor, and all around busy Mama to  blowkiss.gifA.- 02/04, bouncy.gif I. 01/07,babyf.gifE. 09/10 and

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#10 of 12 Old 08-16-2008, 12:41 AM
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Can you share your children's ages/weights/heights, specific current carseats & possible carseat budget?
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#11 of 12 Old 08-22-2008, 10:25 PM
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we have a honda crv and can fit one RF britax roundabout and two FF radians across the backseat. hopefully that helps! we also want to avoid minivans at all costs. should we end up with four kiddos down the road (our ideal family size) we'd eith go with the kia rondo and the extra row or the honda pilot (i think that's what it was; with the optional seating for 7).
good luck!

wife to dh, mama to dd1   june 2007, dd2 march 2009 and dd3 april 2011
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#12 of 12 Old 08-22-2008, 10:36 PM
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The plymouth vibe is a model twin to the Toyota Matrix, by the way.

We've done two carseats and one booster across the back of my VW Passat station wagon; a Roundabout, some Evenflo thing, and a Graco booster. It was tight, but ultimately worked. They were all forward facing.
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