We have just had our third child and are looking to upgrade from our Mitsubishi Magna as the backseat doesn't seem to fit our two carseats and an eight year old. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to upgrade to?

asked 14 Dec '09, 23:10

katie's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 15 Dec '09, 04:02

Scott's gravatar image

Scott ♦♦

Budget? Minivans OK?

(14 Dec '09, 23:24) ceejayoz

Could you have have three rows instead of width?

(15 Dec '09, 00:53) MrChrister

We have a Ford Galaxy (aka Seat Alhambra, aka VW Sharon). It has three rows of seats, which is how we fit our three kids in - there's a seat (folded down usually) between the twins in the middle row. That seat is big enough for an adult to sit in (with a little discomfort) but it isn't really big enough for a full "young child" seat. It may be okay for a "cushion booster" seat, but it would be quite tight.

To be honest, I wouldn't want a car any wider than the Galaxy - I think going to three rows will give you a lot more comfortable journeys than trying to squeeze everyone into one row. We're very pleased with our Galaxy; in particular, our back row only has one seat in so there's a lot of room for luggage, which is very important when you're taking three children on holiday :)


answered 15 Dec '09, 11:29

Jon%20Skeet's gravatar image

Jon Skeet
accept rate: 35%

edited 16 Dec '09, 20:47

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson

Many full size cars (US EPA class "Large Cars") will fit three narrow car seats, so they should be fine with two car seats and one without. However, due to fuel economy changes, even some large cars have reduced width over the last few models, so it's not as true as it used to be, and even if someone says it fits in a specific car you need to ask the year of the model as well, and perhaps the country they purchased it in. Further, a "full size car" in the US is larger than what others might consider "full size" in other countries, so your best bet is to take two car seats and a child down to the dealership and see what fits.

We recently purchased a Mazda 5 - which is smaller than a mini-van, larger than a full size car, and has three rows. The middle row seats the younger kids in boosters just fine, while the bigger kids can go to the back seat and buckle themselves in just fine.

It's priced similarly to a full sized car, and drives like one, so it may be an option for you. It also has dual sliding doors for the back, which you may or may not prefer, but it is really nice for helping kids get in and out and buckling them in cramped parking spaces - also don't have to worry about the kids opening the door too far and hitting adjacent cars.

We were very pleasantly surprised by it, and are getting great gas mileage to boot.

It doesn't replace our windstar minivan, but works well as a commuter car for me, while still fitting one adult and all the kids so neither of us is ever stranded at home with the kids regardless of which car the other took.

It will fit 4 full sized car seats in the back two rows, and has automatic airbag sensor to turn off the front airbag if you do have to sit a child in the front seat.

Keep in mind that car seats have different widths. It may be cheaper to buy new cars seats that aren't as wide as the seats you currently have than to buy the wider car, if you can find a midsize, or small full size car that fits the narrower seats.


answered 15 Dec '09, 20:30

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%

edited 18 Dec '09, 16:54


I guess US cars must be wider than UK ones (or car seats narrower) - I don't think I've seen any cars over here which would fit three car seats side-by-side.

(15 Dec '09, 21:00) Jon Skeet

There is no way you can fit 3 car seats in the back of a VW Passat or a Honda Accord, just FYI as they are 2 US popular full size cars we have owned. You can however fit a small child in between the 2 car seats BUT it's VERY squishy and I would NOT recommend it.

(16 Dec '09, 05:58) Sabrina

We managed to fit three car seats across the middle row of our VW Touran (UK), and we checked the Vauxhall Zafira and the Toyota Verso and they fitted there too. It might depend on your car seats I suppose - we had a fairly narrow baby (0-9 mths) car seat.

(16 Dec '09, 20:34) Meg Stephenson

@Jon - Yeah, we like 'em big. @Sabrina - The Honda accord was a midsize car until 2008, when they widened it by an inch, and lengthened it by 3 inches - but compare it to a full size car and you can see it still straddles the line between midsize and full size car. The VW passat is still a midsize car (these are the classifications given by the EPA in the US - note that these cars may be considered 'full size' by another classification system or country)

(18 Dec '09, 16:43) Adam Davis

But "full size" is obviously country specific, so I'll edit my answer.

(18 Dec '09, 16:44) Adam Davis

We have a Subaru Legacy wagon, and my husband can sit in the back between our two full sized car seats. He is not a large man, but he would surely be bigger than your eight year old. I don't think it would be very comfortable for long trips, but it is possible.


answered 18 Dec '09, 19:47

Krista's gravatar image

accept rate: 18%

We have a Honda Civic and will be able to fit our 3 kids by using 2 Radian car seats (the narrowest on the market) and a backless booster. Kids are 7, 4 & will have the baby next week. It'll be a tight fit but will have to do for 2 years until we can upgrade to a minivan.


answered 18 Dec '09, 22:12

user-22%20%28google%29's gravatar image

user-22 (google)
accept rate: 0%

We bought a Toyota Prius recently (see here). While we only have one small child, and use only one carseat, I encourage you to try installing two seats in the back of a Prius and find out if it is wide enough. I suspect it is.

EDIT: to answer the comment below: I'll grant you it's not a car for drag racing, but I wouldn't want one of these for my family anyway. Regarding the environmental cost of the battery, this is true for all rechargeable batteries. All batteries can and must be recycled! If the battery is recycled properly at the end of its life cycle, the fuel efficiency far outweighs the environmental cost of battery manufacture.


answered 15 Dec '09, 05:16

Yuval's gravatar image

accept rate: 6%

edited 20 Dec '09, 09:07

I look at the prius last time I was buying a car, and wasn't all that impressed with it. Compared to similar-sized cars it costs more, doesn't perform quite as well, and may actually be worse for the environment when you consider battery disposal.

(20 Dec '09, 01:24) Joel Coehoorn
Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text](http://url.com/ "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 14 Dec '09, 23:10

Seen: 30,894 times

Last updated: 20 Dec '09, 09:07