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  1. #1
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    Question Car for 3 kids question #5847

    I know that this question probably gets asked regularly, but I'm asking again, sorry!

    The situation

    God-willing our third (and last!) child will arrive in October.

    Currently we drive an 04 Subaru Outback, which I would happily drive until it died, but we can't put three seats in the back. It has bucket shaped seats, and the seatbelt connectors are set into the seat (so that are a bit tricky to find). There is only 20cm between the two seats we have in the car now.

    We have three car seats:
    - DS1 sits in a SNS Hi-liner. He will have just turned 6 when the baby arrives.
    - DS2 sits rearfacing in a SNS Galaxy. He's a tiny little 9kg at 17 months and I'm keeping him rearfacing for as long as I can. He will be 23 months when the baby arrives, and I anticipate he will have moved to forward facing by then due to his height.
    - No-one is using the Hipod Senator, which I bought expecting DS1 would be using until he was 7. Ha! He had grown out of the booster setting by 5, and is only average height and weight.

    I'm happy to replace one carseat, but not three.

    What we want
    1. A Subaru Liberty (or maybe an Outback)
    2. A Toyota Camry
    3. A Mazda CX-7
    Actually, DH wants a CX-7. I don't really want an SUV. Purely personal preference. We'd both reeeeeeally like a VW, but there doesn't seem to be anything big enough. Jury's out on a Commodore or Falcon. We'd rather the above.

    According to Redbook, we'd probably get $10000 on a trade in for our car, and are planning on spending somewhere between $20-30000 on the new car, depending on what best suits our needs.

    DH has some problem with buying brand new cars, so we will probably get something that is 1-3 years old.


    What we don't want

    A Territory, Kluger, Prado, Landcruiser.... you get the picture. We don't want a big car. Just something big enough.

    We don't really need a seven seat car. We're not having any more children, rarely have need to carry extra people in the car, and the kids are still too young to have friends come in the car without needing booster seats. We'll reassess when they are older.

    We don't need heaps of luggage space. I hate lugging crap around with me that i don't need (I don't even carry a nappy bag), and once or twice a year when we travel we travel light.

    I want the car seats to FIT, not JUST fit. DS1 can do up and undo his own seat belt, and I'd like that to continue.

    Any comments or suggestions from you, experienced bubhubbers?

  2. #2
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    Have you had a look at a Volkswagon Touareg they are a really nice car. I doubt you would fit 3 car seats in a Camry or Liberty very compfortably, i know you can fit them in a Falcon or Commodore but it is tight. I own a Territory and the 3 seats fit in mine really nicely but you don't want a big car. Also the CX-7 is a beatiful car so I think that's a good idea too, I hope I helped a lil. Good luck.

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    What about a cx-5? They've just been released & a bit smaller than a 7.

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    GrabbyCrabby is offline She is everything I need, that I never knew I wanted... She is everything I want, that I never knew I needed...
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    Check out this link to see the spaces and anchor locations etc for different cars

    http://www.mynrma.com.au/motoring/re...ting-guide.htm

    Happy hunting!

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    We have 3 car seats in the back seat of a Holden Astra- and before you ask, yes, they are professionally fitted.
    We were looking at buying a new car until I went to a baby shop and tried a few seats and then spoke to a car seat hire and fitting place. I replaced my maxi rider for a compaq, kept my SNS royale and have my 4 month old in a capsule. In a couple of months my eldest will go into a hiliner and the other 2 will move up to the next seat. I've been assured that they will still fit when we swap the capsule for the hiliner.
    For us, it was a huge shock to find out we could get the 3 seats in our car, but financially it has been a real bonus. And as the fitter says, when they are in car seats, they only have a certain amount of space regardless of how far apart the seats are.
    If you think getting a new car is a necessity, get a 2nd opinion! Down the track when at least one of ours is out of a seat, we'll be looking at getting a 7 seater so we can take extras with us. I've got a cx9 on my wish list. But in the meantime, we'll make do with what we have.

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    The Camry should fit the three seats fine- that's what we were looking at when we thought we were in the market for a new car.
    Or you could even get an extension stalk for your seatbelt so your son in the booster can still do up his own seatbelt.

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    I've studied that NRMA list very hard! That's partly how we came to our car shortlist.

    I think the CX-5 will be too small.

    There is no chance we can get three seats in our car, even with the slimmest seats. Theoretically, the car is big enough that I could squeeze them in, but the reality is otherwise. The problem is with the design of the backseat. The seats have a dip in them, so the car seats nestle into the dip and leave quite a gap between the seat and the door. Like I said, there is 20cm between the two car seats we have in there. I measured it.

    I'm not sure about seat belt extenders. I thought they hadn't been tested to standards.

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    lol, I have a Nissan Micra and have my 3rd on the way. Stupidly, the car has 3 baby seat hooks, all in the back
    I want to trade my car in and get something at least slightly bigger, because carrying 3 kids (eldest 5) in a Micra will be very difficult. A guiness world record maybe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Mac View Post
    I've studied that NRMA list very hard! That's partly how we came to our car shortlist.

    I think the CX-5 will be too small.

    There is no chance we can get three seats in our car, even with the slimmest seats. Theoretically, the car is big enough that I could squeeze them in, but the reality is otherwise. The problem is with the design of the backseat. The seats have a dip in them, so the car seats nestle into the dip and leave quite a gap between the seat and the door. Like I said, there is 20cm between the two car seats we have in there. I measured it.

    I'm not sure about seat belt extenders. I thought they hadn't been tested to standards.
    The "dips" can be packed with towels to create a flatter surface for the seats. It's a technique professional fitters use to get car seats in.

    Anyway, I think it's worth getting a 2nd opinion if you're not really that keen to get a new car. We could hardly fit a backpack sideways between the 2 seats in the back of our Astra, but they are all in safely, a bit snug, admittedly, but there's a decent gap between the seats on the side and the doors.
    Otherwise, your best bet is to take the kids seats to a car dealership and try them out. I'm sure you'd get them across a Camry easily.

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    I've got towels in behind the rearfacing to flatten the seat so it will sit firmly. But the anchor points are too close together to have the seats any further apart. I would imagine if the tether straps were on an angle then it would compromise their effectiveness.
    Ultimately, the Outback is really only a car for four people, even though it does have a fifth seatbelt.

    My sister has a Camry, two kids, and is able to fit an adult in the backseat, though it's squishy for some adults.


 

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