Author Topic: Best MMM car with 3 kids  (Read 14256 times)

velocistar237

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Best MMM car with 3 kids
« on: February 27, 2012, 10:36:42 AM »
If I could get by without a car for forever, I would, but with a third child on the way, I think it's time we bite the bullet.

I've checked through the "Three Across" thread at car-seat.org, and it looks like you can put three car seats across the back of many cars, some more easily than others. In a perfect world, I could fit three kids across the back of a Honda Fit or Scion xA, and it would be easy to get them in and out, and they would never bother each other.

In reality, it looks like we might want something bigger than a sub-compact. I've been thinking about the Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe, but I've also been looking at the Mazda 5 and Kia Rondo, about $11K used. It would be nice to have the low price and high mpg of a more compact car, but at least I wouldn't be in minivan territory. I could buy with cash, or I could get 2.5% financing, which beats our highest student loan rate, but I might not want the extra complication.

Should I consider doing three across, or do you think it would be too hard?

Melissa

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 12:18:45 PM »
Having three kids get along in any vehicle is difficult. One of the plusses to the three across is that they can hand things to each other without you becoming an unsafe driver.
As a mom of three myself, I would take along my three car seats when checking out vehicles. Some of the vehicles we tried would fit three car seats, but then there was no room to buckle them in.  We ended up with a minivan van for a couple of reasons: heavier and safer than a car, but better mileage than an SUV and we live in the country so we regularly carpool with others to cut down on gas use
Best of luck to you. Let us know what you decide to get
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SoCalSaver

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 12:47:26 PM »
We had a Toyota Corolla with three kids. Sunshine Kids car seats are super narrow, they are pricey but cheaper than a minivan or SUV. Also when an FJ Cruiser slammed into the back of us and totaled the Corolla, everyone was unscathed! You can believe the new seats were made by Sunshine Kids! Anyway our family grew so we ended up with an older Highlander with the car seats still three across. Makes it easier talk with the kids and hear them.

keepingmobens

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 02:35:00 PM »
FWIW, we have a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid that has tons of room and gets 35+ mpg. Kids, dogs and stuff go everywhere in it. We bought it used last year for about 15K. Very happy with it, and I'm usually not happy with very many of my purchases.
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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 03:00:18 PM »
We bought a 2006 Matrix a few months ago and love it.  We're averaging 37-38 MPG with very novice hypermiling skills.  The only drawback is the plastic hatchback and seat back covering -- we thought it would be super easy to clean and convenient.  Only problem is, stuff and or dogs slide around on it when driving.  Put a mat down and you're good to go.

As for 3 kids in the back, it is a little tight for adults but I think it'd be fine for kids.  Can't speak to the three across child seat, unfortunately.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 03:03:59 PM by tannybrown »

MMM

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 03:40:47 PM »
That's a great idea - those Escape hybrids are reportedly a very good vehicle for those who want a tall/roomy SUV style car with mileage that is still reasonable.

I also really like the point about getting special carseats rather than a special car. When they have three kids, many people often immediately jump to a 7-seat vehicle, thinking about the hassle of squeezing three kids in at once and leaning back and forth.

But when you really time yourself to see how much longer it takes to buckle in the three kids, add up the number of minutes of hassle per day, and per year it is often WAY LESS than the number of minutes you have to spend working to pay for the bigger vehicle and the higher gasoline bills.

Plus, there are lifestyle design issues to consider over the long run - because we try to avoid signing up for activities (and neighborhoods, and work projects, and schools) that require driving, my own kid only rides in the car about ten minutes per week for a more distant swimming class. The less you drive around with your kids, the safer they will be, and the healthier and wealthier everyone will be.

When you make fewer trips, you start to care less about how convenient or inconvenient it is to fit everyone into the car simultaneously.


johnnylighthouse

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 07:27:18 PM »
I have three kids in car seats. We own a minivan which is awful.  We have also tried out three across with a rental on a long road trip and found it wasn't bad at all.  It isn't any harder to buckle up vs the van, just different challenges.  In the van the challenge is to get the kids into their seats once they're inside (often requiring climbing into the back myself) whereas with three across the only difficulty for us was tending the kids outside the vehicle while leaning in to get the middle one situated.  We had a lot of extra space in the van that we did use sometimes, but most of the time its empty or full of junk.  Along with more fuel inefficiency, higher maintenance costs, and constrained visibility and maneuvering the van isn't worth it for us.  Plus ours is just a lemon.  We're now looking to ditch the minivan and buy some kind of three across-er.

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2012, 12:35:45 PM »
It looks like a RideSafer vest would allow us to seat our oldest in the middle seat with a car seat on each side. After reviewing more posts over at car-seat.org, it looks like the Honda Fit isn't all that bad for three-across. My wife has been in the back of a Honda Fit with two car seats, and this would be an improvement. The Fit was introduced in 2007, though, and I can't seem to find one for less than $9500, so I'll be looking at other subcompacts as well.

We have also tried out three across with a rental on a long road trip and found it wasn't bad at all.

How big was the rental you had?

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2012, 09:03:41 PM »
It was a Chevy Malibu.  There was about an inch of interference with the doors, but we could squeeze them shut barely.  We have pretty wide cars seats though.

Since my post above my van blew the head gasket on a busy road and is now down for the count. I'm fully in the market now.

As far as sub compacts, we drove a 2 door Tercel before our third child and that was great.  Rear facing seats too.  It was pretty narrow, but I think width would be the only obstacle to three across.  I sold that car to my sister cheap and now that its replacement has died I'm eying it again.

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 06:18:40 AM »
The Malibu has a rear hip width listed at 52". The Honda Fit, Scion xA, Kia Rio, and Toyota Yaris (aka Echo) all have a rear hip width of 51" in their recent models. Strangely enough, the Toyota Corolla/Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe has a rear hip width of 43". The door handles must be really big or something.

I've read that you do have to watch front-to-back dimensions for big, rear-facing seats, like the Radian, which is one car seat that's well known for three-across because it's so narrow. You can't rear-face that seat in the Fit unless it's in the center.

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 06:37:26 AM »
The hip width in the Malibu was wider than the knee width.  It really sloped in and that is where it interfered with our seats.  The 43" cars may just be flat doors with even hip and knee?  I don't know, but i know I like echo's so its exciting to see they are so wide.  Thanks for the info.

mm1970

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2012, 08:42:36 AM »
We have an '06 Matrix and LOVE it (great gas mileage).  We have 2 carseats right now (for our kid and the neighbor's kid, we carpool to school).

The neighbors have 3 kids.  They have a minivan and an SUV.  They bought the narrow booster seats for the SUV and have the baby's seat in the middle.  The dad insists that will work for our car too.  So in a few months, when we buy a baby seat, we'll see if we can get that to work in the Matrix and the Civic.  Probably will start by just borrowing their booster seats and testing them in our cars.

Now that Cali requires boosters until kids are 8 years old, we've got 2 more years of boosters.  I am still hoping we can swing carpooling the kids to school next year.  It seems silly to have two families drive to school 2x a day when we are across the street from each other.  We are close enough to walk too, when time permits.  And since I'm planning on returning to work only 30 hrs/week, time may just well permit more often.  Exercise AND picking up the kids!  If only the walk were safer.  Fast road, narrow/missing sidewalk in parts.

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2012, 09:03:49 AM »
Our friends have a Matrix and are planning on doing three-across. We'll be having them over within a few weeks to test out car seat fitting. I will post the results.

ferfischer

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 11:11:52 AM »
We will putting 3 kids across in a Toyota Prius - I'm not sure how this compares to a Corolla though.   One is a booster, which is pretty narrow, another is a FF convertible, and also an infant seat.   We'll just have to make it work.  Life with 3 kids isn't easy no matter what you do.   Getting a new car there isn't an option.

We did get a minivan when we had twins after a singleton, as two infant seats don't do as well "3 across" as other types of seats, and in the long run I'm glad we had it - but one of my twins is in a wheelchair, and we recently had to move up to a full size van in order to accommodate a wheelchair lift (in the meantime the minivan accommodated the wheelchair without disassembling it every time)  However, with #4 on the way, our second car is the Prius and will have to be able to transport the 3 "non-wheelchair" kids, and we're so NOT getting a different car for that.   We do have a Radian that we can use in there if needed - it's great FF, as it is very narrow, but it is long RF.    Car-seat.org is a great resource for figuring out what will work - those folks are really creative!

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 01:53:24 PM »
I want to highlight something I mentioned earlier. The RideSafer Vest is like a booster seat, but instead of lifting the child up to the shoulder belt height, it pulls the belt down to the level of the child and holds it in place. This ends up being narrower than any booster seat. If anyone has any experience with this, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.


gwdonnelly

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2012, 09:33:32 PM »
I also really like the point about getting special carseats rather than a special car. When they have three kids, many people often immediately jump to a 7-seat vehicle, thinking about the hassle of squeezing three kids in at once and leaning back and forth.


It canbe more complicated than that. When my wife got pregnant the second time, I started looking a mid sized wagons (including the older Subaru Forester), but then we found out it was twins... Now I needed to find a car that fits 3 baby seats across, a double pram in the boot, plus can cater for the rear facing capsules. The last point was the real kicker - sure, my 3yo could climb into her chair from the front, but we also needed doors that opened wide and square enough to get the capsules in an out, with enough room that the front passenger wasn't going through the windscreen. This was the problem with the car I had at the time - a Mazda 626 hatch. Forward facing was ok, but rear facing baby seats make it dangerous for the person in front - my wife used to ride in the back if we were going on long trips. A Honda Odyessy was on my short list, but the anchor points on the roof at the back made the boot and 3rd row of seats a lot more difficult to use.

Even with a big car we still had to be careful about what seats to get - the side impact protection on the seats often clash, especially when they all go forward facing.

In the end I got an older ('04) Toyota Kluger (Highlander over there I believe), which has terrible mileage, but we will only need to use it for a few years, and then go back to something smaller.

Plus, there are lifestyle design issues to consider over the long run - because we try to avoid signing up for activities (and neighborhoods, and work projects, and schools) that require driving, my own kid only rides in the car about ten minutes per week for a more distant swimming class. The less you drive around with your kids, the safer they will be, and the healthier and wealthier everyone will be.

This is a key statement. The dude from Grand Designs was on Top Gear once and they were discussing fuel efficiency, hybrids, etc, and Jeremy Clarkson made possibly the only statement of his I have ever agreed with - "drive any car you want, just drive it less..."

I have a few different kiddy bike seats, and a trailer, and had been making good use of them. Have fallen off the wagon a bit at the moment, but I'm starting to use it again.

Cheers,
Grant.

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2012, 06:20:26 AM »
rear facing baby seats make it dangerous for the person in front - my wife used to ride in the back if we were going on long trips.

This is the problem I'm working out now. In a Scion xA, car seats can't brace against the front seats because it would affect the air bag sensors, and there isn't a lot of front-back room. I'll just have to test the seats I have when I get a chance.

"drive any car you want, just drive it less..."

This is what I'm hoping will mitigate the inconvenience of three-across in a small car, as MMM says. I'll still be biking to work, and I'll be grocery shopping on foot with a granny cart, so we won't use the car much.

trammatic

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2012, 02:16:17 PM »
A Prius.  Those things are roomy in back...surprisingly so.  I'm 6'3, 250, and can comfortably fill less than 1/2 of the back seat.  I bet 3 car seats would fit nicely.

Taylor

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2012, 02:13:08 PM »
I don't have kids, so keep that in mind, but I just traded in my 2003 Ford Escape (excuse me while I kick my former self for getting this car) for a 2007 Prius. LOVE the Prius and immediately cut my gas expenditures by 60-70%. I find it very roomy and a great drive!

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #19 on: March 25, 2012, 07:46:53 PM »
I have an acquaintance who has three across in a Prius.  I rented one once and liked it allot, but I can't decide if they're worth the price premium for a car that I don't want to drive that much.  Feeling guilty about the gas bill might be a useful tool to keep the miles down.

MEJG

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2012, 06:21:08 AM »
If you are going to be driving a lot- you can't avoid it - a Prius is great! I have one child right now but intend to have more.  We can fit mini-MEJG and our giant breed dog + everything for a weekend away  in our 2005 Prius with no hassle.  We expect to have three kiddos in it no problem.

If we expand to three kids and another dog we've talked about a Toyota matrix.

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2012, 10:11:38 AM »
A friend of mine came over with his Toyota Matrix and two car seats, and we managed to fit a third in there without much trouble. It did take some fiddling. He will have to put the longer rear-facing car seat behind the passenger seat, and snapping in the infant seat was a little troublesome, but I'm sure he'll figure out how to make the process easier.

The rear hip width for the Matrix/Corolla is listed at 43", compared to about 51" for similar cars. This comes from the fact that there's a little part of the rear seat just at the lumbar area that is exposed plastic instead of seat cushion. The usable width is actually the same as the other cars, so that puts the Matrix/Vibe/Corolla back on our radar.

ferfischer

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2012, 01:57:24 PM »
We are in the process of outfitting our prius for 3 kids as we speak.   We will have two front facing children and an infant.    In almost any vehicle where you want to do this, a narrow carseat is the key.  We will end up using Sunshine Radians or Recaro seats and then the baby bucket for a while, and then a rear facing radian/recaro, I think.  We only have one Radian now, so we will have to buy another, I think - but they really do last forever, and it's cheaper than the cost of a different vehicle, for sure.  Booster seats are tough 3 across because it's hard to buckle in every time, so a harness might actually be a better option, even for an older kid - those carseats go up to pretty big kids.  Also, a lot of people buckle in the baby bucket every time, rather than using the base, which are known to be wider.   The prius is not the ideal car for doing 3 across, but it is possible, with the right carseats.  Forget about it being easy to get everyone in and out though - it's not even that easy in a minivan, so go with what you want most affordable or whatever criteria is more important to you!  I will let you know how we get it worked out - we have onoly a few months to figure it out!  Like I said before Car-seat.org has several threads on this exact subject.

James

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2012, 01:39:02 PM »
I don't have much to add to a great discussion, most everything has been covered.  Just wanted to support the idea of getting special car seats rather than a special car.  Like people have pointed out this isn't the whole solution, but it's usually the least examined aspect.  And also remember that boosters are of questionable value for kids as they get older, the research just doesn't support the idea of keeping them in boosters forever...
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velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2012, 08:38:25 AM »
Our saga has finally come to a close. I found a 2006 Mazda 5 with 100K miles at a dealer within walking distance of my house. This car has three rows of two seats each, so we'll be able to take on another passenger, or carry extra cargo (securely tied-down) with all three kids in the car.

DavidGalloway

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2012, 07:03:18 AM »
Our saga has finally come to a close. I found a 2006 Mazda 5 with 100K miles at a dealer within walking distance of my house. This car has three rows of two seats each, so we'll be able to take on another passenger, or carry extra cargo (securely tied-down) with all three kids in the car.

How do you like the 5 so far? I'll be in the market for this or a Kia Rondo before school starts back in the fall. I've driven the Rondo (which I liked very much) but haven't had the chance to drive a 5 yet. Any other vehicles in this same class I should consider?

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2012, 08:17:22 AM »
How do you like the 5 so far? I'll be in the market for this or a Kia Rondo before school starts back in the fall. I've driven the Rondo (which I liked very much) but haven't had the chance to drive a 5 yet. Any other vehicles in this same class I should consider?

I find the 5 with a manual transmission peppy and fun to drive. Keep in mind that my only other data point is an early 90's subcompact, and I haven't had 6 passengers yet. I've heard that some people find it uncomfortable, which I might discover when we take a cross-country trip.

At least one more car in this class will enter the market soon, the Ford C-MAX, but right now, the 5 and the Rondo are pretty much all there is. At a higher price, the Honda Odyssey gets similar mileage to the 5 on some of its more recent models. If only we could get the overseas options! My favorite is the Honda Freed.

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2012, 09:27:43 AM »
Thanks! I'm going to test drive an automatic later today to see if I like the fit (the closest manual on Autotrader is 100 miles away).

This brings up another thought...does anyone know if manumatic tranmissions improve fuel economy when you actually use the thing to shift regularly? Our only car right now is a manual 2000 Camry and my wife is requesting that our 2nd car be an automatic as she doesn't like driving a manual in heavy traffic. The Rondo is manumatic only and it seems that manual transmission 5s are hard to find in the Southeastern US.

grantmeaname

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2012, 10:11:01 AM »
No, the efficiency loss in the automatic is due to the torque converter, and telling the computer when to shift the automatic transmission won't eliminate that.

On the other hand, you can use the manumatic to force the car to stay in a certain gear (like leaving it in the top gear while highway cruising), which I would believe might help.

DavidGalloway

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2012, 11:25:37 AM »
So normal fuel economy is standard automatic but you can gain a little in the situation you mentioned and I'm sure it's also helpful when downshifting to pass someone or going through windy roads.

All in all not a horrible option for the Rondo or if I can't find a manual 5.  Good to know!

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #30 on: June 20, 2012, 11:58:00 AM »
The Honda Accord wagon made in the early 90's is a great family car for 3 kids, the backseat is wide enough for 3 car seats and the wagon shape is very useful for hauling cargo. Too bad Honda stopped making them in mid 90's.

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2012, 12:23:37 PM »
No, the efficiency loss in the automatic is due to the torque converter, and telling the computer when to shift the automatic transmission won't eliminate that.

On the other hand, you can use the manumatic to force the car to stay in a certain gear (like leaving it in the top gear while highway cruising), which I would believe might help.
I do believe many newer automatics have locking torque converters that only slip at low speed/stopped, to avoid this problem.

The torque converter is not actually the only loss, though--automatics are heavier and more complex, greater rotating mass, more gear meshes and therefore more friction losses too. Manuals are just simpler and more efficient in many ways. That said, modern autos are better than older ones, and many auto cars are actually geared higher to offset the less-efficient transmission (but then you're sacrificing more performance, so it's not always a good trade), so some auto versions will actually get better EPA numbers than their manual counterparts. I think you could probably more than make up the gap with hypermiling though in most cases, which is easier with a manual.

Also, shifting your own gears is much more badass.

grantmeaname

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2012, 12:57:33 PM »
Good to know! Thanks, Uncephalized. I had heard that the torque converter was the only significant bleed, but it seems like that information is oversimplistic and a bit out of date, too.

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2012, 02:08:48 PM »
I think you are correct that it is the biggest loss in most cases. But as with most things it's going to depend a lot on how well-engineered the transmission is and so on.

graywh

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #34 on: September 21, 2012, 02:53:42 PM »
I want to highlight something I mentioned earlier. The RideSafer Vest is like a booster seat, but instead of lifting the child up to the shoulder belt height, it pulls the belt down to the level of the child and holds it in place. This ends up being narrower than any booster seat. If anyone has any experience with this, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Registered so I could respond to your question.  I've been mostly pleased with it.  The one disadvantage is that my son has fallen asleep in it several times after hockey practice or games and his head ends up falling straight down.  We ended up buying a high-back booster since space isn't a constraint when we use it in the secondary vehicle (we've got two SunshineKids/Diono Radians and a rear-facing Britax Marathon installed 3 across in our primary vehicle).  It's kind of a hassle to put on and buckle into the car.  Also, it doesn't fit well (we bought a small for our then 4yo, now 5.5) at the lower end of the range.

totoro

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2012, 03:05:33 PM »
We have four kids and a labradoodle and everyone fits in our Mazda 5  -  I really like this car and the way the back seats fold down for groceries/hauling.  We have racks on it for bicycles.   No car seats anymore tho.

We also have a 1998 Toyota Tercel with a hitch and trailer for our reno/landscaping projects and business trips.  It is cheap and reliable transportation and if I could I would just have this car but it only seats five.

velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2012, 07:26:11 AM »
Thanks for the vest info, graywh. Since we ended up not needing to go three across, we figured out the car seat schedule for the next few years and bought a First Years True Fit and a Britax Frontier to go with our Chicco Keyfit 30 (we had a preemie, and it was one of the few that could fit a four-pounder). We'll need to get one more booster when our youngest outgrows the Keyfit.

Tradies wife

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2012, 11:29:46 PM »
Ok. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that the best MMM 'car' with 3 kids isn't a car, but a bike! And everything, school, work and shops in a short riding distance.

I'm not sure in America if you have to pay a registration fee on cars per year, as well as insurance. With a bike you don't here in Australia. You don't even have to worry about car seats, and putting the kids in and out is easier because there isn't a roof (or the roof plastic goes on once they are in the bike).

http://www.cargocycles.com.au/bikes/box-cargo-bikes/zeitbikes-longhaul-electric

Ok, electrical assist for pushing 3 kids is probably a good thing. Ignore the pricing, if I've noticed anything about the US it is that things are WAY cheaper there compared to here.

What about this one?
http://www.madsencycles.com/

A couple of ideas for you;
http://www.workcycles.com/home-products/child-transport-bicycles/workcycles-fr8-as-family-bike

Up to 4 kids and a parent!
http://www.workcycles.com/home-products/child-transport-bicycles/onderwater-family-tandem-xl

A few different configurations of family bikes are out there, loads of variations. Come on, these are fun to look at aren't they! he, he, chuckle, chuckle. Nah, but honestly the first thing that I thought when I read the title to this "Best MMM car with 3 kids" was "A bike!".


velocistar237

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2012, 04:27:22 AM »
I considered the bike quite a bit, along with strollers. The obvious choice is a regular bike with a seat and a trailer.

Tradies wife

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2012, 04:42:00 PM »
I considered the bike quite a bit, along with strollers. The obvious choice is a regular bike with a seat and a trailer.

Yeah, obvious for most. But then I investigated further and found that the weight limits of the trailers were around 44kg. As my daughter is 26kg, and my son is 16kg... a trailer would give me around 3months of use for both children. A seat would be fine for the back of the bike, and I looked at them. Tall genes in our family, my three year old is too big. So a cargo bike, with 100kg load in the front was our choice. It gives us enough room for some groceries, and a bag or two as well. We shouldn't outgrow it in a hurry.

johnnylighthouse

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2013, 10:59:48 AM »
FYI I now have three across in a VW Golf circa 2001.  Car seats fit well and great gas mileage.

mpbaker22

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #41 on: February 08, 2013, 11:19:26 AM »
I don't want to recommend breaking the law which might depend on where you live.  There's a lot of information out there saying that child safety seats are NOT SAFER than the adult lap-belt for children above a certain age.  I don't remember the age, but it was rather young, I think around 3.  Unless required by law, in which case I would lean very close to recommending you break the law, I wouldn't worry about whether the car can fit 3 car seats so much as I would worry whether the car can fit 1-2 car seats and 1-2 normally buckled children.

Unfortunately, car seats have turned into another scam promoted by the government to appease lobbyists.

P.S.  I haven't followed up on this data in the last few years, so maybe there have been breakthroughs in car seat technology.

chatsc

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Re: Best MMM car with 3 kids
« Reply #42 on: February 08, 2013, 11:59:40 AM »
We are in the same boat.  We have 3 kids (5 and under, one in a booster and 2 in carseats) in a standard SUV and all they do is fight and kick and pinch and hit and kick and fight.  It is really hard to get the seat belt done up for the booster, bc you have to jam your hand in between the carseat and booster.  and did i mention they fight?  It is nice to have them all close to you and yes, they can pass each other stuff, but they fight....We have the Sunshine Radian carseats, and I would recommend them. 

We are going to wait until the oldest is about 10 before getting a new vehicle.  It will be 5 more long years...In Ontario, kids have to be in a booster until 8 years old.

From my research, I see that the new Pathfinder has 3 rows.  Maybe in 5 years the 2013 model will be in our price range...