Author Topic: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?  (Read 1133 times)

Mrs.MLM

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Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« on: May 09, 2018, 04:19:47 PM »
We have a 2014 Mazda 5 which we love, but the rear air is terrible. Two weak little vents near the floor. This does nothing for my rear-facing 19-month old. It's already over 100 degrees and he is sweating back there. The temperatures will stay this high until the end of September. Last summer, he was an infant and we didn't leave the house very often so it wasn't a problem. This summer, I expect to be out and about more.

We are thinking about getting a new-to-us vehicle IF we can find one that has air conditioning that will reach a rear-facing toddler. Does anyone have a minivan or SUV they recommend?

nereo

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 04:42:55 PM »
Are you sure the air conditioning is working properly?
Never experienced 100F+ temps in the back of a Mazda5, even in Virginia summers...

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Spiffy

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 05:03:33 PM »
Our 2013 Dodge Grande Caravan gets plenty cold in the way back. There are several vents for each row than can swivel around to just about any position. And when the kids are older, they can control the setting themselves if you switch the controls up front to a "rear control" setting, if that makes sense. And I live in Texas.

CupcakeGuru

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 07:49:21 PM »
Our 2007 Honda Odyssey was/is great with rear ac when our kids were in car seats. It has floor vents for the second and third row and 2 ceiling swivel vents in each row. The temp can be adjusted for just the back rows. We take really long road trips and are very comfortable to drive. We are in Georgia so I know how hot it can get.

chemistk

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2018, 05:49:33 AM »
I think you're going to find that most Minivans and SUV's with a third row manufactured in the last 10 years will have ventilation specifically designed to reach the back of the cabin - all you have to look for is overhead vents and a rear fan speed control up front. The 5, along with a lot of CUV's and other small, efficient family-mobiles are built on a car platform - this means they don't have designated overhead ducting needed to push A/C to the way back of the car. So, in effect, the rear of your car turns into a greenhouse unless you have the main vents (not the floor) pointed straight back with the fan at a considerable speed.

That being said, I think almost all of us grew up without that creature-comfort. I remember long summer drives in the back of the van with only 2 measly vent windows and a non-functioning A/C system. It was hot but you got used to it.

ender

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2018, 06:50:22 AM »
A lot of cars have more sophisticated HVAC options as actual options not in the base model.


Mrs.MLM

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2018, 11:46:29 AM »
Are you sure the air conditioning is working properly?
Never experienced 100F+ temps in the back of a Mazda5, even in Virginia summers...

Yes, it's working properly. It just doesn't reach around the car seat.

Mrs.MLM

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2018, 11:53:12 AM »
I think you're going to find that most Minivans and SUV's with a third row manufactured in the last 10 years will have ventilation specifically designed to reach the back of the cabin - all you have to look for is overhead vents and a rear fan speed control up front. The 5, along with a lot of CUV's and other small, efficient family-mobiles are built on a car platform - this means they don't have designated overhead ducting needed to push A/C to the way back of the car. So, in effect, the rear of your car turns into a greenhouse unless you have the main vents (not the floor) pointed straight back with the fan at a considerable speed.

That being said, I think almost all of us grew up without that creature-comfort. I remember long summer drives in the back of the van with only 2 measly vent windows and a non-functioning A/C system. It was hot but you got used to it.

Thank you! Yes, it definitely feels like a greenhouse back there. I agree that it's a creature comfort and if my son was going to be forward-facing in a booster anytime soon, I wouldn't worry about it too much. He'll be rear-facing for a long time and being plastered to the car seat material doesn't help. I'm willing to prioritize spending in this area and cut back in other areas in order for him to be comfortable. I wouldn't want to be back there in July when it's 118 degrees, so I don't want him to be either.

Mrs.MLM

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2018, 11:55:12 AM »
Our 2013 Dodge Grande Caravan gets plenty cold in the way back. There are several vents for each row than can swivel around to just about any position. And when the kids are older, they can control the setting themselves if you switch the controls up front to a "rear control" setting, if that makes sense. And I live in Texas.

Our 2007 Honda Odyssey was/is great with rear ac when our kids were in car seats. It has floor vents for the second and third row and 2 ceiling swivel vents in each row. The temp can be adjusted for just the back rows. We take really long road trips and are very comfortable to drive. We are in Georgia so I know how hot it can get.

Thank you! We'll look at both.

nereo

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2018, 12:05:19 PM »
I think you're going to find that most Minivans and SUV's with a third row manufactured in the last 10 years will have ventilation specifically designed to reach the back of the cabin - all you have to look for is overhead vents and a rear fan speed control up front. The 5, along with a lot of CUV's and other small, efficient family-mobiles are built on a car platform - this means they don't have designated overhead ducting needed to push A/C to the way back of the car. So, in effect, the rear of your car turns into a greenhouse unless you have the main vents (not the floor) pointed straight back with the fan at a considerable speed.

That being said, I think almost all of us grew up without that creature-comfort. I remember long summer drives in the back of the van with only 2 measly vent windows and a non-functioning A/C system. It was hot but you got used to it.

Thank you! Yes, it definitely feels like a greenhouse back there. I agree that it's a creature comfort and if my son was going to be forward-facing in a booster anytime soon, I wouldn't worry about it too much. He'll be rear-facing for a long time and being plastered to the car seat material doesn't help. I'm willing to prioritize spending in this area and cut back in other areas in order for him to be comfortable. I wouldn't want to be back there in July when it's 118 degrees, so I don't want him to be either.
Wait, are you saying it's 100F inside the car, or is that just the external temperature?
Window films do a great job reducing the 'green-house effect' of a car, and as chemistk kids are highly adaptable. Think about all the millions of infants who are in hot climates with zero air conditioning.
I'd first try the passive solutions
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TeresaB

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2018, 01:03:30 PM »
Have you looked into a noggle? It's a tube that attaches to a front a/c vent and directs the air wherever you choose. It was designed for rear facing children if I'm not mistaken.

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2018, 01:29:36 PM »
Our '08 Nissan Quest had excellent excellent AC

Suggest install nice tint on the car. Makes a huge difference. The good stuff rejects a lot of the sun's energy.
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nereo

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2018, 02:56:24 PM »
Have you looked into a noggle? It's a tube that attaches to a front a/c vent and directs the air wherever you choose. It was designed for rear facing children if I'm not mistaken.
...AND you can get one shaped like a giraffe!
Seriously, if the only good reason to switch cars is to give your infant a bit more comfort, I'd strongly recommend rethinking your approach. 
The newer films can block 99% of UV light and 90% of infrared while only slightly darkening your windows. Noggles can direct the ac right onto your little one.
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Mountainbug

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2018, 03:27:52 PM »
Came here to suggest the noogle but I see Im late to the game. One suggestion while you are shopping/deciding on a new vehicle: if you close all other vents the back vent will blow much stronger. This would make you mildly uncomfortable, but if you pre cool your car for a few minutes you should be fine. I had the same problem a few years ago and just closed all my vents in the front until the back was cool enough.

startingsmall

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2018, 08:50:44 PM »
Another vote for getting your AC checked out. I also drive a 2014 Mazda5. If I turn the rear air on "high," the back cools down pretty quickly.... all the way back to the third row. Granted, our summers here only get up in the upper 90s, not over 100, but I've never noticed my AC functioning any differently than any other vehicle.  My windows are tinted (factory tint), FWIW, and my Mazda5 is the dark gray color.

Livethedream

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2018, 10:07:56 AM »
Had a Mazda 5, live in area with 100+ summers. Had AC serviced, still wasnt great in third row. I agree That pretty much any new mini van that is 10 years old or newer will have good air. We upgraded to a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan and the rear air is much better. Much more room compared to M5 too.

Mrs.MLM

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Re: Minivans/SUVs with excellent rear air conditioning?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2018, 11:21:03 AM »
Thank you for the noogle suggestions! I've never heard of it before.

It's not about "a bit" more comfort. It's only May and he's already covered in sweat when we get him out of the car. We live in the desert, it gets up to 118 in the summer, and car interiors heat up to well over 100 degrees. Like 150 degrees. And our windows are tinted beyond legal limits.