Author Topic: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage  (Read 1445 times)

Kitsune

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Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« on: October 01, 2018, 08:57:45 AM »
I know there are people here who have done the research and are way more informed re: cars than I am, so: throwing the question out there! My husband and I are looking at buying a car within about a year and a half (right around the time where we'd be looking at adding a third kid). We're currently driving a Honda Fit, which is A+ for a 4-person family, but a) it's hitting 200k km and absolutely will not fit 3 car seats and b) we are in need of a second car, and so would keep this one as second car and get a larger car for when we actually need to fit 5 people while using the smaller one as the regular commuting car.

Requirements:
1) Space for 3 cars seats. 4 is a bonus, as we are looking at maybe 4 kids, but if we can avoid a minivan until/unless absolutely necessary, that'd be great. I'm willing to spend more on expensive super-slim car seats if it means getting a cheaper car, but we will have minimum one kid rear-facing for the forseeable future.
2) Good gas mileage. I'm aware of what MMM says on the topic of long commutes, but I have equal amounts to say on the benefits of rural living in a perfect location near family... the downside of which is long commutes. I'm also married to a not-particularly-frugal man, and there are trade-offs to be made to make everyone happy... all of which is to say that the location and the commute is not negotiable, so the gas mileage is important. I live in Quebec: gas prices this morning were 1.33/litre. It matters.
3) Reliability. Ideally something not known for needing tons and tons of maintenance.

I'm assuming other people with large-ish families have run this calculation: what have you all gotten?

charis

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 09:31:01 AM »
We recently looked at the three-row Mazda5 for extra seats when we need it, extra cargo room, and to fit our dogs.  With 6 seats, it wouldn't give you much space with 3-4 kids, but with 3, you can lower the 6th seat for extra storage.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 03:57:38 AM by jezebel »

Kitsune

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 09:42:51 AM »
Yeah, the Mazda 5s were what we were leaning towards, but they just got discontinued in Canada... If we can find a used one in half-decent condition, that may be top choice, but if we can't, we're back to point A.

Khaetra

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 09:49:58 AM »
Don't discount minivans.  They can hold those extra seats and then some.

RWD

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 10:41:46 AM »
A quick search online shows pictures of Priuses with three car seats (including with a rear facing one), so you don't need a three-row for that.

The fuel economy of the Mazda 5 is not that great, barely better than a conventional minivan.

erutio

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2018, 10:43:41 AM »
Have you looked into Diono carseats? 

They fit 3 across in most back seats.

Jon Bon

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2018, 10:46:21 AM »
Graco car seats fit 3 across in a Honda Accord.

With the growth of car seats and the hysteria requiring usage it gets harder every year.

We also have a minivan, so much better. I should mention that  getting kids in and out of that middle seat in a sedan is horrible.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2018, 01:15:55 PM »
Three Clelia Fllos can go well in a Ford C-Max. I have the PHEV variant.

Platypuses

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2018, 02:51:15 PM »
Here is a good website describing which car seats can fit 3 across in the back of your Fit: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-installations-fit/. We have the Diono Radians, and are happy with them.

dleavitt

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2018, 03:22:43 PM »
Here is a good website describing which car seats can fit 3 across in the back of your Fit: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-installations-fit/. We have the Diono Radians, and are happy with them.
This, I have three Diono Radians in my Fit.  150k miles (over 241k kilometers) and no plans on replacing it.  If you need more seating space than the Fit will give you, then a minivan is your only MMM-consistent option.

Bartleby_the_Scrivener

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CanuckExpat

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2018, 11:39:33 PM »
Here is a site that lists the brands of car seats that will work three across for a given vehicle: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-car-seat-guide-html/
For example, for a Honda Fit: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-installations-fit/

There is a separate page with recommendations for Canadians: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/canadian-recommended-car-seats/

catccc

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2018, 06:59:44 AM »
Ditto suggestions for getting diono radians.  200k km (124k miles) isn't that much on a reliable auto like a Fit.  Our toyota matrix has 205k miles, and we were going to replace it, but decided why bother since it is running so well. 

I wouldn't buy a car for future kids that haven't been conceived yet.  I was so sure we'd eventually have 4 kids, but the longer I had just 2, the more I changed my mind about having a 3rd.  If you do end up having more, 9 months is more than enough lead time to sell and buy a car.

Kitsune

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2018, 12:02:02 PM »
Here is a good website describing which car seats can fit 3 across in the back of your Fit: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-installations-fit/. We have the Diono Radians, and are happy with them.
This, I have three Diono Radians in my Fit.  150k miles (over 241k kilometers) and no plans on replacing it.  If you need more seating space than the Fit will give you, then a minivan is your only MMM-consistent option.

OMG THANK YOU I had no idea that this was even possible. The car seats we have are huge-ish and there is about 8 inches between them, so... we had just assumed that it wasn't. Brilliant problem-solving, like I'd expect from this community. THANK YOU.

Fit forever! Or, yknow. For as long as we possibly can, and then reevaluate based on actual needs.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Car search: cars that fit 3 car seats with good gas mileage
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2018, 12:11:24 PM »
Diono didn't work for us for a newborn in our car- as you can't use the angle incline adjuster until a certain size.  It would work for older kids.

However, I agree with the idea of looking at new car seats rather than more expensive cars.  (Of course- once you hit 4 kids, the fit isn't going to work...)

Here is an awesome resource: https://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-car-seat-guide-html/

Another good one: https://mommyhood101.com/fitting-three-car-seats-in-the-back-2018

The people at this forum are great at troubleshooting and suggesting car seat configurations:
https://www.car-seat.org/index.php?s=7ded73463c0e0bcf11a46909fc7e4e7e