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to insist DC use the middle seats in the Zafira, for safety?

(52 Posts)
wigglylines Sat 01-Nov-14 08:34:54

We have a new Zafira. (Well, old actually but new to us!)

DS is very excited by the back seats as it's a novelty and wants to sit there.

However I can't help thinking that the back seats would surely be more risky in the event of a shunt from behind.

DP reckons we should let him, as the back seats have the same NCAP rating as the middle seats, but what does this actually mean in practical terms? I've read that NCAP doesn't look at rear collisions, does anyone know if this is correct?

Surely it's just a matter of physics - if the car gets hit from the behind, anyone in the back is at more risk, aren't they? And so for regular use, it would be better if the DC sat in the safest spot?

The way I see it, the back seats are for occasional use around town, when we have a car-full, not to sit in habitually if you have a choice of a safer seat. AIBU?

GoldfishCrackers Sat 01-Nov-14 08:36:59

I don't think the curtain airbags extend to the rearmost row of seats.

KnackeredMuchly Sat 01-Nov-14 08:41:35

I'd let him sit there for novelty for a few local trips, but when you're expecting to go over 30 mph and long journeys insist on the middle seats.

Refuse to hear much of what he says from the back also, I'm sure he'll tire of it!!


greenfolder Sat 01-Nov-14 08:47:02

bit confused as to why you have bought the car if you have these worries? if there is a risk of more serious injury you would never use them, rather than just sometimes?

it was partly for the above concerns that i bought a fiat multipla when my kids were younger. solved all the problems because it rarely went more than 30 miles without a disco on the dashboard and grinding to a halt.

seriously, i would let him sit there, he will soon get bored when the novelty wears off

catlass Sat 01-Nov-14 08:55:41

We have a zafira, mainly for the boot space with the back seats down. I agree with you though and wouldn't let him sit in them permanently, they are very close to the back window when up.

crazykat Sat 01-Nov-14 09:34:32

Let him sit there for a few trips, he'll soon get bored.

We had a zafira and at first we had arguments over who got to sit in the back, within a few weeks we had argument over who had to sit in the back.

wigglylines Sat 01-Nov-14 09:54:29


grin I like your style

wigglylines Sat 01-Nov-14 09:58:35

"I don't think the curtain airbags extend to the rearmost row of seats."

That's interesting - and concerning - thanks for the info, I'll google it.

AuditAngel Sat 01-Nov-14 10:05:38

I have a Grand Picasso so the same style. Generally I keep the rear seats folded down. If I have extra people then the kids get to sit at the back, i don't then necessarily fold them away immediately, so they may get a couple of extra goes. (Plus I have 3 kids so it avoids arguments!)

When I have finished with the extra seats, I just pack them away.

The novelty will reduce.

Shetland Sat 01-Nov-14 10:05:50

I have a zafira and I keep the kids in the middle row unless absolutely necessary. I think the airbags don't cover the back row in most of these type of cars.
It's why i'll be trading it in when DC3 comes along.

dotdotdotmustdash Sat 01-Nov-14 10:08:33

We're on our third Zafira but we buy them for the boot space rather than the rear seats. I think when we got our first one our kids were little and loved having the odd trip in them, but they aren't adult sized or remotely comfortable so they hate them now!

wigglylines Sat 01-Nov-14 10:09:16

"bit confused as to why you have bought the car if you have these worries?"

Because we had a limited budget, we were looking for an estate, not a 7 seater necessarily, and this was the only decent, affordable option that came up within 40 miles of where we lived, in the time we had available to get a new car.

"if there is a risk of more serious injury you would never use them, rather than just sometimes?"

The way I see it, life is full of risk. Cars are risky - if we were aiming to get rid of risk completely we would never get in one. But most of us choose to take that risk, and put our families in danger on the roads every day, because the risk seems small compared to the benefits.

To keep safe it's best to get into good habits IMO. So, if there is a safer option (put a seat belt on / sit in a safer seat / buy a safer car) it's best to take that option as a habit, if possible. But that's not to say we might not choose on the odd occasion we use the less safe seat, when all others are not available. It's not such a great risk over time if you do it less often.

If I had more money I'd buy a safer car. But I have to cut my cloth accordingly so I'll make sure my kids can be as safe as possible in the car we have. It's either that or not use a car!

AramintaDeWinter Sat 01-Nov-14 10:11:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

littlejohnnydory Sat 01-Nov-14 10:12:11

We have a zafira and four children sotwo need to sit in the back, two in the middle. Apparently the rear seats aren't suitable for a baby seat but fine for a high backed booster. Our 7 and 5 year old are in the back in high backed boosters.
They'd prefer to be in the middle though, as they can't hear music or converse with us as well from the back. So I'm sure the novelty will wear off!

TooMuchCantBreathe Sat 01-Nov-14 10:15:02

Take a look at the crash tests on the rear seats of the zafira. They are built into the crumple zone and are intended for occasional use only. I watched the videos and sold the car (but I needed 7 seats).

flossieflower Sat 01-Nov-14 10:22:59

I changed my zafira for a verso because I wasn't happy about the kids travelling in the boot seats is we ended up with adults in the boot and kids in the middle for long journeys which wasn't ideal! The verso curtain airbags DO go all the way to the back so cover the rearmost passengers unlike the zafira (or the touran that we also considered) and there is a much bigger gap between the back of the seats and the back of the car in the verso.

I would allow the kids in the back of yours for short local journeys where a rear shunt would be below 30mph and hope they get bored but not allow it for long journeys and/or over 30mph. The rear seats are very useful for things like taking extra kids to brownies and when on holiday with other people if you all want to go on day trips in one car (to those who wonder why you'd want them).

TooMuchCantBreathe Sat 01-Nov-14 10:39:43

this is one of the only crash tests done on the rear seats of the zafira. Because they are occasional not fixed seats they don't get tested in the same way.

AramintaDeWinter Sat 01-Nov-14 11:45:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AramintaDeWinter Sat 01-Nov-14 11:55:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wigglylines Sat 01-Nov-14 12:25:26

Is that the 5th Gear video? There's been some criticism of it online. Like this for example:

"In that test they didn't raise the rear head rests so it is not surprising that their heads hit the rear window / truck!!!

I emailed 5th gear after the original show acusing them of scaremongering and stating that any rear seat passengers in a W reg Fiesta or equiv would probably not faired any better. Surprisingly I am still waiting for a reply!!!"


"As said...the tests were done with an adult and teen occupant in the very rear seats with no headrests the back of their heads hit the front of the truck...

a) you would more than likely have kids in the back whose heads are not higher than the back of the seat and also have car seats to protect them

b) use the headrests for taller rear occupants

c) as said, no worse than any other 7 seater being hit by a huge truck at 40mph when your car is stationary!"

From this page

That's one of the things that prompted me to post here actually - even with a shocking video like that, if you dig a little deeper, it's not clear cut what the truth is! But posting here has reassured me IANBU, even if that video is scaremongering, the middle seats are safer so better for regular use.

wigglylines Sat 01-Nov-14 12:26:30

(I haven't watched that video yet btw - apologies if I'm talking about a totally different video!)

Shetland Sat 01-Nov-14 12:43:21

I'm glad you posted flossie as the Verso is what I'm looking at to replace my Zafira. Are you generally happy with it? Do you use the rear seats regularly and what age are your DC? Thanks.

TooMuchCantBreathe Sat 01-Nov-14 12:59:24

Yes lots of arguments about it. Watch it though, it's very clear that the seats are in the crumple zone (like any boot seats such as the volvo fold aways etc). It's also clear that raising the head rests would stop heads touching the truck but wouldn't be sufficient to prevent fatal injury. Head rests stop whiplash and are not designed to stand up to actual impact from a solid object.

With a shorter child their heads might be in contact with the seats rather than above but looking at the film, I don't feel that would be enough still. The seats are much thinner than fixed seats and are solid on the back rather than cushioned like a fixed seat.

I disagree about smaller cars, doubtless they wouldn't fair well but, critically, the seats are not built into the crumple zone meaning direct contact would be far less likely.

I do feel the test is not exactly ncap standard but it showed me enough to be uncomfortable with using them.

TooMuchCantBreathe Sat 01-Nov-14 13:02:56

Araminta, yes they are but so are many fold away seats. Like I said up thread occasional seats are not subject to the same testing as fixed seats. That is the reason I sold. I hadn't realised until I saw that video and did some research of my own.

sanfairyanne Sat 01-Nov-14 13:15:23

saw a video and frankly any tiny car hit from behind by a massive truck would be similarly mangled

i dont drive our fiesta with kids in on motorways for the same reason

that said, we only use the zafira rear seats as 'occasional' seats

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