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Car fury!

(40 Posts)
jaype Mon 12-Oct-09 15:39:42

Grr - I am mad. Currently expecting number 3 (so not what I would consider a large family - one more and maybe borderline) and went to look at a larger car than the Renault Clio we currently squeeze in to.

Anyway, the bloke at the Ford garage basically refused to give me brochures on anything smaller than a 7 seater car, telling me it would be impossible to fit three seats into anything normal sized without having an 'illegal' child seat in the front. I suspected he was wrong on the fact it was illegal to have the 6 year old in the front (though to my mind I am sure we can get 3 seats in the back of some cars like a CMax) but wasn't 100% sure of my facts till I got home and looked it up...

Seeing as all of you will have been through the 'just 3' stage at some point, can anyone reassure me that I don't have to buy a bloomin' minibus for just three? Please?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 12-Oct-09 15:50:05

We looked at Renault's recently. The scenic and grand scenic both have 3 individual seats across the back so ought to fit 3 car setas (depending on the widths of your seats of course). The only way to be 100% sure would be to try with your seats.

I expect someone with a Ford will be along soon to help you on that front.

jasper Mon 12-Oct-09 15:53:52

Mr Ford is talking bollocks.
My 3 were born within 3 years.

Have had several cars ,(peugeot 307 DO NOT BUY A PEUGEOT, Rav 4, golf ) no people carriers or 5 seaters.
No problem at all getting 3 child seats (including a rear facing baby) in back.

I knwo lots of other families with 3 we kids and normal cars

Pick your child seats carefully.

thisisyesterday Mon 12-Oct-09 15:53:58

you don't have to have a huge thing, but it may be difficult to fit 3 across the back, and you may have to buy new car seats!

I've had 3 across the back of a renault scenic, and now have 3 across the back of a volvo v70

i know when i asked about it on here before, a few people recommended the cmax as well, so am sure you'd be fine with that.

you do need to try your 3 seats in whatever car you choose though, otherwise it gets expensive! we have a couple of huge used car places near us and they were happy for us to try car seats in the backs of various makes and models and fit the pram in the boot etc! very useful

thisisyesterday Mon 12-Oct-09 15:56:43

oh and for reference i can fit the following across the back of the renault scenic/volvo v70

2x maxi cosi infant carriers and 1x bebe confort group 1 seat

2x maxi cosi infant carriers and 1 x britax or graco highback booster

1x MC infant carrier, 1x britax/graco highback booster and 1 x bebe confort group 1

2 rear facing group 1 seats (a 2 way elite and a besafe izi combi) and a britax highback booster

herbietea Mon 12-Oct-09 15:59:08

Message withdrawn

sweetkitty Mon 12-Oct-09 16:02:21

I have 3 car seats in the back of a CMAX it is a squash but can be done.

A Renault Scenic and a Citroen Picasso will also do it and given the choice again I would have went for a Picasso

dizzymac Mon 12-Oct-09 16:09:31

DH needs to replace his company car before DC3 arrives. Because it's a scheme we have limited options!!
So far the Prius is our favourite. We need to fit 1 infant seat, 1 highback booster and 1 booster cushion. In the showroom this looked OK but we're going back to check next week.

Anyone with other ideas (Toyota,Honda, Audi, VW only though), would be much appreciated.

thisisyesterday Mon 12-Oct-09 16:14:49

think the audi A6 can fit 3 across the back ok.

i would imagine something like the VW sharan/touran would as well

dizzymac Mon 12-Oct-09 16:16:59

Thanks thisisyesterday but we've looked at those( I should have said), they are a little too much per month.

exexpat Mon 12-Oct-09 16:20:07

Have you looked at Toyota Corolla Verso? You can fit three seats (just - depending on type) across the back seat, but there are also two pop-up seats in the boot if you need them - most of the time it just looks like a normal hatchback.

scrappydappydoo Mon 12-Oct-09 16:25:36

We're in the same situation - currently favouring picasso as all three seats in back are isofix. Also has lower emissions so cheaper tax. We have a zafira at the moment which we brought hoping it last a few years but we're just not going to fit all of us in...
Trying to find a kia sedona to look at as well.

dizzymac Mon 12-Oct-09 16:32:58

The Verso is very high on our list as is the Honda FR-V.
I like both but I think DH is loath to go down the BIG car line unless we need to. We had a C-Max a couple of years ago and he hated it( plus you couldn't get 3 across the back)

notwavingjustironing Mon 12-Oct-09 16:35:07

You won't get three car seats in the back of a three door Rav 4. There are only two back seats. Not sure about the five door though.

ilove Mon 12-Oct-09 16:46:36

We got 3 in teh back of a Picasso. Now have a Multipla 6 seater...the thing to watch with any car when you have children is boot space too. Absolutely LOVE my Multipla!

sweetkitty Mon 12-Oct-09 17:01:56

You ideally want to look for something with 3 individual adult size seats in the back not a bench type.

We currently have 2 highback boosters and a Stage 1 (9m +) in the back of a CMAX, they do fit but are an utter nightmare to get seat belts done/undone.

We are looking at another car as we will ave DB4 next year.

Don't fancy a Zafira as you cannot get 3 car seats across the back plus that would mean boot seats in use all the time which means no boot and children in the boot which I'm not keen on. We are looking at 7 seaters like Galaxy/Grand Espace or Sharan

FrightsMonth Mon 12-Oct-09 17:10:26

Disagree with sweetkitty about having a bench seat. A flat bench is fine, it's the ones that are sculpted into two individual seats with higher sections on either side and in the centre that are the problem. Thee middle carseat has to perch on the centre bit, and the two outside carseats tip precariously towards the middle. Have I explained that well?

Look for the narrowest carseats available, and expect to struggle with getting the seatbelts done up, as the gap between seats may be very narrow.

You can get 3 seats in a CMAX btw.

jaype Mon 12-Oct-09 18:12:17

Thanks everyone - I did have a Vauxhall Vectra loaned to me as a courtesy car while ours had the brakes done and I experimented with our three seats (they fitted). However, it was a bit too 'Alan Partridge' looking for dp, so we were looking at a Ford Kuga or Nissan Qashquai (being high up means I don't have to bend too much to do up straps as pregnancy has left my back in a right state).

Still, I now have hope that we won't be bankrupted by petrol / diesel costs after all, and that I will still be able to park in normal sized spaces. Will check out some of the cars on here. We really don't need much boot space as we travel light - the Clio has done us so far and they are about as spacious as a hamster cage in the rear!

jaype Mon 12-Oct-09 18:13:46

PS I know my original post seems odd, given that I have physically fitted 3 seats myself, but I thought that I must have been doing something wrong if the 'expert' was so insistent t couldn't work properly...

pinkx4 Tue 13-Oct-09 09:45:23

We get one infant seat and two booster seats across the back of an Audi A6 (dh's company car). It's a bit of a squash though and seatbelts can be tricky.

As a family car, we bought a Kia Sedona when dd3 was born because we knew we wouldn't stop at 3 (dd4 due Jan). However, it feels too big with just 3 children in it and it is expensive to run and tax, impossible to park in a normal space and has the turning circle of a cruise liner. Tell the Ford bloke he's talking ******! A 5 seater would be just fine. If you do want something slighter bigger, haven't Toyota just brought out non-MPV type 7 seater? Have a look at the Multiplas as well though; my friend says they're brilliant and let's face it, once we have this many kids, we're past being worried about street cred!

newpup Tue 13-Oct-09 10:01:18

I have a c-max about 8 months old and you can definately get 3 seats in the back. I have had 3 boosters in the back when the DDs have friends for tea.

lljkk Tue 13-Oct-09 11:52:36

VW Passat, lots of MNers with 3+ have them (ours is an estate).

It helps if you get a fairly narrow seat for the 9month-4year size, the Britax Prince is the one we've recently got and it's a revelation! Plus the Prince works reasonably well with lapbelt only, which may be all that many 5 seater cars have in the middle back seat.

I've heard another MNer say that if the carseats in the back touch at all then you get dangerous buckle crunch. And so then they argued that you truly can never safely have 3 in the back. However, that is NOT what the County council car seat safety man told me 2 years ago; he described buckle crunch as something totally different. He inspected our fit and said it was pretty good, just keep them as snug as possible.

pinkx4 Tue 13-Oct-09 13:31:19

Let's face it, the 'not safe to have 3 in the back' argument is put there by the govt. so that we all feel shamed into buying bigger cars with more emissions that they can tax us all massively on! This wasn't an issue until the govt. decided that people with big cars and big families were responsible for all the climate changes and environmental ills of the world! Incidentally, the County Council car inspector fitted our seat completely wrongly! We wrote and complained but just got an lame excuse back. I think that if you know you've fitted the seats well and everything is comfy and not sqaushed, then you'll be the most responsible parent you can be. Choose the car you feel safest being in and driving.

thisisyesterday Tue 13-Oct-09 15:46:29

the ppl at the in car safety centre inmilton keynes said irt didn't matter if thye seats touched either,

buckle cruch occurfs when the buckle is pressedagainst the side of a car seat and thus is under extra pressure and could come openin a crash.

the seats themselves touching isn't a problem, as long as the buckle is ok

thisisyesterday Tue 13-Oct-09 15:47:44

and besides, having 3 across theback touching is arguably safer than having some of the children in the 3rd row in car such as the zafira, grand scenic etc which isn't advised as they're in the crumple zone.

so it isn't as if getting a huge minibus will automatically make it super safe

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