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VW Passat and 3 child seats? How?

(33 Posts)
waltonsmountain Mon 09-Nov-09 09:14:11

We are expecting DC3 in 2010 and are having trouble fitting 3 car seats across the back of our car. It's a VW Passat estate and perfect in every other way so don't want to sell it for a coach. It is a huge car and it seems unbelievable that it won't take 3 seats in the back. (need 1xGroup 0, 1xGroup1 and 1xGroup2/3)
Does anyone else out there fit 3 seats across the back of a Passat and which seats do you have?

nicm Mon 09-Nov-09 09:48:48

i've 3 accross a golf, a maxi cosi cabrio, a maxi cosi priori sps(in the middle with lap belt) and a britax two way elite. the maxi cosi ridi sps is the most narrow hbb but you may have trouble finding it! most people can only get the ridi xr. hth.

happywomble Mon 09-Nov-09 09:49:58

We have a passat (03 model) and love it too. We have two children and when we bring a friend back from school we can just fit a booster seat between the two high backed boosters (maxi cosi rodi) a bit of a squeeze. I don't think you would be able to get three proper car seats in. I know people with 3 children who have passats but I think they put one child in the front (with airbag off) until the eldest child can fit in the middle on a booster seat.

Maybe you could contact VW and ask if they know of seats that will fit.

It is very frustrating to have a big car and not be able to easily transport 3 children.

FanjolinaJolie Mon 09-Nov-09 14:32:13

We don't have a passat but have had similar problems with three across the back in Mazda 6. My advice would be to get the narrowest high backed booster you can find, I have also heard the Rodi SPS is nice and narrow.

I bought the narrowest basic booster I could find at Halfords and have this in the middle (with diagonal belt) and Rodi XP and Priori XP on the ends. Such a bugger trying to mash yur hand in between the seats to click the belts, though.

Although for us it's only an issue when bringing friends home from school not an every-day problem.

amazonianwoman Mon 09-Nov-09 14:33:54

We have a Passat and can't fit 3 proper seats in the back. Like Happywomble I can just about squeeze a low booster in the middle but I lose half the skin off my knuckles trying to fasten the seatbelt.

piratecat Mon 09-Nov-09 14:34:59

friend of mine had to have a 3 point harness put in too, very recently, for new baby. now has 2 kids, one baby.

countrybump Mon 09-Nov-09 14:39:13

I have a passat, 06 model, so the latest shape, and can't fit three car seats across the back. Have to put the baby in the front with the air bag off. I think it can be done though, but not with the maxi cosi seats that I have. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

waltonsmountain Tue 10-Nov-09 11:18:12

Thanks for your responses. That is very interesting and obviously a common problem. I'm going to try fitting a Maxi Cosi Rodi SPS but don't hold out much hope. DD1 is only just 3 (weighs 15kgs) and an escape artist so really need her to be in a harness still. Adult seatbelt just wouldn't secure her yet, maybe next year.. Looks like I should get looking at those coaches...

happywomble Tue 10-Nov-09 11:36:45

It seems a pity to have to buy a different car - why not put the baby in a rear facing seat in the front with air bag turned off. The thing I like about having an estate car is that should some one drive into the car from behind there is quite a lot of car to protect ones family from behind. Some of the people carriers have very narrow boots so not much protection from behind. Although maybe it is risky having a child in the front..

If you are thinking of getting a people carrier people I know who have a Touran seem happy with it. I think it takes three seats across the back as well as having the extra seats behind.

nicm Tue 10-Nov-09 12:43:34

what seats do you use at the minute?

my priori is in the middle as golf only has a lap belt. twe is on the rear passenger and the cabrio on the rear driver.

works no problem as the 3 yo can climb into the priori herself and all i have to do is fix her harness when i get in.

Northernlurker Tue 10-Nov-09 12:53:13

We struggled with a touran actually. We had a baby seat - Britax cosy tot and two boosters. In the end we bought a Britax high back booster which was narrower than the Graco ones we had and used one Graco, the britax model and then the Britax baby seat with isofix base followed by the Britax seat we have now - whose name I can't remember!

mummydarlingsausage Tue 10-Nov-09 15:35:06

we have just changed our passat estate 07 model for an smax. we couldn't fit 3 seats in the back and we have dc 3 due early next year. when we took dd's friend in the car with us one had to sit in the front with airbag off which i never felt comfortable with. my friend has the older shape passat estate and she manages to squeeze 3 seats in the back with a struggle. we looked at the touran and the seats in the back are not that wide. we went with the smax as the 3 back seats are proper big seats that an adult can sit in aswell.

FanjolinaJolie Tue 10-Nov-09 17:58:57

NICM - can you safely use a Priori on just a lap belt? I thought it had to have a diagonal belt.

nicm Tue 10-Nov-09 19:25:25

you can use the priori sps model with a lap only belt. not sure about the xp model.

sazm Tue 10-Nov-09 22:29:15

nicm - its no longer recommended as maxi-cosi say its not as safe?
the britax eclipse can be fitted with just a lapbelt,

if you try different seats out you will fit 3 in no problems,

my friend ahs a peugeot 307 and can fit in 2 graco high-backed boosters and a mamas and papas baby seat,

i can fit my 3 - 2 britax hi-liners and a maxicosi cabrio (now a britax eclipse) in a 3 door corsa, an mgzr a focus and a vectra, with no problems

they fit in better with the baby seat in the middle,and now its the eclipse in the middle and they fit in much better,

ChasingSquirrels Tue 10-Nov-09 22:31:12

my friend has 3 in the back of hers
2 x britax hi-liner (I think) and a britax something else (the 9m-4y seat).

ChasingSquirrels Tue 10-Nov-09 22:32:26

I have 2 x britax hi-liners in the back of mine, and and just about fit a booster in the middle (though plugging in seat belts is another matter).
Mine is a 52 model, friend (mentioned above/below depending how you view) is a W reg.

ChasingSquirrels Tue 10-Nov-09 22:33:18

though have only just changed from 1 britax Hi-Liner and 1 Maxi-Cosi SPS, it was easier to also fit a booster in the middle with thtn combo.

nicm Tue 10-Nov-09 23:44:31

well not sure how it's no longer safe when it was when i bought the seat??!! have had it checked at the in car safety centre and they said yes that seat could be used with a lap belt. have one of their seats on loan at the minute as i'm to try the seat in dp's car too as i want another rf gp 1 to replace the cabrio. hmm

FanjolinaJolie Wed 11-Nov-09 09:50:10

NICM - Not telling you how to suck lemons but this is from the Maxi Cosi website:

The Maxi-Cosi Priori Side Protection System must only be used on a forward facing seat that is fitted with an
automatic 3-point safety belt (see figure B), which is approved according to ECE R16 or an equivalent standard.

I have always understood that all Priori models must use a three point belt. I am aware of other seats (non-maxi cosi) that only require a lap belt, I think that Britax do one.

FanjolinaJolie Wed 11-Nov-09 09:53:51

Waltonsmountain good luck hope you find a solution.

I would recommend your DD1 stay in a five point harness seat until she is four. I was advised this by an independent baby shop which only stocks Britax and Maxi Cosi as they believe they are the safest seats.

crokky Wed 11-Nov-09 09:54:30

Before getting rid of your car, try one of these. They are 3 (or 4) carseats all joined together and can be used from age 0 to age 12

3HotCrossBuns Wed 11-Nov-09 10:11:33

Hi. I have an 06 Passat estate and we are managing to fit 3 kids in! DS1 (4.5) is in a Maxi high backed booster (think it's the Rhodi?), Ds2 (2.7) is in a Priori and DD (3 months) is in the Maxi Cosi baby seat. DS2 has to be in the middle, Ds1 behind the passenger seat and DD behind the driver.

DS1 is quite often just on a booster cushion for short journeys. And just after DD was born we did squeeze 2 Priori seats in with DD's baby seat in the front.

It is a struggle though and I have to get DH to put the seats in and then I slot the kids in without undoing the belts when necessary. Live in London though so all of us in the car is quite unusual. Plus we LOVE the car and could not agree on what to swap too (DH wanted a MPV, me a 4x4) so we had to make it work!

kellyatbabyguds Wed 11-Nov-09 10:45:36

Please do not put the baby seat in the front it is dangerous to put a rear facing seat on a front passenger seat even with the airbag turned off. Unless you actually have the bag removed (not even sure if possible) the airbag can still go off as it is an explosive and depending on the angle of the collision can still be activated. This with a rear facing seat can be lethal.

You can put an older child in the front in a group 2/3 with the airbag on if you move the seat as far back as possible to avoid any burns if the bag goes off.

waltonsmountain Wed 11-Nov-09 17:16:42

Thanks so much for all replies..
My car is an 07 plate (newest shape) Passat.
We currently have Maxi Cosi Cabriofix (on Easybase)for the baby and Maxi Cosi Tobi for toddler. We can't put the new baby in the front as we need to have adult (me or husband) in the passenger seat as its our 'family' car. And adult can't go in the back as we have yet to find an adult that fits in the space between the two existing car seats... so its a tall order for the extra car seat we are searching!
So children must all fit on the back seat. We would prefer to buy 3 new car seats than change the car. Mothercare tried a few but no joy, it seemed that we are short of about 20cm seat width! I think the stumbling block is the fact that DS1 (3yrs) must have 5point harness... this cuts down the choices of high backed booster dramatically.

crokky- thanks, we saw the multimac but were scared off by the £1000+ price tag... but will consider it the last resort before a coach
nicm - thanks, I am not too keen on the rear-facing-factor of the Two Way Elite. But will also keep it in mind if nothing else fits. thanks Do the kids legs not get really squashed up?

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