Family cars suitable for three kids

99 posts in this topic

 

@Eurovol - I wouldn't jump to conclusions that she would put her children's safety at risk. You don't know what her booster seats look like, so you can't say for sure that a little trimming would alter the safety integrity.

 

Even if a little trimming it didn't alter the safety integrity, altering the structure of the seat might still make it illegal for use.

 

Do a google search for "narrow booster seats" and you'll find lots of people asking the same question and some recommendations for brands/makes to try. I would head to a large baby store with a tape measure and see what you can find. If the child is old/tall enough, then booster seats without backrests or arms would be enough.

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You can also put one of the kids in the front (with the proper child/booster seat) and let an adult sit on the middle section if need be.

 

Oh man, I hate hearing this. The front seat is more dangerous for everyone, but especially for little people, whether they be kids or very small adults.

 

Stephanie Tombrello, child passenger safety specialist, says:

 

 

Buckling a child into the backseat instead of the front reduces by a third his risk of death in a collision. In a head-on crash (the most common — and deadly — type of collision), a child in the front seat can be thrown into your car's dashboard or through the windshield. Even if he's properly buckled in, he's at much greater risk for being harmed by objects intruding into the car in the front than in the back.

 

What's more, in cars with passenger air bags (which includes most newer models), the air bags deploy with such force that they can cause severe head and neck injuries to a child. Nationwide, more than a hundred children have been killed by air bags in recent years, and many of these deaths were in slow-speed collisions that should have been minor. Infants and toddlers in rear-facing car seats are at extreme risk from air bags when placed in the front seat because the back of their car seat is so close to the dashboard.

 

If, despite these very real dangers, you absolutely must put a non-rear-facing child in the front seat, check to see whether your car's air bag has an on-off switch, and if so, turn it off.

 

Source

 

 

Even if a little trimming it didn't alter the safety integrity, altering the structure of the seat might still make it illegal for use.

Indeed, you are correct.

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You can also put one of the kids in the front (with the proper child/booster seat) and let an adult sit on the middle section if need be.

 

I can feel leeza shaking as she reads this as I've already been given a reminder about it this morning.(Edit, indeed she was typing as I wrote that). Little ones in the front seems not to be recommended due to the damage an airbag can do to them.

 

I feel a spreadsheet coming on to compare all the options. I really do like the look of the Honda and Mazda 5 I think is a beautiful machine but I guess the important thing is to be able transport 3 kids and 2 adults comfortably and 2 guests when we have them.

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The narrowest boosters are the Römer Star Riser and the Römer Comfy. They fit comfortably 3 in a row (or 2 plus a wider child seat) in normal cars and are plenty wide enough for those skinny butts. They can even be made narrower or wider. Unfortunately, they are no longer in production but there are plenty on ebay.

 

The biggest problem is if there is only have a lap belt in the middle back seat, when you REALLY need a lap and shoulder belt for any child seat. Lap belts are for adults only, and even then not desirable.

 

Very important: in cars with passenger air bags, rear facing baby seats should NEVER be in front and kids in boosters should only be in front if they can sit back throughout the trip without leaning forward toward the air bag. Even then, they should be tall enough not to get the air bag in the face (about 5 foot 3 or 160 cm). Petite ladies are also at risk for this.

 

Also, the front seats are at risk of dangerous objects coming in through the front window. The back seat is just safer.

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safest cars for families - volvo wagons, honda odyssey, toyota sienna

safest car seats - britax

 

If you truly love/care about your children you won't even consider anything else, except for maybe a 930 turbo perhaps... :D

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If you truly love/care about your children you won't even consider anything else, except for maybe a 930 turbo perhaps...

 

So you're basically saying unless you can buy a big expensive car you shouldn't have kids?

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So you're basically saying unless you can buy a big expensive car you shouldn't have kids?

 

Jesus man dont worry. If you aint got a expensive car rope works quite well. I turned out fine.

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My kids are half German. If I attach them to the roof with rope they will surely die from the draught.

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Pas - S-Max, Zafira, Scenic, Touran, Mazda 5...all good cars. For the cost sensitive the Zafira and Scenic are probably your best bets, and perfectly acceptable cars. Scenic is the only one I've driven as a 7-seater, and I found it a bit too floaty at speed and gutless around town - but I was landed with a 1.6 petrol, when this sort of a car should always be a diesel IMHO.

 

For my money I'd stretch it and get the S-Max I think.

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safest cars for families - volvo wagons, honda odyssey, toyota sienna

safest car seats - britax

 

If you truly love/care about your children you won't even consider anything else, except for maybe a 930 turbo perhaps...

 

Apart from the Volvo, none of those vehicles are sold here and if the Honda Stream is anything to go on it isn't as safe as a Renault Scenic according to the NCAP safety tests. What are you basing these claims on?

 

EDIT: Neither is the Toyota Previa.

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Funny the S-Max is being mentioned so much. My current car is a Ford and it was endless trouble at the start. Mainly because they didn't seal the engine properly but it took a good while for them to accept that they actually missed a seal off the engine when they made it. And it's rusted often so had quite a few trips to be sprayed. OG's not a fan and I do listen to him. Not buying a BMW unless he can get me the best price ever, mind you!

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Don't know if it's already been mentioned here -> but a citroen berlingo -> we had two - not too expensive and did us really well until we increased to 4 kids!! (although we still have one of them)

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Not buying a BMW unless he can get me the best price ever, mind you!

 

It will have to be a very good price as the only 7 seater BMW make is the latest X5 and they cost serious money.

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I've known plenty of people that have/do own Ford, and have done so myself - no problems at all with the Focus I and the ex-Mrs-Jimbo had, and as to friends and family - they've had or have Ka, Fiesta, Focus, Puma and Galaxy models and none have ever had a serious problem.

 

That said, sure, I'd rather have a BMW too, but look at JD power reliability surveys. The latest one in America was published yesterday - OG's most hated marque, however, won (but they don't make a 7-seater so not a lot of relevance to you).

 

Just found the MPV-specific study - Citroen wins (and S-Max reliability indeed takes a bit of a slap):

http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/jd-power-owner-satisfaction-2009/mpvs-1-8/240819

However, I'd probably still want an S-Max... ;)

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So you're basically saying unless you can buy a big expensive car you shouldn't have kids?

 

used they're relatively affordable, though apparently not available here so my statement is rather moot then...

 

 

My kids are half German. If I attach them to the roof with rope they will surely die from the draught.

 

then you need a half-german car - does the vw/chysler minivan count? :D

 

 

Apart from the Volvo, none of those vehicles are sold here and if the Honda Stream is anything to go on it isn't as safe as a Renault Scenic according to the NCAP safety tests. What are you basing these claims on?

 

EDIT: Neither is the Toyota Previa.

 

sorry, I saw that someone else mentioned the odyssey so I thought they might be.

 

www.iihs.org

 

the previa is a death trap anyway.

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I drive a '07 Honda Civic with my crew. It is a tight fit, but the kids are under 4 so it's not too bad. We even have a double stroller in the back a tight fit, too. I wouldn't recommend a Honda Civic at all. We have a '00 Saab Aero, and it's big enough for the 3 kids to fit comfortably in the back. Especially now the baby will be front-facing instead of rear-facing soon. However it's in the shop as my lovely 2 year threw the keys somewhere and we have to pay 1000 bucks for 2 spare keys and a machine-namajig to get the keys synched or some shit. OK this should have been in the vent. Sorry! Buy a Saab, not a civic :-)

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We had a Mercedes A-Klasse and upgraded to a Vaneo when number three arrived. It's approximately the same size as the Berlingo/VW Caddy and we like it a lot. Three seats fit (for baby, 3 year old and 7 year old kid), however it's narrow, so in the end we got tired of fiddling with the lock of the booster seat's strap and now we keep it locked and the oldest just crawls in.

Maybe we should have a look for a less bulky seat...

 

edit: the Vaneo is not produced any more, we bought a used one.

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My kids are half German. If I attach them to the roof with rope they will surely die from the draught.

 

Legally you have to use a ski-box.

 

 

Don't know if it's already been mentioned here -> but a citroen berlingo -> we had two - not too expensive and did us really well until we increased to 4 kids!! (although we still have one of them)

 

:blink: ?? What did you do with the other 3 kids?

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