Hatchback and car seats

  1. 17CivicHB

    17CivicHB Member

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    How many of you hatchback owners have car seats, especially two? Currently contemplating getting one but and concerned a little bit as to the daily grind of getting kids in and out of it. Currently have a 2.5 year old and an 8 week old so I've got a forward facing seat and a rear facing seat. I'm also the primary individual with regards to taking them to daycare each days so I don't want it to be a daily struggle getting them in and out.

    The vehicle I have now offers a ton of room (full size SUV) but I'm looking to downsize for the pure fact of saving a couple hundred a month on car payments (daycare for two is expensive!!) and we don't tow or haul anything where the towing capabilities are concerned. We almost never use the third row of the SUV either so I'm not concerned about losing more seating capacity.
     
  2. 360glitch

    360glitch Moderator
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    I expect a rear facing car seat will require sliding the seat in front of it up some but nothing extreme. Forward facing should be no big deal.
     
  3. redtarget14

    redtarget14 New Member

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    I'm coming from a GMC Envoy and I swear there's more room in back seat of the hatchback than what I had in the envoy. I have two boosters in the back of mine and it's easier to get the kids in and out than it was with the envoy. The front passenger seat doesn't have to be moved up as far either so everyone has more leg room. Depending on what your SUV is, you may be surprised to find the hatchback may be more accommodating.
     
  4. syncro87

    syncro87 Senior Member

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    #4 syncro87, Apr 3, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    The sedan is better for rear facing seats, more legroom than the hatch. We own both. It isn't night and day, but the sedan does have more distance where little legs aren't kicking your seatback as much.

    The center position is safest, and sometimes works well with rear facing seats.

    We had no issue with a rear facing seat in our old gen Civic, and no issue with forward facing with either of our current cars. There is this weird mindset in the USA that if you have two kids, you need something the size of a Tahoe. This is ridiculous. When I was a kid, my parents had a 1970's VW Rabbit. That car was tiny, we got along just fine. For some reason these days, people think they need to tote half their house along any time they go 10 miles from home.

    You are on the money thinking of a Civic, you can haul two kids in one without issue.

    The only downside of something like a Civic with little ones in rear facing is lifting the seat in and out of the car. Not a huge deal, but not as handy as putting a car seat into something a little higher off the ground, like a CR-V for instance.

    The perfect car for two adults and two young kids, no longer available new, was the Mazda5. Fantastic. Sliding doors are a huge boon with little kids and car seats. So much easier to get in and out in a tight parking lot when the door slides back, not swings out. If I were you, I'd give serious consideration to the newest, lowest miles, nicest used Mazda5 you can find. The height is more amenable to schlepping car seats in and out, cargo space is great, small footprint not much if any bigger than a Civic, really. Rear facing seats work like a charm, the second row seats are captains chairs that slide fore and aft individually. Access for mounting and dismounting seats is a breeze. My recommendation of the 5 has nothing to do with third row seat capability. The sliding doors and higher hip point, as well as second row easily accessible and independently adjustable cap chairs are key. Third row stays folded down, large cargo area, you aren't bending down to load and unload.

    But I digress.

    Pack reasonably and with a modicum of self restraint, a Civic will work for you. Hatch gains you some cargo versatility at the expense of some rear seat legroom, a consideration with rear facing kiddo seats.

    Key with a smaller car is to use your head when you buy car seats. Some are a lot smaller than others. Don't buy the monster beast car seats. Our daughter rides in a Clek Oobr right now, nice small quality seat that works great in my wife's Civic. When she was small, we had a Chicco Keyfit 30, a super seat that isn't enormous and easily snaps into multiple bases in more than one car, rear facing. I think the current model Chicco is called NextFit. The Clek Filo and Diono Radian are other good compact options for smaller cars.

    TL, DR: The Civic will work for what you want to do. Drive a Civic with two kids in seats for a week, followed by a week with the same kids and seats in a Mazda5, and you'll buy the 5 all day long and twice on Sunday. It's not that the Civic is bad, just that the 5 is significantly better for the two kid toting mission.

    One last thing. Do yourself a favor and order a pair of Freddie and Sebbie seat back protectors off Amazon. They save the back of your front seats, and are cheap.
     
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    17CivicHB

    17CivicHB Member

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    Definitely expect to have to move the passenger seat up a bit to fit the rear facing seat in but just hoping it isn't an extreme amount where any passenger would be uncomfortable after a short amount of time.

    Currently driving a Tahoe so I'm definitely expecting to notice a reduction in available space but it seems like it may not be nearly as bad as I would think going in to it.

    We currently use a Chicco Keyfit 30 for the littlest one and that would be placed on the passenger side as I usually only have a front seat passenger (wife) during the weekends. So long as the seat wouldn't have to be too far forward to fit the Keyfit 30 I think it would be ok. The older one is currently in an Evenflo Symphony Deluxe which would be placed behind me on the drivers side. As it stands now in the Tahoe, my seat back gets kicked on occasion (when tantrums are being thrown) and I did have to move the passenger seat up slightly when the Keyfit was installed but there is still a ton of room for both of us up front.

    It's funny you mention the Tahoe and taking so much stuff with us. We don't normally have a lot to bring with us on a daily basis but we are now back to lugging the stroller with us a lot because of the little one. It's the City Select stroller, which does take up a fair amount of room, but from the photos I've seen of the cargo area in a hatchback it should fit fine with some room to stack items on top of it if needed. One of the reasons I like the hatchback is because of the wider opening and it would work well with the stroller and additional items.
     
  6. FineBottledWater

    FineBottledWater Senior Member

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    I have a rear facing carseat on the passenger side. The passenger seat has to be push forward to accommodate the carseat.
     
  7. syncro87

    syncro87 Senior Member

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    We got along just fine with a Jetta sedan and an old style Civic sedan. Our Bob Revolution stroller folded down in no time, went right in the trunk. For two or less kids, something the size of a Civic or Jetta sedan is doable. The trunk in my wife's Civic sedan is plenty big. Where the hatch shines is not for day to day stuff like a stroller or kids stuff. The hatch is useful when you buy a Bosch mini table saw at Home Depot and need to get it home, and the box is too large to fit in the sedan's trunk opening. Aside from the rare extra large item like that, though, I can say owning both styles that the hatch isn't really significantly more useful 90% of the time. Getting a flat screen TV home or something, sure.
     
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    17CivicHB

    17CivicHB Member

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    Any issues with front passenger comfort? Got a picture of how far forward the seat sits with the carseat in place?
     
  9. Dilto

    Dilto New Member

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    Folks, Has anyone thought about installing a a) infant car seat and base or b) regular front facing child car seat or c) an additional small seat at the "BACK" (I mean trunk or think like a 3rd row, am NOT referring to 2nd row) of a Honda FIT HATCHBACK?
    Trying for a 4 adults + 5yr old + infant configuration to get around neighborhood temporarily.
     
  10. Solis#1730

    Solis#1730 ScarFace#1730

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    That's with the seat moved up. plenty of space to move the passenger seat back. Hope this helps
    IMG_2590.JPG IMG_2591.JPG
     
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  11. Civic Fan 2016

    Civic Fan 2016 Senior Member

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    When my kids were rear facing, I had them both in my '00 civic. The infant bucket seat was behind the driver and the convertible rear facing seat was behind the passenger. I did have to move the passenger seat up somewhat, but passengers were still able to fit there. This old civic had much less room in the back seat. Now I have one in a booster and the other in a 5pt harness front facing and it's fine in my new civic.
     
  12. GalacticGrape

    GalacticGrape Member

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    This thread has been great. I’m considering trading in my 2011 Nissan Xterra Pro-4x for an EX Hatchback. We have a 4 year old and a 4 month old. So one forward facing seat and then a base with rear facing seat. I’m not too concerned with the seat fitting but rather or not that I’ll miss the extra cargo space of the Xterra.

    All I know is I haven’t put it in 4WD in forever. Sure it’s fun to go wheel once in awhile (live in SoCal) but the reality is I hardly ever do so. The mountains are about 2 hours away and it makes for an awfully long day in the vehicle. Might be time to downsize.

    Anyone else been in a similar situation? Did you miss the space of the larger vehicle?

    Decisions....
     
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