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westtra

Original Poster:

731 posts

89 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd December 2010 quote quote all
Am now having a dilemma. Have a 2 year old and got twins on the way.

Looking for a car that will take 3 seats. 1 forward and 2 rear facing seats(preferably isofix bases for ease of fiiting). Needs plenty boot space so am open to estates but would rather not go down the MPV route. Car that I will be changing from is an impreza Sti so would like something that has a bit of go about it as when I drive the other halfs Focus its a nightmare.

Have been looking on auto trader etc and am getting depressed as only things I am finding that will be big enough are dull.

Budget will be up to £20k.

JQ

2,456 posts

67 months

[news] 
Wednesday 22nd December 2010 quote quote all
I would imagine most cars will be ok. My wife's C-Max (same width as a Focus Estate) will fit 3 forward facing child seat across the back. I would imagine even less space is required for 2 rear facing and 1 forward facing. All you'll need is a car with 3 3-point belts across the back.

Have you checked you're current car will not suffice?

westtra

Original Poster:

731 posts

89 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Unfortunately my impreza and the other half focus will struggle to get 3 in the back. Have had 2 seats in the back when had a friends son with us and there is minimal space between them. Am slowly resigning my self to the fact that its s max/galaxy types of cars to fit them and their crap in.

westtra

Original Poster:

731 posts

89 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Unfortunately my impreza and the other half focus will struggle to get 3 in the back. Have had 2 seats in the back when had a friends son with us and there is minimal space between them. Am slowly resigning my self to the fact that its s max/galaxy types of cars to fit them and their crap in.

JVaughan

5,840 posts

171 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Just ordered a new Alhambra.. delivery March Next year. can actually vouch for the older alhambra and VW Sharans too... the sport is a freat vehicle.. doesnt handle like a jelly, 130 or 140 engines are great too ... commanding driving position and, if you take the rear most seats out, you can get a vast amount of luggage in and still have 3 adult seats with their own 3 point belts in the rear.

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clarkey

867 posts

172 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Seriously, an S-Max with the 2.5 turbo engine isn't a bad car at all. Cheap second hand too.

oldcynic

1,774 posts

49 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
I suspect you'll struggle with anything less than a fully-fledged MPV if you need to get 3 child seats across one row.

I'm driving a Volvo V70 which we took to Devon fully loaded a few weeks back. With 2 child seats in place the child in between had his shoulders touching the seats either side.

Our family transport is a Seat Alhambra which has 7 full size seats and is extremely good at what it does (except we bought a lemon, but you've got more budget than we had). Take out the back 2 seats and you've got a massive boot, ours has isofix on all 5 seats at the back and when installed there is proper space between the child seats - which means as children grow and seating is moved around we can put the 2 youngest wherever we want.

When choosing your car I suspect your biggest hurdle will be the group 1+ seats (ie over 9kg) and I can't imagine fitting 3 across the back of any compact SUV

My biggest regret with the Alhambra (a 2005 Stylance I think) is being taken in by the 'sporty' image and ending up with sports seats, sports suspension and low profile alloys which makes for quite a harsh ride. Unsurprisingly it handles like an uncomfortable boat. If/when it gets replaced I will accept that MPV's are meant to handle like a boat and no amount of pretending is going to disguise that - ie opt for comfy seats, smaller high profile tyres and more comfortable suspension. The similar Sharan's look more like what I should have bought, but I have no experience of the latest Galaxy/ Sharan/ Alhambra.

macd355

317 posts

62 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Forester Sti perhaps?

EFA: They are quite rare, but well short of £20k



Edited by macd355 on Thursday 23 December 14:45

LocoBlade

4,943 posts

144 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
There is a type of kids car seat (which I cant remember the name of) that's basically a customised bench that goes in across the back seat to allow you to get 3 or even 4 (of their own) child seats in across at, basically dividing up the space into 3 or 4 smaller seats. Its hard fixed in and modular so one can have a carrycot whilst another a forward facing toddler seat etc, it was expensive compared to regular seats but might be cheaper than changing cars. Cant find anything on google but Im sure someone will come up with the name in a mo.

Edit: Multimac


Edited by LocoBlade on Thursday 23 December 15:03

markCSC

2,901 posts

103 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
It was in EVO magazine a couple of months ago. They had it in the M3 Coupe. Turned it in to a 6 seater smile Will try and dig out the details.

Mark

[edit] yeap /\ that's the one[/edit] Get that and a Forester Sti and you'll be a happy man biggrin

Edited by markCSC on Thursday 23 December 15:14

itz_baseline

623 posts

109 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
LocoBlade said:
There is a type of kids car seat (which I cant remember the name of) that's basically a customised bench that goes in across the back seat to allow you to get 3 or even 4 (of their own) child seats in across at, basically dividing up the space into 3 or 4 smaller seats. Its hard fixed in and modular so one can have a carrycot whilst another a forward facing toddler seat etc, it was expensive compared to regular seats but might be cheaper than changing cars. Cant find anything on google but Im sure someone will come up with the name in a mo.

Edit: Multimac


Edited by LocoBlade on Thursday 23 December 15:03
These look a great solution....but out of interest do insurance companies need to know you are carying more people that the car was designed for if you have 4 kids in the back? Just a thought?

LocoBlade

4,943 posts

144 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Good point, the 3 seater should be fine but not so sure about the 4 seater.

The base is over a grand as well though so not cheap especially if you then need the baby seat attachments, but as mentioned possibly still cheaper than changing cars.

Edited by LocoBlade on Thursday 23 December 15:44

marctwo

3,434 posts

148 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Multimac plus this?

http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/sales/2321848.htm

Congrats on the twins by the way, mine are 20 months now and very lively!

Edited by marctwo on Thursday 23 December 15:51

LuS1fer

31,793 posts

133 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
We had a Mazda 5 and have a 10 year old, 4 year old and an 18 month old. We had to change it for a Mondeo to get the three in the back leaving the boot free for the pushchair and all the crud you have to transport with 3 kids. With an MPV, the lugage space is compromised as soon as you use the back row and I'm never happy having a folded pushchair alongside the seat anyway.

We went the Mondeo route for bargain price reasons but the other possibility I was considering was something like a Dodge Ram Quadcab with a rear pickup cover. May be a bit agricultural though and we never got round to trying one out.

I feel your pain. Better to buy an MPV and have a toy TBH. I had a diesel Seat Alhambra in Tenerife and that wasn't a bad thing at all, even through the steep and winding mountains of Tenerife (though the kids complained they felt sick - another consideration for getting all 3 into the rear seat).

westtra

Original Poster:

731 posts

89 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
JVaughan said:
Just ordered a new Alhambra.. delivery March Next year. can actually vouch for the older alhambra and VW Sharans too... the sport is a freat vehicle.. doesnt handle like a jelly, 130 or 140 engines are great too ... commanding driving position and, if you take the rear most seats out, you can get a vast amount of luggage in and still have 3 adult seats with their own 3 point belts in the rear.
Have been looking at them and the galaxy's as well. They will definitely fit our needs and need to run it past the misses as not sure she will be happy with something of that size.

clarkey said:
Seriously, an S-Max with the 2.5 turbo engine isn't a bad car at all. Cheap second hand too.
seen good and bad reports on the s max but is on the list of ones to test drive.

oldcynic said:
I suspect you'll struggle with anything less than a fully-fledged MPV if you need to get 3 child seats acros
Our family transport is a Seat Alhambra which has 7 full size seats and is extremely good at what it does ( ours has isofix on all 5 seats at the back.

When choosing your car I suspect your biggest hurdle will be the group 1+ seats (ie over 9kg) and I can't imagine fitting 3 across the back of any compact SUV


Thats good to know that the back seats are all isofix. are the 2 back seats easy to remove? whats it like in this sort of weather? as we get quite a lot of snow up here and the road to our house can be fun and the other half struggles to get the car up it.

macd355 said:
Forester Sti perhaps?
EFA: They are quite rare, but well short of £20k
Edited by macd355 on Thursday 23 December 14:45
Definitely an option but not sure if its wide enough for 3 seats. plus looking at slightly less running costs as this will replace both cars we have for family car. will get a little run around for us aswell and hopefully a toy in the future when funds allow.

LocoBlade said:
There is a type of kids car seat (which I cant remember the name of) that's basically a customised bench that goes in across the back seat to allow you to get 3 or even 4 (of their own) child seats in across at, basically dividing up the space into 3 or 4 smaller seats. Its hard fixed in and modular so one can have a carrycot whilst another a forward facing toddler seat etc, it was expensive compared to regular seats but might be cheaper than changing cars. Cant find anything on google but Im sure someone will come up with the name in a mo.

Edit: Multimac


Edited by LocoBlade on Thursday 23 December 15:03
have looked at this but from reading the rear facing seats for babys are a little hard and at a strange angle. plus also want the car useable by adults when not on baby duties.

marctwo said:
Multimac plus this?

http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/sales/2321848.htm

Congrats on the twins by the way, mine are 20 months now and very lively!

Edited by marctwo on Thursday 23 December 15:51
MMM drool. but kind of wipes out the sensible running costs option.

our boy is 2 next month and a handfull, god knows what the twins will be like at that age. Double trouble from what ave been told.

LuS1fer said:
We had a Mazda 5 and have a 10 year old, 4 year old and an 18 month old. We had to change it for a Mondeo to get the three in the back leaving the boot free for the pushchair and all the crud you have to transport with 3 kids. With an MPV, the lugage space is compromised as soon as you use the back row and I'm never happy having a folded pushchair alongside the seat anyway.

We went the Mondeo route for bargain price reasons but the other possibility I was considering was something like a Dodge Ram Quadcab with a rear pickup cover. May be a bit agricultural though and we never got round to trying one out.

I feel your pain. Better to buy an MPV and have a toy TBH. I had a diesel Seat Alhambra in Tenerife and that wasn't a bad thing at all, even through the steep and winding mountains of Tenerife (though the kids complained they felt sick - another consideration for getting all 3 into the rear seat).
The mundano was a car i didn't think would fit all 3 across one row but is good to know as is a car of the sise that the wife will drive.

And as you say better to have a toy. I have plans for that but think it will be a while so i can save up funds and justify it to the wife smile

thanks for the replies and keep the suggestions coming.

CraigyMc

8,795 posts

124 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
clarkey said:
Seriously, an S-Max with the 2.5 turbo engine isn't a bad car at all. Cheap second hand too.
This. Try one.

C

oldcynic

1,774 posts

49 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
westtra said:
oldcynic said:
I suspect you'll struggle with anything less than a fully-fledged MPV if you need to get 3 child seats acros
Our family transport is a Seat Alhambra which has 7 full size seats and is extremely good at what it does ( ours has isofix on all 5 seats at the back.

When choosing your car I suspect your biggest hurdle will be the group 1+ seats (ie over 9kg) and I can't imagine fitting 3 across the back of any compact SUV


Thats good to know that the back seats are all isofix. are the 2 back seats easy to remove? whats it like in this sort of weather? as we get quite a lot of snow up here and the road to our house can be fun and the other half struggles to get the car up it.
Back seats in the 2005 model we've got are semi-permanent rather than the swish fold-into-the-floor setup that the newer MPV's seem to offer. They are a little bulky to remove and store, but hardly any worse than the child seats you'll already be hauling around. Boot space with all 7 seats in place is still plenty for a Phil & Ted's Sport plus doubles kit along with various baggage, but it took me a while to realise that all the back seats can slide 4-6inches back & forth and that the dealers generally push them right back to optimise legroom - thus making the boot even smaller. Your twins will arrive with short legs and not mind the seats being moved forward!

The flip side is that the newer Galaxy we test drove before buying this only had 2 isofix points - removing the flexibility for locating the seats (and blocking access to the rear seats even if you wanted to use them!) This seemed to be the case with most of the latest MPV's, especially those with fold-into-the-floor seats, but I'd be interested to know of any alternatives.

As for coping in this weather I've been driving the Alhambra all week on snow, slush & black ice without a problem, mainly due to having Avon winter tyres at the front and Vredestein all-seasons at the rear. As mentioned before I'd thoroughly recommend avoiding the low-profile tyres - look for the 16" wheels as found on more of the Sharans.


westtra said:
LuS1fer said:
We had a Mazda 5 and have a 10 year old, 4 year old and an 18 month old. We had to change it for a Mondeo to get the three in the back leaving the boot free for the pushchair and all the crud you have to transport with 3 kids. With an MPV, the lugage space is compromised as soon as you use the back row and I'm never happy having a folded pushchair alongside the seat anyway. Remove the back row and leave it at home. Best of both worlds
The mundano was a car i didn't think would fit all 3 across one row but is good to know as is a car of the sise that the wife will drive. I'd be surprised if you can get 3 car seats across the back. LuS1fer only had 2, plus one additional child. Take some car seats to a dealer and find out! Mondeo will also only have 2 isofix points.

westtra

Original Poster:

731 posts

89 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
cheers for the reply nick. I'm leaning toward the s max going by the digging i'm doing at the moment.

Doesn't have isofix in the center but britax and others do a non isofix base that seams good so will be able to have 2 lift in lift out car seats(one in the midle) and the eldest by one of the doors for ease of tightening the straps on his seat.

Going to goto my local ford dealers and have a poke around and make sure i can have my seat pushed back far enough without getting in the road of the seat behind.

Twin Turbo

5,544 posts

154 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
We have just the 2 kids (1x 6yrs, 1x 18mths)......but Mrs TT is a childminder, so needs plenty of space. My E39 BMW 5 Series Touring can't squeeze 3 child in the back, which surprised me as I thought of it as a family wagon! Leg room is also tight in the back, especially as I like the drivers seat back most of the way.

Mrs TT ended up with a Mk2 Galaxy. As a means to moving lots of people, it's perfect. You won't fall in love with it as a driver's car, but you'll admire it for it's flxibility. LV51FER's right though....use all 7 seats and there's naff all boot space, but as a 5 seater with the rearmost seats removed, I could happily sleep back there!

If we could afford it, an S-Max would be our choice. Not sat in one, but I suspect it's a bit smaller inside, but a better drive than our Galaxy.


Andy Meads

159 posts

91 months

[news] 
Thursday 23rd December 2010 quote quote all
Congratulations on the twins.

We have had 2 S-Maxes for family transport now. As a family car that is also good to drive, they are very hard to beat. The interior is flexible and mostly well-made (better in the recent facelifted model than the older ones). Whilst they are clearly no Elise to drive, they are surprisingly fun for the kind of car they are. The ride is excellent too. It doesn't feel like a bus on the move.

As to your specific point, three car-seats across the second row is easy. And you can move each seat fore and aft. If you need to carry 7 people, there is still quite a bit of boot space left, although less than there is in a Galaxy.

Heartily recommended.

Andy
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