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Old 07-01-2013, 11:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How are your car seats configured? How do you get into the 3rd row?

My wife and I went up to our local Honda dealership this weekend to check out the Pilot. I'm a huge Honda fan but had never actually driven the Pilot.

We figured that the front-facing car seat would fit behind the drivers seat (it does in her VUE) so we didn't bother taking it out and putting it in the Pilot cause it's a pain.

In trying to plan ahead though, we brought the little base for the rear-facing basket-style seat so we could test it out. This was where we were pretty disappointed.

It seems as if, when it's strapped into the 2nd row passenger side, it doesn't allow the seat to fold forward enough to engage the slide forward -- rendering the 3rd row inaccessible. The other thought was maybe we can put them side-by side, the large, front-facing behind the driver and the base for the infant carrier in the middle. This seemed like it would be too tight of a fit to get both to click in AND it still may prevent the passenger side 2nd row from sliding forward for entry to the 3rd row (due to overhang).

So my question is: How do you all do it? Our daughter is 2.5 with the next one yet-to-be-conceived. We figure our daughter will be 3.5 or 4 when we have a newborn in the rear-facing infant seat. This would put us where we would have about 2 years of this configuration...

Any experiences/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Our test drive was surprising to me. It actually reversed both of our opinions. I was all but sold and my wife was NOT. After the drive, now I'M questioning if it's the right vehicle for us and she seems more sold (but this is a topic for another thread)....

Thanks!
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You are right, unless you install car seats side-by-side, the third row is not accessible. Saying that, Pilot is wider than Highlander and CX9 that we tested as well. In fact Pilot is the only SUV tested in which my wife was able to sit comfortably next to two installed car seats. CX9 and Highlander miserable failed. That reason plus excellent Pilot safety rating convinced us to purchase Pilot (instead of CX9 that we also liked)
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply.

I guess we'll have to bite the bullet and install the "big" (front facing) car seat next to the "small" (base that you click the rear-facing infant seat into) one and see if they both fit and if that still allows access to the 3rd row.

Here's a pic from a website that has THREE seats in the 2nd row:



MotherProof.com Car Seat Check Recap - KickingTires


And another from a car seat blog. In this one, it looks like they were able to wedge a large front-facing behind the drivers seat and then a smaller, infant seat in the middle:



2012 Honda Pilot Review: Kids, Carseats & Safety

I wouldn't be extremely against buying a new seat (either the infant or the large one) as it's cheaper and makes more sense than picking a whole different vehicle... but I'd like to see if we can use the stuff we've got (cause it was expensive and it's all still very good quality)
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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@Leonard, we're in a similar situation. I have a '12 Pilot EX-L with two car seats. My daughter will be three in August and my son turned one in April. Both are in full size car seats. My daughter's seat faces forward on the driver's side and my son's seat faces backward on the passenger side. Unfortunately the third row seat is inaccessible.

This is an inconvenience, but I don't see any other way around it. It was the same when my son was in the removable kind of car seat (with a base that stays in the car).

Whichever type of seat you're using, the vehicle seat neither folds forward far enough nor slides far enough forward to access the third row. Best case scenario, another passenger can sit in the middle of the two child seats in the second row, but even that is a bit of a squeeze to fit in, and is inconvenient to have to get into the vehicle around my daughter's forward-facing seat.

I'm not sure that any car would be much different than this. Just one of the joys of parenthood!
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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@Leonard,

I posted my reply before I saw this pics you posted. Interesting, I guess I never considered installing one of the seats in the third row. Seems like it'd be a pain to get back there every time I'm strapping my son or daughter into the seat. As you may also know, with some or all of the third row seat raised, the cargo space is severely limited.

Still, it's nice to know that it's at least possible to hold more passengers + kids if the need ever arises and we feel like moving child seats around.

As an aside, we have the exact same gray and red Graco seat shown in the third row of the second pic. It is a nice seat and was a good value.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey!

Thanks for the replies. I too have a seat similar to (if not the same) as the one that's in the 3rd row (in my civic, no longer in the middle):





We're just going to have to try it out I think. I was really hoping we could make it work. Really weakens my argument against the necessity for 2nd row bucket seats.

It wouldn't be the END of the world... just a PITA for a couple of years till my daughter gets into a booster.
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Old 07-01-2013, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's kind of how we're looking at it as well - as a PITA until our daughter gets into the booster. The situation is the same in my wife's car, an '08 RAV4. In fact, the RAV is too small to have another passenger sit between the child seats, so at least that's a possibility in the Pilot.

Good luck in whatever you decide!
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PJB Enterprises View Post
Yeah, that's kind of how we're looking at it as well - as a PITA until our daughter gets into the booster. The situation is the same in my wife's car, an '08 RAV4. In fact, the RAV is too small to have another passenger sit between the child seats, so at least that's a possibility in the Pilot.

Good luck in whatever you decide!
Hey thanks! I'm still torn between waiting to see what's coming and just jumping on a good deal on a '13. I had mentioned that our test drive reversed our roles in the scenario. To elaborate (boredom):

MY likes:
-- Honda
-- Reliable
-- Safe
-- Big/Heavy (kinda contributes to being a con though too)
-- Utility-considerations
-- Possible prices
-- I know the service department at my local dealership
-- Most "bugs" likely worked out (except the VCM thing) of a late-model Pilot.

MY Dislikes:
-- THE CARSEAT THING.
-- Brakes feel soft (may just be the one I drove). Found myself having to really lay on them at one point to come to a stop.
-- Pretty sure I felt the VCM vibration/chugging (mostly the former) on the test drive
-- Slow. I know, it's not a racecar. I know that "I knew" it was going to be slow. But I shouldn't get into our 10-year-old Saturn SUV after my Pilot test drive and say "wow... this is so much quicker".
-- At this point this model is getting "old". I thought I'd be OK with that. Even told myself that's a *good* thing... riding in it makes me wonder....
-- New one coming in just over a year...

...I really don't know... I was hoping to see some '15 Pilot spy shots here soon. Just saw that ToV (Temple of VTEC) has spy shots of the '15 TLX (though you can't really tell ANYTHING)... maybe people don't care as much to snap shots of the Pilot mule? Either way, the '14 highlander should be out soon too. I know, it may be a bit smaller but I'm curious to see it. I'm pretty sure the '15 pilot will address the lack of power problem too...

ugh.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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We have two car seats in our pilot and have enough room to fold the seat behind the passenger seat for third row access. We have a 2.5 year old and 1 year old. Older one is front facing and the younger is rear facing.

We bought the Diono radian seats and they work really well. Forward facing is behind the driver and the rear facing is in the center. There is plenty of space for a large adult in the second row with both seats installed and third row access is a breeze.

The diono seat is one of the slimmest and strongest car seats we have found and love having them in the pilot.






Last edited by Minnoe07; 07-01-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnoe07 View Post
We have two car seats in our pilot and have enough room to fold the seat behind the passenger seat for third row access. We have a 2.5 year old and 1 year old. Older one is front facing and the younger is rear facing.

We bought the Diono radian seats and they work really well. Forward facing is behind the driver and the rear facing is in the center. There is plenty of space for a large adult in the second row with both seats installed and third row access is a breeze.

The diono seat is one of the slimmest and strongest car seats we have found and love having them in the pilot.
NICE! So you have both in the 2nd row side-by-side... Do you happen to have a pic of this setup? Perhaps from the passenger seat (front) looking back at the 3rd row? I'm off to google the brand...
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Just updated the post with pics.

Only issue with side by side is if your children don't get along well. But mine LOVE being close to each other.
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnoe07 View Post
Just updated the post with pics.

Only issue with side by side is if your children don't get along well. But mine LOVE being close to each other.
Awesome! Thanks!

So what's the youngest the rear-facing will hold? We have a basket-style infant seat that is rear-facing. Doesn't look as narrow as the one you posted.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The Diono radian is made to carry children from birth til they out grow a car seat. Goes from rear facing infant, rear facing, front facing, and front facing booster, 5 lbs to 120 lbs.

The car seats comes with a bunch of cushions that attach for very small babies. The seat is even FAA approved in case you want to use a seat in the airplane. We took it on our last trip, and while it was heavy, it was nice for our child to have something familiar and secure.

The seats seem narrow but they are plenty wide for any size child. The frame is made from tubular steel and the frame is just narrower because of the strength of the tubular steel.

Last edited by Minnoe07; 07-01-2013 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:32 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!

I showed my wife who said she didn't want a rear-facing infant seat like that one cause she wanted to be able to just pick the carrier up off of the base and go... whatever. LoL.

Thanks for the input and pics. It should help us as we get closer to our deciding time.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:52 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I understand. You can still fit a Diono seat and an infant carrier with a base on the left side/middle and still have access to the third row. It is just much tighter in between the two car seats.

That's what we did until our youngest outgrew the infant carrier. We then switched him over to a Diono seat.
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