Guide To The Best Family Cars That Fit 3 Car Seats

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Cars that fit 3 car seats

Guide To The Best Family Cars That Fit 3 Car Seats

Given children need to be in some form of car seat up until age seven or beyond, it is not uncommon for a family with three kids to need to fit three car seats in the backseat. The dilemma of needing to fit three seats in a family car can lead to a tricky decision needing to be made. 

  • Fit three car seats in your existing car and keep your current seats
  • Keep your current car and buy new car seats that are slim-line and better able to fit the space
  • Purchase a larger car and keep your current car seats
  • Buy another car and all new car seats to fit

Car manufacturers will tell you that their vehicles can hold three passengers in the back seat. But this does not always mean that three car seats can fit comfortably. It can often be a Tetris match trying to find the right combination of how three different seats can work together.

Some back seats curve at the ends or only have two anchor points making it even trickier. With the increasing popularity of ISOFIX fittings, most SUVs and sedans will only come with two ISOFIX fittings and seven-seater vehicles are required if you need three.In some cases, you might be able to fit the seats in but struggle to be able to reach the seatbelt buckles to do them up.

So our best advice before changing your seats or car is to make sure you do a test run to see what will fit. Take your car seats to the car yard and ask if you can try and fit them in. Or take your existing car to a baby store, which often has a car seat installer and ask them for their opinion. As they are likely to have seen all kinds of seat combinations.

Here are Mums of Brisbane’s top picks for cars that can fit 3 car seats.

Mazda CX-9

A great 7-seater SUV option. The seat is wide enough to fit three car seats and there are two extra seats in the back if you need them. The broad seat space in the back is second only to the Ford Territory and is ahead of all other rivals.

It also has some great safety features including front and rear automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert.

Mazda cx-9
Source: mazda.com.au

Ford Territory

This is the perfect large family SUV if space for three car seats is your first priority. In terms of SUVs, it offers a back seat broader than a Sportswagon.

The latest model includes driver-friendly technologies such as hands-free Sat Nav, voice control, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Ford Territory
Source: ford.com.au

Kia Sorento

Whilst most vehicles only come with two ISOFIX fittings the Kia Sorento is fitted with three. So this is a good option if the child seats you prefer have this fitting.

The Sorento is a large 7 seat vehicle so is perfect for all the family.

Kia Sorento
Source: kia.com/au

Honda CRV

Three car seats will fit across the back of this SUV, but it may require you to have slimline seats in order to make it work.

The Honda CRV is versatile as it can be used with either 5 or 7 seats.

Honda CRV
Source: honda.com.au

Hyundai Tucson

This will again but a tight squeeze but is doable with the right combination of seats. Placing a rear-facing seat in the middle, whilst awkward to get to, is usually the most effective option.

The Tucson is classified as a medium-sized SUV so there are larger options on the market, but if you prefer a more compact SUV then this could be a good option for you.

Hyundai Tucson
Source: hyundai.com.au

Kia Sportage

This is another vehicle classified in the medium SUV range. So it is doable to get three seats in the back, but again it will need the right combination of seats to make it work.

Kia Sportage
Source: kia.com/au

Toyota Kluger

Another 7 seater option to help fit in 3 car seats. Although you might need to keep the back seats down if you require a large amount of boot space.

As with most larger vehicles, it does go through more fuel than its smaller counterparts.

Toyota Kluger
Source: toyota.com.au

Holden Commodore

If SUVs and vans are not for you then the Holden Commodore is amongst the best option space wise in terms of sedans.

Holden Commodore
Source: holden.com.au

Nissan X-Trail

This will be a snug fit to get in three car seats but it is doable. An often overlooked feature when buying a car is the inclusion of second-row air vents to keep the kids cool. Which the X-Trail includes.

Nissan X-trail
Source: nissan.com.au

Volkswagen Tiguan

This is a mid-sized SUV so will be a tight squeeze and need the right combination of seats to make it work.

A great car that won the 2016 Winner Drive Car of the Year and CarsGuide Car of the Year.

Volkswagen Tiguan
Source: volkswagen.com.au

Jeep Grand Cherokee

Made in America the Jeep can fit three car seats in it with the right combination of seats.

Fitted with seven airbags, a reversing camera and trailer sway control on all models.

 

Jeep Grand Cherokee
Source: jeep.com.au

Hyundai iMax

Now we are entering into minivan territory. Whilst the days of old had the Toyota Tarago as the most popular option in this space, the Hyundai iMax has now taken the reigns

Named Australia’s best people mover for five consecutive years, the iMax is a great option when looking to have more space for the kids to sit across two rows of seats.

Hyundai Imax
Source: hyundai.com.au

Kia Carnival

Another option in the people movers range, this has been voted Australia’s Best family Wagon. With space for 8 passengers it has all the room you need to fit in three car seats.

Kia Carnival
Source: kia.com/au

Honda Odyssey

This is a versatile 7 or 8 seater vehicle so it perfectly designed for a growing family.

Honda Odyssey
Source: honda.com.au

Mitsubishi Pajero

This 7 seater four wheel drive is a large family sized vehicle and can fit three car seats.  The third-row seats to be easily stowed under the cargo floor to create a wide, flat storage space or removed completely if you need the space.

Mitsubishi Pajero
Source: mitsubishi.com.au

The type of car seat matters

As well as the size of the backseat in a car, the width of the car seat also comes into play. Some car seats that are slimmer and make a better option for a family with three kids include:

  • Infasecure Quattro – this is marketed as the slimmest car seat in Australia.
  • Infasecure Grandeur
  • Safe N’ Sound Compaq MKII
  • Britax Safe-n-Sound Slimm-Line AHR

Have you managed to fit three car seats in any other vehicles?

mm

Katie -

Author

Katie is the Managing Director and Editor of Mums of Brisbane. Most days will find her drinking copious amounts of coffee, cuddling her kids and trying not to step barefoot on lego. Katie lives in Beautiful Brisbane with her husband and four gorgeous children.

2 comments

    • Michael
    • April 30, 2018

    Hello,

    within your article “Guide To The Best Family Cars That Fit 3 Car Seats”
    you have listed a current Nissan X-Trail, would you be able to advise what 3 seats it was?

    we are looking to update our run-around vehicle to an x-trail if we can fit 3 baby/car seats across the back.

    (note dealer is 350klms away)

    thank you

  1. Most families with more than a couple of young kids at home face a dilemma when car shopping and that is finding the best family cars that can fit 3 car seats. There is no doubt that fitting three car seats in a five-seater can be challenging. But a little bit of planning, a little bit of jiggling and a lot of luck can help. Thank you so much for sharing this remarkable tips!

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