My wife and I have been going back and forth for just shy of 2 months, having a pretty standard disagreement between the normal Pacifica and the Plug-in; I am hoping folks can help me out with family-experience in the van that might tilt us one way or another:
- She wants the Plug-in.
- I can't stand giving up Stow-n-Go, tilt-forward 3rd row access, Vacuum or the HIDs.
The problem with this argument is that it is primarily emotional and not practical (she feels green, I want the utility).
Well, the reality
is that we have two kids 1 of which is a newborn and in a rear-facing child seat. For the non-parents out there, rear-facing child seats are SO LARGE
, in anything shy of a F150 King Cab, you usually need to move up the seat in front of it. For example, in our Pilot, the driver (me @ 5'11") lost 3-4 inches of legroom and had to straighten up the seat back.
The gist is that even in the largest car, rear-facing child seats (and some big front-facing... which we also have) will make you feel cramped
Given this context, I wanted to ask the families with young children out there the following:
- How are the car seats fitting for, especially rear-facing? Any pictures?
- Do you find that "tilt forward" access to the 3rd row as handy as it seems?
- Do you regularly use the Stow and Go bins for storage?
- Do you actually stow the 2nd row seats from time to time or is this just a man-utility-fantasy?
Thank you all for the time and sharing your experience with us... feel like we've been talking about this forever and neither of us will budge so we keep driving our 11 year old Pilot...
I have 4 kids, one 9 month RF, 3 year old FF, 5 year old FF and a 11 year old no seat. all seats are the Graco 4ever All in one (recommended seat btw)
I rented a Pacifica for 4 days with the RF behind the passenger, no seat in the second row, and two FF in the third row.
Access to the third row was great. I used the recline of the second row to make it easier to get the 9 month old in his seat, and then moved the seat into locking position so that was an unexpected plus (and clearly not designed for that intention but does work).
third row FF seats were a little hard to get in with the headrest in place. Moving the headrest down helped a lot as it fit in between the rails (metal frames) on our car seat. I did manage to get both car seats flat against the rear third row seat but it did take time, and you have to recline the third row, install, and then move the third row back up into place to get the carseat snug. One complaint, I really wish automanufatures would start putting three teethers in the third row as opposed to one passenger side, and one center.
RF seat is a convertible and was installed with LATCH. No issues.
TO address your question, I had the passenger front seat all the way back, and still was able to tilt the second row seat forward without hitting the passenger seat.
We left the oldest up front so we could use the stow n go functionality PLUS giving us better access to the third row on the rental. I will certainly play around with sticking the oldest two in the third row. We will be using the stow n go bins on long trips for sure. I already ordered the plastic tubs for them. I do have weekly cardboard and misc recycling trips so one of the seats must stow. I found it easier to do the second row but an argument could be made saying the rear hatch is easier. I will also have the 8 passenger seating. Will play around with combinations seeing how many car seats I can get in the second row while still maintaining the access to the third row!