Any families with front/rear-facing child seats here? - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Question Any families with front/rear-facing child seats here?

Pacificanians,

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:
  1. How are the car seats fitting for, especially rear-facing? Any pictures?
  2. Do you find that "tilt forward" access to the 3rd row as handy as it seems?
  3. Do you regularly use the Stow and Go bins for storage?
  4. 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...
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post #2 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rkalla View Post
How are the car seats fitting for, especially rear-facing? Any pictures?
  1. Do you find that "tilt forward" access to the 3rd row as handy as it seems?
  2. Do you regularly use the Stow and Go bins for storage?
  3. Do you actually stow the 2nd row seats from time to time or is this just a man-utility-fantasy?
We have a large Britax front facing carseat in the second row on the passenger side and it fits perfectly. We also have the 8 passenger, and the kids like the 8th seat to be installed all the time, so the "tilt forward" function is really the only way to access the 3rd row. It is VERY nice that any kids getting into the 3rd row can do so from either side even though the Britax is strapped in on the passenger side. I love that feature.


I have a spare tire in one of the Stow-n-Go bins for peace of mind. For that reason, I'm glad to have that space. I've got a couple other things in the bin on the other side as well. Since we have kids, we never stow the 2nd row seats.


Another consideration that may or may not matter to you is that the hybrid cannot be had with a memory driver's seat. This is the closest thing to a deal-breaker for me personally.
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post #3 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the family-insight!

Curious why the kids like that 8th seat installed? I've explicitly been shopping for the 7-seat config so we can get the pano sunroof... maybe I should rethink?

Also, what did you mean by a spare tire in the bin... like a spare donut for the car?! I didn't think those bins were big enough... last time I test drove, it looked like a space for a backpack, not a spare tire... but it's possible I'm overestimating how large tires are (sort of picturing a full size car tire in my head).

Also do you use the vacuum at all, or is that just fantasty?
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post #4 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:16 AM
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Curious why the kids like that 8th seat installed? I've explicitly been shopping for the 7-seat config so we can get the pano sunroof... maybe I should rethink?
My kids are 14, 12, and 2. When we're just driving around town, they prefer to all sit in the second row. It's wide enough for them to sit comfortably and then nobody has to climb into the back. On longer trips, one of them will sit in the 3rd row, but they still want the 8th seat installed because it folds down into an armrest with cup holders. When we decided to get the 8 passenger, I figured the 8th seat would only get installed occasionally when the kids had friends with them. I didn't realize how much the kids would end up liking the flexibility with it installed.

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Also, what did you mean by a spare tire in the bin... like a spare donut for the car?! I didn't think those bins were big enough... last time I test drove, it looked like a space for a backpack, not a spare tire... but it's possible I'm overestimating how large tires are (sort of picturing a full size car tire in my head).
The spare tire kit for the Pacifica is an inflatable type donut that's made to be small. The kit also comes with a jack, and they both fit perfectly in the bin.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Also do you use the vacuum at all, or is that just fantasty?
I use the vacuum all the time. My wife likes to give out snacks in the car, so there are always goldfish and cheeze-its on the floor. I do wish that the vacuum was on the passenger side instead of the driver's side. I've always had the youngest kid on the passenger side to see them better while driving, which I would guess is pretty common. But then you have to pull the vacuum hose from the other side of the van to suck up the goldfish. Other than that one gripe, the vacuum works well.

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post #5 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:22 AM
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FYI for the spare tire, also pack a big trash bag for the flat tire incase you need to use the donut. You'll probably have to store it in the trunk and wheels are really dirty. Maybe some gloves as well.
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post #6 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkalla View Post

Given this context, I wanted to ask the families with young children out there the following:
  1. How are the car seats fitting for, especially rear-facing? Any pictures?
  2. Do you find that "tilt forward" access to the 3rd row as handy as it seems?
  3. Do you regularly use the Stow and Go bins for storage?
  4. 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...
1. We have our 19 month old front facing now. We initially had him rear facing but his legs were kind of cramped up with his feet on the seat. We are using a Britax Marathon Clicktight. He wasn't too bad getting in rear facing but it's obviously much easier front facing.

2. Yes, the tilt forward works very well.

3. We've only had ours for 3 weeks so I haven't stuck anything down in the floor bins yet. Definitely a lot of storage there though. I have folded one second row seat into the floor. Works great. Sure you can take the second row seat out in the Hybrid but say you drive 2 hours and randomly buy something that is big. It's not like you can just leave your 2nd row seat somewhere. You lose some flexibility with the Hybrid in this manner.

4. See above. If you don't have a truck, I'd much rather have stow-n-go. I have a truck but still prefer the stow-n-go. Half the reason we bought a van was for the additional storage space.

I really considered going the Hybrid route but the fuel savings would take a long time to offset the additional cost compared to the Touring-L Plus we ended up with. Plus their is some uncertainty surrounding the $7,500 tax rebate since Trump is in now. Our electric cooperative doesn't offer any incentives or lower overnight rates for using an electric vehicle so there are less savings to be had for us. I can't charge at work either.
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post #7 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:41 AM
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We have one of these handheld vacuums at home: https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-...+decker+vacuum

It has a surprising amount of suction and battery life for a handheld. I considered throwing one in the van.
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post #8 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by generaltso View Post
My kids are 14, 12, and 2. When we're just driving around town, they prefer to all sit in the second row. It's wide enough for them to sit comfortably and then nobody has to climb into the back. On longer trips, one of them will sit in the 3rd row, but they still want the 8th seat installed because it folds down into an armrest with cup holders. When we decided to get the 8 passenger, I figured the 8th seat would only get installed occasionally when the kids had friends with them. I didn't realize how much the kids would end up liking the flexibility with it installed.
Hmmmm, I may need to rethink this - while I only have two, there have been a few times that someone has sat between the two car seats on longer trips to keep them happy and I didn't even think that there wouldn't be cup holders if we did the captain chairs (the kids can't reach the pullout drawer in the base of the super console) - really appreciate the detailed scenario here, opened by eyes a bit!

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Originally Posted by generaltso View Post
The spare tire kit for the Pacifica is an inflatable type donut that's made to be small. The kit also comes with a jack, and they both fit perfectly in the bin.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I had no idea this existed - this is slick as **** and I don't have to do the Vacuum delete. Thanks!

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I use the vacuum all the time.
<sigh> I knew it would be helpful, wife thinks its not necessary because we don't vacuum the pilot except when we find a nest of racoons in it (ok maybe not that bad). I'll share your post with her!
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post #9 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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FYI for the spare tire, also pack a big trash bag for the flat tire incase you need to use the donut. You'll probably have to store it in the trunk and wheels are really dirty. Maybe some gloves as well.
This is a great idea, never dawned on me; appreciate the tip!
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post #10 of 90 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 11:01 AM
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I'll share your post with her!
You may also want to share this list with her:

https://www.pacificaforums.com/forum/...le-hybrid.html

I would never recommend that somebody go with the hybrid or not go with the hybrid since everyone's situation is different. But I do think it's important for people to understand all of the differences before making the decision.

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