You might have already had a look at our “3 across” section but I felt like making a smaller post that was simpler to click through and not so much text in.
Finding the “perfect” car will always depend on the family, the circumstances, your budget and how many car seats you will be using either right now, or even in the future. So it’s always good to keep these things in mind before deciding on a car.
The not so family friendly
Also, it’s good to know that just because a car looks big on the outside – it does not mean it’s a large car on the inside. A very good example of a car that I consider extremely unfriendly here is the Nissan Qashqai, even the +2 doesn’t make my list. This is because it’s cabin space is really small considering the size of the vehicle – which is such a shame, as it’s got lots of good potentials elsewhere.
Of course, if you are not particularly tall, but say around the 170-175cm heights, it might be OK – but it still doesn’t go on my list.
Sadly Nissan has yet another car that doesn’t make my personal list, and that’s the Nissan X-Trail. This 7 seater is advertised heavily as a great “Family” car – but sadly an inspection of the vehicle manual shows that it does in fact NOT allow you to put a car seat in the middle seat in the 2nd row, but that’s not the worst part… the worst part is that it doesn’t allow for any car seats at all on the 3rd row either!
This, in my opinion, chops the car off my list there and then. Any good family friendly 7 seters or MPV will allow for 3 across the 2nd row, and should also allow for car seats in the 3rd row – in my opinion. So sorry Nissan, but this is just not good enough. I also never have gotten an answer from Nissan in regards to why exactly they have put this rule…
Another one that I have found to be a very unfriendly vehicle in terms of car seats is the Vauxhall/Opel Zafira Tourer (or Zafira “C”). It is not very car seat friendly as it does not allow a car seat to be fitted on the centre seat in the 2nd row and neither does it allow any car seats on the 3rd row.
However, airbag on the passenger side can be disabled which means you can have the 3rd RF seat in the front passenger seat, which is perfectly safe and quite handy, especially with a baby. Remember to ALWAYS TURN OFF THE AIRBAG before installing a rear facing seat in the front passenger seat.
If you aren’t sure exactly which Zafira you have – here’s a very simple way to spy it:
Small tip for you who wish to use the front passenger seat; Getting an extra mirror solves vision problems on the side mirror. It’s not needed on all cars or for all people, but the option is there if you feel you need it.
But enough talk – here is our “3 across” album on Flickr!
It is constantly being updated with more cars or more combinations of car seats in already published cars – so it’s always good to follow it or follow our Facebook Page as every time I upload a new photo, this is published on the Facebook Page.
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.