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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
Well, when I bought my insight last summer I was happy enough with the space in the back for my 4-yr-old and my 8-yr-old, and I was not planning for more children. But NOW . . . by next spring I will have a newborn, a 5-yr-old, and a 9-yr-old!!! :surprise: Not really what we were planning but still happy that this is what's in store for us. So I'm assuming I'll need to sell this car, which I'm pretty bummed about. Unless there's any way I can reasonably fit two booster seats plus and infant seat (and later convertible seat) in the back.

Right now my 5-yr-old is ready to graduate from a convertible seat to a booster, so I think I need to start by buying one of the narrowest high-back boosters I can find for her. If I do need to sell the car for something bigger, I will still be wanting to fit the 3 kids across a backseat I'm sure. I do not want a huge car with 3 rows!

Does anyone have experience fitting 3 little ones in the back of the Insight?

If I do need to buy something new, are there any suggestions for something with a wider backseat that's not a big, gas-guzzling car? Something still eco-friendly? (The Clarity would be cool but we'll be probably looking for something cheaper and slightly used since we will be going from 2 incomes to 1 for a little while).

Thanks!!!
 

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Congrats on your growing family! The seat specs for the Insight are identical to the Civic Sedan (I've measured!). Also keep in mind that cars have grown over time, so the current gen Civic/Insight has the same interior space as older gen Accords. You're likely already aware that the outer rear seat positions are LATCH-compatible, and there are 3 rear tether points.

While shopping for seat covers, "car seat" topic would come up in same search. I saw some posts and videos that may be helpful as you consider whether the Insight is large enough for your needs:

ARTICLES:
Civic Sedan - 2 examples (Diono Rainier suggested) - https://www.civicx.com/threads/for-the-parents-three-child-car-seats.16685/
Civic SI - 3 across (Diono Radian suggested) - https://www.civicx.com/threads/am-i-crazy-dadlife.21173/page-3
Civic Sedan - rear seat cover + car seat (this brought me to CivicX, LOL) - https://www.civicx.com/threads/rear-seat-cover.4285/page-2
Civic Type R - rear seat protector - https://www.civicx.com/threads/for-those-with-kids-cool-child-seat-protector-that-matches-the-ctr.13737/

VIDEOS:
Civic Sedan - 3 seats fit (if narrow seats used) - youtu.be/O8uQD1aeXZQ
Civic Hatch - roomy fit for rear-facing seats - youtu.be/ubvOPwYOhJU?t=562
Diono Radian review - 3 across in a Chevy Cobalt - youtu.be/dHNXUCftabs?t=45
 

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Hi Everyone,
Well, when I bought my insight last summer I was happy enough with the space in the back for my 4-yr-old and my 8-yr-old, and I was not planning for more children. But NOW . . . by next spring I will have a newborn, a 5-yr-old, and a 9-yr-old!!! :surprise: Not really what we were planning but still happy that this is what's in store for us. So I'm assuming I'll need to sell this car, which I'm pretty bummed about. Unless there's any way I can reasonably fit two booster seats plus and infant seat (and later convertible seat) in the back.

Right now my 5-yr-old is ready to graduate from a convertible seat to a booster, so I think I need to start by buying one of the narrowest high-back boosters I can find for her. If I do need to sell the car for something bigger, I will still be wanting to fit the 3 kids across a backseat I'm sure. I do not want a huge car with 3 rows!
Three across carseats in any compact sedan or SUV is problematic, mainly due to finding something that will not only fit in the center seat but also fit correctly next to both other carseats. Fortunately, with two boosters, you should be able to find an arrangement that works. Either a very narrow booster if it fits with good belt fit on the child in the middle seat (perhaps a Harmony Youth Booster or BubbleBum) or eventually your 9-year old when they are no longer in a booster. That should leave plenty of room for one carseat and one booster on each side. If you have the two boosters center and passenger side, that may make it a little easier for them to buckle next to each other.

As for a bigger car, a hybrid Accord or Camry are certainly wider and will make 3-across easier. They are almost as fuel efficient as Insight.
 

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The Kia Niro is around the same price as the Insight and is a hybrid. Not sure if the backseats are wider...
Here are rear seat dimension comparisons for the cars suggested so far. Interesting that the Kia Niro Hybrid SUV seat specs are only slightly better than the Insight. The Clarity 'wins' by 0.5-1.0 inch in shoulder and hip room.

INSIGHT - Head = 36.9 | Leg = 37.4 | Shoulder = 55.0 | Hip = 47.3
ACC HYB - Head = 37.3 | Leg = 40.4 | Shoulder = 56.5 | Hip = 55.0
CLARITY - Head = 37.1 | Leg = 36.2 | Shoulder = 57.3 | Hip = 55.6
CAM HYB - Head = 37.6 | Leg = 38.0 | Shoulder = 55.7 | Hip = 54.6
KIA NIRO - Head = 39.1 | Leg = 37.4 | Shoulder = 55.2 | Hip = 48.3
CR-V HYB - Head = 39.1 | Leg = 40.0 | Shoulder = 55.0 | Hip = 49.0
 

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I had a Niro EV this summer for a review. The rear seat was essentially the same as the Ioniq. Pretty similar to Insight in terms of 3-across. The downside is a little less room to the front seat to fit a rear-facing carseat without moving the front seats forward. The Niro PHEV and Ioniq PHEV shared one other aspect, a choppy ride which a couple people in my family found nauseating. Most CUVs are similar too, the new RAV4 is only slightly better than Insight. You really need to go to a midsize vehicle to have a significantly better chance of 3-across or a better variety of carseats that work anyway.
 

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I take my daughter and two of her friends to school in the mornings quite often (they are older so no booster seats) and they are quite content.. Moving on, I have actually had a baby seat along with two friends.. Momma sat in the back and Dad sat up in the front. She put the seat in the middle and all was good.
 

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ARTICLES:
Civic Sedan - 2 examples (Diono Rainier suggested) - https://www.civicx.com/threads/for-the-parents-three-child-car-seats.16685/
Civic SI - 3 across (Diono Radian suggested) - https://www.civicx.com/threads/am-i-crazy-dadlife.21173/page-3
Civic Sedan - rear seat cover + car seat (this brought me to CivicX, LOL) - https://www.civicx.com/threads/rear-seat-cover.4285/page-2
Civic Type R - rear seat protector - https://www.civicx.com/threads/for-those-with-kids-cool-child-seat-protector-that-matches-the-ctr.13737/

VIDEOS:
Civic Sedan - 3 seats fit (if narrow seats used) - youtu.be/O8uQD1aeXZQ
Civic Hatch - roomy fit for rear-facing seats - youtu.be/ubvOPwYOhJU?t=562
Diono Radian review - 3 across in a Chevy Cobalt - youtu.be/dHNXUCftabs?t=45
Incidentally, I really like Alex on Autos videos as one of my favorite sources of reviews. Even so, certain car seats discussions make me question if he is a certified child passenger safety technician as some of the 3-across setups don't look like they would conform to best practice recommendations. Also, the reference seat he uses is a rather outdated budget model that isn't all that popular today. The more common seats with higher limits and the popular all-in-one models tend to be bigger and even more difficult to fit 3-across. Honestly, any variation of carseats or, in some cases, even a change in vehicle trim levels can turn an acceptable installation into an incompatible one. With the exception of certain full size vehicles and a couple minivan second rows, it's really difficult to bless a 3-across possibility unless I have done that exact same setup with the same carseats and same model/year/trim vehicle.

Also, the Diono harnessed seats mentioned are among the narrowest and there are certain situations like narrow middle seats where they may work while other carseats will not. On the other hand, they are also expensive, have relatively low height limits and tend to have a much steeper learning curve with installation and use than many newer carseats. Most important to note, they are pretty heavy and if you do buy one, make sure to get an easy/free returns policy because shipping one back at your own expense can cost a small fortune.
 

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Incidentally, I really like Alex on Autos videos as one of my favorite sources of reviews. Even so, certain car seats discussions make me question if he is a certified child passenger safety technician as some of the 3-across setups don't look like they would conform to best practice recommendations.
Ha, yes. His illustration of a 3-across fit looked... awkward. It takes narrower car seats and in-car test fit to confirm by model, as you mentioned.
 

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My first thought would be the 2020 CR-V hybrid, but it'll be new, and probably not help with the single income thing. Also not particularly sure if it fits three across any better. On a plus side, I've driven a 2017 CR-V which was actually the whole reason why we looked at Honda for our newest car purchase, and fell in love with it (albeit hating CVT). Had the car for a 2.5 hour drive (did twice same day).

A guide to three car seats in a CR-V
 

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My first thought would be the 2020 CR-V hybrid, but it'll be new, and probably not help with the single income thing. Also not particularly sure if it fits three across any better.
Added the CR-V Hybrid (2019 EU Spec) to the comparison table above. The CR-V provides ~2 inches more in head, leg, hip room, and ends up equal to the Insight in shoulder room.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, thanks everyone for helping with all this research!!! I will take a closer look at everything when I have a little time on the weekend. :)
 

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Another thought is instead of replacing the car is optimizing the space you are using. I didn't see if you were using regular booster seats but a MiFold is really good for trimming down space (plus it's easier to travel with). Now of course this does nothing for the new born but the other two would take up less space and it may be tight for a while till you can put the youngest in a seat but it would avoid having to replace the car.

https://www.amazon.com/mifold-Grab-Booster-Seat-Slate/dp/B01H5VJJTE/ref=sxin_3_ac_d_rm?ac_md=0-0-c21hbGwgY2FyIHNlYXQ=-ac_d_rm&keywords=small+car+seat&pd_rd_i=B01H5VJJTE&pd_rd_r=47323d99-a9f4-4750-aefb-7acb87017ce2&pd_rd_w=RZ5wv&pd_rd_wg=RnNoC&pf_rd_p=983984df-2ad2-4c97-ba7f-4c5a90291c2b&pf_rd_r=V5D9H6M7E94S03SGFXHK&psc=1&qid=1570180908
 

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Another thought is instead of replacing the car is optimizing the space you are using. I didn't see if you were using regular booster seats but a MiFold is really good for trimming down space (plus it's easier to travel with).
Mifold is great due to its small size. The problem is that it doesn't always reliably give as good a belt fit as traditional boosters. It depends a lot on the vehicle seatbelt configuration and tends to work better for older, taller children. Definitely worth a try, but as with any seat, make sure there is a good return policy if you haven't tried it with your child in your vehicle before purchasing.

The Harmony Youth Booster and Bubblebum are two relatively narrow backless boosters that earn top fit marks from the IIHS: https://www.iihs.org/topics/child-safety/boosters#ratings . For high back models, the Maxi Cosi Rodifix is relatively narrow and the lack of arms is beneficial as it may allow more room for the child to buckle. The RideSafer Travel Vest and IMMI Go harness are alternative options for harnesses that may work when you need three across in a narrow vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ugh. I don't want to sell my Insight, but this is going to be challenging. I needed to graduate my 5 yr old from her convertible carseat to a high-back booster, so I went ahead and bought her an Evenflo big kid AMP for each of our cars. It is supposed to be the thinnest high-back booster overall, but it is not thinner in the back than in the front so it is actually a little tougher to buckle in than our older Graco ones and is surprisingly more difficult in my husband's 2010 Forester than in the Insight. I'm thinking about buying my 9-yr-old one of these smaller boosters (BubbleBum, Harmony, not sure what other options) so that we can start to play around with things to see what might work. We will need to buy an infant seat, too, so I might buy the thinnest one of those that might work sooner rather than later. I don't like the fact that the BubbleBum is inflatable, although I can see the benefits for traveling. The BubbleBum and the MiFold just don't seem substantial enough to me for everyday use, but maybe I'm wrong. The Harmony seems more reasonable and more comfortable for everyday, but it might not be small enough.

Meanwhile, we are thinking about buying my husband a new car that will fit 5 of us comfortably, including on road trips (but we don't want something with 3 rows). He currently has the 2010 Forester. The Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano are supposed to be the SUVs with the widest back seats, excluding cars with 3 rows. Or maybe a slightly used Outback?
 

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Ugh. I don't want to sell my Insight, but this is going to be challenging. I needed to graduate my 5 yr old from her convertible carseat to a high-back booster, so I went ahead and bought her an Evenflo big kid AMP for each of our cars. It is supposed to be the thinnest high-back booster overall, but it is not thinner in the back than in the front so it is actually a little tougher to buckle in than our older Graco ones and is surprisingly more difficult in my husband's 2010 Forester than in the Insight. I'm thinking about buying my 9-yr-old one of these smaller boosters (BubbleBum, Harmony, not sure what other options) so that we can start to play around with things to see what might work. We will need to buy an infant seat, too, so I might buy the thinnest one of those that might work sooner rather than later. I don't like the fact that the BubbleBum is inflatable, although I can see the benefits for traveling. The BubbleBum and the MiFold just don't seem substantial enough to me for everyday use, but maybe I'm wrong. The Harmony seems more reasonable and more comfortable for everyday, but it might not be small enough.
Bubblebum actually has a foam insert and meets crash testing requirements even if there is a puncture and it is top rated for fit by the IIHS. Some other knockoffs don't have that feature. I've never had an issue with mine, but it is possible. The downside is they are also very short so there is minimal thigh support for longer trips.

Meanwhile, we are thinking about buying my husband a new car that will fit 5 of us comfortably, including on road trips (but we don't want something with 3 rows). He currently has the 2010 Forester. The Ford Edge and the Nissan Murano are supposed to be the SUVs with the widest back seats, excluding cars with 3 rows. Or maybe a slightly used Outback?
A 2015+ Subaru Legacy Premium with EyeSight is a very safe vehicle and is essentially the same car as the Outback but you don't pay the SUV premium. Also has a wider back seat than Insight.

With 3 kids in carseats I dare say it....Minivan;-)
 

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Hope you can find a way to keep your Insight. We need to keep up the number of Insights on the road! ;)

You may have already seen this review from US News on "21 Great Vehicles That Fit 3 Car Seats Across," but re-sharing here (just in case) as comparisons of non-third-row cars to the Insight's 55" rear shoulder and 47.3" rear hip room. Several American brands made the list, plus a couple sedans - https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/great-vehicles-that-seat-three-car-seats-across

60.5" 2nd shoulder | 57.5" 2nd hip = Ford Edge @ $30.0k
58.8" 2nd shoulder | 55.2" 2nd hip = Nissan Murano @ $31.3k
58.3" 2nd shoulder | 56.3" 2nd hip = Hyundai Santa Fe @ $25.0k
58.3" 2nd shoulder | 55.5" 2nd hip = Dodge Durango @ $30.0k
58.0" 2nd shoulder | 56.2" 2nd hip = Jeep Grand Cherokee @ $31.7k
57.9" 2nd shoulder | 56.1" 2nd hip = Dodge Charger @ $29.0k
57.8" 2nd shoulder | 55.7" 2nd hip = Toyota 4Runner @ $34.9k
57.7" 2nd shoulder | 56.1" 2nd hip = Chrysler 300 @ $29.0k
55.8" 2nd shoulder | 53.1" 2nd hip = Buick Envision @ $32.0k

The 2019 Outback didn't make the list, but has 57.3" 2nd row shoulder room.
 

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All things equal, hip room is a better indicator than shoulder room, because the door handles limit how far carseats can be placed in a 3-across setup. All things are rarely equal, because a car with more hip room can still have less of a chance to fit 3 car seats do to placement of the seatbelt anchors, LATCH anchors, seat cushion bolsters and hardware for seat recline and removable seats. Some middle seats are notorious for not being able to fit carseats even if there is plenty of room in terms of width. Edge and Murano are pretty good for the 2-row SUVs, though, both for width and for crash safety ratings. Always best to take car seats with you on a test drive, or for cars that aren't selling fast (which is most of them right now), get an extended test drive, bring it home and take your time to install them all and try different configurations.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
With 3 kids in carseats I dare say it....Minivan;-)
NEVER!!!

Insightully, yes I guess that is the list where I had noticed the Edge and the Murano. I should probably take a look at the Santa Fe since it is high in room but low in price!

Thanks!
 

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I bought an (gasp) Odyssey on late 2005 because I needed to fit three car-seats. The happiest day of my life was when they outgrew their car seats. I am serious - beats out getting married and having kids in the first place. The minivan has been relegated to Home Depot runs or any other type of task where I don't want to crap up my Insight. It gets parked on the street in hopes it will get sideswiped and totalled so I don't have to look at it anymore.
 
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