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Guest Message by DevFuse

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is an outback big enough to fit 3 carseats?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 kpoon


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Posted 27 May 2004 - 05:07 PM

we just found out we're adding twins to our kid count, so we'll have 3 babies to cart around. now instead of only 2 carseats we're gonna need 3. is the '05 outback big enough to fit 3 carseats in the rear? is anyone doing this w/ previous years' outbacks? we want to avoid a minivan at all costs!

#2 Strakes


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Posted 27 May 2004 - 06:30 PM

We have 2 kids, but my daughter's friend likes to tag along with us when we go to the zoo. We have a 2002 Legacy GT and as far as I know it has the same interior dimensions as the out-going model (MY2000-2004) outbacks. 3 car seats are possible...if you get car seats that do not have built in side items like arm rests, cup holders and etc (some of them can be removed). The only way to find out is when you go test drive a car, take your car seats with you. I wish car seats weren't so crazy bulky and wide. A friend of mine found and bought car seats in Europe that were really nice and trim and put them 3 across in his 1994 legacy and that car is a little narrower than mine. Good luck!

#3 rugbyben


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Posted 28 May 2004 - 10:23 AM

I dont have any kids so Ive never really looked into this. but when the dealer was giving me the run down of my outback, he said there is a 3rd car seat hook up thing in the back. Now I dont know how I would feel about having a child ride in the trunk, and i dont see how the DOT would allow that. But thats what the guy said. check your owners manual.

#4 gmorgan


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Posted 22 July 2004 - 12:51 PM

No - we cannot fit three car seats into the back of our 2000 outback. It is a real consideration.

#5 Commuter


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Posted 22 July 2004 - 03:52 PM

I dont have any kids so Ive never really looked into this. but when the dealer was giving me the run down of my outback, he said there is a 3rd car seat hook up thing in the back. Now I dont know how I would feel about having a child ride in the trunk, and i dont see how the DOT would allow that. But thats what the guy said. check your owners manual.

Those are hooks for tether straps. I know that there are 3 positions in my 97 OB. It's not for putting a seat in the back. They are there so that you can anchor a tether strap (from a car seat in the back seat) to any of the three (left, center, right) car seat positions.

I hear what Strakes is saying about the size of the car seats. I had nice trim ones for my 2 kids. I could have fit 3 across in my 97 OB, albeit probably a bit snug. The bulky ones that I see now, probably not. If you use reasonably sized seats, I think you'd be fine until they a couple of years old anyway.


#6 DurhamBuckeye


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Posted 22 July 2004 - 11:48 PM

We have two seats in the back of our 97 outback (one forward facing for the big kid, and one rear-facing for the under 1 year old). There is room to fit another seat in the center since neither seat we have is very wide, however it might be very difficult to load the kid into the middle carseat. Our younger son is a lifting hazard based on his weight, so I wouldn't want to try to hoist him over one carseat and into the center.

#7 WagonsOnly


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Posted 23 July 2004 - 05:14 AM

I fit three in the back of my Forester on several occasions (carting around my cousins' kids), so I'd have to assume yes. The OB is wider than the Forester, but definitely try the seats out first at the dealer--the Legacy platform has lower, more contoured seats than the Forester.

#8 Ranger83


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Posted 23 July 2004 - 06:13 AM

You can see from the range of responses that some will, some won't. We have two Eddie Bauer seats and one Britax (quite wide) and although they are touching side-to-side and the door armrests, we managed to fit them. We also fit in a Century infant carrier and base. Three of the Britax models probably would not fit.

We got along nicely with an Outback, two kids, and a Yakima Rocketbox for trips. But with three, it's a tough reach to into the middle position. That's why we now have one Dodge Caravan and one Outback, instead of two Outbacks....

The car seat tethers now standard were optional in older Outbacks in the US but standard in Canada. You had to go to the dealer and buy the Canadian tether package. The '05 probably has the LATCH system for securing the seats, very much more convenient and secure.

The European car seat market is completely different than the US, because European cars are typically much smaller, and Europeans are typically smaller than North Americans. On the flip side, twins tend to be on the small side for their age group for the first 3-4 years. Dorel Industries (they own the Cosco & Safety First brands) sells Bebe Comfort, Maxi-Cosi, and other brands with completely diferent designs in Europe.

We bought a Caravan (short wheelbase, not Grand) Sport with Captain's chairs. We put two of the kids outboard in the back seat, one in one of the middle row seats (that way they can't reach each other), and removed the other one. This gives us room to get in and walk around as well as extra storage space. The Mazda MPV is a nice-driving smaller minivan. All of the big minivans have pros and cons, with the Toyota and Honda being the nicest, and also having street prices substantially higher than the Dodge Chrysler models. Fords have been plaqued with mechanical problems. The Chyrslers mostly have tranmission problems but now come with a 70 or 80K powertrain warranty.

You can also buy a gigantic SUV, but along with eating a lot of gas and having to hike to the third seat, you won't be fooling anybody!

Minivans are incredibly well evolved designs for people moving along with getting 20-24 mpg on the highway.

#9 Tiny Clark

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 07:51 AM

Hmmmm, what about a small kennel in the back for the oldest one? :rolleyes:

#10 Crazy Canuck

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Posted 23 July 2004 - 09:59 AM

The dilema we are running into now in Canada is that they have extended the time kids are supposed to stay in booster seats to around 8 years old (when I was that age they didn't even manufacture the things!!). The problem with that is a shoulder belt is required which obviously is not available in the middle seat. So when counting seats, "5 passenger" cars are not necessarily going to work for 3 kids no matter how much room there is! I sent an e-mail to Subaru Canada and asked them if they were going to do us a favour and come up with a 3rd row of seats in an extended Forester model (similar to the Susuki XL-7). They said something would be available early in 2005. I'm holding out replacing the struts on my 98 Legacy until I see what the new model looks like!! *S*

#11 BlueSoob


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Posted 23 July 2004 - 11:55 AM

My friend can fit 3 in the back of her Forester. The Outback will be bigger.. I'm wondering if the 05 will have as much room as the previous style. The 05 Outback to me, felt more like my 93 Legacy (HAHA that I bought in Ogden) than the 00's outbacks.

I'll have to go with the others here.. don't buy the big fluffy wide seats.


And thank you for not adding another minivan to the Salt Lake Valley.


#12 knelson


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Posted 23 July 2004 - 03:28 PM

99 Forester - 3 carseats across the back fit fine... as long as they're the right car seats! Definitely check it out for yourself - even if someone says it'll work, it'll greatly depend on what carseats you're using.

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