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Owning Model 3 with 2 kids?

Would you own a Model 3 with 2 rear facing child car seats?


  • Total voters
    129

irishndude4

Member
Feb 16, 2018
62
42
Pearland, TX
Have my configuration email in hand but only hesitation from wife is the comfort/reasonableness factor of having 2 small children in rear facing car seats in the back. Anyone with this situation and if so, care to opine on how cramped the fit is for both the front and the driver and passenger? I was recently in a Model 3 but I didn’t get a chance to put the car seats in so I could not tell for sure. I currently own an ICE, 2014 Nissan Maxima and the back seat seemed about the same size as the Model 3 roughly speaking. Any help or pictures on this situation would help me finally decide to configure or pass. Otherwise, I’m ready to order. Thank you!
 
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flashflooder

Member
Apr 8, 2016
502
452
Charlotte, NC
It might be a little cramped, but the rear facing requirement is very temporary anyway. If I were you, I'd be willing to be a little cramped for a little while (year or two?) to drive this awesome car. Front facing seats will be no problem at all. You don't say how old your kids are so I don't know how far off you are from making the switch to forward-facing.
 
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Sportstick

Member
Aug 8, 2017
355
609
Snowbird USA!
It might be a little cramped, but the rear facing requirement is very temporary anyway. If I were you, I'd be willing to be a little cramped for a little while (year or two?) to drive this awesome car. Front facing seats will be no problem at all. You don't say how old your kids are so I don't know how far off you are from making the switch to forward-facing.

The issue with the rear seat is not the couple, it's the low seat cushion height, (low hip to heel distance), creating the sensation for an adult of knees under the chin. For the child seat particular purpose, I would also be optimistic. As for duration, one man's "temporary" is another's "seems like forever", but you are right that the conversion to forward facing should be at or after age 2 to allow cervical spine ossification to manage the weight of the child's disproporationately larger head in a forward impact. To nail this all down, the OP should simply take their child seat back to a showroom for a test fit, of course.
 

irishndude4

Member
Feb 16, 2018
62
42
Pearland, TX
As for duration, one man's "temporary" is another's "seems like forever", but you are right that the conversion to forward facing should be at or after age 2 to allow cervical spine ossification to manage the weight of the child's disproporationately larger head in a forward impact.

My wife is a pediatrician so she is the authority in the household on the duration of the rear facing seats. She said this morning the trend is longer beyond 2 now so we will go with her requirements. Thank you both!
 

David L

Member
Jun 26, 2016
327
457
San Diego, CA
I had the same concern about fitting a convertible car seat into the TM3 before ordering, so I brought my Graco 4ever to a gallery to test it out. In the attached pictures, the 4ever is in the correct incline and I've adjusted the driver seat for my 5' 7" height. I tend to sit very far back, so it's probably in a good position for a typical driver who's 5' 8" or 5' 9". It may be hard to see from the angle of the picture, but there's still a small gap left between the car seat and the driver seat. Keep in mind the seat isn't latched, so you'd probably gain another 1/2 inch once it is.

A downside of using a regular width car seat like the 4ever is that the middle seat is unusable when the car seat is installed on the side. When the car seat is installed in the center, the side seats are usable but not comfortable. I'm getting a narrow width Diono Radian RXT today, so let me know if you have specific questions about how the 4ever or Radian fits.

View media item 118244View media item 118243
 

Sportstick

Member
Aug 8, 2017
355
609
Snowbird USA!
My wife is a pediatrician so she is the authority in the household on the duration of the rear facing seats. She said this morning the trend is longer beyond 2 now so we will go with her requirements. Thank you both!

She is absolutely correct. The same principle of distribution of force would even have adults faring better facing rearward in frontal impact (most common). Obvious dimensional/design problems, and sometimes motion sickness in testing, have precluded this in most forms of transportation. With kids, the goal remains, "as long as possible" with fitting into the child restraint.
 
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rhaekar

Member
Nov 9, 2017
455
367
San Diego
I have a Graco extend2fit so I can keep my son rear facing as long as possible. I haven't started using the extended foot rest but as it is right now, it's fine for the front passenger. They can't roll the seat back to that lounging position but it's still comfortable up front unless you're over 6'2".
 

McRat

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2016
5,771
5,414
LA
I wonder if AEB will end up changing the recommendation for rear facing seats?
A car with effective AEB will be more likely to have a high G impact in the rear, not the front, and the rear impact is not armored as well as the front.

But...

The greatest gift to parents from AutoGod was the mini-van. Sure, it's not cool to be seen in a mini-van, but it's an engineered product focused on kid hauling in the real world with decades of improvements aimed at simplifying that task. There is one that will run on EV power for errands if Green is an issue.

Picture how you put kids into a car that is parked in a stall or tight garage. The back door comes up, the diaper bag and carriage go into the back, the side doors slide rearwards. The roof is tall, but seat height is reasonable. If someone parks too close, you can still get your kid(s) in and out with ease. It saves time and effort every day it's used. It can also be used like a pickup to an extent if you need to move large items. Like large playsets, kid's beds, dressers, etc.

With modern technology like rear cameras, blind spot alerts, bird's eye view, the biggest problem with vans is mitigated, that is the lack of visibility and situational awareness.

It's why SUV's/CUV's sell so well now. They are not quite as function-oriented as a mini-van, but they don't look like a mini-van either.
 

irishndude4

Member
Feb 16, 2018
62
42
Pearland, TX
I had the same concern about fitting a convertible car seat into the TM3 before ordering, so I brought my Graco 4ever to a gallery to test it out. In the attached pictures, the 4ever is in the correct incline and I've adjusted the driver seat for my 5' 7" height. I tend to sit very far back, so it's probably in a good position for a typical driver who's 5' 8" or 5' 9”.

Thank you for the information and pictures, exactly what I was looking for! My method is to keep the child seat behind the passenger since I normally drive by myself but once #2 comes along, both sides may be occupied from time to time but certainly not on a daily basis. I’m 5’9” by the way so not overly tall or large but I do tend to extend back a bit hence the initial concern.
 

drawfour

Member
Mar 10, 2018
774
709
Seattle, WA
It's why SUV's/CUV's sell so well now. They are not quite as function-oriented as a mini-van, but they don't look like a mini-van either.
This is true. I am currently driving an Acura MDX (16 MPG!) and my wife drives the Prius. If I need to go pick up a bunch of stuff from Home Depot or Ikea, I can just toss it in the back. If it's really big, I can remove the kid's car seats and put the seats down. When I get the Model 3, I won't have my SUV anymore. So for the few times where I need to haul something big, I'll have to get creative, or borrow a friend's truck, or rent from UHaul. I guess I'll just deal with that. I've seriously considered the Model X, so that I can still have my cake and eat it, too, but that's a lot more expensive than the 3, and I don't think I can convince my wife to spend that much. So when the Model Y comes out, we'll see. If my wife is ready to upgrade her Prius, perhaps I can give her the 3 and I can get the Y.

But I really enjoy the utility that the SUV gives me, even if I don't use it that often.
 
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N8Howell33

Member
Jan 22, 2018
285
203
Salem, OR
The greatest gift to parents from AutoGod was the mini-van. Sure, it's not cool to be seen in a mini-van, but it's an engineered product focused on kid hauling in the real world with decades of improvements aimed at simplifying that task. There is one that will run on EV power for errands if Green is an issue.

It's why SUV's/CUV's sell so well now. They are not quite as function-oriented as a mini-van, but they don't look like a mini-van either.

I actually have the model 3 and we have 3 boys. Two are forward facing (on the outsides using the latch systems) and in the middle we use this special booster (mifold) that pulls the belt down and places it appropriately. We also have the Pacifica Hybrid (you mention it above). It gets 33 miles on a charge and is a joy to drive. It has a 6.6 kWh onboard charger so it only takes a little over 2 hours to fully charge. We love both.
 

FURY

Member
Jan 10, 2015
166
103
DANA POINT, CA.
Seems I recall a commentary regarding emergency egress from the rear Model3 seats. If there is an issue and the OP is planning on a long term hold, WRT these children, then might be useful to research that as well.

Thank you very much

FURY
 

Sportstick

Member
Aug 8, 2017
355
609
Snowbird USA!
Seems I recall a commentary regarding emergency egress from the rear Model3 seats. If there is an issue and the OP is planning on a long term hold, WRT these children, then might be useful to research that as well.

Thank you very much

FURY

Another good point and reason I am waiting for more product development. Without manual release handles in the rear, there is no way to open the rear doors from inside in a post-impact loss of power. Kids in child seats couldn't reach the handles in any event, but once they are able, the lack of such a feature would concern me for their well-being.
 

Butane

Member
Apr 6, 2018
79
162
Bloomington, IN
TBH the rear release handles aren't a problem for me. I've got a 27 month old and another coming in less than 2 weeks. My wife and I rediscovered why cars have child locks when the little guy (forward facing) opened the car door of our Fusion while driving down the highway.

At least with the Model 3, this is a software setting and not a physical switch hidden on the door. Perhaps we can petition Elon for an open-in-crash setting similar to what was added for the glove box. My feeling is most crashes where you'd be OK with the kids getting out on their own power wouldn't kill 12V to the car immediately anyway.
 

WileyTheMan

Peanut Gallery Member
Apr 20, 2016
1,001
923
Los Gatos, CA
My kids don't forward face anymore, but I have no problem having them in
I actually have the model 3 and we have 3 boys. Two are forward facing (on the outsides using the latch systems) and in the middle we use this special booster (mifold) that pulls the belt down and places it appropriately. We also have the Pacifica Hybrid (you mention it above). It gets 33 miles on a charge and is a joy to drive. It has a 6.6 kWh onboard charger so it only takes a little over 2 hours to fully charge. We love both.
I've seen a few videos of people being able to get three regular car seats back there. But that mifold thing is interesting. Will have to check that out.
 

N8Howell33

Member
Jan 22, 2018
285
203
Salem, OR
My kids don't forward face anymore, but I have no problem having them in

I've seen a few videos of people being able to get three regular car seats back there. But that mifold thing is interesting. Will have to check that out.

Yeah my wife is a car seat stickler, its approved and the way it pulls the belt down and has the belt also go around their lap, it provides same security as the booster. And it's not too expensive.
 

Mishakim

Member
Apr 4, 2016
149
128
Boston, MA
My kids don't forward face anymore, but I have no problem having them in

I've seen a few videos of people being able to get three regular car seats back there. But that mifold thing is interesting. Will have to check that out.
We have a mifold, and it tends to float between cars as needed when friends are along. It's good for one-off needs, but a bit of a pain to use, so not great for regular use. Essentially, the problem is that it's too portable, and doesn't stay put when not in use.
 
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Tony_YYZ

Tezler Guru
Apr 7, 2016
2,074
2,203
Caledon, ON Canada
I had the same concern about fitting a convertible car seat into the TM3 before ordering, so I brought my Graco 4ever to a gallery to test it out. In the attached pictures, the 4ever is in the correct incline and I've adjusted the driver seat for my 5' 7" height. I tend to sit very far back, so it's probably in a good position for a typical driver who's 5' 8" or 5' 9". It may be hard to see from the angle of the picture, but there's still a small gap left between the car seat and the driver seat. Keep in mind the seat isn't latched, so you'd probably gain another 1/2 inch once it is.

A downside of using a regular width car seat like the 4ever is that the middle seat is unusable when the car seat is installed on the side. When the car seat is installed in the center, the side seats are usable but not comfortable. I'm getting a narrow width Diono Radian RXT today, so let me know if you have specific questions about how the 4ever or Radian fits.

View media item 118244View media item 118243

Not OP but I would appreciate it greatly if you could test fit the Radian RXT in the rear facing configuration in the center seat and the passenger rear seat please!

I've ordered my Model 3 and am looking at possibly buying a Radian RXT for my child. Thank you very much!
 

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