Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

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SteelPenny
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Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by SteelPenny » Mon Jun 06, 2016 12:17 am

My spouse and I have our first child on the way. We are looking for a vehicle that would work well for a very tall person ( > 6'8") with a rear-facing child car seat in the 2nd row. We were thinking about a 2 row SUV such as Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ford Edge, but have been warned that rear-facing seats take up a lot of room and may not give us enough room to move the driver's seat back. A model that either has an abundance of room in the 2nd row and/or has a 2nd row that slides backwards would seem to fit the bill (we don't expect to use a 3rd row much at all for seating).

Does anyone have experience with SUVs / station wagons that you would recommend? 4WD/AWD is preferred.

We are considering all of the usual suspect 3-row SUVs, along with the Jeep Grand Cherokee if there is enough room. Possibly a 4-door pick-up truck with a full-size 2nd row seating. Not sure if there are any AWD hatchbacks/wagons that would fit the bill (Outback?), but would consider that as well.

We don't really want a minivan (we will not have more than 2 children).

We are not looking at luxury brands, but updated safety tech is a plus. Would like to pay around $40k or less, but could stretch a little bit if needed.

Thank you for reading, and we appreciate any suggestions.

Hazel-Rah
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by Hazel-Rah » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:06 am

At 6'3", with two young kids I had similar questions not too long ago. We ended up with a VW Golf R for me and GMC Acadia for the wife.

I knew rear-facing would only last one more year so I decided to sit up straighter than usual when taking the Golf places with our daughter but otherwise it worked out for trips ≤ 2 hours. The Acadia had plenty of space - too much space in my opinion, but the wife is happy. Now, the littlest is forward-facing and all four of us fit comfortably in each vehicle.

This guy summarized front and rear leg room by the numbers conveniently. Apparently Korean manufacturers are the way to go. But, there must be more to it than the numbers because even our Acadia doesn't stack up well compared to some mid-size sedans.<http://www.willeifert.com/automotive/best-mid-size-sedans-for-tall-drivers/>

This guy takes car safety seriously and even suggests which car seats fit with various vehicles. He finds ways to make 3 car seats fit in the middle row, too bad he doesn't summarize your exact question for best front & rear leg room considerations. http://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-car-seat-guide-html/

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White Coat Investor
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:10 am

SteelPenny wrote:My spouse and I have our first child on the way. We are looking for a vehicle that would work well for a very tall person ( > 6'8") with a rear-facing child car seat in the 2nd row. We were thinking about a 2 row SUV such as Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ford Edge, but have been warned that rear-facing seats take up a lot of room and may not give us enough room to move the driver's seat back. A model that either has an abundance of room in the 2nd row and/or has a 2nd row that slides backwards would seem to fit the bill (we don't expect to use a 3rd row much at all for seating).

Does anyone have experience with SUVs / station wagons that you would recommend? 4WD/AWD is preferred.

We are considering all of the usual suspect 3-row SUVs, along with the Jeep Grand Cherokee if there is enough room. Possibly a 4-door pick-up truck with a full-size 2nd row seating. Not sure if there are any AWD hatchbacks/wagons that would fit the bill (Outback?), but would consider that as well.

We don't really want a minivan (we will not have more than 2 children).

We are not looking at luxury brands, but updated safety tech is a plus. Would like to pay around $40k or less, but could stretch a little bit if needed.

Thank you for reading, and we appreciate any suggestions.


Good luck. 3 row SUVs don't fit people that are 6'2"+. I can't think of a single one that would fit a 6'8" person. I mean, you can get in. And you can lower the seat and recline it quite a bit and probably keep your head off the roof. The suburban has a particularly high roof. But you won't be able to see the light change if you're first in line at an intersection.

I find the cockpit style that has been popular for the last 10 years to be very annoying. Windshields just aren't high enough.
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SteelPenny
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by SteelPenny » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:39 am

Hazel-Rah wrote:
This guy summarized front and rear leg room by the numbers conveniently. Apparently Korean manufacturers are the way to go. But, there must be more to it than the numbers because even our Acadia doesn't stack up well compared to some mid-size sedans.<http://www.willeifert.com/automotive/best-mid-size-sedans-for-tall-drivers/>

This guy takes car safety seriously and even suggests which car seats fit with various vehicles. He finds ways to make 3 car seats fit in the middle row, too bad he doesn't summarize your exact question for best front & rear leg room considerations. http://www.thecarcrashdetective.com/3-across-car-seat-guide-html/


Thanks, these are great resources!

SteelPenny
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by SteelPenny » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:45 am

White Coat Investor wrote:Good luck. 3 row SUVs don't fit people that are 6'2"+. I can't think of a single one that would fit a 6'8" person. I mean, you can get in. And you can lower the seat and recline it quite a bit and probably keep your head off the roof. The suburban has a particularly high roof. But you won't be able to see the light change if you're first in line at an intersection.

I find the cockpit style that has been popular for the last 10 years to be very annoying. Windshields just aren't high enough.



Any suggestions? We have looked at the Tahoe / Suburban options. They are definitely very large, but quite expensive as well. We could probably buy one 1-2 years old for our price range. Plus we don't really need the 3rd row, which is why we have considered the pick-up option as they are less expensive and similar size of the Tahoe / Suburban for the first 2 rows (perhaps even built on the same frame, I'm not sure). The issue with the pick-up would be storing cargo for any road trip.

otinkyad
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by otinkyad » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:40 am

We had an older model Honda CR-V (2003), and the headroom was decent and the back seat legroom was the best I've ever seen. On the downside, the front seat didn't go super far back, though that may have changed, and could be modified aftermarket.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by bayview » Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:30 am

jl1615 wrote:We had an older model Honda CR-V (2003), and the headroom was decent and the back seat legroom was the best I've ever seen. On the downside, the front seat didn't go super far back, though that may have changed, and could be modified aftermarket.

I don't think I'd want to modify this. I want a seat that aligns properly with the seatbelt set-up, that will work with the airbag, and that will stay put in the vehicle...
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by retiredjg » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:33 am

You might look at Toyota Highlander to see if that would work.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by flyingbison » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:48 am

SteelPenny wrote:My spouse and I have our first child on the way. We are looking for a vehicle that would work well for a very tall person ( > 6'8") with a rear-facing child car seat in the 2nd row. We were thinking about a 2 row SUV such as Jeep Grand Cherokee or Ford Edge, but have been warned that rear-facing seats take up a lot of room and may not give us enough room to move the driver's seat back. ...


Just put the car seat on the passenger side of the vehicle, so it doesn't interfere with the driver's seat.

I'm a tall/large person (not 6'8" though) and my Outback has plenty of leg and head room for me. The car seat went behind the passenger seat, and there was still plenty of room for my 5'11" partner in front.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:09 am

I know you probably don't want to hear this but as a tall guy with two kids, I would take my minivan over any SUV for trips. I've got a lot of room to be comfortable and so do the kids. It gets as good or better gas mileage and can haul twice as much stuff inside. Babies take up an inordinate amount of space with all their gear for the first year or so. Minivans also ride much much smother than an SUV which are typically build off truck chassis.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by eog » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:20 am

I agree with the previous post about minivans. The seating position in a minivan gives you more room with a rear facing car seats imo. We have a Honda Pilot and even though it is gigantic, the front seats are kind of tight for me at 6'3 with a rear facing seats.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by NoVa Lurker » Mon Jun 06, 2016 8:30 am

With your first kid, you will most likely put the car seat in the middle of the row (i.e., not behind either the passenger or driver seat), so there should be no issue, even when rear-facing. Just look for any car that has LATCH for the middle seat (which should be almost all newer cars, I think).

Once you have two kids, then it becomes more of an issue.

To agree with the prior posters -- we have a Honda Odyssey minivan, in part because I am tall and it gave me a little more space than the Pilot or Highlander. I was very surprised that I felt more comfortable in the minivan than in all other options. We love the minivan despite our initial reluctance. The automatic sliding back doors are amazing in tight parking spots - the kids can get out by themselves, and you don't have to worry about them hitting the side doors of neighboring cars.

We didn't buy the minivan until our oldest was 4 and my wife was pregnant with #3, and we never would have been able to pull the trigger before actually having kids, but it is a great car for this time in our lives.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by Nowizard » Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:18 am

I drive a 2015 4-Runner which would solve the issue, along with simply putting the child seat on the passenger side. It is actually better anyway since you can reach to the side to adjust a blanket or place something in the carrier while stopped. You cannot curly an arm behind you or see what is going on as well.
That being said, my wife drives an Odyssey. It is even larger, has the option of removing the second row seats, more storage in the rear than the 4-Runner and gets over 25 mpg in combined driving. It also rides much smoother than the 4-Runner. If you purchase a truck, you will be on a chassis that will not be as smooth riding as an Odyssey, Sienna, etc. Be sure that any vehicle you purchase has appropriate hooks for attachment of the car seat.

Unfortunately, you will have to deal with a few comments from men with an Odyssey, but I suspect they would be limited given your size! :happy

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by Rupert » Mon Jun 06, 2016 10:27 am

I don't understand why people hate minivans. They are the perfect car for the parents of small children. Have you ever driven carpool? Maybe you can't really appreciate the value of a minivan until you drive carpool. Those sliding doors make your life 100x easier. So, OP, before you pull the trigger on an SUV, please test drive an Odyssey or Sienna. I bet you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by PowDay » Mon Jun 06, 2016 3:15 pm

The killer feature in the three row crossovers vs the grand Cherokee is that the middle row slides forward and back just like a minivan. This allows for additional room for the drivers.

Check out http://carseatblog.com/ they are a little intense, but have lots of great data once you get digging.

http://carseatblog.com/22818/the-ultimate-rear-facing-convertible-space-comparison-review-size-matters/

Also keep in mind that rear facing is much safer than front facing, some car seats now allow rear facing all the way until 50bs, until the child switches directly to a booster.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by Luke Duke » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:20 pm

flyingbison wrote:Just put the car seat on the passenger side of the vehicle, so it doesn't interfere with the driver's seat.


My thoughts as well. You would need a full-sized SUV or a 4 door mega cab pickup to put a rear facing seat behind a 6'8" driver. And that might still be pushing it.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by MindTheGAAP » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:45 pm

eog wrote:I agree with the previous post about minivans. The seating position in a minivan gives you more room with a rear facing car seats imo. We have a Honda Pilot and even though it is gigantic, the front seats are kind of tight for me at 6'3 with a rear facing seats.


I'm 6'3" and we have the same thing in my wife's Pathfinder. It's basically not an option for me to be in the passenger seat because my legs won't fit properly due to the glove box. It's a 3-rower and has plenty of room in it... Except with the rear-facing car seat. Youngest is about to be spun when newest addition comes along in October but the problem will continue for another couple of years from that point.

I keep telling my wife that a minivan would likely suit better but she's definitely anti-minivan. No movement on that one I don't think.
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by czr » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:47 am

A 6'6" friend with two kids prefers Toyota 4Runners as well. As a Dad with kids who commutes and drives 95% of the time alone, I'd recommend focusing on your comfort first. Also, shop carefully for the car seats as that makes a big difference in terms of space saving. Those "lifetime car seats" may not be the best in terms of space preservation and they are only rear facing the first 2-3 years.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by JDot » Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:06 am

You should also research rear facing car seats that take up the least amount of space. You may be able to gain some there. I recall reading that similar car seats can be quite different in this regard.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:50 am

czr wrote:A 6'6" friend with two kids prefers Toyota 4Runners as well. As a Dad with kids who commutes and drives 95% of the time alone, I'd recommend focusing on your comfort first. Also, shop carefully for the car seats as that makes a big difference in terms of space saving. Those "lifetime car seats" may not be the best in terms of space preservation and they are only rear facing the first 2-3 years.


Wow! No way would I do 4runner. Cramped at 6'2".
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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by TOJ » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:56 am

Congratulations on your new Toyota Sienna, OP.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by jharkin » Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:49 am

When my wife was pregnant (twins :) ) we realized her Corolla was not going to cut it and bought a used Honda Pilot. The pilot worked OK with the seats rear facing but the front seats where pushed up a bit making it feel cramped and I am a lot shorter than you at 5'10". You might feel really cramped.

In retrospect my wife wishes we had got an Odyssey or Sienna and I have to say Ive come to agree (I used to hate vans). Far more roomy and versatile with kids -so I am going to agree with every poster on that point.

lthenderson wrote:I know you probably don't want to hear this but as a tall guy with two kids, I would take my minivan over any SUV for trips. I've got a lot of room to be comfortable and so do the kids. It gets as good or better gas mileage and can haul twice as much stuff inside. Babies take up an inordinate amount of space with all their gear for the first year or so. Minivans also ride much much smother than an SUV which are typically build off truck chassis.


Not all SUVs are truck based. Crossovers and small SUVs tend to be unibody/car based.

Most American large SUVs are truck based.
If you look at Toyota the Land Cruiser, 4 Runner and FJ (focused on off road market) are truck based, but the RAV4 and Highlander are car based.
If you look at Nissan the Pathfinder is truck based, Murano is car based.
All Honda SUVs are car based. Same for Mazda and probably the Koreans as well.
and so on...



SteelPenny wrote:Plus we don't really need the 3rd row, which is why we have considered the pick-up option as they are less expensive and similar size of the Tahoe / Suburban for the first 2 rows (perhaps even built on the same frame, I'm not sure). The issue with the pick-up would be storing cargo for any road trip.


Pickups are gonna be more cramped for kids unless you are looking at a full size double/king cab. Our other car is a double cab Tacoma. the kids fit OK front facing but I never would have been able to get them in when they where rear facing. We use it for around town, utility runs but take the Pilot for road trips.

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Re: Vehicle for tall person and rear-facing child car seat?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:51 pm

jharkin wrote:
lthenderson wrote:I know you probably don't want to hear this but as a tall guy with two kids, I would take my minivan over any SUV for trips. I've got a lot of room to be comfortable and so do the kids. It gets as good or better gas mileage and can haul twice as much stuff inside. Babies take up an inordinate amount of space with all their gear for the first year or so. Minivans also ride much much smother than an SUV which are typically build off truck chassis.


Not all SUVs are truck based. Crossovers and small SUVs tend to be unibody/car based.

Most American large SUVs are truck based.
If you look at Toyota the Land Cruiser, 4 Runner and FJ (focused on off road market) are truck based, but the RAV4 and Highlander are car based.
If you look at Nissan the Pathfinder is truck based, Murano is car based.
All Honda SUVs are car based. Same for Mazda and probably the Koreans as well.
and so on...


I should have been clearer and said all SUV's that met the OP's requirement of being big enough for him and a rear facing child safety seat are likely to be built off of a truck chassis.

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