The Best Vehicle for 3 Car Seats text

The Best Vehicle for 3 Car Seats or More!

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We did extensive research before we found the best vehicle for 3 car seats back when I was pregnant with twins and we already had a 1 year old. We needed a vehicle that would fit two car seats backward facing and one forward, as well as all being forward as they grew. It was harder to find than one would expect!


Why we Need the Best Vehicle for 3 Car Seats

When we learned that we were having twins, in addition to our son who was 2 at the time, we knew that we had to get a minivan in order to haul all of our kids and their 3 car seats around safely. To be honest, I never wanted to own a minivan. I remember as a teenager I told my friends I didn’t want to be a “minivan mom” when I had kids, and that if anything I’d drive one of those SUVs with a third row. I’ve got to say though, I’ve really fallen in love with my minivan over the past three years.

When I found out there wasn’t just one baby growing inside of me but two identical babies in there, everything changed in so many ways, and forever would, I figured might as well be time to change my view of minivans too. At the time I had a Honda CR-V SE which I had proudly purchased brand new when I was in graduate school for my second graduate degree and starting my first real job in my career as a school psychologist. I figured it would probably be the only time I could ever get a new car so might as well do it!

I love researching and knew this would be a big purchase so I got to it! I looked at Consumer Reports, US News & World Report and The Car Seat Lady website. Being someone who already owned a Honda and loved it, I gravitated toward the Honda Odyssey. I also had heard great things about the Toyota Sienna so was heavily considering that as well.


Research

Finding a vehicle that can safely hold 3 backward-facing and eventually 3 forward-facing car seats proved to not be an easy venture, especially if we ever wanted to reconfigure where the seats were within the vehicle. At the time we were searching, 2018, we found that the 2016 Honda Odyssey SE minivan was our best bet, and in our price range. Looking at the updated versions of the Odyssey, it looks as though the Honda Odyssey still ranks as being the best Minivan overall even for this year according to U.S. News and World Report.

The amount of car seat configurations was the most important decision and even with the newer models if Honda Odysseys they still have the most car seat configurations and continues to be the #1 choice of The Car Seat Lady.

Honda Odyssey features we love (links to full details from The Car Seat Lady)
– 8 Seats Total
– 6 Seats have Tether Anchors for use when car seat is forward-facing
– 5 Seats have Tether Anchors (forward-facing) and Lower Anchor for rear-facing
– Trunk has enough room to easily fit a double stroller and much more
– When car seats aren’t in third row, the third row is able to be flattened to haul large toys or household goods
– Second-row seats are easily removable when desired
– High safety ratings
– Bluetooth connection to cell phones for music, podcasts, and directions
– Steering wheel controls for audio and cruise control
– DVD player with wireless headphones, plus headphone jacks if needed in rear seats, and remote
– Windows in middle row roll down like normal windows
– SunShade on both middle windows that can be pulled down for sunny days or easily retracted when not desired
– Single CD Player
– Rear Back-Up Camera with large screen
– Side Turn/Merge Camera with large screen
– Vacuum built into the trunk to clean out those messy car seats!
Not all Honda Odyssey’s will have all of these features.

Also, seeing as we have a 2016 model, the newer models have a lot more awesome features than we have!


Removing Seats for Extra Space

We decided early on to completely remove two of the middle seats, middle and side, so we had plenty of space to not only get our 2 year old into his seat but also move the infant carrier car seats the twins started out in. We love having that extra space.

We’ve sat down and eaten in that open area when the rain ruined our outdoor picnic, we have piled luggage in that area and everything else the kids needed for a 3-day mini-vacation at a cabin, we also have a little potty in the back seat that our eldest son has used on longer car rides.

To be honest, I’ve used it too. Probably more than him because I have to pee more than he does. Since COVID hit we haven’t gone anywhere unless it’s outdoors and even then we don’t want to use the public restrooms so my eldest and I will just pull the shades in the van and potty.

Before having a minivan I didn’t realize how amazing the sliding doors are, especially now that they are powered. I also love that the middle windows actually roll down like normal car windows, unlike the old van windows that would just pop open. The middle windows even have built-in shades that can be pulled down and attached to the base of the window for those really sunny days.

Our particular van has a vacuum cleaner built in the trunk which is pretty awesome for getting all of the snacks out of the car seats.


Car Seat Accessories & Pictures

Below are pictures of when we were using the rear-facing infant seats for the twins and our oldest was still rear facing as well. That middle and side seat was removed for easy access. When they were rear-facing we had mats on the seats so they didn’t get the fabric dirty and mirrors so we could see if they’re alright when we’re driving. We now have mats on the back of our seats to protect them from little feet.

Below the twins are in Graco4Ever car seats, similar to their big brother, and still rear-facing. Big brother is now forward facing in the middle row. Middle seat and side seat still removed from the middle row.

two rear facing car seats and one forward facing car seat in our honda odyssey
All 3 in Convertible Car Seats, two rear facing and one forward facing.

Below all 3 are forward-facing, with the middle and side seat of the middle row still removed. I don’t know if we’ll ever put it in, we love having all that space. You can see the potty I referenced to between the two rows of seats. When we use it we pull it out into the open area of course.


My Recommended Minivan Items

Below are the convertible car seats, mats, rear facing mirror, and potty that we have in our minivan. I highly recommend them all!

Enovoe Kick Mats Back Seat Protectors for Vehicles Back Seat Kids - 2 Pack - Premium Quality Back seat Cover for Kids Offers Waterproof Protection of Your Upholstery from Mud and Scratches
Enovoe Kick Mats Back Seat Protectors for Vehicles Back Seat Kids - 2 Pack - Premium Quality Back seat Cover for Kids Offers Waterproof Protection of Your Upholstery from Mud and Scratches
by Enovoe
  • Back Seat back protector for kids - Designed to shield your car from dirt and scuffs. Tailored for sedans, trucks, SUVs, and minivans, our 18”x24” mats offer a snug fit without hindering the driver
  • Elegance Meets Functionality - Elevate your car's interior with our quality back seat cover for car. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, they are crafted from premium materials that stand the test of time.
  • Effortless Maintenance - Our dual-layered, waterproof cover are not just adept at shielding from rain and snow but they also promise ease of cleaning. A simple wipe with a damp cloth! No machine wash
  • Essential for Every Vehicle - Elevate your driving experience with our car accessories for kids. They seamlessly integrate protection and style, making them an indispensable addition to your vehicle.
  • CHRISTMAS GIFTS: Our products are a great idea for christmas gifts for men or christmas gifts for women. Wish them a fantastic Christmas with these cool christmas gifts!
 Price: $ 14.99 Buy now at Amazon
Shynerk Baby Car Mirror, Safety Car Seat Mirror for Rear Facing Infant with Wide Crystal Clear View, Shatterproof, Fully Assembled, Crash Tested and Certified
Shynerk Baby Car Mirror, Safety Car Seat Mirror for Rear Facing Infant with Wide Crystal Clear View, Shatterproof, Fully Assembled, Crash Tested and Certified
by Shynerk

Extra wide crystal clear reflection and 360 degree adjustable: easily pivot to your desired viewing angle, it allows you to keep your lovely baby in sight and look good after him or her all the time.
Safety certified and crash tested: design of shatterproof acrylic glass, strongly tied up by heavy duty straps, full rotation with hinge, even in a crash or accident you can ensure your baby's safety.

 Price: $ 20.59 Buy now at Amazon
Playtex Baby Potty Genie 3-in-1 Potty Trainer with Liner System New
Playtex Baby Potty Genie 3-in-1 Potty Trainer with Liner System New
by Ginsey Industries
  • 3-IN-1 DESIGN: Potty Genie 3-in-1 Trainer with Liner System can be used as a floor potty, potty ring, and step stool.
  • STAGES OF GROWTH: Potty Genie adapts to satisfy all stages of growth.
  • COMPACT DESIGN: Sturdy, compact design is easy to store out of the way.
  • INCLUDES SCENTED LINERS: Includes one roll of 20 lightly scented liners that fit perfectly around floor potty bowl and help with odor control.
  • EASY TO CLEAN: Easy to clean design features removable components, including floor potty bowl and potty ring.
 Price: $ 24.99 Buy now at Amazon

Other Vehicles to Consider

Even if you aren’t in the market for a minivan specifically but are wondering about car seat configurations I highly recommend going to The Car Seat Lady as she has the most detailed account of how many car seats can go in vehicles, where they can go, how many will fit, how to fit three in one row if desired, and so much more.


The best vehicle for 3 or more carseats, photos showing us in front of the vehicle and another photo shows all 3 kids in the vehicle in car seats.
Note – we didn’t park in the handicap space, the dealership parked it there just for the photo.

Founder, Professional Blogger at The Way it Really Is, LLC | [email protected] | Website

As a mom of identical twins and a son two years older, I have gained invaluable experience in the realm, and chaos, of parenting. With a Master's Degree and Education Specialist Degree in School Psychology, I spent years as a school psychologist, helping children navigate through their educational and emotional challenges. Now as a stay at home mom and professional blogger, I combine my areas of expertise to help you in your parenting journey.

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