It's become rather obvious that the bright yellow Ford Mustang that sits in our driveway is not exactly a car that will be able to accommodate our family in another 5 1/2-7 weeks. The car, which I cannot drive since someone who shall remain nameless decided to buy himself a stick shift, only seats four. Since strapping children to the roof of the car or stowing them in the trunk is typically frowned upon, that leaves us looking for a suitable car that can occasionally carry all three children in the back seat.
We're looking for a car that has a back seat that is big enough to fit and properly secure two Graco backless Turboboosters, and a Britax Marathon 70 or Britax Roundabout convertible seat. We were looking at a Ford Edge, but that one got tossed out of consideration as soon as I came to the realization that the back seat is really only meant to carry two children riding in a child restraint.
Also, traveling with only two children in a child safety seat is not an option. While Madeline is going to be ten next month and legally in the state of NJ she was only required to be in a booster seat until age 8 or 80lbs, which ever came first, I intend to keep her in a booster seat until she is either 4'9"[NHTSA recommendation or "magic number"] or 12 years old. I'm not willing to take the chance of her sustaining internal injuries due to improper seat belt placement in the event of an accident. Madeline has a good six inches to grow before she hits the NHTSA's "magic number" so I don't think she'll be riding without a booster seat anytime soon.
I'm not sure why the car manufacturers make the seat belt placement on their cars as odd as they do. If all the belts were evenly spaced, we would have been able to fit three seats across the back of the Edge. The same goes for the third row of our Toyota Sienna. The bench in the van has more than enough room to fit all three seats but the seat belt placement is what keeps us from actually being able to secure the seats.
If you have any suggestions for a car that isn't a minivan or a huge SUV with a third row which might work for us, let me know. We're going to be checking out different cars and seeing which ones can fit our three seats.