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2020 AWD Palisade SEL (Lagoon Silver/BlackBlack) with Conv
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Pali arrived today and I moved my car seats over. I'm the secondary kid hauler, so for now I am putting all 3 across the 2nd row to maximize cargo.

(obviously I have the 60/40 2nd row bench seat)

Installation #1
  • Graco AFFIX Backless Booster Car Seat behind the driver
  • Diono R100 Convertible car seat (full back), forward facing in the middle
  • Graco AFFIX Backless Booster Car Seat behind the passenger
We picked the Graco boosters specifically b/c they have LATCH which is not used for safety but is incredibly useful to keep the seats in place, so that they don't slide over the buckles, or become a loose projectile when there isn't anyone setting in the seat.

I used the LATCH connectors for all 3 (double booking the middle anchors), and installed seat belt extenders for the outside booster seats (else you can't reach the buckles down between the seats)
1255


Observations
a) using the passenger side LATCH (on the 40% section) for the middle seat removes any chance of sliding the 40% section to allow 3rd row access, so I plan to change that to a belt-based install ASAP.
b) even then I'm not too optimistic that the 40% will slide without significant rubbing against the Diono in the middle (which is one of the narrower convertible seats)
c) I had these same 3 across (same order) in my Outback.. in the Pali, the middle/Diono seems offset more forward than it was in the Outback

This was the quick/initial install, just to get to where I could transport if the minivan is out of commission... later this week I will change the install on the middle and see if I can't manage to gain any semblance of access to the 3rd row. Will update then.

EDIT:

2 more thoughts
  • the LATCH connectors are much more easily accessible vs. the incredibly recessed anchors in my Outback
  • but demerits to Hyundai for not providing a LATCH anchor on the passenger side of the 60% portion of the bench
 

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Hope you are able to figure out access to the third row, after the covid-19 stay at home, you may need to add a forth to the 3rd row
 

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2020 AWD Palisade SEL (Lagoon Silver/BlackBlack) with Conv
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I switched the middle car seat to use the belt (the car seat is a Diono, known for being narrow).. so this is safer (vs LATCH), but didn't result in any meaningful improvement for 3rd row access. This vehicle is 3 inches wider than my Outback (had these 3 same seats in the 2nd row), so I would think a diligent designer could make that work if they tweaked the 60/40 (or whatever the exact proportions are).

In short, I'm not sure you can have any practical access to the 3rd row with any "backed" car seat installed in the center position.

Next experiment is to move the 2-year old's Diono to out of the middle and see if any combination will allow either half of the 60/40 to slide.

Per the car seat lady website, there are some slightly narrower backless boosters I could try as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Played a full game of musical chairs today... no luck finding an arrangement which was more functional.. I reverted to the high back booster in the middle and no-back boosters in the outboard.

One other thing I noted.. on my previous car (Outback) the outboard shoulder straps originated from the seat top. In the Palisade they come from a non-adjustable location on the B-pillar.

As such they are at a higher angle which presents more of an issue for cutting across a child's neck :(

The booster seats came with a "belt positioner" which I installed and played around with.. it's not clear to me if a child is able to use them without assistance.. that will be a major PITA if they need me to thread the belt every single time.

It also would imply that they'll need to STAY in a booster longer before the belt will fit them properly. Oh the things the car designers just don't seem to think about :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Argh.. got a narrower booster and thought I could re-arrange, but the center middle buckle is different and so far I can't find a compatible seatbelt extender..... it really is a comedy of complete lack of kid experience for the car designers (across the board, not just Hyundai)
 

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Thanks for referring me to this thread @zim2dive! Neat that our 3 kids are essentially the same ages, my two year old is a couple weeks shy of 3 himself.

What car seat models did you end up using? We are 3 across in our current mid-2000s 4runner, and possibly the Palisade if we go with it. He's forward facing, I was looking for a 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 that is narrow but has arm rests (I don't know if armrests are important to a three year old, but my older kids say yes). Sounds like you've given this some thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
for the youngest, we use a Diono R100... based on it being well rated, but also narrow. No arm rests.. we're used it for 2 kids and they didn't seem to have any issue with it. We also had older/larger Britax seats which they liked, but didn't complain when we removed those. A seat with arms is going to really leave you crowded to fit 3 across, but if you put it in the center, and use the narrow boosters, you might fit.

I had been using Graco AFFIX Backless Booster Car Seat for the other 2.. we (and the kids) were perfectly happy with those.. but 2 of those + the Diono left very little room for the kids to be able to reach the buckles between the seats.

If you put the youngest in the middle, then you could use seat belt extenders on the outboard locations with backless boosters. But there are no extenders for the 2nd-row center (it's a different buckle.. probably to make sure you don't plug in to the wrong buckle).

So we have also been experimenting with Graco Turbo GO Folding Backless Booster, which is narrower and allows just-enough room for the eldest (with better dexterity) to reach down and use the 2nd row center buckle.

I still have concerns about the seat belt height for the outboard booster (ie. so it doesn't cross the neck), and the seat-belt-adjuster strap still confounds me. I have seen some suggestions that you leave the belt buckled, and simply teach the kids to crawl in/out of the buckled belt.

But all of that (to me) simply says the car manuf's have done a poor job of making their family-haulers to be family-friendly. I think there is plenty of room for some manuf to do a much better job. But perhaps the market demand simply isn't there. But really, if you could put minivan functionality/flexibility in an SUV form factor, it would sell. It doesn't need to off-road. Its a shame b/c the pieces are there.. some do X well, others do Y well, and if you could just get one manuf to put it all together, it could be very good. (ie. Honda.. take the magic seating from your van and put it in the Pilot.... boom... Ford, make the 2nd-row middle seat as easy to remove as it is in the Expedition... VW, don't make me buy your #@&* pleather.. Nissan update the Pathfinder (assuming they don't just go out of business).. etc).

And/or if your kids are still willing to sit in a big-kid booster with back, that would mean the buckle access is only an issue when YOU are installing the seats.. after which the kids would be using the 5-point harness of the booster... but our kids wanted to graduate from the backed-boosters (even tho some of those are made for kids up to 70+ pounds)

I do recall seeing that one of the higher-end mid-size SUVs (Volvo or maybe the new Genesis) had a built in booster (folds down from the seat back I think)... would love to see that as an option in all 2nd/3rd row locations.

Impatiently waiting for the kids to grow safely beyond the booster level... And/or suck it up and step up to the large SUV level for a few years.. I just didn't want to drive anything that large.

FWIW, I highly recommend watching the "Alex on Autos" car reviews.. he usually spends a bit of time talking about car seats and 3rd row access for each SUV.
 

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Don't you ever wonder how we all survived sitting on our parents laps without a seat belt driving the same amount of miles 50 years ago in a big piece of steel and no airbags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hah, yes, I remember sleeping in the floorboard or possibly even the back shelf as a little kid.
 
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