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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are in the market for a 3 row SUV and the Ascent Limited 8 passenger is at the top of our list. 2 kids in forward facing car seats for at least another year and 1 kid in booster. The Ascent unfortunately does not have the feature that some other manufacturers have of being able to install outboard car seats in the second row and still be able to tilt/slide the seat to get 3rd row access. I'm hoping that our 2 narrow car seats (diono radian) would fit in 2nd row center and driver side and still allow passenger side seat to move freely to get 3rd row access. I think this is the only way the Ascent will work for us. Does anyone know if this is possible? Happy to use seat belts or latch - whatever works. Captains chairs are not an option for us as we will sometimes need to put all 3 kids across second row for trips with a lot of luggage. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is a great review from the Car Seat Lady:

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Thanks, I read that article. Unfortunately my question was not addressed. She actually states "It remains to be seen whether it is possible to have 2 car seats side by side in 2D and 2C and have 2P be able to slide for 3rd row access." Was hoping someone here had some more hands on knowledge.
 

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Probably best to take your Dionos to a dealer and try put them in an Ascent. I know Dionos are one of the few seats that typically can fit three across in a second row but there probably aren't enough Ascents on the road yet for helpful input from consumers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Probably best to take your Dionos to a dealer and try put them in an Ascent. I know Dionos are one of the few seats that typically can fit three across in a second row but there probably aren't enough Ascents on the road yet for helpful input from consumers.
Thanks. Yes that's on my list of things to do.
 

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I have three Dionos, two in our minivan and one in our ascent. this is why i went with 7 seater instead of 8.

That said, all 4 of our kids seat very comfortably in the Ascent though.
 

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We were in the exact same situation - 2 kids in Dionos and 1 in a booster. We install the two Dionos behind each front seat and leave the middle open, where the older kiddo can sit with his booster. The 2nd row seats slide forward to allow easy access to the 3rd row, especially for a child. There's no need for the seat to fold as it slides. I'll try to attach photos to show the space. As long as the child in the 3rd row can buckle themselves in, this seems easiest. The ease of access to the Dionos is awesome, compared to having one in the middle.

With that said, if one of the Dionos is rear-facing, that should fit in the middle with no problem and the 2nd row seat on the passenger side can slide and tilt. I tested to see if there was any way to get the Dionos next to each other, leaving the passenger-side seat open enough to slide/tilt. You could probably secure them in a way that wedged them together, leaving room for that seat to slide/tilt, but it would require moving the car seat on the driver's side closer to the door. I personally want them as far from the doors as I can, so I don't love that idea.

I went through all sorts of research and scenarios regarding this before confirming the Ascent, which we absolutely love so far. I tend to want to have the kids in the middle of the car, if at all possible, but I also didn't love the idea of a forward-facing seat in the middle second row. After seeing how far inset from the door the two car seats are, I feel more than comfortable about my kids' safety, and I'm borderline paranoid about that in vehicles.

Best of luck. Compared to all the other vehicles we tested (and, believe me, I drove my wife crazy with all the vehicles we tested), the Ascent just kept coming to the top. After several weeks of ownership, it's just a matter of it holding up. Awesome vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We were in the exact same situation - 2 kids in Dionos and 1 in a booster. We install the two Dionos behind each front seat and leave the middle open, where the older kiddo can sit with his booster. The 2nd row seats slide forward to allow easy access to the 3rd row, especially for a child. There's no need for the seat to fold as it slides. I'll try to attach photos to show the space. As long as the child in the 3rd row can buckle themselves in, this seems easiest. The ease of access to the Dionos is awesome, compared to having one in the middle.

With that said, if one of the Dionos is rear-facing, that should fit in the middle with no problem and the 2nd row seat on the passenger side can slide and tilt. I tested to see if there was any way to get the Dionos next to each other, leaving the passenger-side seat open enough to slide/tilt. You could probably secure them in a way that wedged them together, leaving room for that seat to slide/tilt, but it would require moving the car seat on the driver's side closer to the door. I personally want them as far from the doors as I can, so I don't love that idea.

I went through all sorts of research and scenarios regarding this before confirming the Ascent, which we absolutely love so far. I tend to want to have the kids in the middle of the car, if at all possible, but I also didn't love the idea of a forward-facing seat in the middle second row. After seeing how far inset from the door the two car seats are, I feel more than comfortable about my kids' safety, and I'm borderline paranoid about that in vehicles.

Best of luck. Compared to all the other vehicles we tested (and, believe me, I drove my wife crazy with all the vehicles we tested), the Ascent just kept coming to the top. After several weeks of ownership, it's just a matter of it holding up. Awesome vehicle.
Thanks. Super helpful. We have a 9 yo and 5 yo twins. They are all lightweights so the twins will likely need car seats for at least another year making car selections more challenging. We are coming to the end of the lease on our Pathfinder which we chose in large part as it was the only car (aside from its Infiniti twin) at the time that could allow access to third row with outboard car seats installed and a bench second row. Trying to avoid the mini-van and we are almost out of the woods. The Pathfinder has worked out well but not the best to drive and it's due for a redesign. We are Subaru fans and just outgrew the Outbacks we used to have. I knew the Ascent had a little more room to access 3rd row due to door shape but your picture is very encouraging. Should be fine for our skinny 9 yo. Adults will be tougher but that is not common. The Pathfinder is pretty easy with the tilt/slide feature for any able bodied adult. This is very encouraging. Excited to show my wife that picture as she really wants to be back in a Subaru. The other cars we have looked at are the usual suspects in this segment - namely the Atlas and CX-9. Thanks again.
 

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It seems the only thing that would prevent you from getting into the 3rd row via the single sliding 2nd row seat is a rear facing car seat. Those things are huge and go right up against the back of the front passenger seat. As long as 1 child is front facing or booster seat ready they can be placed behind the front passenger seat and there is plenty of room to slide that seat forward to get into the back.
 

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This is very useful! We're planning on getting an Ascent next year and want to go with the bench so we can have the younger two in the front, oldest in the back and still have flexibility. It's good to know that the 2nd row passenger slides forward for 3rd row access. Out of interest have you tried installing a Diono in the single 3rd row seat?

Now I just need to keep my finger crossed that Subaru will quickly update their options and offer the Touring with the second row bench. Seems utterly ridiculous that they limit the top trim level to 7 seats. Are those of us that need/want 8 seats not good enough for ventilated seats?
 

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One of the advantage of the rear door opening design is maximized for 3rd row access. This is something you have to test out in person, it doesn't work well by looking at photos.
 

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It seems the only thing that would prevent you from getting into the 3rd row via the single sliding 2nd row seat is a rear facing car seat. Those things are huge and go right up against the back of the front passenger seat. As long as 1 child is front facing or booster seat ready they can be placed behind the front passenger seat and there is plenty of room to slide that seat forward to get into the back.
Do you mean even with a belt install, with a FF convertible sear you could slide the 2nd row passenger seat forward? Thanks!
 

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We have a rear facing toddler and a rear facing infant (2 under 2), so on car trips I would like to have space for an adult in the second row with two rear facing car seats. Right now the are in Aton 2 and Maxi Cosi 70. Do you think this is possible in the Ascent? Wouldn't need access to the back row, would likely have seats folded for cargo.

Thanks!



We were in the exact same situation - 2 kids in Dionos and 1 in a booster. We install the two Dionos behind each front seat and leave the middle open, where the older kiddo can sit with his booster. The 2nd row seats slide forward to allow easy access to the 3rd row, especially for a child. There's no need for the seat to fold as it slides. I'll try to attach photos to show the space. As long as the child in the 3rd row can buckle themselves in, this seems easiest. The ease of access to the Dionos is awesome, compared to having one in the middle.

With that said, if one of the Dionos is rear-facing, that should fit in the middle with no problem and the 2nd row seat on the passenger side can slide and tilt. I tested to see if there was any way to get the Dionos next to each other, leaving the passenger-side seat open enough to slide/tilt. You could probably secure them in a way that wedged them together, leaving room for that seat to slide/tilt, but it would require moving the car seat on the driver's side closer to the door. I personally want them as far from the doors as I can, so I don't love that idea.

I went through all sorts of research and scenarios regarding this before confirming the Ascent, which we absolutely love so far. I tend to want to have the kids in the middle of the car, if at all possible, but I also didn't love the idea of a forward-facing seat in the middle second row. After seeing how far inset from the door the two car seats are, I feel more than comfortable about my kids' safety, and I'm borderline paranoid about that in vehicles.

Best of luck. Compared to all the other vehicles we tested (and, believe me, I drove my wife crazy with all the vehicles we tested), the Ascent just kept coming to the top. After several weeks of ownership, it's just a matter of it holding up. Awesome vehicle.
 

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I’m looking for any further experience with car seats. I’m about to have 5 kids to seat in my 8 passenger Ascent: 1 infant, 1 high-back booster, 2 regular boosters, and 1 without a booster. There’s also my wife and I of course. The kids in the 2 regular boosters and no booster are only with us part time so it won’t always have to be in full family configuration. I’ve researched on carseatlady.com already. Carseats themselves are pretty much set in stone at this point. Except for the infant seat they’re all pretty narrow.

I’ve been playing with different configurations to see what works but I’m waiting on Target to ship the infant seat itself (I have the base already) before I can really get a feel for how it works best.

Of course the infant seat needs to be in the 2nd row and the high-back booster will normally go in the 2nd row too. Ive found it’s nearly impossible to buckle the high-back booster in 2D when the infant seat is in 2C. It’s also nearly impossible to move 2P forward for 3rd row access when the high-back booster is in 2P using its seatbelt guide. That basically tells me those two seats together in the 2nd row doesn’t work well when trying to access the 3rd row.

It might be a little inconvenient but I might move the high-back booster to the 3rd row, keep the infant seat in 2D, and use one regular booster each in the 2nd and 3rd rows. That’ll leave one seat in each of those rows for the older kid in no booster.

I tried fitting myself in the 3rd row between the 2 boosters....lets just say that’s not ideal, not even a little bit. I can fit between them in the 2nd row...but also no.

If anyone has any other ideas how to configure that many seats I’d love to hear them.
 

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a lot of useful information in the thread, thanks everyone!
We are looking at 7 seat Ascent and putting the 2 car seats in each of the captains chairs. Does anyone have experience with this configuration?
 
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