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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Still have the Ascent on the short list. We are a family of 5. We all agree that we like the captains chairs opposed to the bench. Kids think it’s cool to have their own seats and whoever is in the 3rd gets it all to themselves. They say they are completely comfortable... but they’ve only been on a couple test rides to base this on. So, how many of you have someone riding in the 3rd row everyday and do they complain about leg room or being cramped? Kids are 11, 11 and 15 but all petite.

On a side note I drove a Elite Pilot for the first time today and was very underwhelmed by the interior. IMO the Ascent interior blows it away. Overall the entire car just seemed somewhat boring after driving the Ascent. 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

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I’ve got the 8 seater and use the 3rd row every time the whole family leaves the house. The kids (age 10,8,8,5) haven’t complained about legroom but do prefer the middle bench to be moved slightly forward. None of them have assigned seats so they rotate where they sit each trip. I couldn’t be happier with choosing the Ascent over the other options for 7-8 seat SUV’s.
 

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We roughly have the same aged kids and are petite too. I would say some days they are fighting for the 3rd row seat when we are all together. Other days, especially in the winter, they want the second row because of the heated seats. We do have a benched second row. I think they would be happier to get in and out if it was Capt chairs. We chose bench because of camping needs. We need all three kids in the second row to allow us to carry gear.
 

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For contrast, there are a great many of us who bought the Ascent because of the extra space that the third row design brings, but almost never use the third row for people. I think I've had humans in the third row a total of three or four times since I bought it in May 2019 and that was for convenience to avoid a second vehicle with a fifth person. (I have a Touring with the captain's chairs) I sometime flip up one side of the third row to contain grocery bags (all done from the hatch) For me, this vehicle was an upgrade for interior space from the Grand Cherokee I previously drove. I will say, however, that the third row is actually usable compared to the third row I had in the 2006 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited I owned long ago! That one was only for "little people" for sure.
 

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If your kids are average height or petite, you will be fine. Just keep in mind the reduction in cargo space with third row in use for people, if that's an issue for you (as it would be for any SUV vs minivan in this category).
 

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I have a family of five and we just upgraded from a 2017 Forester XT. In the Forester, our backseat configuration was a car seat, backless booster, no booster ... and it was tight. My kids are 11, 10, and 7. Long road trips were done in the minivan!

Now, we have a 7-passenger Ascent and it has been great (owned less than a month). My two older boys get captain's chairs, and the 7 year-old is now in a backed booster in the third row passenger side ... and she think she is "hot stuff" back there. She can buckle her own seat belt just fine, with one caveat below.

If the driver-side third row (the 60 part of the 60/40) is folded down for any extra space, the folded-down seat makes her seat belt buckle difficult to access as it becomes squeezed between the folded-seat and her booster. Our solution was a seat belt extender I found on this forum: https://www.seatbeltextenderpros.com/subaru-ascent-seat-belt-extender/ (We got the Rigid 3" Black) ... but you should know that there is an authorized reseller on Amazon and if you go through Amazon, you get TWO for the price of one. (I realized my mistake a little too late and only needed one). We received this last week and everything is now a breeze for her. The USB ports in every row is great and the cupholders are everywhere!
 

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For contrast, there are a great many of us who bought the Ascent because of the extra space that the third row design brings, but almost never use the third row for people. I think I've had humans in the third row a total of three or four times since I bought it in May 2019...
... We chose bench because of camping needs. We need all three kids in the second row to allow us to carry gear.
@Jim_in_PA does another species go back there: dogs, extraterrestrials, etc? :ROFLMAO:
@ATXV18&Ascent19 I'll be going on our first family tent camping trip next weekend. I just bought a bigger cooler for the trip so its taking up most of the trunk with the 3rd row up. I'll be using the SkyBox for almost everything else. Its great to be able to fit the 100 gal cooler there even with the seats up. In my wife's 7 passenger Sorento you're lucky to fit a lunchbox back there!
 

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If the driver-side third row (the 60 part of the 60/40) is folded down for any extra space, the folded-down seat makes her seat belt buckle difficult to access as it becomes squeezed between the folded-seat and her booster. Our solution was a seat belt extender I found on this forum: https://www.seatbeltextenderpros.com/subaru-ascent-seat-belt-extender/ (We got the Rigid 3" Black) ...
I had an extender in the 3rd row for a while but decided it wasn't worth the safety risk and just bought booster seats with a narrower base. Surprisingly the boosters had a wider seating surface yet were easier for the kids to buckle back there! Just something to consider...
 

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I had an extender in the 3rd row for a while but decided it wasn't worth the safety risk and just bought booster seats with a narrower base. Surprisingly the boosters had a wider seating surface yet were easier for the kids to buckle back there! Just something to consider...
I hope you don't mind me asking ... but do you know which model booster you have? I, too, thought about the potential safety impact and bought the extender as a stop-gap for a new booster ... but have been lazy on that research. Currently, I have a Graco TurboBooster which is 19" wide and I see on the wider side of boosters.
 

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I went with recommendations from thecarseatleady.com

I have a Graco Turbo TakeAlong High Back (its narrower and slightly more expensive than the regular TurboBooster), a Graco TurboGo backless, and a Cosco Topside backless.
Using the measurements of the seats is nearly useless. They don't always measure at the same point. For instance, some may be wide at the thigh or headrest but narrow at the back near the buckle which is very important for ease of buckling.
 

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For contrast, there are a great many of us who bought the Ascent because of the extra space that the third row design brings, but almost never use the third row for people. I think I've had humans in the third row a total of three or four times since I bought it in May 2019 and that was for convenience to avoid a second vehicle with a fifth person.
Another from the camp of no/rare third row human passengers. If our OEM Ascent seat covers ever show up (quarantine delays), the second and third row will be canine territory. Figuring that the captain seat covers will be semi-permanent and the third row cover very nearly permanent. There have been very few occasions where we needed more than 4 seats for humans but wanted the cargo space of the folded third row and the towing capacity.
 

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Just me and the wife are the main occupants.Have yet to carry any other passengers at all. The third row seats were not a selling point at all for us. We wanted the cargo space. It will be nice to be able to to hall the son, his wife and grandkids whenever we need to,though.
 

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There are just the 2 of us adults and a 16 year old aussie/heeler mix. I have the captain's chair configuration. I have one seat up and the other one down. I do this so Callie (canine) will have something to stop tumbling forward on the passenger side, if I have to stop short. I have a comforter over the flattened third row and regular pillows to make her ride comfy and to stick in behind the second row and flat third row. Use a flattish doggie bed for her to lay on, but at the back, under the comforter, a memory foam pillow to stop her from sliding back against the rear hatch. That way she won't roll out when the hatch opens. The objective is to give her a "hole" to kinda lay in. Although...I have heard from my son that when riding in the third row ( of his SIL's lease Ascent), when changing lanes, you can feel the back of the vehicle sway. He is around 5' 11", so maybe little ones wouldn't notice it.
 

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Still have the Ascent on the short list. We are a family of 5. We all agree that we like the captains chairs opposed to the bench. Kids think it’s cool to have their own seats and whoever is in the 3rd gets it all to themselves. They say they are completely comfortable... but they’ve only been on a couple test rides to base this on. So, how many of you have someone riding in the 3rd row everyday and do they complain about leg room or being cramped? Kids are 11, 11 and 15 but all petite.

On a side note I drove a Elite Pilot for the first time today and was very underwhelmed by the interior. IMO the Ascent interior blows it away. Overall the entire car just seemed somewhat boring after driving the Ascent. 🤷🏻‍♀️
We have 3 kids also 12,10,7 and they fight to be the one in the 3rd row of an 8 seater. The 12yr old is 5'6" and still fits fine back there. We even managed to fit him in the back with a dog cage and small bags. We were never able to do that in our old pilot. We are very satisfied with our purchase.
If we keep them all in the 2nd row they always fight. Better to keep space between them.
 

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I have 3 kids (11, 10, and 7) and the 10 yo sits in the third row. His only complaint is finding a comfortable position for the headrest, which only has 1 position other than all the way down. Usually he can get it to stay up in an unlocked position and be fine.
 
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His only complaint is finding a comfortable position for the headrest, which only has 1 position other than all the way down.
I once suggested to somebody with the same issue that they could maybe try putting a collar around one of the headrest shafts to keep it in whatever position they wanted. I don't know if they ever did it, but that's what I would do if this was a concern for me.

The kind of thing I'm thinking of is called a shaft collar. I measured the third row shafts and they're about 14mm thick. Maybe I'll actually find some and stick them in the car just in case.
 

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does another species go back there: dogs, extraterrestrials, etc?
LOL...nope. Probably an occasional spider or stink bug, thought...
 
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I once suggested to somebody with the same issue that they could maybe try putting a collar around one of the headrest shafts to keep it in whatever position they wanted. I don't know if they ever did it, but that's what I would do if this was a concern for me.

The kind of thing I'm thinking of is called a shaft collar. I measured the third row shafts and they're about 14mm thick. Maybe I'll actually find some and stick them in the car just in case.
If I'm not mistaken, there's at least one thread about modifying the third row headrests for more intermediate height...probably in the Interior discussion area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have a family of five and we just upgraded from a 2017 Forester XT. In the Forester, our backseat configuration was a car seat, backless booster, no booster ... and it was tight. My kids are 11, 10, and 7. Long road trips were done in the minivan!

Now, we have a 7-passenger Ascent and it has been great (owned less than a month). My two older boys get captain's chairs, and the 7 year-old is now in a backed booster in the third row passenger side ... and she think she is "hot stuff" back there. She can buckle her own seat belt just fine, with one caveat below.

If the driver-side third row (the 60 part of the 60/40) is folded down for any extra space, the folded-down seat makes her seat belt buckle difficult to access as it becomes squeezed between the folded-seat and her booster. Our solution was a seat belt extender I found on this forum: https://www.seatbeltextenderpros.com/subaru-ascent-seat-belt-extender/ (We got the Rigid 3" Black) ... but you should know that there is an authorized reseller on Amazon and if you go through Amazon, you get TWO for the price of one. (I realized my mistake a little too late and only needed one). We received this last week and everything is now a breeze for her. The USB ports in every row is great and the cupholders are everywhere!
Good info to know about the seat belt extender, as we will most likely run into this issue as well when that part of the seat is down for cargo. Thanks!
 

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MY ASCENT HAS A THIRD ROW?!? 🤣🤣🤣

But seriously, I put it down immediately upon purchasing it and have never lifted up again
 
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