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Which Minivan has easiest seat storage?

cherroncherron Posts: 1
edited March 10 in Honda
It seems like most minivans have some type of "magic" seat option, but which one is the easiest to use? What about 2nd row seats? The Town & Country has the "stow and go," but are the 2nd row seats comfortable? I'm not sure if I want to sacrifice seat comfort, just to stow them into the floor
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Comments

  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    I can't recall ease of use of the other minivans, but our Mazda MPV 3rd row seat is easy to use. Just pull out the short strap in back and pull on a longer strap to hide it away. Since, the MPV does not have the longer distance between the back of the third row and the rear bumper...I'm guessing one wouldnt have to lean in as much. The MPV 2nd row seats are fairly easy to remove, I think they weigh 40lbs. They are very comforable.

    GM minis dont have the "magic" seat.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Well, the 3rd row is pretty easy to use in the Odyssey. The only one that I would compare it to for ease of use would be the Sienna. One additional advantage to split 3rd row seats is that individually they are lighter (easier to operate) than a single non-split 3rd row. But I think the ability to flip the 3rd row over for tailgating in the MPV is a neat option that I sometimes wish we had in the Ody.

    The Ody 2nd row seats aren't so much heavy, as just awkward to remove/install due to their bulk. Fortunately, I've only had the real need to remove them on a couple of occasions.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Odyssey 60/40 split 3rd row seats were the easiest to fold into the floor, DC minivans 2nd and Sienna took a little more effort than DC. I thought Ody had the most comfortable seats in 2nd row, Ody and Sienna tied for comfort in front and rear seats with DC being the least comfortable...but still comfortable.
    I prefer the 2nd and 3rd row seats of my 02 T&C to the Stow 'N Go for comfort and they are not very hard to remove. My 02 T&C 2nd row seats are much easier to remove and reinstall than the 2nd row in either the Ody or Sienna.
  • aaron_taaron_t Posts: 301
    I haven't compared ease or use between the three market leaders, but I love the split folding of our T&C Toruing. It requires three steps: First to fold the back agaisnt the seat bottom. Next to release the latches on the front, and last rotate it into the floor. Also, one can skip step one for tailgate seating.

    Doesn't someone have a power folding rear seat availible? I know the 2006 Ford Explorer does, why not minivans? I'm sure they are coming.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    The 2006 Sienna Limited FWD has a power folding/adjustable 60/40 Split & Stow 3rd row seat included in Pkg # 3. ;)
    The power folding/adjustable 3rd row seat is NOT available in the Limited AWD.
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Doesn't someone have a power folding rear seat availible?

    I hear that DCX is working on it for T&C.....2nd and 3rd row power folding, for MY 08 though.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    Are we that lazy that we need a power folding rear seat????

    The Quest has the traditional full length 3rd row seat, but it is very simple to use. Grab strap, push button an dpull the seat toward you. Once it is int he well, lift up on the handle on the bototm of the seat (which is now in front of you) and it collapses into the well. Unfortunately you have to reomove the headrest though.

    All minvans should have the deep well and disappearing 3rd row seats. Adds to the versatility of the vehicle.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "Are we that lazy that we need a power folding rear seat????"

    What do you think?

    Actually, I think it's just one part laziness, one part "at least three times in the last decade I've needed to drop the seat at the same time my hands were full, so I really really really need a power folding seat", and a huge dollop of "hey, check-out the cool seats in my new van!".

    But that's just IMHO......
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Are we that lazy that we need a power folding rear seat????

    Well, I have to admit, I thought putting a power hatch on a minivan wasn't too smart, but now I can't imagine not having it. Here in Michigan in the winter, when cars are filthy from dirt and salt, being able to not touch a dirty handle to open and close hatch is FANTASTIC! I bet senior citizen would probably feel same about power folding seats....many SUVs have em already.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    As an Odyssey owner, I have to say that among Pre-2004 minivans, the Odyssey was the king.

    Now, I think the crown goes to the Toyota Sienna XLE Limited with PKG 3, which has those power folding seats :) :D :blush:
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    OHh wow, didn't know Toyota had those!! KEWL
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Can't get it on AWD models. Only the FWD Sienna XLE Limited.

    All you do is push a button!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Now that the rear seat will fold into the floor by the push of a button, isn't it time for another luxury item to save us from working too hard?
    Isn't DaimlerChrysler going to put power operated 2nd row seats "Stow ' N Go" into the Town & Country Ultra Limited?
    Only a matter of time before the driver can use voice commands to select Drive, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Reverse, or Park. Time to reduce the workload for lazy Americans. ;)
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    A bunch of smart engineers had to develop the system, so you could say that its actually making America smarter and more innovative since American engineers are developing the technology.

    I'm not sure who all worked on the Power seat thing over at Toyota though...
  • gg2k2segg2k2se Posts: 109
    All I can add is that the Quest middle seats fold "almost" flat rather easily. I brought home 4X8 sheets no problem. As # 8 above said, the rear seat also goes into its well quickly; it takes longer to clear out the well than to drop the seat. The middle seats are very comfortable but the rear seat is a little small for adults

    I've never seen the Chrysler stow seats and I can't see paying for an optional power stow seat. Sounds like too much to break and/or crush.
  • spend your money elsewhere...not on an MPV....needed new tires, rear heater work and new alternator/battery before 30000 miles..ouch
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
    Hi, slovikovski,

    Since this discussion is about seat storage in minivans, you might get more feedback in our MPV discussion here:

    Mazda MPV

    MODERATOR
    Need help getting around? claires@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • Just checked 2006 Oddysey and 2006 Sienna LE.
    Odyssey's 3rd row is easier to operate.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    But have you seen the 2006 Sienna XLE Limited with Package 3? Nothing can beat it. All you do is push a button.
  • I agree. The Ody seats seem lighter; easier to fold down into the cargo area.

    I still bought the Sienna LE though. ;)
  • ckeoughckeough Posts: 15
    We have an 06 Quest and tested the Sienna and GC. The Sienna and GC rear seats are more user friendly since the headrests don't have to come off, but the 2nd row seating in the Quest is much better. The GC Stow and Go is a great feature, but we found the seat to be very small and uncomfortable mostly likely due to fitting in the storage well. The Sienna's 2nd row seats only tumbled forward. The Quest's 2nd row seats are very comfortable, position forward and back to give great legroom and fold almost flat very easily.

    Chris
  • dennisctcdennisctc Posts: 1,168
    Just back from the North American Autoshow in Detroit (Supplier Day pass - only way to go to Autoshow). I played with all the vans and their seats. If you need flexibility for cargo/passengers, nothing beats DCX's "Stow N Go". As far as 3rd row seating, I'm sure once you buy one and learn how to fold it, they're all identical in my personal opinion!
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    AGREE. I went over to the Salt Lake City Auto Show (in Sandy, Utah) today and folded the 3rd row seating of most minivans...and all fold up or down very easily. (GM is my least favorite :sick: ).
    The DC minivans, Sienna, and Odyssey appear to have the most cargo space behind the 3rd row. The 2006 Kia Sedona is "The MOST Improved" minivan...but my preference remains DC, Sienna, and Odyssey. ;)
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    It seems like most minivans have some type of "magic" seat option, but which one is the easiest to use? What about 2nd row seats? The Town & Country has the "stow and go," but are the 2nd row seats comfortable? I'm not sure if I want to sacrifice seat comfort, just to stow them into the floor

    Well the third row of the Dodge is a little harder but that is only because it's a split seat that will not only fold flat into the floor, but flip the other way so you can sit on it looking out the tailgate. But Chrysler marked the pull tags, so you know in what order to pull them to get the seat they way you want.

    The second row seats are pretty easy when you remember to move the front seats all the way foreword.

    Here is two pictures of one seat stowed and the storage bin part way open. I have a storage pad, battery cables, tools, rope, flashlight, can of fix a flat, tape and bungy cords in it and I could still put in another storage pad.

    My Daughter is about to have a baby any day now and I'm going to take a set up bassinet to her house tomorrow and I will take a picture of it setting inside the side door all set up with one seat folded. This is why the Dodge is so family friendly. Your always ready for what ever you need to carry.

    http://www.marine1.zoomshare.com/album/minivan/images/3c38fb2705868db01d3853fb53- af25d9_11404033020/image.jpg

    http://www.marine1.zoomshare.com/album/minivan/images/f18f83bd36cdf303c22ab68724- 6252d3_11404032510/image.jpg
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    http://www.marine1.zoomshare.com/album/minivan/images/d3ef1c8150345793a6729b3c28- - - 7a1d97_11404444690/image.jpg

    As you can see, no problem getting most anything in the side door. Your always ready with this van. It's as family friendly as you can get.
  • The DC minivans, Sienna, and Odyssey appear to have the most cargo space behind the 3rd row. The 2006 Kia Sedona is "The MOST Improved" minivan...but my preference remains DC, Sienna, and Odyssey.

    I also had no problems folding the seats in any of the models you mentioned. All are good choices. The Sienna seemed to have the most usable cargo room behind the 3rd row seat to me. It wasn't a huge difference, but it might come in handy for some. On the other hand, I do not care for the third row seat folding and design in the Quest and Freestar. Those definitely seemed heavier and harder to fold than the others.

    Stow and Go is awesome if you mostly have kids and cargo in back. Just like the folding third row seat, I bet it will be pretty universal among the next generation of minivans.

    Now if only one of the manufacturers could produce a minivan with Stow and Go seating that is also as comfortable for adults as regular captain's chairs. Include an 8th passenger option, top safety ratings, standard side curtain airbags, stability control and dynamic head restraints. Is that asking too much for a class of vehicle targeted at families?
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    Now if only one of the manufacturers could produce a minivan with Stow and Go seating that is also as comfortable for adults as regular captain's chairs. Include an 8th passenger option, top safety ratings, standard side curtain airbags, stability control and dynamic head restraints. Is that asking too much for a class of vehicle targeted at families?

    Wait until the new generation Chrysler/Dodges come out. You may get all of that and more. Although there is nothing uncomfortable with the stow and go middle seats now. No one that owns one is complaining about them being uncomfortable. Only the people that doesn't own one.
  • "Although there is nothing uncomfortable with the stow and go middle seats now. No one that owns one is complaining about them being uncomfortable. Only the people that doesn't own one. "

    I don't own one, but I have ridden in them. Stow and Go would be great for us if there was an 8th seat option, since we mostly have kids in back 95% of the time.

    On the other hand, I personally wouldn't want to ride in the rear seats for anything much longer than a short commute. Obviously, if you ride in the second row frequently for longer trips and bought the Stow and Go, then I assume it was comfortable enough to purchase on that basis. So, it's no surprise that many owners would not complain, while some that don't own one may have purchased another van in part because of the seat comfort. That's why smart shoppers do research and test drive before buying;-) It's a good thing there are a lot of choices for people who have varying opinions on comfort and everything else, too.

    That said, do you feel there is no room for improvement in the Stow and Go seats in regard to comfort for average adults? Do you doubt that the design will be improved by DC or competitors when they copy the concept? That was my point as far as next generation vans.
  • marine2marine2 Posts: 1,155
    On the other hand, I personally wouldn't want to ride in the rear seats for anything much longer than a short commute. Obviously, if you ride in the second row frequently for longer trips and bought the Stow and Go, then I assume it was comfortable enough to purchase on that basis. So, it's no surprise that many owners would not complain. It's a good thing there are a lot of choices for people who have varying opinions on comfort and everything else, too.

    That said, do you feel there is no room for improvement in the Stow and Go seats in regard to comfort for average adults? Do you doubt that the design will be improved by DC or competitors when they copy the concept? That was my point as far as next generation vans.


    I rode in the back once from Phoenix to Prescot and didn't find them a bit uncomfortable. They are a little firmer but not uncomfortable in the least. I find the Ody's ride much firmer than the Dodge, but I wouldn't call the ride uncomfortable either. The ride in our Civic is much firmer than the minivan and can be brutal on ruff roads.

    I hear the seats will be changed to some degree on the new generation Dodge/Chrysler. They are suggesting to make them different to accomadate all wheel drive again and making them motorized. Not confirmed.

    I have had no need for eight seats. Most families only have a couple of kids and even with their friends, I don't know if I would ever need eight seats. Haven't needed them yet. But I have sure used stow-n-go quite a few times in 14 months. Used it just today taking the bassinet to my Daughter's house.
  • "I rode in the back once from Phoenix to Prescot and didn't find them a bit uncomfortable."

    Exactly my point. You bought something that met your needs, which may vary from someone else's. You can debate the topic of comfort all you like, but it's a subjective preference and was not among the main points in my original post, anyway.

    "I have had no need for eight seats."

    Never said you did. That was also only a side note in my original post and obviously any individual buyer can assess for themselves if they need an 8th seat or not. For my case, it was a selling point. For others, it's useless. You won't find anything to disagree with me about, there.

    As for the thread topic, I certainly agree that fold-away seating systems are the way to go and provide the easiest storage. On the other hand, it is a bit ironic how things have changed from 5 years ago on these forums. Back then, many DC minivan owners refused to accept the utility of Honda's folding third row seat and criticized it for being less comfortable than a conventional seat. While I generally agreed about the comfort issue, it was clearly the most convenient solution at the time and is now emulated by almost every other minivan. Honda has since improved the comfort and folding systems, as I expect DC will do with Stow 'n Go. Likewise, as I said earlier, I would not be surprised if most other minivans debut some form of Stow 'n Go in their next generation models.
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