Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Freestyle 2nd Row Seat Configuration

hoosierfordguyhoosierfordguy Posts: 6
edited March 6 in Ford
My wife and I will be buying a FS soon and we pretty much know what options we want/don't want.
The one thing we seem to go back and forth on is which 2nd row seat configuration to go with. Bench, buckets w/console, buckets w/o console?
We're gonna start having kids pretty soon and we already have a big trip planned. We want to be able to get child seats in and out easily, but we also want to maximize the passenger capacity.
Also a little worried about the load floor having a big hole in the middle (buckets w/o console) when seats are folded.
Any advice?
What are your preferences?
How do you use your FS?
Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • richfig23richfig23 Posts: 15
    Hi: I have a Freestyle Limited with 2nd row Bench. I beleive this offers the best combination of passenger capacity and seating flexibility. You can comfortably fit 7 passengers and still have some cargo room in the rear. You can sit 5 comfortably without having to flip the seats to get to the 3rd row. I have 2 boys and on long trips, they each take up a row to themselves....In my opinion, the center console in the 2nd row is just wasting valuable space.
  • peetertpeetert Posts: 124
    We are in the same quandry at the moment ourselves, however, we have 3 kids so access to the third row needed. That is why we are looking at the 2nd row buckets w/o console. This is similar to the configuration our current Windstar. Also, one is in a carseat (2yo) and another in a booster (7yo).

    The issue is, most of the ones we've looked at have the 60/40 bench. If anyone with the 60/40 split bench routinely needs access to the 3rd row, how do you do it with the bench seat?

    Thanks

    Peeter
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I'd say get the console if it's free and remove it yourself. That way you can always put it back if you want.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "Also a little worried about the load floor having a big hole in the middle (buckets w/o console) when seats are folded. "

    I have the 2nd row bench, but my understanding is that the console has a flat top that swings up so that the floor is level when the seats are folded.

    I wanted the buckets, but none were available at the 4 dealers I checked (about 120 Freestyles and no buckets!). I am now glad I have the bench. I can carry 3 in the 2nd row easily, and still fold the rear seats. For two kids, keeping one carseat on the left and one on the right of the bench seats is the same as having two buckets back there.

    The 2nd seats easily fold forward for access to the 3rd row (especially on the right side, which is the "double" seat in the bench).

    The only issue I have with the bench seats is the lack of a decent cup holder. The door holders are really only for bottles, and there is only the floor-level double cup holder under the air vent. I solved this by getting car seats that had built in cup holders.
  • peetertpeetert Posts: 124
    I'd say get the console if it's free and remove it yourself.
    If I reacall, it's a $95 option. Plus, it all depends on what is on the lot. I haven't looked into ordering, but with Taurus X coming out, I doubt they are taking any more special orders.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Buying a Freestyle soon?

    I hope you are very Flexible on what you want. There are not alot out there.

    Mark.
  • How hard is it to remove the console? What does the floor look like when it is out?
    If it's relatively easy to remove, I would narrow my choices down to bench or console.
    With the console out, is it still pretty easy to get to the 3rd row without folding the seats?
    I appreciate your input. From what I've read on this forum, it sounds like I'll be very happy with my FS regardless. My wife is already very excited because it will replace her electrical nightmare they call a Grand Prix. I'm just happy cause its not a minivan!
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    If you unbolt and remove the console, you'll have to get something to cover up the mounting hardware with.

    You might be narrowing your choices down to something you can't get. Get to some dealers and see whats available.

    Mark.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    We have a Freestyle with the rear buckets and center console. We love this configuration because it separates our 3 and 6 year olds enough that they don't get into too much trouble in the back. The console is also the perfect place to store the DVDs that are used in our overhead DVD player. I would highly recommend the buckets unless you absolutely have to seat 7.

    Access to the third row with the buckets is very easy as they flip forward and out of the way. We've seated adults in the third row and they've had no trouble getting back there with the 2nd row bucket tipped forward.

    - Chad
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    How do you flip the seats with carseats in place?
  • Mark, you have a good point. I'm sure we'll be thrilled with whatever configuration we get and maybe I am being a little picky. The type of 2nd row is by no means a deal breaker.
    That said, I think I prefer the bucket seats with the console. That way, I can remove the console if it gets in the way. We very rarely would need to seat 7 and the added storage of the console and the armrests it provides is a plus.
    Just curious, does the 2nd row bench have a center armrest that folds down like my parent's Expedition and the new Edge? If so, this point may be moot. Still, good to hear what everyone prefers.
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178
    No, the center bucket seats do not have a built in armrest. They rely on the center console for that purpose, so if you remove the console there will be no armrests.

    As far as how we flip forward the center buckets with car seats, it goes something like this.... The 3 year old is in a car seat that is bolted down with the latch system so we don't flip that side. The 6 year old sits on a booster that isn't attached to anything so that seat will still flip forward even with the booster in the seat. In a year or two once the 3 year old is also in a booster both sides will be able to flip.

    If you do have two very young children in latch seats it would pose a problem to have them both in the buckets if you need access to the third row, but you could have one in a center bucket and the other in the third row. Boosters work fine in all seats. This has never been a problem for us and we really love our center bucket seats. The biggest benefit to the center buckets is each child has their own space so they don't fight as much.

    - Chad
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    The new Nissan Quest 2nd row seats release and swivle forward for 3 rd access without haveing to fold the seat back flat. This way you don't have to remove a child seat.

    Mark.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "Just curious, does the 2nd row bench have a center armrest that folds down like my parent's Expedition and the new Edge?"

    No, there is no armrest built into the 2nd row bench. It is more comfortable this way, I suppose, though I would prefer to have a fold down armrest - we only use 5 passengers occasionally.
  • jhkvtjhkvt Posts: 5
    Chad said he can still flip a 2nd row seat fwd with a booster seat still in the seat? I can't seem to get this to happen on my 07 FS with 2nd row bench. The seat back needs to come down all the way for the 2nd row split seat to tumble forward to allow 3rd row access. Chad?

    Also, if I decide I'd rather have the Captain's chairs, does anyone know if you can switch out bench for captain's (if a pair can be located)? The question is probably whether the mounting brackets on the floor are the same whether it's captain's or bench.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "I can't seem to get this to happen on my 07 FS with 2nd row bench. "

    I think he meant that he could easily remove the booster seat, which is not LATCHED into the seat.
  • jahnu04jahnu04 Posts: 58
    Has anyone tried fitting a infant car seat and a booster on either sides and then seating a adult in the 2nd row bench in the freestyle?

    Is there enough space for a adult in the middle with two car seats on the sides?

    I have a four and half yr old and expecting a second one soon, I also have my mother-in-law staying with us.

    Right now, we have a 2000 Xterra and a 2004 Mazda6 wagon, don't think with 2 car seats an adult can fit in the middle.

    Even with 3 rows of seating, I would like to have the option to be able to sit in between the 2 car seats.

    I think a 8-passenger Sienna might work well for me, but not very interested in buying a minivan. So looking for other options.

    Please let me know what you all think.

    Thanks,
    GK
  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    1st - not sure how/why you would ask someone to climb in between the 2 carseats to sit.
    2nd - it all depends on the size of your carseats
    3rd - place one carseat in the 2bd row and one in the 3rd row and your problem is solved i.e. comfort for everyone.
    4th - not sure any of the current CUV's would be capable of that configuration.
    5th - minivan may be best for you but I still don't know whether 2 carseats/someone between would work in a minivan either.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    It depends on the size of the adult sitting in the middle. If you have one booster seat, then an agile adult can get around that to sit in the middle, as long as they're not too big. A better configuration might be the two captain chairs with a split 3rd row and put the 4yr old in the 3rd row, since he can easily get between the two captain chairs to get to the 3rd row and can strap himself in.
  • jahnu04jahnu04 Posts: 58
    I do not have a need for someone to sit in between all the time except when it is required. With my daughter, there were several times my wife had to sit beside her and it worked because we were only 3 of us at that time.

    My daughter falls asleep in the car a lot and almost once or twice a week I end up carrying her from the car seat to her bed. I am thinking it would be tough to get her out from the 3rd row without waking her up.

    My wife is lightly built but would be a little tough to fit in my wagon. From the specs of Freestyle, I notice that it is a liitle wider and so thought would ask if any Freestyle owner has tried this configuration.

    I have read in the one of the forums that an adult can fit in the middle seat on a 8 passenger sienna with two car seats on the sides. I think will have to try myself.

    I also have a Ranger whose lease is expiring soon, will try this configuration when I go there to return it.

    Thanks!
  • jahnu04jahnu04 Posts: 58
    I am thinking with 3 or 4 more inches in seat width compared to my wagon, my wife who is short and lightly built could easily fit in the middle. I thought about putting my 4yr old daughter in the 3rd row, but would be a challenge I guess to get her out if she is asleep.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    My advice would be to take the cars seats down to the Ford dealer and try it out. I did this in the past with our Volvo as it was critical to the purchase at the time. We drove our Volvo wagon for a few years with two child seats and room for adult in the back seat (although the adult was seated on passenger side - not in the middle). Not comfortable for long trips and doing up the seat belts was a challenge but doable.

    I understand your resistance to using the third row. Even with three kids, I rarely use it in the FS unless I have a 6th passenger. Besides the access, safety in rear collisions is a concern of mine in third rows.

    Also, keep in mind that width isn't the only criteria. Some seats are contoured which doesn't allow the car seat to sit properly and it ends up encroaching on its neighbour. I found this with my Saab - similar dimensions as our Volvo but less friendly to childseats. However, the FS bench is relatively flat.

    Of course, you could always put mother-in-law in the third row ;)
  • jahnu04jahnu04 Posts: 58
    Thanks for the advice, I will take the car seats to the dealer and try it out.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I'd go for the Sienna with bench in your situation because that would be plenty wide, and it's not much bigger then the Freestyle (which I own by the way)
  • steevo714steevo714 Posts: 1
    "Also, if I decide I'd rather have the Captain's chairs, does anyone know if you can switch out bench for captain's (if a pair can be located)? The question is probably whether the mounting brackets on the floor are the same whether it's captain's or bench."

    I'd love to know the answer to this question. Does anyone know?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "I'd go for the Sienna with bench in your situation because that would be plenty wide, and it's not much bigger then the Freestyle (which I own by the way)"

    Sienna is a nice vehicle, but drive it carefully, and be sure to take a couple of sharp turns. Toyotas tend to have suspension set up for soft ride. While the vehicle won't roll over in a turn, it may feel like it will roll over.

    The FS, in contrast, has a firm ride, well under control. In my opinion it doesn't need stability control.
  • freealfasfreealfas Posts: 652
    "In my opinion it doesn't need stability control."

    and that's reflected in it's nhtsa rollover performance as well where it leads in a tie the pack the last time I looked a while back...
  • catmouracatmoura Posts: 29
    We have a 05 FS with 40/60 bench in the 2nd row. We travel with my 5 yr old grandson (booster seat) and 3 yr old granddaughter who is in a car seat. With 3 adults, the 5yr old goes in the 3rd row by himself. 2 car seats and an adult in the middle of the 3rd row is not comfortable unless it's a small adult.
This discussion has been closed.