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Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seats, An Informal Comparison - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,112
edited March 2015 in Volkswagen
imageRear-Facing Convertible Car Seats, An Informal Comparison - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

It's no problem to fit a rear-facing convertible car seat in our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI, but the seat you choose has a huge impact on how useful this hatchback is for the rest of your family.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Thank you for the detailed comparison. Those LATCH anchors in the seat really do look easy to use, obviously VW put some thought into it.
  • dldavedldave SacramentoPosts: 46
    As an owner of a VW, I did not think that there are latch anchors for the middle seat. The owners manual (for mine) state that you should not use the left and right seat anchors for a middle seat because they cannot span the two sets of anchor points. Quoting my VW manual "Never use the lower inboard anchorages from the left and right rear seating positions to install a child restraints at the center of the rear seat. The distance between the inboard anchors will not allow a child restraints to be properly installed nor be able to withstand the high forces that are generated in a crash."
  • ericheseriches Posts: 80
    edited March 2015
    dldave said:

    As an owner of a VW, I did not think that there are latch anchors for the middle seat. The owners manual (for mine) state that you should not use the left and right seat anchors for a middle seat because they cannot span the two sets of anchor points. Quoting my VW manual "Never use the lower inboard anchorages from the left and right rear seating positions to install a child restraints at the center of the rear seat. The distance between the inboard anchors will not allow a child restraints to be properly installed nor be able to withstand the high forces that are generated in a crash."

    @dldave: It's true. There are no lower anchors specifically for the rear center seat. I checked our GTI's owner's manual, and there was nothing in the car seat section that specifically allowed or disallowed a center LATCH install using the inboard anchors. (My particular car seat allows such an operation as long as the vehicle manufacturer says it's OK.) However, as others have pointed out, this doesn't necessarily indicate that what I did here was OK. Until I find something more definitive that says I can or I can't, I will probably do a seatbelt install if I ever decide to put my child's car seat in the GTI's rear center position again. But, due to the tight quarters in the GTI, I'll probably just put my kiddo in the rear passenger-side position, because I find the driving position quite uncomfortable when she's in our preferred car seat in the rear center position.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Excuse me, but...you bought a car seat without checking to see whether or not it would fit in your car with you and your spouse seated in the car? Isn't that kind of an important step in buying a car seat? It certainly was when my son's car seats were purchased.
  • dldavedldave SacramentoPosts: 46
    Darn, I was hoping they added them. I have another vehicle that has middle latches which made things nice, but my child is now older and too heavy to use a seat secured with LATCH. Enjoy the GTI (lucky)
  • lip2lip2 Posts: 3
    Try the UPPAbaby, more compact. Fits in between my Recaros on my cts-v. We have a base in both cars.
    http://uppababy.com/mesa/overview/
  • emajoremajor Posts: 332
    Great detailed post, and cute kid. This is only outlet I can think of providing this kind of information for an enthusiast car like the GTI.

    I'm perplexed, though. I'm 6 feet tall, we have a 2010 Sportwagen with manual tranny, and I could drive it just fine with our kids' rear-facing car seats (both infant and toddler from different brands) behind me. I don't believe interior dimensions are any different between the Sportwagen and GTI until you get past the c pillar.

    I may not understand your situation fully, so forgive me if I'm wrong, but if I had purchased a car seat and discovered that it didn't fit quite comfortably in my car, I'd be going to the store to try a different carseat, not trading the car in. Especially not a GTI for a Mazda5. Ouch, the sacrifices of parenthood. Perhaps you're both taller than me or especially long-of-leg, but I know there are several models of rear-facing carseats that would allow me to drive your ex-MkVI GTI no problemo.

    That carseat is huge. Carseats like that are the reason why Corollas now have the interior space of midsize cars and Passats the space of full size sedans.
  • opfreakopfreak Posts: 106
    I think its nuts that there so many car seats that are so huge, its hard to fit them into a golf.
  • subytrojansubytrojan Monterey Park, CaliforniaPosts: 120
    emajor said:

    Great detailed post, and cute kid. This is only outlet I can think of providing this kind of information for an enthusiast car like the GTI.

    I'm perplexed, though. I'm 6 feet tall, we have a 2010 Sportwagen with manual tranny, and I could drive it just fine with our kids' rear-facing car seats (both infant and toddler from different brands) behind me. I don't believe interior dimensions are any different between the Sportwagen and GTI until you get past the c pillar.

    I may not understand your situation fully, so forgive me if I'm wrong, but if I had purchased a car seat and discovered that it didn't fit quite comfortably in my car, I'd be going to the store to try a different carseat, not trading the car in. Especially not a GTI for a Mazda5. Ouch, the sacrifices of parenthood. Perhaps you're both taller than me or especially long-of-leg, but I know there are several models of rear-facing carseats that would allow me to drive your ex-MkVI GTI no problemo.

    That carseat is huge. Carseats like that are the reason why Corollas now have the interior space of midsize cars and Passats the space of full size sedans.

    Hi Everybody (Hi, Dr. Nick!),

    I'm Erin's husband. The 2011 Mk VI GTI was on a lease that was up in August. The Mazda5 is much more family-friendly because it has sliding doors, a third row that helps accommodate other family members, increased cargo area with the 3rd-row seats down and/or one or both of the 2nd-row seats down, plus better feature content (the GTI was a base 4-door PZEV w/ 6MT whereas the Mazda5 is a Grand Touring with Xenon headlights, leather-trimmed seats, auto headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, etc.). There's also the usual Japanese vs. German reliability (usual, but not in all cases of course). We also got the Mazda5 with 60-month 0% APR financing. We are also hoping to have a second child at a later date. We didn't want something as large or expensive as an Odyssey or Sienna (yes, we know used ones would've been in our price range), plus their driving dynamics are much inferior. We felt the Mazda5 meets our needs very well and its driving dynamics are much better than any crossover CUV, the CX-5 included. The powertrain isn't great, but the MZR 2.5 produces enough low-end torque to be fine in most situations and the 5AT (the 6MT is only available on Sport trim in the U.S. for MY2012-2014) is quite responsive when we need it to downshift a gear or two. It feels like driving a slightly larger 2010-2013 second-generation Mazda3 (no surprise). It annoys me that people choose crossovers over minivans simply because they want something that is cooler, less functional and sometimes inferior driving dynamics due to the higher CoG and suspension tuning (sometimes when comparing Odyssey/Sienna/Quest/DGC/CT&C, always inferior when compared to the 5).

    emajor, I don't know if you have a shorter inseam (Erin's is 34" and I'm 32"...she's 5'10" and I'm 5'8") or just don't recline the seat as much. The GTI we had was a 6MT. The DSG would be a little easier to drive with the seat a little more forward due to not having to work the third pedal. The Mk VII GTI is really nice. If I were shopping for one, I would want a Candy White 4-door with plaid seats, 6MT, Xenon headlights and Performance Package. :)

    I got a job at Mazda North American Operations last November and am really keen to see what the new Mazdaspeed3 will be like (I haven't learned anything y'all haven't read online yet).

    Hope that helps you all understand our vehicle decision a little better.
  • subytrojansubytrojan Monterey Park, CaliforniaPosts: 120
    edited March 2015
    We still have my 2004 WRX sedan around, too. :)

    I also have a 2015 Mazda6 i Grand Touring (no Tech Package) as my company car that we can use.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Posts: 471
    edited March 2015
    Ohhhhh...! I think everyone who has been visiting the Long-Term blogs for a while knows you as a familiar face, Subytrojan. But was it Erin who introduced you to the blog comments, or vice-versa? ;)
  • ericheseriches Posts: 80
    edited March 2015
    fordson1 said:

    Excuse me, but...you bought a car seat without checking to see whether or not it would fit in your car with you and your spouse seated in the car? Isn't that kind of an important step in buying a car seat? It certainly was when my son's car seats were purchased.

    Our infant seat (a Maxi-Cosi Mico) was and is ultra-compact. So basically, it was the best we were going to be able to do in the GTI (which we had long before we knew we were expecting a child); other infant seats wouldn't have given us more room to spread out. I had planned to assess the situation before we actually had to use the seat, but like I said, our kiddo arrived way early. Although parenthood has since redefined our expectations for comfort, a GTI just doesn't work for us a primary vehicle right now. Once our kid is front-facing, though, I think it will be a viable option once more.
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    Thank you...so even a small infant seat nowadays does not fit into a mainstream compact car anymore.

    So the designers of these seats are making products that fit vehicles in, say, the 50th percentile and larger ONLY, because making one that will fit a compact car is apparently a real moonshot...or maybe it's not really a moonshot, since the rest of the industrialized world considers a Golf a mainstream family car, and I'm pretty sure all those folks are still having babies and still buying car seats for them.
  • ericheseriches Posts: 80
    edited March 2015
    fordson1 said:

    Thank you...so even a small infant seat nowadays does not fit into a mainstream compact car anymore.

    So the designers of these seats are making products that fit vehicles in, say, the 50th percentile and larger ONLY, because making one that will fit a compact car is apparently a real moonshot...or maybe it's not really a moonshot, since the rest of the industrialized world considers a Golf a mainstream family car, and I'm pretty sure all those folks are still having babies and still buying car seats for them.

    Frankly, I think the rest of the post-industrialized world has different (and probably lower) expectations for comfort than my husband and me (plus they're more likely to use trains for longer-distance travel). Here in the U.S. there's no reason to squeeze into a Golf or GTI when you can buy a slightly larger vehicle (like the Mazda 5) for similar money. However, if we had to parallel-park on medieval cobblestone streets every day or pay a tax penalty for the Mazda's higher fuel consumption, we'd still be driving around in the VW.
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