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Acura MDX and car seats

I am thinking of buying an Acura MDX and wanted to know if anyone out there drives one that can tell me if there is room for 2 car seats next to each other. I have the Britax Marathon and will use a Graco infant car seat once my baby is born. So my question is.... is there enough room for the Britax and Graco next to each other?
Or 2 Britax' next to each other. I am trying to avoid putting them at each window.



  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501

    The center position is not the safest place for mounting any car seat.
    The seats are deeper on the side positions and allow the car seat to center and rest tightly within.
    The center mount ALWAYS has some side-to-side movement and is not the ideal position for the seat to be placed.

    Is there a reason why you prefer this setup?
  • I understand that it is safer.
    Do you happen to drive an MDX and use car seats?
    My only issue is that is you have a car seat at each window how do you access the 3rd row of seats.
    With the car seat strapped in at the passenger side how would one get to the 3rd row if they cannot move this seat up to step over??

  • My wife has managed to squeeze 2 car seats and a booster seat inbetween them in the 2nd row. Don't know how to access 3rd row from 2nd w/ that configuration, maybe the tailgate.
  • scottm123scottm123 Posts: 1,501
    I do have an MDX and we do have a car seat.
    There are times, when taking our niece for a weekend, that we have 2 car seats... but we do not mount in the center position, for the reason I mentioned previously.

    I don't use the third row seats.
    They're too small, even for children and are also very uncomfortable.
    Maybe my opinion on the third seat will change when I become friends with a family of leprechauns who always want me to drive us everywhere.
    Until then, the third row stays down.

    The center position is just not safe.
    Your child is safer on a side position, even in a crash scenario, as the mounted seat will stay in place.
    I cannot guarantee the same for a center mounted seat.

    Being a family orientated vehicle, the center of the second row should allow access to the third row.
    The current design is moronic, IMO.
  • gene00gene00 Posts: 113
    We have two Britax Marathons (for twins!) on our 07 MDX, and have had them in both of the outboard 2nd row seats as well as had them installed left side & center, although it was a tight squeeze and took extra time to install them this way. We used this configuration only so that the passenger side 2nd row seat was available for an adult passenger. It barely allows access to the third row, the fold down seat scrapes on the middle car seat, I'd only use it this way as access to the third row as a last resort. If you only need to access one of the third row seats, it's a simple matter to leave the other one folded down and access the seat through the tailgate.

    A properly installed car seat is just as safe in the center position as in the outboard positions. Acura did install latches for the center seat, after all. It might even be safer, as the car seat is further from any potential side collision.

    A good installation tip is to have the 2nd row seats at their most reclined position (they don't recline very far) while installing the car seats. After putting your full weight on them, and pulling with all of your strength to get them as snug as possible (using LATCH), move the seat backs to their most upright position. This pretty much locks the car seats in place, even in the center position.

    And, about the third row seats - I wouldn't want to ride in one for along trip, but they're ok for short trips for adults 6'2" and under. We did a 3 couple - full day wine tasting trip to Napa & my tall buddy had no issues sitting back there. Certainly not as comfortable as the front, but highly usable.
  • dms9dms9 Posts: 137
    With the latch system, the center seat is far and away the safest position, on any vehicle. All the safety reviews advise the center position, it's just harder to get the kids in and out of it.

    The third row isn't bad. I have an '07 and my five year old loves the "way back". When his legs get a bit longer, he may not. But, unless you buy a Yukon, Enclave or something that size, non of the rear seats are very spacious.
  • I just installed the Britax Roundabout in 2nd row center seat of our 04 MDX. The fit was perfectly solid with the seat-belt and tether (it was already very solid without the tether) with the seat rear-facing.
  • does anyone have the new 2007 MDX with a rear facing Britax marathon or similar car seat? how does the car seat fit when it is rear facing? does the front passenger need to move the seat forward a lot for it to fit well? is it latched on the side or center of the second row? does one location fit better than the other?
  • dms9dms9 Posts: 137
    I do. Fits fine. Plenty of room. If you are tall enough to put the kid in the middle, do that, it's safer.
  • pkf6pkf6 Posts: 1
    i also have the same questions you posted (only I have a Radian 80 car seat)...and i am looking to buy an '08 MDX...did you ever find any answers to your questions?
  • lisaroblisarob Posts: 1
    We have a 2007 MDX and am now expecting our third child by the end of August.

    Our other two children are 4 and 18 months.

    Anyone out there who is using this car with three kids instead of a minivan? Particularly with 3 kids in the 5 point harness seats.

    I'm wondering what your seat configuration is and how it's working out for you. It's obviously a decision of driving performance versus convenience (of a minivan) - my husband and I are having a hard time deciding just how much more convenient the minivan would be.
  • "The center position is just not safe. Your child is safer on a side position, even in a crash scenario, as the mounted seat will stay in place. I cannot guarantee the same for a center mounted seat."


    Nearly every expert (and nearly every empirical study) disagrees with you. I don't know if perhaps you are trying to justify your decision to locate your car seat in a window seat, but if properly installed a middle placement is far-and-away the safest location. If you have it installed professionally (out here in LA, you can have it done for about $40 at Tiny World in West LA), it will not move any more in the middle section than it does in the outer sections. And in the event of a side-impact crash, your infant is *FAR* safer in the middle.

    There is a ton of information on child seat placement on the internet. For a discussion of a recent study that concluded that "Children seated in the center rear have a 43% lower risk of injury compared with children in a rear outboard position," click here: Study Shows Placing Car Seat in Center of Back Seat Cuts Risk of Injury in Crash
  • bbaakdbbaakd Posts: 8
    Curious if you ever decided your configuration for 3 young kids. I just bought an '08 Tech/Ent and also have 3 young kids (one in a toddler car seat w/ LATCH and the other 2 in booster seats). I've been wondering if I can fit them all in a row. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

    Right now the 2 in boosters think it's so cool to ride in the 3rd row and jump in through the tailgate (pretending they are Indiana Jones), but when we take a long trip and I want more storage I'd want to try and put them all in 2nd row.

    We do have a minivan ('06 Odyssey) and there is definitely way more space. If I was taking an extended long distance trip w/ a lot of luggage, no doubt we'd take the minvan. But, it's nowhere near as fun to drive. A week at the beach (~2.5 hours away) and I'll try to cram it all into the MDX (have roof rails/cross bars, so I can throw my cartop carrier on), but anything longer probably the minivan.
  • demirodemiro Posts: 1
    We are looking to buy an 06 MDX. Test drove one today with our 4 yr old. We much prefer the center position, but the seat belt latch has kind of a flexible neck on it. When I cornered moderately hard the child seat tipped about 30 degrees. In an accident, or accident avoidance situation, it seems to have the potential to be very unsafe. For comparison, in our VW Touareg, and in Volvo XC90, the seat belts are kind of tight in cracks of seats and the child seats are locked in pretty tightly. Jeep Commander had same issue as MDX.

    Just to clarify, I am not talking about infant seats that latch, but rather full size booster seats that only connect via seat belts.

    I know lots of folks have this type of seat in an I missing something?

    Thanks much for any thoughts.
  • hodog16hodog16 Posts: 53
    Anybody who pays somebody else to install their car seats has too much money. ;) I think a lot of local fire departments, hospitals will do car seat checks for free.

    I will agree normally the center position is safer in general but in the 2007-2009 MDX I would disagree. The center does not allow for a car seat or base to be placed flat and secure, it always has a lot of give in terms of rocking motions. I applaud Acura for having 3 LATCH sets, but that middle one is useless to me. I can get the seats wedged in pretty good on the outboard seats where they don't budge a millimeter but not so in the center.

    I currently have a Chicco infant seat and a Britax Boulevard that fit fine. The Boulevard causes the front seat to have to be a little closer, but not terrible. If we have the need for three car seats, I will probably use the tailgate for 3rd row access as removing and installing car seats repeatedly would be painful, even with the LATCH system. That, and we'll probably trade my wife's Camry in for an Odyssey!

    The design of the 3rd row access is poor but not a deal-breaker personally. In 12 months of ownership of my 2008, I have driven with passengers in the 3rd row (6 total adults) exactly once for a lunch trip.
  • I am looking at the 2010 MDX (tech+ent) and wanted to know if teh cente position for a forward facing is a secure position. I alos feel that the center position is safer, but teh seat does need to be secure. Any recent innformation on putting a car seat in teh center seat position. I was only able to find one latch for the center position, even the salesman could not find teh second latch. Based on these posts it seems that the center positio does have the necessary latches. ???
    Aslo has anyone here ever purchase any kind of seat cover to help potect the leather during these "messy" years. Looking to have something to protect against my sons dirty shoes as he climbs in and out during these messy winter months in New England.

  • I have 3 kids and all are still in carseats. My new car must have 3 rows of seating. How family friendly is the MDX? I want to get rid of my minivan, but I still need room for 3 carseats.

    Is the MDX a good car for a young family with 3 kids? Also plan to look at Audi Q7, Mercedes GL, and Lexus GX. I don't want something too large, which is why the MDX is appealing.

    Anyone have experience with 3 carseats in an MDX?
  • Well, i agree with you on getting rid of the minivan ;) , we have 2 car seats in the second row and i dont think a third would fit in the middle. The third row IMO would only be for a booster or youngin' with out a booster.
  • We are ready to transfer our 10.5 month old son out of the Graco Sungride and into a convertible car seat. We bought a Maxi Cosi Priori and brought it to a police station this weekend - we liked the seat because it seemed small and possibly easier to travel with - but the police officers did not like the way it fit on either the center or side seat in the second row. They recommended Britax or Graco models as better options - does anyone have any recommendations?

  • Can't go wrong w/ the Britax, we bought one for our first and now our second is cruising in it. Fits fine in the outboard positions of the 2nd row, haven't tried latching it in the middle.
  • upstate doc - which Britax model do you have?
  • I am a huge Britax fan. All of my kids have Britax seats. Our youngest is in a Britax Marathon and our two oldest are in Britax Frontier booster seats. I'm hoping that all three of our seats will fit in an MDX.

    Sounds like your son is ready for a Britax Marathon. Go to the Britax website. You can enter your child's information (height, weight, etc) and once you plug all that in they show you the Britax seats that are perfect for your child. It's a really helpful feature on their website!
  • Britax Marathon

    That's the one.
  • Yes, it is very secure and yes it does have both latches. I have a 2008 MDX, and my son's Britax front facing seat has been in the center seat for almost a year now. It is secured with LATCH and solid, no give at all.
  • andrewnjandrewnj Posts: 3
    I had the same doubt when I tried car seats installation in dealer last weekend, though I managed to install two car seats by sharing one latch for both.

    Later I found a manual of 2009 in the internet and it gives the location of the two latches for the center seat. You need to pull up the cover below the armrest to find the latch closer to passenger side, and pull up the flap at the bottom of the bolster for another one (driver seat side), which I failed to find.

    I actually drove by the dealer today and confirmed that above statement is also true for 2010 mdx.

    BTW, I was able to install a sunshine(80 lbs) in the middle and a marathon in outboard seat, while the seat behind passenger could still fold down to allow the access to third row. Really really happy about this, :-)
  • familycar5familycar5 Posts: 12
    edited April 2010
    andrewnj- I am pretty sure that it is dangerous for two carseats to share a LATCH anchor. Just wanted to let you know...I just learned that myself. =)

    Question: You said you installed a sunshine radian in the middle and a marathon outboard and were still able to fold down the passenger outboard side to gain access to the third row. I've been wondering if I could get something like this to work, so this was great to hear! My question: Are these seats you installed forward facing or rear facing? Installed with LATCH or seatbelt installation? Thanks!

    Just wanted to add that I have a 2010 MDX and there are LATCH anchors in all three seating positions in row 2, which is awesome. You're right, the LATCH anchors for the center position are hidden under a little cover, but they're there. There are no LATCH anchors in the 3rd row, but there are top tethers for the third well as top tethers for all three seating positions in the 2nd row.
  • andrewnjandrewnj Posts: 3
    edited April 2010
    Thanks for the warning on sharing the latch. Is it ok to share how you learned it?

    >>> Are these seats you installed forward facing or rear facing? Installed with LATCH or seatbelt installation?

    I tried two configurations: 1) both forward facing 2) middle forward facing and outboard rear facing.

    For both configurations, the third seat could still be folded down. And I used latch for the installation.
  • familycar5familycar5 Posts: 12
    edited April 2010
    andrewnj- Thanks for providing me the information about your installations. It's really great to hear because I have a marathon and was looking to get a radian as well. But, did you do those installs by sharing a LATCH anchor?

    In regards to the LATCH anchor sharing, it is very dangerous. The LATCH anchors are designed to hold only a certain amount of weight and just one carseat at a time. (The women on are very helpful and could answer any questions you have about carseats. I've learned a lot on that site.) Also, I went and double checked my 2010 MDX manual and on page 49 it states, "Do not attach two child seat connectors to a single lower anchor at a time."

    The awesome thing about the MDX is how "car-seat friendly" it is. That's why I bought it. So, even if it was safe, you won't have to "LATCH share" anyhow because there are lots of options for you in this car. The fact that it has three separate sets of LATCH in row 2 and top tether anchors in ALL seating positions in rows 2 and 3 make it a great choice for families with children in carseats.

    Hope that helps! :)
  • andrewnjandrewnj Posts: 3
    Thanks for the additional information, familycar5.

    And yes, the installation I tried in dealer was sharing the latch with driver side seat as I couldn't find the one for center back then.
  • upstatedocupstatedoc Posts: 710
    "BTW, I was able to install a sunshine(80 lbs) in the middle and a marathon in outboard seat"

    My kids (4 and 1 1/2 years) would bop each other in the head all day if they sat that close, they need the space, lol.
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