This past weekend, our family had the privilege of being able to drive a 2016 Toyota Highlander Limited from Spring Hill, Tennessee (a bedroom community of Nashville) to Atlanta, Georgia. One of the specific reasons we chose this particular vehicle was to test out its 3rd row seat.
Now that we are a family of 4 (our daughter was born 2 months ago), we are considering buying an SUV for our next family vehicle. In particular, we are currently considering the ones that have a 3rd row seat.
It’s not that 4 people require 3 rows of seats. Instead, we would like the option of having my wife being able to sit in the back with the kids, while I drive up front.
Plus, it would be nice to have extra seats when my parents are in town so we can all fit in the same vehicle.
In the 2016 Toyota Highlander Limited that we drove for the weekend, the seat layout consisted of 2 captain’s chairs up front, 2 more in the middle row, and then a 3-seat 3rd row (which quickly and easily folds up or down with the pull of a tether).
The 3rd row’s child seat anchor is in the middle seat; meaning that an adult or older child would sit on the ends of the 3rd row while and the younger child’s or baby’s car seat would be in between them.
Obviously, child car seats can be put in either of the middle row captain’s chair as well; making a total of 3 different places that children’s seats can be anchored.
As far as how much space is in the 3rd row seat for an adult, I shot this video for your convenience.
In it, I demonstrated how an average-sized American adult (which I am, at 5’9” and 162 pounds) can easily fit in the 3rd row seat, given that you A) sit on either end of the row, but not the middle; B) lay the seat back further than a 90 degree angle; and C) move the middle row up a few inches so your knees don’t hit it.
Another thing I do in the video is the show how much cargo space remains when the 3rd row is up: I am able to lay down in that space, as you will see…
I also invite you to watch my other video which shows everything we packed in the back, with the 3rd row seat down. I explain how it was great having that space for our stroller and luggage.
Thanks for reading my blog post today and watching my videos. I hope you found this helpful in making decisions for your own family.
And if you’re looking for a child booster car seat similar to the one my son is using in the pictures above, here’s a link in case you’re looking to purchase one.