Toyota Prius Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I have seen a Prius in person only once for a just brief amount of time while it was parked. She was able to spend a few minutes in the back seat. She's concerned about the comfort level for the back seat passengers, especially on a long trip. Does anyone have experience with riding in the rear seat? How about three across in the back? Also, we're trying to figure out if we can fit two car seats (Britax Marathon-style) and one adult in the back. Looks to be a very tight squeeze, any experience here too? Thanks in advance.

P.S. I will post this to at least 1 other Prius board because membership may be different.
------
Some background:

We have had a Prius on order since May but are having 2nd thoughts now due to its size. We have a 7-month old, and are planning on another baby. We also have 2 smallish dogs (Cardigan Welsh Corgi) and want a vehicle that will carry at least the 4 humans and 2 dogs "comfortably" and safely. We're hoping our 2 dog crates will fit behind the rear seat in the hatch area...as no dealers have the Prius in stock, we don't know if that will work either.

Our other top pick is the Toyota Sienna. It offers seating for 7, will handle 4 humans and 2 dogs no problem and has all the Prius safety features, plus a bigger size and AWD which may equate to better survivability in an accident. The downsides are increased cost (~ $5,000) , worse MPG (18/24), not-so-cool features (No HID headlights/SE/SS/NAV) and worse for the environment (although I don't know by how much) compared to the Prius.

Thanks again!

[email protected]32496
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
space

Well, that's alot of 'cargo' to haul! I can say that the Prius has lots of room, but in your case, maybe not enough. I've made longish trips (800 miles+ round trip) with my parents in the back seats and they had no complaints. Even said it was roomier that their Buick Century! They are retirement age. As far as when the seats are up, plus four adults, plus dog crates in back...as long as the crates aren't superhigh you may be able to do it. Now everyone will have to have a smaller suitcase! With seats folded down there is an enormous amount of interior space, even height is amazing. I've fit a full size wheelbarrow in there. And on a west coast camp trip, I fit all camping gear, a cooler, a blind Pug crate and travel bed (yes, he can't see, but still he's a character), and my significant other (she sat up front, of course)! Hope this helps. It is a wonderful car, but you may opt for a more spacious van, unless u can hold off for the Sienna hybrid. It is coming, maybe 2007. It's called the Estima over in Japan. Not sure how similar.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
finman,

As long as the dogs can fit in the back area (we're assuming they can), we need to make sure we can get two car seats in back, and were wondering if it would be possible to squeeze a person between them. If we can't the configuration would be like a 2+2(+2 dogs). We're just wondering what other Prius owners have experienced. If no one has attempted this before, it's probably not a good sign for us. We also wonder about the comfort in the back for when our kids get older and aren't in car seats any more...

Thanks for the reply.

[email protected]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
I own both a 2004 Prius (package #9) and a 2004 Sienna (CE with package 3). The Prius is the high end package and the Sienna is the low end model with the extras I wanted through the package 3 (side air bags and such). They both cost about the same - $26,000.

In my opinion, you likely need the Sienna. I can't see hauling two kids, two dogs and all of the equipment that they require in my Prius. I don't know what your dog cages look like, but many would not have the necessary clearance to shut the hatch. Measure your dog cages and post it and one of us will measure the rear clearance for you.

You are right about some of the drawbacks of the Sienna over the Prius in mileage and lack of some high tech bells and whistles. I believe that you can get high intensity lights if you order the right package though. Check out the brochure.

Both of my vehicles are about the best I've owned (though I have only had the Prius for a week). Gasoline mileage is the main drawback in the Sienna, but I am not sure you really have a choice.

Normich
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thanks...

Normich,

I think I'm slowly coming to the conclusion based on the posts on this board and priuschat that the Prius isn't going to be quite enough car for us. Someone there offered to measure their cargo space out for me, so I dug out the tape measure and found the crates to be:

20.5" tall
21.5" wide
27.5" deep

for all intents and purposes they can be treated like a "box"-shape, althought they're really kind of like"

---
/ \
\ /
---

shaped. We did our best job trying to judge based on the parked car we saw, and it looks like they might fit, but it'll be tight, so we're not sure. We were worried about a couple things: 1) the slope of the hatch and 2) the placement (height from the floor) of the cargo area cover.

It sounds like you think 1) might be a problem. Someone else suggested renting a Prius or finding someone in my area who's willing to "demo" theirs to actually try the crates out...I don't know who rents them and if anyone is willing to show off their Prius in the Canandaigua, NY (Finger Lakes region around Rochester) area, let me know!

Thanks again for the info.

[email protected]
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,820 Posts
How soon are you needing a new vehicle?
Remember, there's typically a waiting list for the Prius, but you can probably find your pick of minivans at dealerships...

If you don't have any qualms over SUVs, in the next year the Ford Escape, the Lexus RX330 (rebadged the RX400H), and the Toyota Highlander are all due out in hybrid form. (At least for the Highlander I hear it'll be almost as annoying of a delivery/allocation as for the 2004 Prius. :( )

Rumor has the Sienna going hybrid in about 2 years. (all of Toyota's fleet is supposed to be available in hybrid form by the end of the decade...)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
They are too wide for two to fit side by side (there is about 37 inches between the narrow points and you need 43). Also too tall in the back where the hatch slopes down - they would hit mainly the plastic bar between the upper and lower rear window. Can't see any way short of getting smaller cages.

Look hard at the Sienna - we have about 16,000 miles on ours without any major problems. We pull a small camper (Aliner) with ours without a problem. The seats fold out of the way and are a big improvement on hauling seats in and out as in our previous vans (Dodge). That will be great if they get a hybrid in the Sienna but it will spoil my track record of keeping vehicles until they have 150,000 miles if I am too tempted.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Mike,
We rented a Prius from a local Toyota dealer. You might check with your local dealerships. The cost for us (in CA) was $40 a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks again...

All,

Thanks again. We did manage to rent a Prius from Enterprise Rent A Car and are still trying to figure out if we want to go Prius or Sienna...

The rental showed us a couple things:

1) The Prius is a pretty good car
2) It's also pretty small for 2 adults, 2 kids and 2 dogs...

But, we got 50 MPG on our test drive day, which is unbeatable, and the environmental factor is definitely a concern for us. We were wondering if the test drive would eliminate the Prius, but it didn't. This is a pretty capable car, one of the only concerns we still have right now is "cargo" size.

Normich, you were right on our crates. They hit the plastic on the top and would not fit side-by-side. We measured it out and we need crates 1 inch shorter and 2 inches narrower to fit.

Thanks again!

[email protected]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
What about one of the "soft sided" crates? That way in the car it would crush slightly, out of the car it would be full size?

Spike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,002 Posts
Well, my wife is about to give birth to our second, and we have a Golden Retriever, so we're going to be space-crunched as well. But as a test, I put the dog in the back (without a cage) and she fit fine. (I put up the rear headrests to act as a barrier to prevent her from jumping forward into the back seat.) With a child seat in the center in back, our 9 year old fit fine in either rear side. (Obviously, he has more space with the child seat in one of the sides, rather than the middle.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Re: Prius back seat/comfort questions for adults and babies.

I rented an '04 Prius for a week and was able to fit 2 carseats and a toddler booster seat across the back... If that helps at all...
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top