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Headline:3 Children DilemmaDate:17/10/2002
Source:FastSaloons.com   (Click Here for more details).Ourthoughts
   
Review:Well it's time to take my head out of the sand and admit that I am having another child - can the B10 cope.

Interesting question for you - have you seen a saloon with 3 child seats in the rear ? I can't ever remember seeing one. And so I was a little sceptical.

I did a few searches on the internet and didn't dig anything up. So I ventured to Mothercare who I was sure would have the answer. Well aparently not - great advise on seats but not about having 3 in the car. It looked like my only option was to sacrifice the front passenger seat and have my wife squeeze into the back. This isn't really a solution but a B10 is a B10 and I had to think of something.

Next port of call then BMW - Sytner in my case to ask their advice. Again I was surprised when they didn't really have an answer for me. The most shocking answer I did get is that BMW will not certify a child seat in the front passenger seat. There is a way to deactivate 2 of the 3 airbags (not sure why the 3rd can't be?). You need to fill in a form which is sent to BMW headquarters who then send back a code which allows the dealer to deactive the airbags. But this isn't really worth doing if BMW don't certify it.

So… I am now starting to sweat a bit. I decide to take the bull by the horns. We had to buy the twins new seats so we plumped for the 3 stage booster variety which are slightly narrower. So I put the first new seat in the middle rear seat. (This is the main sticking point in the B10 and most of the exec cars the rear seat is sculpted into two big seats with a narrow perch seat / arm rest in the middle. If the rear seat was a bench things would be easier). Next I put the other seat on the drivers side. It was a bit of a squeeze but It fit just about. Finally I got one of are old rear-facing Stage 1 chairs and put it in the other side and it JUST fits.

Therefore for all of you out there you can get 3 seats in the rear of a saloon.

But I am not sure I have a permanent solution as fitting a Stage 2 seat in place of the stage 1 seat - which I will need to do when the youngest (expected in January) is 6 months old - may be just too much for the car to take !

The soution then ? At first I was thinking 7 series, Audi A8 - but I am not sure how much wider they are. Then I thought I'd have to get an estate, Merc E class or Volvo - which can have 7 seats. Now I'm hoping the new 5 series will be just big enough. I am pretty sure the car will be bigger - as all it's rivals make the current car look small..

Watch this space….
Cars:Alpina B10 3.3 (E39 (02/99-02/03))

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