Child safety seat causes front passenger seat to be to far forward



I have just installed convertible car seat (the Britax Marathon) in my Toyota Matrix. It’s great, and it is installed properly (though not inspected yet). The problem, if it is one, is that it causes the front passenger seat to be really far forward. It’s about as far forward as it can go, while still allowing someone to sit in it. My husband definitely could not sit on the passenger side because his legs wouldn’t fit. I can sit in it, but my knees are about an inch from the dashboard. The question is, is this dangerous? If the car stopped suddenly, I’m not convinced that my seat belt would prevent my knees from slamming into the dashboard.

I don’t think it would help to put the convertible in the center of the back seat, because I think I would still need to push the front passenger seat up as far as it is now. And actually, we couldn’t put the car seat in the center, because then we would need to push up the driver’s seat too.

Any thoughts?


The kid will be fine but the adult in the passenger seat is in trouble. If the seat is uncomfortably forward for the passenger then the airbag is going to be to close for the size of the person in the seat. Also, the cramped passengers legs will impact the underside of the dash with a lot of force and suffer much more damage in a front end collision.

The brand of car seat you purchased is too big for your car.


I agree with Uncle Turbo.
You need either a smaller child seat or a larger car.


I agree also. The Matrix is a fairly small vehicle in the first place. Adding a large child’s seat is pushing the limits too far. I owned a Pontiac Vibe for a few months but traded for a Jeep Grand Cherokee just to get more room.


Sounds to me like you are placing the seat in rear facing. I have the exact same car seat and the same thing happened in my Subaru WRX for front passenger.

Realize though that rear facing is a temporary thing (eg months) as minimum requirements are 1yr or 20lbs. However once they hit feet against rear seat flip it.

My two kids(2&4) are happy now both in their Britax Marathon’s forward facing in my Subaru WRX. Buying a new car is a very expensive purchase vs keeping your old car especially if not old.

If you decide to replace vehicle just skip it all and get a minivan.


Thanks everyone for your replies. I adjusted things slightly so that the car seat is a wee bit more upright, which give the front passenger seat enough more room and more clearance in front of the knees. I’m getting it inspected tomorrow, and I’m hoping the local police department will tell me that it is fine as it is.
I plan to keep the car seat rear-facing as long as I can (up to 35 lbs.), given what I have read about it being much safer than front-facing.