We live in Texas and are expecting another baby in July. We’ll be getting another car but need one with rear air-vents because the baby seat will be rear-facing, and needs to get conditioned air… a little backstory: when we moved here my daughter was a baby and had to go to the hospital for heat stroke after her rear facing car seat became too hot (extremely scary time). No configuration of the vents could get it cool enough in the back, so we ended up facing her forward at about 18 months. Not an option for a newborn, and anyway, I’d like to rear-face my kiddos for two years for safety’s sake. For this car we will have two car seats in the back, one forward and one rear-facing.
We are looking primarily at new cars because it seems like the used car market is pretty pricey, and interest rates are quite a bit higher.
So, does anyone know if there are any smaller SUVs or cars that have rear air vents? I know the minivans and 7-passanger SUVs usually have them, but that seems like too much car for me (obviously not a true “Texan” speaking).
Go here and click on ‘seating greater than 5’ or ‘3rd row’ seat. Smaller vehicles won’t have rear vents located on the roof. Another thing you might try is redirecting the center vents so that they blow towards the roof at the rear of the car, if you don’t already. That might help. I know that I put the side and center vents on me when I drive on a hot day, and maybe you do, too.
Mossyworth…I commend you on your thoughtfulness in considering features for a car for your children. What make and year is the car that contributed to this unfortunate incident ? Did you have an older or basic car with large rear glass area and no tinted windows ? Tinted windows and reduced glass area does wonders to moderate temperature throughout the car and I am wondering if that was a contributing factor. Good luck in your search. I think though you may find lots of makes that will fill your needs without having roof vents and exceptional rear AC function. Added rear shades, etc. could help too.
Dealers should be well versed to address your concerns and can make recommendations…unfortunately they may lead you to the most expensive ones.
A Crown Vic or Grand Marq, it’s A/C set on Max will quickly bring “Too Cold” complaints from even the rear seat passengers. Even in Texas. Even in July…
Rear-facing child seats accomplish little or nothing in the way of safety…YOUR driving skills and instincts are FAR more important to avoid accidents instead of trying to survive after an accident has already occurred…At 70 mph, the standard speed in Texas, few survive a wreck no matter which way the seat is facing or how many air-bags they have or what consumer reports says…I like to look in the mirror and see that smiling face staring back at me. When all Mom can see is the back of a car seat, that’s a problem… Mom is so distracted from driving the car, trying to check on the kid which she can’t see, that erases any safety benefit the rear-facing seat might offer…Government bureaucrats have good intentions but…
Caddyman makes some really good points and options. Nothing better then having any other adult sitting back with the child, or being able to see them yourself if you’re alone with them.
Dagosa and jtsanders,
I have a PT Cruiser with heavy tint on the windows. I tried turning off the side vents and pointing the center vents directly to the back of the car, then tried pointing them upwards (hoping the air would richochet off the roof). It helped, but not enough. With two seats, there’s no real way of getting air to both sides of the car, especially to the rear facing seat.
We thought about a Jetta SE because models prior to 2011 had a backseat vent that came out of the center… unfortunately, they discontinued that feature in the 2011 redesign.
I’ve looked at 3rd row options but I would love to avoid a car that big…
Caddyman, The American Association of Pediatrics and Texas law disagrees with you. I’m not going to risk going against what my pediatrician says, not to mention do something illegal.
Maybe you just need a small sedan. It will have a lot less cabin space than your PT Cruiser. A Chevy HHR is analogous to your PT. It is also a Cobalt station wagon. If you want a new car, try a Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Mazda3, or something similar. Rent one for a weekend and sit an adult in the back to tell you when it cools off on one of those 100+ days. If you want a station wagon type vehicle, you have to get a larger one Like a Pilot or Explorer.
For the kind of vehicle you’re describing, it probably wouldn’t be cheap, as the feature would most likely be on an upscale vehicle like BMW or Mercedes.
Color of interior also plays a part in how cool the car gets. If you have black or dark colored interior, forget it.
Is it a problem with long or short trips?
Before you go out trading/selling the PT Cruiser I would have the A/C checked out to make sure everything is up to snuff. Depending on age it could need a recharge.
Maybe you could get some of those fans that plug into the 12V outlet to more adequately distribute air in the cabin.
Well, our Caravan has rear A/C and heat with the vents overhead or on the sides or at the floor, And it ain’t a big car.
If you are talking about the vents in the back of the center console. Honda accords have them in the higher trim levels, volvos have them( in the b pillars) heck my 98 Buick has them in the center as well.
For what it’s worth pt crusers have weak fans and poor vents, this no doubt caused alot of your issues.
Kia Sorrento does. Very nice SUV to boot. The hitch is I rode in a nicer version so not sure if in the “lessor” trim levels. It had vents in the pillars and even the way back(smallish). It can be 7 passenger.