Converting to 5 seats

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by citiprius, May 9, 2018.

  1. citiprius

    citiprius Active Member

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    Does anyone know if I can convert Prius Prime from 4 seats to 5 seats by replacing the rear seats with the one from a regular Prius? I know there is a converter underneath the center seat, but I'm not sure if it is obstructing, or can it be relocated?
     
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  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I don't have any way to verify my theory, but I would think that, if a regular seat would have fit there, they would not have re-invented a seat to replace it. That would be a very large expenditure with no purpose.
     
    #2 jerrymildred, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i think it is empty under there, and they didn't do 5 seats due to weight considerations and government requirements.
    they did say 5 seats was doable if 4 was a sales hindrance, but i doubt you could just remove everything and throw in a lift back seat.
    likely either get a lift back, or stick with the 4 seats.
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    If they put a regular seat there, then people will use. Therefore, the car will require both a seat belt and the an adequate load rating for the fifth passenger.

    The purpose of this expenditure is thus to avoid the even larger expenditures in the rest of the vehicle to boost the load rating to a realistic 5 passenger rating.
     
  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Could be, but how big of a person could realistically occupy that middle spot? I was under the impression that it would be as tight a fit as a Gen 3. The buckles in my back seat are only nine inches apart. Three people buckling up back there are going to become VERY good friends. "Pardon me while I put both hands under your butt." LOL! :LOL:
     
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  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Realistic, Schmealistic.

    That doesn't matter in court in personal injury litigations. What matters is what 'normal' people are likely to do. And a certain small but significant fraction of 'normal' people are actually quite petite.

    My 1984 Ford was 'realistically' labeled as a 4 seat car, and lacked the rear center seatbelt. But never mind that, some partying teens still put 3 very petite teenage girls in back -- they could fit, and actually were 'VERY good friends' -- and went out for a drive. After drinking. Crash. Unbelted middle person was fatally launched through the windshield. Lawsuit over lack of middle seatbelt. Parents won.

    A few model years after mine, that same car model still had no additional space in back, but did have a rear center seatbelt. As have all the similarly sized cars I've seen since. And because they now have 5 seatbelts sets, they are labeled as 5 passenger. The only ones I've seen labeled for just 4 passengers (e.g. Prime, first-gen Chevy Volt), have the rear center position mechanically blocked to prevent even little people from sitting there.

    So when you think of 'realistic', don't think of just your own physical size, or the average American size. Think also of the range of sizes of other humans.
     
  7. chemao

    chemao New Member

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    Did you ever pursue this endeavor? I'm curious what the outcome was, if any.
     
  8. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    If the airlines can do it, why can't Toyota? :)

    full-middle-seat.jpg
    Toyota -- bringing families closer together
     
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  9. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    It may surprise you, but airlines and vehicle manufacturers must follow different rules.
    I suspect the airlines bribe donate more to the US government than Toyota does.
     
  10. citiprius

    citiprius Active Member

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    No, I figured that will be too much to deal with. Hopefully Toyota will fix that in 2020 model.
     
  11. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Clever idea. I'm sure it can be done, just a matter of knowing what bolts to what and what the standards are (legal safety concerns, etc).
     
  12. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Converting to 5 seats
    Please Don't.

    Just because a thing CAN be done does not mean that it SHOULD be done.....especially if you happen to actually LIKE the people that you're hoping to bolt into the Frankenseat that you're wanting to graft into the back of your car.

    In addition to being uncomfortable, it would almost certainly be unsafe and might even have long term re-sale ramifications.
     
  13. Data Soong

    Data Soong Junior Member

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    Toyota did seem to listen to customer complaints. One of the key features of the 2020 model is 5 seats. That, and Apple Car Play have made old stock 2019s a hard sell for dealers. Maryland had a $3500 Mfg rebate on the 2019 for a short period of time, which I took advantage. If I need to transport more than 4 people, I'll take the Rav4.

    I do suspect down the road it might be possible to swap the back seat of earlier models with the 2020 seat. The biggest trick would be tethering the center belt, since I'm sure there is no mounts in pre-2020 models.
     
  14. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    While being able to accommodate a third rear-seat passenger and having Apple Carplay may be important to some buyers, neither is important to our household. However, the "dumbing-down" of the electronics in the 2020 Prime -- elimination of various remote features like cabin A/C pre-conditioning, car locator, Safety Connect, charge management, etc. -- has taken the 2020 Prime off my list of cars of interest to us.

    I think all that cool stuff may have been useful in appealing to early adopters back in 2017 -- like the big vertical display screen resembling a Tesla Model S -- but are now considered of small importance to the majority of car buyers, many of whom just find such features of little use and difficult to understand.

    And I'm sure that car sales people find that pointing to a three-passenger back seat in the 2020 Prime is much easier than trying to explain how to use the sophisticated electronics on the 2017-2019 Primes.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    iirc, there was a strong argument made for 4 seats by a certain expert here, when prime was first announced
     
  16. Dennis_MA

    Dennis_MA Member

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    I rarely use the back seat for people. However yesterday we went shopping for some plastic shelving units for the garage. It was nice to be able to slide them in the back seat without folding the seats down. The trunk was full of groceries.
     
  17. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I'm not that expert, but did point out one of the legal issues.

    I once had a 1980s car that was realistically labeled a 4 seater. A 5th rider was physically possible but very uncomfortable, so the maker left out the rear center seat belt and marketed it honestly as just 4 seats.

    That didn't stop teenagers from stuffing petite riders into the center while out on the town for drunken partying. Not surprisingly, one of them had a high speed crash that launched the center rider through the windshield. Fatally. Grieving parents filed lawsuit over lack of center seatbelt. Car maker lost.

    After that settlement, that and similar car models installed the 5th seatbelt just for legal protection. But marketing folks are never going to label any car with 5 seatbelts as just a 4 passenger car.

    Some models such as Volt and Prime lack sufficient load capacity for a realistic 5 passengers. The Prime is rated for just 670 pounds, vs 825 pounds for a Liftback. So they initially took the route of being realistic, calling it just a 4 seater. For legal protection, this means blocking the center position so that no one can reasonably claim they didn't know it wasn't for a passenger. But apparently customer pressures have outweighed the load rating issue, so that block is being removed, and another seat belt added.
     
    #17 fuzzy1, Sep 29, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  18. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it was an ill fated attempt by toyota to accomplish nothing. almost no one wants a car designed for 4 seats, and they knew, or should have known.
     
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  19. RomanCro

    RomanCro Junior Member

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    I wonder how they managed 5seats in 2020 prime?

    SM-G950F ?
     
  20. Prime Objective

    Prime Objective Junior Member

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    I have the 2018 and wanted to use it to make some extra cash with UBER. But discovered UBER requires 5 seat belts. So if it were possible and inexpensive I would not mind putting one there if it was possible to exchange the entire seat so I could keep the original.
     
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