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1st Generation (2001-2007) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 1st generation Toyota Highlanders.

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Old 07-26-2006, 08:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Add 3rd row seat to non 3rd row seat 04

I am about to purchase an 04 2wd 4cyl, and was wondering if it would be possible to have the 3rd row seat added that wasnt purchased from the factory. If so does anyone have any info on this?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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No

No and not worth it. We have them in ours and even for small kids it's not comfortable. Jon.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Toyota's decision to stick a 3rd row seat in the HL is nothing more than a me-too reaction. I cannot understand the obsession with 3rd row seats in vehicles of this size. They are borderline-worthless and occupy what would otherwise be decent storage space... and you pay hundreds of dollars extra for one. I have a '01 Limited and while I would love a new HL, one of the things that bugs me is that I'll probably be forced to take a 3rd row seat in whatever I buy.

I'd like to see trends reverse and 3rd row seats disappearing in mid-sized vehicles.
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Old 07-28-2006, 04:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When we were looking to buy our HL we had the hardest time finding 3rd row used ones. To be honest with you I think some of the people here are being a little picky/anal. I actually sat in the way back(3rd row). I admitt that I have yet to find ANY 3rd row to be Totally comfertable but I am 6' and I fit. We have 4 kids so 3rd row is vital to us. Non of the kids have complained and they youngest(7) still falls asleep back there. They still fight to sit back there, so when you say useless I say nay.
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Old 08-03-2006, 07:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I guess I should have been more specific.... the 3rd row seat is useless to ME.

My two main complains about 3rd row seats in short/small vehicles like the HL are:

1. When the 3rd row seat is deployed there is virtually no storage space remaining. This is true even of the shorter minivans. With the 3rd row seat up even fitting groceries back there can be a challenge.

2. Even more importantly, I feel occupants of the 3rd row seat are very vulnerable to injury. They are right there in the back with virtually nothing between them and the rear of the vehicle. If someone hits you in the rear the 3rd row occupants are going to be in sad shape. For this reason alone I would never allow anyone to sit back there. I know in some of the shorter minivans the 3rd row occupants heads are nearly against the rear window.

On longer/larger vehicles this is less of a problem because even with the 3rd row seat deployed there is still a lot of vehicle behind you allowing for storage and buffer in case of someone rear-ending you.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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old thread...

but, has anyone done this?

For short hauls with an extra kid or two, I'd love to have this capacity.
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No reputable dealer or shop would likely ever do a third row retrofit. There are a number of hardpoints for the seatbelt attachments. If one of these failed in an accident, can you imagine the liability? The risk is just too high.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbal
No reputable dealer or shop would likely ever do a third row retrofit. There are a number of hardpoints for the seatbelt attachments. If one of these failed in an accident, can you imagine the liability? The risk is just too high.
Thanks for your input!

Your post has genereated many questions in my mind...

If there are 'X' number of seatbelt hardpoints, why wouldn't the dealer (or in this case, me) simply connect them? How hard could it be?

Think of all the substantially more complex things dealers do on a day-to-day basis.

A brake system, for instance, contains all sorts of pins, clips, bolts, hydraulic lines, sensors, etc.
The potential for catastrophic failure - and the accompanying exposure to liability - are magnatudes higher for any brake job versus, say, a rear seat install.
Taken further, that new brake job is going to be used several times a minute (in the drive home from the dealer). That seat will get used ten times a year.

Changing to 2" larger diameter wheels alters the factory-engineered handling characteristics of any car or SUV - yet, dealers commonly do this for customers.

So, if a dealer refuses to add my third seat, shouldn't they also stop doing all "dealer installed items"? Or other options 'left out' at the factory, yet desired by customers?

If the 3rd seat could be substituted by build order during assembly at the factory, why not now?

The factory engineered mounting points exist in all (2004-up) Highlander bodies. The hardware,belts & the seat itself all exist as replacement parts. These parts should be available new at a dealer or used at a boneyard.

It can't be that difficult. Plus, I'll just do it myself.

I would be especially interested to hear from someone who has actually done this retrofit. Particularly if they twisted the bolts themselves.

Maybe I'll turn out to be the pioneer .
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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My remarks are based on a conversation I had with a Toyota sales guy last week. He happens also to be a mechanical engineer.

I asked him the very same question regarding the 2007 RAV4. The Sport model does not come with the 3rd row seat option. He has been very helpful and accomodating in getting us a vehicle that fits our specificatons. When asked if the dealership can do a 3rd row seat retrofit, he stated flat out that they do not do it, nor has he ever heard of anyone who will do it. He cited the potential for liability.

Of course, that doesn't mean it is physically impossible to do it, if you manage to collect all the right parts from a junkyard or dealer. Never having done anyting like that myself, I don't know if it is a bolt-in operation, or if there is any welding involved. So your best bet would be to find a 3rd row car at a junkyard, and take lots and lots of photos of the installation as you go about removing it. A picture is worth a thousand words!

Cheers.
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Old 03-05-2007, 09:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbal
My remarks are based on a conversation I had with a Toyota sales guy last week. He happens also to be a mechanical engineer...

understood.
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Old 04-15-2007, 02:11 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What about in an 03 Highlander?

Has anyone tried installing a 3rd row seat in an 03 Highlander? I may try it myself. My kids rarely would ride back there, only when the family is all together. Any thoughts on this?
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Can't install 3rd row seat in Highlanders below 2004. Sheetmetal was changed to accomodate 3rd row, spare tire was moved to outside under the trunk floor and gas tank size decreased.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Removing the 3rd row seats?

We have the opposite problem of most of you. The only "limiteds" they ordered had the 3rd row seats. The seats are useless for humans, and the luggage space would have been wonderful. The strange shouder belt pockets on either side of the back door also lack the hooks for the cargo net, and that's been a disappointment.

All of that, on top of very strange throttle response issues, make us wish we had purchased something else.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Found this site for thirdrow seat, not oem, aftermarket, looking to get down the road. i like the fact that it is removable. http://littleseats.com/toyota_highlander.htm
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:14 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJL99 View Post
Found this site for thirdrow seat, not oem, aftermarket, looking to get down the road. i like the fact that it is removable. http://littleseats.com/toyota_highlander.htm
Sorry to bring this old thread back to life. I did a search and found this thead.
I'm looking to buy a third row seat for my 2003 Highlander. So did anyone buy this product from the company mentioned above?
Any other recommendations?
I'm new to this forum. I'm usually in the Camry Gen5&6 forum.
Thanks in advance.
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