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Hi,
I love my Echo hatchback, and it's a 4-seater with those useless cupholders in the back center. Apparently the 2000-2005 was produced as a 5-seater as well, with a bench seat in the back. I drive carpool with 4 teenagers, and am currently borrowing a car 3 days a week to make it possible. Luckily they are all small people, or this would be a totally ludicrous idea. That said....
Question 1) Can anyone out there confirm that there is such a thing as a 5-seater HATCHBACK? Apparently any car from 2000-2005 should work for same seats.
Question 2) Can anyone confirm that the rear bench seat from a sedan will/will not work in my hatchback? I am aware that I will need to move some frame pieces as well, and a seatbelt.
Question 3) Am I crazy to think this is a better idea than buying a new car? I live by the beach and it is a MAJOR plus to drive a car small enough to park in the leftover in-between spaces on busy beach days, so I don't want a bigger vehicle. Even a foot longer would mean I would lose my parking advantage. B-)
Thank you to anyone who can help with this!!
~Lisa K.
 

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I have a two door coupe, not a hatchback, but I've removed my rear seat in order to put long things into the trunk.

I'm happy to help with measurements / photos, if that'd help.

You're not crazy. Cars are tools we use to accomplish things. Modify away as you see fit! :)
 

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I have a 2000 Vitz with folding, split rear bench seat that also flips. I need to replace the centre lap seat belt but don't know who to get the seat out so if you can show me how to do this, or simply the easiest way to get to the seat belt anchor bolt, that would be great. From what I can tell, the bench seat cushion does not just lift up from the base by pulling on a couple of clips like it would on a lot of cars....
 
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