What do 400 million dollars and a time period of 18 months get you? The technology of Stow and Go seating. In 2005, DaimlerChrysler Corp introduced its brainchild of the ever so useful Stow and Go Seating. It was later copied by Nissan, Kia and Hyundai in their mini van models as well. Although this is probably what some mini van owners say is the best invention ever, it does have its drawbacks. But do the pros outweigh the cons in this millennium invention?
~Offers variety as the seats fold flat within the van floor, giving you the convenience of a cargo van. You can stow away only one row of seats and gain additional cargo space, especially convenient when you go grocery shopping.
~You can stow and unstow the seats with one hand and extreme ease
~When the seats are not in the van floor, you have additional storage space for toys, extra diapers, car keys and other necessary travel essentials.
~Since the second row seating in stow and go are captain's chairs, Chrysler has given you the capability to "swivel" them and turn them around to face the rear. It even includes a table. This is ideal on long car rides so that children can eat, play games, or color while still safely buckled into their seat.
~The seats are not as comfortable. In order for Stow and Go to be successful they have to use Captain's seating so that it is easy to "stow" the seat. This makes for less comfort and difficulty in installing child safety seats
~In order to get to the storage area when the seats are up, you need to move the seats all the way forward or fold the seats down to access the extra space. If you have a baby in one hand and bags in your other hand, this could be a slight issue
~Kia, Hyundai, and Nissan have not yet introduced the capability in their seating where you can fold down the second row. In their minivan models, you have to remove the second row seating and fold down the third row seating. That is a huge problem if you are trying to haul something at the spur at the moment, as you would always have to plan ahead by removing the second row seating before you leave home.
By weighing the pros and cons, it is clear that the stow and go seating is a good technology feature in minvans, especially if you own the Dodge/Chrysler versions. It offers variety, flexibility and most of all convenience. Minivans have transformed from a "mommymobile" to vehicles with options and features that compete with SUV's. If you are in the market for a minivan, you should definitely consider one that offers stow and go seating. You will be glad you did.