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Discussion Starter #1
So- surely some of you guys on here have kids...

I bought my Mazda 3 hatch with the anticipation of having kids soon (back in March of 11)- well now I have an almost 4 month old...

I love my 3 but the problem is that my sons car seat makes the passenger seat with the knees to the dash. My wife Hyundai Santa Fe I also have to put my knees to the dash, seems crazy. I thought both of our cars would be plenty big enough to comfortably fit a car seat... She wants a minivan which I was opposed to when I bought her the Santa Fe (Limited model, its amazingly nice for the money!) but now Im not so opposed to it.

Any suggestions? Thinking he will be in a "convertible car seat" in the next couple months (when he hits 22lbs).

Car seat suggestions? Am I the only one who has this problem? Do we just happen to have a massive car seat now?
 

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Any reason why you're not doing the middle? That's where kids are supposed to be located when possible. And any compact car will flat out SUCK for car seats. There is a reason why minivans will never go away. :)

Says the guy who just bought an 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L a couple weeks ago...with the third kid on the way there literally was no good way to make our CX-9 work without having kids climbing over seats. Honestly the best car purchase I ever made already.
 

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I assume your little one at that age is still in a rear-facing car seat (it's been a long time since I had one that age)? Those rear facing seats are HUGE and you'll be hard pressed to find many cars, except a mini-van, that is big enough to accomodate one of those seats behind the passenger or driver seats.

I was shocked at home much more room I had when my kids became big enough to sit in a forward facing seat. They are not small either, but the position they are in does provide for better fitment into a wider variety of cars.

I wouldn't bail on your car for this issue. The worst is almost behind you. Just remember that the seats will get progressively smaller as the kids grow and you'll be able to comfortably fit them in the back seat for many years to come. As others have recomended, put the seat in the middle position, and suck it up for the next few months. You'll be glad you did.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys.

Not looking to replace my car- actually love my car (Ive really been surprised at how much I love my Mazda).

Ill try moving it to the middle- the reason I never did this was because I thought I would then have to move my driver seat up like the passenger seat and I can't drive that way (especially with a manual).

Chadillac- How are you like the 2012 Odyssey? My wife really wants one but loaded the way she wants it is just so dang expensive...
 

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Just curious guys but isn't the middle seat more of a hazard. When I had to help with my family and pick up little cousins I started putting the seat in the middle but then one day they saw that and got furious with me and told me for safety reasons they have to be behind a seat.
 

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Just curious guys but isn't the middle seat more of a hazard. When I had to help with my family and pick up little cousins I started putting the seat in the middle but then one day they saw that and got furious with me and told me for safety reasons they have to be behind a seat.
I think it all depends on the car. Some back seats aren't designed in a way where the seat will sit flat and allow for the seat belts to hold it down. I viewed the center to be safer because should the car be t-boned in an accident you have some stand-off distance between the side of the car/colision point and the kiddo in their seat. Another factor is rear, side air bags. If you have a car with rear-passenger side air bags, putting a car seat next to them is a bad idea due to the bag deploying against the seat and the kid sitting in it.
 

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The safest place for the kids is in the center; while it's a pain not having the latch, not having them right next to the impact in a side collision is preferred. Lot more of a pain in the ass getting them in there, too.

In terms of the Ody... MSRP on it was about $38k (EX-L w/ RES) which to me was absolutely crazy for a damn minivan!! But, after testing them out, seeing the ridiculous amount of kid friendly features, I actually thought it was a reasonable deal for a vehicle that damn big and that well built. Obviously I didn't pay MSRP, but it still hurt since the CX-9 would have been paid off next year. My wife absolutely loves it and I have to admit that it's a wonderful vehicle to ride in, but I don't like driving it. The media options are great, and the in dash display (8") is fun. Like I said, probably the best vehicle purchase I've ever made/
 

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Ok cool makes more sense. Ill have to argue this with my family next time. Hate car seat in my car lol
 

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I keep my rear-facing car seat in the middle also. My son will be 8 months soon and pushing the 22lb limit so we will be making the transition to the larger and forward facing seat.

Granted I have the sedan but he fits just fine in his seat. I do sit a little more straight then I used to, but after driving for a day or two it felt completely normal.
 

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I put my 7 month old in a Rear facing britax marathon on the rear passenger side. The front seat had to go up a little but there was still room for my wife (5'4") to fit.

When it's all 5 of us driving, we're in out minivan though. Can't beat sliding doors for loading small children.


Sent from space.
 

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It's not on you, or the car, I blame the car seat manufacturers and the paranoia cycle that further places the parents into a feeding frenzy.

Car seats seem like they're in an arms race to see who can publish the gaudiest capacity specs. And that's led to the oversized monstrosities on the market right now. Is your kid really safer if the car seat has a five-point harness that can handle a triple-digit load capacity? Or if the side impact cushions take up more width than an offensive tackle?

The problem that I see with this trend is that all that extra weight and heft makes the car seats more cumbersome to work with and install. Parents want "top-of-the-line" car seats, assuming that those models are that much safer. And they will buy them, regardless of whether they can properly fit into their car. And IMO, an improperly installed or adjusted car seat is far more dangerous than seating a 25 lb. toddler in a 45 lb. capacity harness rather than one designed for 85 lbs.

What makes matters worse is that the LATCH hooks are supposed to be safely accommodate children up to ~40 to 48 lbs. But, with the car seats themselves now weighing upwards of 30 lbs. or more, the LATCH is no longer safe for anything close to that weight. That's why the new car seat safety guidelines will no longer recommend using LATCH. The whole reason for going with LATCH is the simpler installation. With these dino-sized car seats, that's no longer an option.

As others have mentioned, the rear facing convertible seats will often take up a huge amount of rear leg room. When I had the CHP inspect my rear-facing car seat installation, they actually recommended the center position for my old car (since it only had a center lap belt and no LATCH points).

With my Mazda3, I use an Evenflo Triumph Advance. It's a large car seat in its own right, but in the front facing position, it fits into a Mazda3 just fine. It's relatively easy to install and adjust, and it will accommodate up to 50 lbs.

With our Mazda5 (which will accommodate any car seat of any size in the 2nd row), we wound up to the Britax Frontier, because it boasts the highest load capacities and crash protection ratings. But, I've grown to see it more as a bloated monstrosity of a car seat. It's heavy and bulky, and awkward to install. Plus, minor adjustments such as the shoulder height and head rest require uninstalling the seat. It might indeed be the safest seat on the market, and can accommodate an 85 lb. teenager in a five-point harness. But, every time a car seat gets uninstalled and reinstalled, it raises the possibility of that installation being done incorrectly. And to me, since these bulky car seats are already more difficult to install, I see this as more of a safety issue than the purported differences in crash worthiness.
 

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The manual for the MZ3 states that the middle seat can be used with latch from the left and right side. Some cars its too far apart and thus not safe.

I have a Britax Boulevard and it sits in the middle. I have plenty of room to scoot my chair back and so does my wife.

The seat I have, my son can rear face till 40lbs, then fwd till 70lbs. So while it costs more, it will be with us longer. And the grey/black one matches the interior :)
 

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What makes matters worse is that the LATCH hooks are supposed to be safely accommodate children up to ~40 to 48 lbs. But, with the car seats themselves now weighing upwards of 30 lbs. or more, the LATCH is no longer safe for anything close to that weight. That's why the new car seat safety guidelines will no longer recommend using LATCH. The whole reason for going with LATCH is the simpler installation. With these dino-sized car seats, that's no longer an option.
You bring up a good point here. I read an article not long ago that most auto makers didn't even design the seat cushions in a way which would allow for LATCH points on car seats to properly reach the anchors in the seat. From what I remember, the list of vehicles with easily accessable anchors was really short and most of them were mini-vans.

E Tinker: How does your 10-year old fit in that booster seat? My daughter is the same age and she's pushing 5ft tall. She's actually taller than my mom! Her booster seat days are well behind her.
 

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I have twin daughters, and I use the Baby Trend Elixer car seats in the back middle, and back passenger side. There's still a decent amount of leg room for the passenger, and I don't have to move the driver's seat any further forward then I would like to have it normally (I'm 6'1").
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well guys- I moved his current car seat in the middle and that did help a little (only downside is I need to put my seats down on occasion making deliveries for my business and that messes that up...)

And we have also made the decision to dump our SUV and buy a minivan- went test driving this weekend and were sold on a 2011 or 2012 Chrysler Town and Country.

Anyone looking for a nice mint condition 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited with 63k miles? Leather, sunroof, heated seats, new tires, etc. Haha!
 

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Still highly recommend looking at an Odyssey...we looked at Siennas, T&C's, and the Odyssey. The Odyssey was easily our favorite, but obvious your preference may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Still highly recommend looking at an Odyssey...we looked at Siennas, T&C's, and the Odyssey. The Odyssey was easily our favorite, but obvious your preference may vary.
We looked at a 2010 Odyssey, which is what we thought we wanted, and were highly disappointed. The 2011+ are out of the budget so we didn't even look at those.

What didn't you like about the T&C? Im not a Chrysler guy, and my wife isn't either, but we really enjoyed the features and how it drove, especially for the money. A lot of bang for the buck not to mention stow and go was a huge selling feature.
 

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@zoomzoom Hatch I know this has been ages. I'm curious what kind of car seats did you use. I have a third one on the way and wanted to know if you can give some recommendations.
I've been looking through the internet and is just so much to go through. Plus the car seat reviews are much help or their are really challenged people out there. Anyways I started researching best car seats and came across this car seats for infants. After weeks I've found that most reviews aren't worth much because they never mention negatives or problems. Amazon reviews are filled with wieners. After a while I came across a different site where I've stumbled across the chicco fit2 review it was different than the rest because it seems that it was written by someone who actually used the seat. There are drawbacks listed. Anyways what do you think? any tips?
 
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