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Thread: Help me Decide!

  1. #1
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Help me Decide!

    The lease for our van is up in just under a year. It's looking like the lease payout will cost more than the van is worth, so we are seriously looking at just giving it back and getting something new, but what?

    I really like the look of the Mazda CX-9... it's downfalls are no tether anchors in the third row, so basically I could only put a booster back there (tethers are required in Canada). I'm also not sure on the access to the third row or the lack of trunk space when the third row is in use. If we got the CX-9, I would want three across with the availability of the 3rd row if I need it. Do I really want three kids in that close proximity to each other?

    My other option is another van... don't know which one - Odyssey, Sienna, or a different one?

    When we get this new vehicle, we will have 3 kids (possibly 4 - twins run in the family). Aiden will be harnessed in his Radian, Mikkel will be harnessed in his MA and the baby(ies) (newborn) will be in an SS1 at that time.

    Aiden will be in Kindergarten and I fully intend on being involved with his school. I will have to drive him to/from school and there will most likely be field trips to go on where I would be transporting additional children.

    Mikkel will be 3 and may be in pre-school two days a week, so there would be that pick up/drop off as well.

    Would a van make my life easier with all this in/out of the vehicle? If I got a van, I was thinking I would like one that can push the captains chairs in the middle row together, so I have really easy access to the third row. I would also want as many tether anchors as possible in easy to use locations (read: on the back of the seat - not in the cargo area).

    The other thing to think of (and this is MAJOR)... the Radian MUST be able to install well in said van. It is the only CDN harnessed seat that Aiden still fits in and he legally can not go into a booster, nor do I want him in one.

    What should I get? Ideas anyone? What other things should I think of/look at when deciding what vehicle to get?
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    I would get a van. I just got an Odyssey and I love it and I only have 2 kids. I don't know about the Sienna, but the Odyssey's middle row captain's chairs can be pushed together.
    Ben (2/18/02), FF in Britax Parkway, Britax StarRiser/Comfy and Combi Strollee McKinley
    Julia (9/15/04), FF Graco Nautilus (harnessed)
    Elizabeth (4/27/08), RF Britax RA

  4. #3
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    Quote Originally Posted by ajweeks View Post
    I would get a van. I just got an Odyssey and I love it and I only have 2 kids. I don't know about the Sienna, but the Odyssey's middle row captain's chairs can be pushed together.
    Where are the tether anchors?

    Is it easy to get into the back with the seats pushed together?

    Did you look at the 8 passenger option at all? If you did, what do you think?

    Have you ever installed a Radian in it? I hear conflicting reports on the Radian and the Odyssey.

    Sorry to bombard with all the q's!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    The tether anchors are on the back of the seats--not in the cargo area.

    I have the two captain's chairs outboard right now, but I would imagine that it would be easy to get back there. I sometimes climb in the driver's side to buckle my daughter in on the passenger side and have no problem. There is a decent aisle in between the two captain's chairs so with them pushed together, there should be a decent aisle on the passenger side.

    I didn't look at the 8 passenger version because I could really only afford an LX, which is only 7 passenger. I think with the 8 passenger, you can remove the 8th seat and still push the captain's chairs together, but I'm not positive on that.

    Jools has a Radian in an 03 Odyssey and she said that she can get decent installs both FF and RF. Maybe others can chime in.
    Ben (2/18/02), FF in Britax Parkway, Britax StarRiser/Comfy and Combi Strollee McKinley
    Julia (9/15/04), FF Graco Nautilus (harnessed)
    Elizabeth (4/27/08), RF Britax RA

  6. #5
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    Thanks! I'm kinda leaning towards an Odyssey. Weird since we only got the first van to have a low payment (so we could afford a house). I never thought I'd stick with a van, but now that we can afford an SUV... all I really want is a more expensive van with all the bells and whistles!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Loves2sing's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    You aren't buying an Oddessy. I know you too well. have fun in your CX9! ha ha!
    Amanda- CRST & Mom
    J-08/01/05 & M-09/14/08

  8. #7
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    We took both out for test drives two days ago and I'm not too impressed with the Odyssey. I would really like to be able to put three across and I can't do that and still be able to access the third row. I'm used to the Caravan's seats that just flip forward... so I install my seats with LATCH and then just flip the whole thing forward when I need to get into the third row, I can't do this with the Odyssey and it drove me nuts.

    I also thought about just getting the 7 passenger model and pushing the two captains chairs together for access to the third row but when I did that, it was less than stellar room to manouever (sp?) and get back to the third row.

    So, off we went to try the CX-9 and let me just say that I am in

    There was so much room to put three across the middle row. The middle bench is a 60/40 split. I put Aiden's Radian FF on the passenger (40) side and then I just slide the seat forward to gain access to the third row. It moves forward a good 5 inches so there is enough room for an adult to squeeze behind the passenger seat into the 3rd row... actually it felt about the same as squeezing into the third row of the Odyssey when the captains chairs were together.

    Since we want to do 3 across and are not using the 3rd row on a daily basis, the small space to get to the third row is adequate. It was super nice that I can leave the carseat installed and still gain access to the third row quite easily.

    I also the way it drove! So much fun and that was before I even tried out the manual sportronic shifting (or whatever they call it). Basically it can be a manual that does not need a clutch for shifting or you can just leave it in automatic mode.

    I also made sure that if the third row is in use, I would still be able to fit strollers back there. My E3V2 had plenty of space and there was even room to put Amanda's Quattro Tour back there (not both at the same time though). Again, since the third row use is not a daily thing, I'll have tons of room for strollers back there... like the Valco Twin Runabout I want - don't know if I can convince DH of that!

    Anyways, I think we are taking a family trip down south next May to get a CX-9... they are about $15K cheaper if we buy in the States!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy hsjwmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    What about the issue with no tethers in the 3rd row? If you have twins...
    Abbysnail ~ 11 ~ Maui FR85 (booster mode) and Leopard Olli
    Chica ~ 9.5 ~ Pink Monterey and Julius Olli
    Loveybug ~ 3.5 ~ rfing in a Cranberry TFP and ffing in a FR85

  10. #9
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    Quote Originally Posted by msbeltran View Post
    What about the issue with no tethers in the 3rd row? If you have twins...
    By the time the twins get here (if I have them ), Aiden will be 6 yrs old and should be really close to 40lbs and outgrowing his Radian in height. He would go in the third row in our spare Parkway.

    If he still has room to grow in the Radian... he would stay in it in the third row. It would not be tethered. I would only feel comfortable doing this because of the low excursion limits on the Radian when tested without the tether. Ohhh, did I just say that? Out loud?
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy hsjwmom's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post
    Ohhh, did I just say that? Out loud?


    Abbysnail ~ 11 ~ Maui FR85 (booster mode) and Leopard Olli
    Chica ~ 9.5 ~ Pink Monterey and Julius Olli
    Loveybug ~ 3.5 ~ rfing in a Cranberry TFP and ffing in a FR85

  12. #11
    Moderator - CPST Instructor snowbird25ca's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    Quote Originally Posted by aidensmom02 View Post



    Anyways, I think we are taking a family trip down south next May to get a CX-9... they are about $15K cheaper if we buy in the States!
    Holy, that's a big difference. I think the importation inspection is only a couple hundred too if I remember right? And with our strong CAnadian dollar, wow! Makes me think it'd be worth a trip for us next time too.

    (Although what do you do for car insurance on the way back? I guess it would fall under newly aquired vehicle, and in the off-chance that you had an accident it would have to pass AB inspection in order for you to have coverage - but what brand new vehicle wouldn't pass an inspection... Can you hear my insurance background coming out..lol)
    Trudy - Canadian CPSAC certified CRST Instructor-Trainer and mommy to:
    Janeen - 17 yrs and learning to drive!
    Jillian - 11 yrs, 80'ish lbs, 5-stepping in each car. :O
    Jonas - 8yrs, 65lbs, Riding in an Oobr in each car.
    Both safely riding in either a 2007 Outlook or a 2015 Subaru Legacy depending on the day.


  13. #12
    CPS Technician Loves2sing's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    She's already done this when she and her hubby bought their Mazda Speed 3 in the States, so she's good to go. They know what they are doing!
    Amanda- CRST & Mom
    J-08/01/05 & M-09/14/08

  14. #13
    CPS Technician CDNTech's Avatar
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    Re: Help me Decide!

    Quote Originally Posted by snowbird25ca View Post
    Holy, that's a big difference. I think the importation inspection is only a couple hundred too if I remember right? And with our strong CAnadian dollar, wow! Makes me think it'd be worth a trip for us next time too.

    (Although what do you do for car insurance on the way back? I guess it would fall under newly aquired vehicle, and in the off-chance that you had an accident it would have to pass AB inspection in order for you to have coverage - but what brand new vehicle wouldn't pass an inspection... Can you hear my insurance background coming out..lol)
    We did the exact same thing with our speed3... bought in spokane and brought back.

    We get a temporary in-transit permit ($10) from spokane to bring it back and we already have our insurance in place for AB before we leave.

    The 15K difference includes the GST (6%), Duty (6%), Riv fee ($200) and other miscellaneous expenses... so it's a super good deal to go down to get the CX-9 from the states.

    Crazy, eh?!!
    Jen, Former CDN CRS Tech
    DS1 /02, Seatbelt in the driver's seat now!
    DS2 /05, Seatbelt

    DS3 /12, Britax Frontier/Parkway SG
    DD1 /15, Rfing Peg PVC

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