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  1. #1

    Shopping for newish AWD car that fits three carseats.

    Ok not to be too long here but first a nod to the Honda Odyssey 2011 and newer. This car is amazing. I bought it when we were 9 months pregnant with #3 and pretty much love almost everything but particularly the fact that I can fit three full size carseats across the second row and still access the back row by tilting the seats forward. One may wonder why not put kids in the back seat instead. Well I use the back for a combo of cargo and friends.

    We are looking to replace our dear beloved 2001 Subaru outback. R.I.P
    We live on the east coast and would like a vehicle that is awd or 4x4 that can fit three carseats easily but is not the minivan. I was hoping for across the second row easily with the center seat being rear facing. I have three Radians but have never used it rear facing. However, in all my internet searching I am not sure this will be possible. My goal is to find a

    1) ▄ber safe awd car that either a) seats 5 with 3 carseats second row or b) seats 6 between a second and third row with easy access to third row. I don't really want a bohemath though. This is supposed to be the "little car".

    2) looking for used 2011 or 2012

    3) Would love the new safety features- like back up camera, blind spot monitoring or camera, crazy numbers of airbags and 5 stars on just about everything except maybe one with 4 stars.

    4) price tag used below 33,000. So new means below 42,000.

    Last thing- stats are a 7 year old still in 5 point harness 46#' 46 inches
    5 year old 43# 42inches
    16 month old rear facing preferably until she is off to college ( just kidding).



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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Shopping for newish AWD car that fits three carseats.

    What about a Honda Pilot? It may be a little bigger than what you are looking for, but it meets and/or exceeds all of your criteria. 3 across is very do-able with a variety of seats, and you will have a 3rd row for those times that the kids just need to be separated.

    We got 8" of slushy nasty snow overnight and my Pilot handled it like a dream! I absolutely love it.
    Emily, mom to
    C- 9 yrs, 74 lbs, Topside & LiteRider
    A- 6 yrs, 48 lbs, Vivo & HB Turbo
    C- 3, 33lbs, Roundabout 50, Radian & Pioneer

  4. #3
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003

    Re: Shopping for newish AWD car that fits three carseats.

    Probably something you haven't considered, but take a look at the Chyrsler 300? It comes in AWD, has solid crash test ratings, can be found 1-2 years old at decent prices. 2013 Fusion comes in AWD with good crash ratings, too. Or why not another Outback? Not sure if you could find a used Volvo S60 in your price range, but that would be a great choice for everything else.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    The Fusion would be a good choice, and if you're interested in an SUV, the Edge would be a good choice. My mother has a 2011 Edge and it has every safety feature I can think of!
    Mama to Josie (4/08, 47lbs & 49"), retriever-cat Hotrod, munchkin-cat Gizmo, and hell-cat Leggs.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy rosey2007's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    You may want to look into a Hyundai Santa fe. You get a lot of features for a great price.

  7. #6
    CPST Instructor Mingie's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Vancouver Island

    Re: Shopping for newish AWD car that fits three carseats.

    We just bought a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. It is the 6 seater so the second row has two captains chairs and the third has two seats. I have a Frontier installed with the long belt path in the rear. We are expecting our third(oldest is 7 in a booster and then we have a 5 year old harnessed). I can easily get to the rear to buckle my 5 year old and I'm 5'8" and 30 weeks pregnant. It has a back up camera, AWD and side airbags. The crash ratings were good. It is easy to drive and the turn radius is great.
    ~ Laura ~
    CRST-I & Mom to DD#1 November 2005 & DD#2 May 2008 and DD#3 August 2013

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy daniele_ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Is there a reason you don't want another Subaru? We just replaced out beloved old 2001 Outback Sport with a full size Outback. DH really wanted a 2010 or newer but they were out of our price range. They fall within yours, though. We near the mountains in an area that gets a lot of snow and our other car is a minivan. We use the Outback for the family a lot in the winter months.
    dd1 born/died 4/30/03
    ds1 11yo and 5 stepping it
    dd2 8yo and riding in a Parkway SGL
    ds2 4yo and riding in a Frontier CT and a Tranzitions

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Shopping for newish AWD car that fits three carseats.

    I'm just repeating what some of the previous posters suggested, but the newer Outbacks really are quite suitable for what you're looking for. I recently borrowed a 2011 Outback and had no trouble geting one Radian RF outboard and another Radian FF center. Another adult and I took turns sitting in the other outboard rear seat and we both had plenty of room, so I am 95% sure that another Radian could have gone there instead.

    Subarus in the past had issues with the middle seat, but that no longer seems to be the case (at least for Outbacks starting in 2010 or so).

    If you are open to a new vehicle instead of a used one, the 2013 model is well within your price range and did very well in crash testing -- TSP+ rating from the IIHS, and 5 stars from NHTSA overall and on the front and side tests. At the higher trim levels, you can add a rearview camera and Subaru's EyeSight system (camera-based forward collision warning / pre-collision braking).

  10. #9
    Senior Community Member T4K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Louisville, KY
    I was going to suggest another Outback, as well.
    Mama to Baby Girl N - two years old
    Loving Stepmother of wonderful girls, H-9 and S-5

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    My parents have a new Outback and love it. The back seat is comfy and I have installed seats both outboard and center with no issues. I have no experience with 3 across in it but I can't see why it wouldn't be possible.

    FWIW my dad is a retired Ford dealer and trades his vehicles every year - he recently said he will continue to buy an Outback over and over again.

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

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