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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    We have been driving a 2012 Ford Flex for nearly 2 yrs, and since it was recently in a hail storm we are considering keeping the insurance claim check, trading it in (trade in would cover amount we still owe on it), and purchasing a different vehicle.

    I love a lot about the Flex (design, interior leg room, AWD, storage is adequate for us, 3rd row seats), but....I still have difficulty parking it due to the long square front end, and the large doors often cause issues when loading and unloading the kids.

    My first thought was the 2015 Odyssey:
    Top 1% rated vehicle (all 5 stars and good ratings on the scales)
    The shorter front end, smaller turning radius, and sliding doors would be wonderful
    On the downside though, I wonder if I would miss AWD (we live in a mountainous area, and have snow, hail, and lots of rain)?
    Also, I am concerned about the low ground clearance at 4.5 inches; our Flex is 5.5 and can still scrape on some parking curbs

    I had never considered a Kia until tonight when I learned about the Sedona redesign for 2015
    Top 1% rated vehicle (all 5 stars and good ratings on the scales)
    Same shorter front end, turning radius and sliding doors like the Odyssey
    It's a tad shorter and narrower, and has a wider wheelbase than the Odyssey which I think I like
    It has a higher ground clearance at 6.7 inches (even higher than the Flex) which would be good I think for snow/slush ruts in the road, etc
    The EX trim comes with 18 inch wheels which is a big plus since we could use the current snow tires we already have, whereas with the Odyssey they would be useless
    As for negatives, again, we would lose the AWD function
    And DH is VERY concerned with whether or not the Kia will hold it's value anywhere near how the Odyssey would so not sure how willing he would jump on board with this. Also uncertain of Kia's track record regarding maintenance issues since I've never considered that make before

    The third option would be the 2015 Nissan Rogue
    It would give us the 3rd row option we want (though not sure about its functionality)
    Some in the SV trim have the 18 in wheels, and it has AWD and the higher ground clearance
    Has a lot of safety features though some were optional on the SV trim
    Only has 4 stars on frontal crash, and is smaller and lighter than the other options
    We still wouldn't have sliding doors with this option


    While we only have two kids (one HHB and one FF Harness), we really don't want to lose the 3rd row seating, as we frequently have family riding with us.

    I would greatly appreciate any input on the above because my head is spinning!
    Thank you!

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  3. #2
    CPS Fanatic 1mommy's Avatar
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    What about all season tires, or snow tires during the winter to help combat the fact that it doesn't have AWD? No personal experience, but I've read it can help a lot more then AWD or 4WD...
    Mommy to Jake, a.k.a Booger Breath #1- born March 2012 and Sawyer, my little "Soy Bean"- born May 2014

    Playing the Car Seat Shuffle between a True Fit Premier, Guide 65, Graco MySize, Graco Milestone and a Maxi Cosi Pria

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  5. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by 1mommy View Post
    What about all season tires, or snow tires during the winter to help combat the fact that it doesn't have AWD? No personal experience, but I've read it can help a lot more then AWD or 4WD...
    Yes, we are snow tire fans here. That's one of the perks for the Sedona cause it has the same wheel size as our current set of snow tires whereas the ones we have would be too big for the Odyssey. Although now my tire-uneducated mind is learning that just because both the Sedona tire and our snow tires are 18 inch, they may be different widths and not compatible anyway, so irregardless we may have to purchase a new set.

    I was thinking AWD helped in heavy rain conditions as well...does anyone know if that is really true or not?

    Anyone have the 2015 Sedona? What do you like/not like? If not, how about an older model Sedona or just a Kia...how do they do on maintenance/upkeep issues?

    Anyone have any guesses regarding how the 2015 Sedona will hold its value?

    Those of you with an Odyssesy....any issues with the low 4.5 inch ground clearance, especially if you are in an area that has snow/slush ruts in the road?

  6. #4
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    We have a 2013 Odyssey and we see a lot of snow. No mountains, but we do have a few hills to conquer around town. We've only used all weather tires. Aside from that one 18" snow storm when no one on the street could get out for 2 days, including the guy with the giant SUV, we haven't had any issues.

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  8. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    I had a 2015 Rogue as a rental car. I couldn't imagine a third row in there. The one I had for a rental was only two rows, but I couldn't imagine anyone but someone very small sitting in a third row in that car.

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  10. #6
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    How about a 2015 Sienna AWD? Might be the best of all worlds and just as safe as Odyssey or Sedona. Kias have improved greatly in terms of holding value, though likely still somewhat behind Honda and Toyota. You do get the better warranty, though. I'm not as fond of the previous Sedona. It's decent with good safety ratings, but I'd much rather have a used Odyssey. The new '15 Sedona is much closer to Odyssey and Sienna overall.

    I think the Rogue's 3rd row will be barely adequate for a tween or an older child in a booster, and leave you no cargo space behind.

    We never had an issue with the Odyssey in Chicago winters, either traction or ground clearance. It is relatively flat here, and decent plowing too. I think snow tires on the Odyssey or Sedona would overcome a lot. In fact, 2WD + snow tires would be better than AWD in many cases, but of course AWD + snow tires would be even better;-) For rain and hydroplaning, you're better with a top quality set of all-season tires.

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  12. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    First off, thank you, CPSDarren, for all of the info you provided...I appreciate that from your vast vehicle experience!

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    How about a 2015 Sienna AWD?
    As for the Sienna, I did consider it initially due to the available AWD but since (while still very safe) it doesn't have as high results on the frontal crash test or the new offset test, I struck it off the list. We hadn't planned from the beginning to be switching away from the Flex this soon, but since we find ourselves there now, I'm kinda of the opinion that if we are going to be trading in for something around the $30,000 mark I now want it to have all the best ratings which even our Flex doesn't have. Maybe that's too obsessive, I don't know?

    Does anyone know which second row middle seat (2015 Ody vs 2015 Sedona) is more conducive to boosters? We currently have a Recaro Performance booster and a Chicco Kidfit as our choices. Or even what the width of those two seats are?

  13. #8
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by MyTwoSons View Post
    First off, thank you, CPSDarren, for all of the info you provided...I appreciate that from your vast vehicle experience!



    As for the Sienna, I did consider it initially due to the available AWD but since (while still very safe) it doesn't have as high results on the frontal crash test or the new offset test, I struck it off the list. We hadn't planned from the beginning to be switching away from the Flex this soon, but since we find ourselves there now, I'm kinda of the opinion that if we are going to be trading in for something around the $30,000 mark I now want it to have all the best ratings which even our Flex doesn't have. Maybe that's too obsessive, I don't know?

    Does anyone know which second row middle seat (2015 Ody vs 2015 Sedona) is more conducive to boosters? We currently have a Recaro Performance booster and a Chicco Kidfit as our choices. Or even what the width of those two seats are?
    The 2015 Sienna improved enough that I think it is still one of the safest vehicles on the road today, even if it didn't get quite the crash test results of the Odyssey or 2015 Sedona. The "Acceptable" result in the small offset crash and 4-star result on the Frontal Barrier Passenger test are minor blemishes in a very good overall performance, in my opinion. Plus, if you end up shopping top end models, it's the only one with an active crash avoidance braking system. Even if not, I think the AWD option for Sienna makes it a great choice based on what you've posted.

    I had the impression that the Odyssey 2nd row middle seat is slightly wider and may work a bit better for any type of carseat, but I haven't compared it side-by-side to the 2015 Sedona to know for sure. The one in the Sienna is definitely narrower. The tradeoff for some families is that the Sienna's middle seat is very handy to stow away in back so you can have an aisle in the middle and put tje seat back when you need it. It's still a decent seat for a very narrow booster or for kids who are not in boosters. Older teens and adults would be fine there on short trips, too, but perhaps not for long rides.

    Finally, you can get the Sedona with the 8th seat for a bit less than the Odyssey if you are lucky enough to find one or able to wait to order one. The Sienna AWD does not have an 8th seat option.

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  15. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Okay, I'll put the Sienna back on the list. But no 8th seat option on the AWD model...hmmm. Not sure yet how important that is to us if we go for a mini van. We will test drive one though when we are out to drive a Sedona.

    I just came across the Nissan Pathfinder in my online search. I love the idea of their 'all around camera view' technology as parking is not my strong suit! However, I'm not sure we could find one in our price range seeing as how it seems the lowest trim with that option is the SL with Tech package...I will have to do more research on that. But maybe just the 'snub nose' of a mini van would be enough to help my parking dysfunction!

    However, the 'informed for life' website only lists the IIHS scores with "?" for the others on the 2015 Pathfinder. Anywhere else to find the missing data?
    Last edited by MyTwoSons; 06-26-2015 at 11:33 PM. Reason: clarification

  16. #10
    CPS Technician
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    What about the new 2016 Honda Pilot? IIHS has not tested the redesigned Pilot yet, but the new model was designed specifically with the newer crash tests in mind. The 2nd generation Pilots ran from 2009-2015 so they came out before the small front overlap category was introduced. Cars designed before that test came out pretty much all tested poorly. I expect the 3rd generation Pilot will test exceptionally well once the results are in.
    DS1 (April '09) Britax Parkway SGL & Clek Olli, DD (March '12) Britax Frontier 90 & Evenflo Maestro, DS2 (April '15) RF Nuna Rava & RF Clek Foonf
    2011 Honda Pilot
    2009 Honda Ridgeline

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  18. #11
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Just bought a '15 Kia Sedona SX (8 seat option). Felt like I got a lot more value for money compared with the Odyssey and Siennas I checked out.

    I'm currently in a 2005 Honda CRV (so you can tell I'm predisposed to like Hondas) with 3 kids super tight in the back (one Britax Roundabout, one Radian RXT, one Graco Turbobooster).

    I'll report back on how the Sedona is after I take delivery in a few days, but on the recommendation of this forum's top list, I got a Graco Affix for the oldest, a Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 for the middle, and I'll use an older Evenflo Symphony 65 for the youngest.

    My idea is to put the oldest in the back row, and the middle and youngest in the second row. That way they're all separated from each other ... which is always how problems start.

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  20. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by aporthole View Post
    What about the new 2016 Honda Pilot?
    I did check out the Pilot after your recommendation. It is very nice, but since it is a little smaller overall than the 2015 Pathfinder it didn't win out on my list.


    I still have not made a decision between the Ody, Sedona, Sienna, and Pathfinder...after all the test drives, I like features of each of them and just want to combine them all into one perfect vehicle!

    As hard as it is to strike two very liked vans off the list, I think it is currently between the Sienna and the Pathfinder. Over the life of this vehicle we could find ourselves in Alaska just as easily as places like Georgia, so I am really feeling the pressure to get something with AWD, to have in conjunction with snow tires if needed, so that we are prepared for whatever terrain/weather may come.

    I'm going to have to go test drive these two again, since after driving/playing with them both and putting the specs that are important to me into a comparison spreadsheet (I know, I am a geek ), there still isn't a clear winner.

  21. #13
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    We have reviews of the Pathfinder and corporate twins Infinit JX35/QX60 at CarseatBlog as well. The above view camera system is very nice. Mercedes and others have similar systems:

    2013 Mercedes Benz GL450 Backup Cam - YouTube

    As for informed for life, I find their new rating system to be more confusing with less mathematical analysis than they did up until a few years ago. It's still a great place to start, but I personally wouldn't necessarily limit myself to just the top 1% or 2% lists. If they are missing data points on crash tests, it means they haven't updated their database or that those crash tests have not been completed. You'd have to check the IIHS and NHTSA websites directly.

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  23. #14
    CPS Technician
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyTwoSons View Post

    I did check out the Pilot after your recommendation. It is very nice, but since it is a little smaller overall than the 2015 Pathfinder it didn't win out on my list.

    I still have not made a decision between the Ody, Sedona, Sienna, and Pathfinder...after all the test drives, I like features of each of them and just want to combine them all into one perfect vehicle!

    As hard as it is to strike two very liked vans off the list, I think it is currently between the Sienna and the Pathfinder. Over the life of this vehicle we could find ourselves in Alaska just as easily as places like Georgia, so I am really feeling the pressure to get something with AWD, to have in conjunction with snow tires if needed, so that we are prepared for whatever terrain/weather may come.

    I'm going to have to go test drive these two again, since after driving/playing with them both and putting the specs that are important to me into a comparison spreadsheet (I know, I am a geek ), there still isn't a clear winner.
    Interesting. I've been inside the Pathfinder's Infinity twin as well as the 2nd generation Pilot and the Pilot feels MUCH roomier inside than the Pathfinder and twin.
    DS1 (April '09) Britax Parkway SGL & Clek Olli, DD (March '12) Britax Frontier 90 & Evenflo Maestro, DS2 (April '15) RF Nuna Rava & RF Clek Foonf
    2011 Honda Pilot
    2009 Honda Ridgeline

  24. #15
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    I also did not like the fixed immovable head restraints in the 3rd row of the Pathfinder & twin as well as the fact there is only 1 tether anchor in the 3rd row.
    DS1 (April '09) Britax Parkway SGL & Clek Olli, DD (March '12) Britax Frontier 90 & Evenflo Maestro, DS2 (April '15) RF Nuna Rava & RF Clek Foonf
    2011 Honda Pilot
    2009 Honda Ridgeline

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  26. #16
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Well, we finally made a decision and purchased the 15 Pathfinder SL with Tech Package this weekend! We were able to get a great deal well below the "exceptional deal" price listed through True Car. Thank you all for your input and information.

    It is a little shorter than the Flex we traded in, doesn't have as long and square of a front end, and sits up higher which is wonderful for me! We did sacrifice some leg room/adult comfort in the third row, but the Pathfinder will be adequate for our needs when we have family visiting and have two extra people riding with us.

    It drives very nicely and is quieter/smoother than the Flex. The gas mileage is wonderful and I am loving the tech features such as the blind spot warning system, cross traffic alert, and the front/rear/all around camera views!

    For anyone looking who has more kids, the above poster is correct that there is only one tether in the third row (and no lower latch in that row), and the headrests in that row are fixed. For us the tethers/anchors it has are enough and we were used to working with the fixed third row headrests in the Flex, so those weren't deal breakers for us.

    If anyone is considering one and has any questions, feel free to ask.
    Last edited by MyTwoSons; 07-06-2015 at 07:42 PM.

  27. #17
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Awesome, enjoy the new ride!

  28. #18
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: From a Flex to: Odyssey, Sedona, or Rogue

    Quote Originally Posted by CPSDarren View Post
    Awesome, enjoy the new ride!
    Thank you! We definitely are!

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