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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy SillyLily's Avatar
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    Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Please note, I am not a tech Ė these are just one parentís experiences with trying to find the right seat, and I hope it helps out some people who are still searching.

    Okay, so I bought a compact car a couple weeks ago Ė a 2005 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. The interior is the same size as any 2002 through 2007 Subaru Impreza model. There is not a lot of leg room in the car for any passenger, and the back seat is particularly small. So of course, after purchasing the car, I had to go on the great car seat hunt to find the perfect car seat for rear-facing.

    I tried the Britax Roundabout and Marathon, Maxi Cosi Priori, SK Radian, EFTA, and Scenera. There was no way the Radian was going to fit, and the EFTA fit but it gobbled up too much of the front passengerís room. I really thought I was going to buy a roundabout. But after trying the roundabout, it just seemed too upright and didnít fit quite right. The scenera was a pain to install, and I couldnít get it acceptably tight when it had a noodle under it. It was too upright without the noodle. I think a tech with experience could have gotten it to work, though. But I was planning on getting a nicer seat anyways. The priori fit perfectly, so I bought that. Then in the meantime, I decided to try out our marathon since we were going on a trip and I didnít like the scenera install.

    The marathon fits perfectly! It is so bizarre, because it allows morefront passenger leg room than the roundabout (but not more than the priori). It is because of the shape of the front seats and where the marathon meets the front seat as opposed to where the roundabout meets the front seat (if that makes any sense whatsoever). And the priori fits in either of our vehicles very, very well. I have it installed in our 2001 Audi A6 right now, and my dh is so happy because it freed up so much leg room. It allows considerably more legroom than the marathon, once again because of how the seat puzzles with the front passengerís seat.

    So if you are trying to find a rearfacing seat for your Impreza, go with either the marathon or the priori depending on the size and age of your child. Oh, and the SK Radian installs like a dream front facing in the car. It was so easy and solid, its like it was made for the car!

    Okay, on to my thoughts on the Priori. I. love. the. seat. Seriously, I was skeptical at first. I bought the one in night owl, thinking that the blue in the picture would look nice in my new car. But it is actually a deep, dark plum! I was shocked, and it is absolutely beautiful (although I would have been a little ticked if I had a little boy instead of girl). The center/polkadot part is kind of like a tapestry material and the wings are covered in a soft microfiber type material. The polkadot parts, where babyís back and bottom sit, are incredibly cushioned.

    The priori would work very well for someone looking to skip an infant seat altogether. It would be very easy to get the proper infant recline, and the bottom slots are very low. But it does not come with an infant insert, so they would have to use rolled up receiving towels for proper positioning.

    Changing the harness level was not nearly as bad as I was expecting. It took like 60 seconds, since I had already read about how to do it online. But if I had plump hands, it would be harder. My dh, who has large but relatively thin hands, had no problems with it either. And it has the alligator style LATCH clips.

    So overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the Priori, especially after everything I read here. In my personal, and very non-tech, opinion, I am surprised itís not recommended more often in situations where the roundabout has been recommended instead. And it was cheaper than the roundabout too. I paid $170 total for it. I bought it from baby universe, used the visasaves $20 off coupon, and went through ebates for another $10 cash back.

    Oh, and for size comparison, my youngest dd weighs 20 lbs and I donít know her height. She is quite small. She has approximately 3Ē to the top of the roundabout shell (so 2Ē of rf room) and 4Ē to the top of the priori shell (so 3Ē of rf room). My older dd is 4 and weighs 32 lbs and is about 3/4" below the top of the shell. So we've got some time before dd#2 outgrows the seat!

    If you have any questions, let me know. And I will add some pictures as soon as I get them loaded onto my computer (probably this evening).

    Mindy, mom to Sicily (age 5, 37 lbs, Radian 80 princess), Lily (age 3, 30 lbs., FF in a Maxi Cosi Priori or Radian XT), and Liam (born in January, riding in a cowmoo Britax Chaperone)

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  3. #2
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Quote Originally Posted by SillyLily View Post
    It is so bizarre, because it allows morefront passenger leg room than the roundabout (but not more than the priori). It is because of the shape of the front seats and where the marathon meets the front seat as opposed to where the roundabout meets the front seat (if that makes any sense whatsoever).
    It makes perfect sense to me, because I've seen it before in my Golf. If the MA is going to be RF behind dh, I have to get the angle juuuust right so that the top of the shell rests just over the top of his vehicle seat. Anything with a shorter shell wouldn't work - it would end up resting against the vehicle seat instead of just above it. Crazy, isn't it?

    So overall, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I like the Priori, especially after everything I read here. In my personal, and very non-tech, opinion, I am surprised itís not recommended more often in situations where the roundabout has been recommended instead.
    Actually I've been rather intrigued by it when I see it in the store. I want to try my dd out in it to compare the top slots to the MAs, but overall I don't think it's a "bad" seat, in that it's not overpriced for what you get. I think the True Fit is comparable in price, though, and unless you're really into the adjust-on-the-fly recline feature, the True Fit would usually suit just as well, and keep the child harnessed longer.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy SillyLily's Avatar
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Okay, here are some pictures.

    This is the Subaru with the Radian and the Marathon:


    And a picture of the front seat, to show how much room the driver/front passenger have. The driver's seat is pushed back all the way.


    This is the Priori in my Audi:






    Mindy, mom to Sicily (age 5, 37 lbs, Radian 80 princess), Lily (age 3, 30 lbs., FF in a Maxi Cosi Priori or Radian XT), and Liam (born in January, riding in a cowmoo Britax Chaperone)

  5. #4
    Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus Defrost's Avatar
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Your kids are so cute, and I love the blue interior of the car.

    Interesting to see the Priori installed. It does look like it would be pretty easy.
    Debbie, CPST-I
    driving my '07 Mazda5 with
    Thomas (18) * Sam (17) * Patrick (15) * Macha (13)
    Safely secured with seat belts - everyone, every ride!

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    It is a breezy installation RF, at least in my car. The FF installation, for me, allows for too much room, similar to the way the Radian installs in my car (too much movement). I am also somewhat nervous about not top tethering it FF, since the way the belt path goes, it goes across the bottom/back of the seat. We do a lot of transferring seats around, because extended family members are unwilling to purchase seats that meet our standards (they want to purchase LBB for my almost 4 y/o and almost 6 y/o!), and not all vehicles will have tether anchors. Even top tethered, the tether only comes from one point in the center of the seat, so it still feels wiggly.

    Raechel

  7. #6
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Quote Originally Posted by Defrost View Post
    Your kids are so cute, and I love the blue interior of the car.

    Interesting to see the Priori installed. It does look like it would be pretty easy.
    Oh, Oh, Oh, somebody stop me. I LOVE that it slides on the base. I WANT one now!!!!

  8. #7
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Nice car and really cute ladies!!!!
    I am thinking of 2 Radians for my boys, it's good to see that you have the same in a subaru
    Levi & MŠtť: 2 x 8yo, 2 x Cybex Solution X-Fix
    Lili: 5.5yo, Sunshine Kids Radian Flower FF
    Csongor
    : 1 yo, Sunshine Kids Radian RF
    Car: Subaru Outback, 2010

  9. #8
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Awesome car! I wanted my kid to ride in a "cool" car, but we sold it (3 series coupe) b/c all his stuff didn't fit.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy SillyLily's Avatar
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Quote Originally Posted by codex57 View Post
    Awesome car! I wanted my kid to ride in a "cool" car, but we sold it (3 series coupe) b/c all his stuff didn't fit.
    Yeah, we decided to downsize on the baby gear so we could get the small car.

    Mindy, mom to Sicily (age 5, 37 lbs, Radian 80 princess), Lily (age 3, 30 lbs., FF in a Maxi Cosi Priori or Radian XT), and Liam (born in January, riding in a cowmoo Britax Chaperone)

  11. #10
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    Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback Maxi Cosi Priori

    We have a 2004 Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback. Our 7 month son was too tall for his infant seat. We needed a rear facing seat that would fit in our cars, and still allow leg room for the front passenger.

    The Maxi Cosi Priori fit the bill. It is a great car seat that installs easily and doesn't require noodles. A piece of the base flips to the front or back depending on front or rear facing installation. See page 14 of the <a href="http://www.maxi-cosi.com/media/producthandleidingen/maxicosi/manual_us_Priori.pdf">Priori user's manual</a> pdf

    The seat has a generous lining of black foam. I think it's EPP. It seems more elastic than what you usually find. It covers the entire back of the seat. Plus, it wraps over the wings around the head. There is a foam insert for comfort as well.

    The black model from Target suits our son just fine! Here he is in the Outback.

    Thank you for pointing us in the right direction SillyLily! I appreciate your detailed post and images.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #11
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback Maxi Cosi Priori

    Cool, thanks for the pic! His chest clip is a bit low, though
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy SillyLily's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback Maxi Cosi Priori

    Quote Originally Posted by star3night View Post
    We have a 2004 Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback. Our 7 month son was too tall for his infant seat. We needed a rear facing seat that would fit in our cars, and still allow leg room for the front passenger.

    The Maxi Cosi Priori fit the bill. It is a great car seat that installs easily and doesn't require noodles. A piece of the base flips to the front or back depending on front or rear facing installation. See page 14 of the <a href="http://www.maxi-cosi.com/media/producthandleidingen/maxicosi/manual_us_Priori.pdf">Priori user's manual</a> pdf

    The seat has a generous lining of black foam. I think it's EPP. It seems more elastic than what you usually find. It covers the entire back of the seat. Plus, it wraps over the wings around the head. There is a foam insert for comfort as well.

    The black model from Target suits our son just fine! Here he is in the Outback.

    Thank you for pointing us in the right direction SillyLily! I appreciate your detailed post and images.
    I'm glad the Maxi Cosi worked for you. It fits very well in the Subaru Impreza - better than the Britax Roundabout (the Marathon fits better than the Roundabout!), and I really like all the cushioning in the seat. The cover is really easy to spot clean if it gets anything on it, which is great (we travel a lot, so the girls eat snacks in the car).

    Mindy, mom to Sicily (age 5, 37 lbs, Radian 80 princess), Lily (age 3, 30 lbs., FF in a Maxi Cosi Priori or Radian XT), and Liam (born in January, riding in a cowmoo Britax Chaperone)

  14. #13
    CPS Technician
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    Re: Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback Maxi Cosi Priori

    I've got a question for you though. I know someone online with a fairly petite 3 yr old. They had the priori...and found that the harness wasn't long enough. She outgrew it around 30 ish pounds because it was too snug.

    Do you think that the harness seems short?

    Susan
    Mommy to my angel, Ethan Daniel (8/5/07-8/6/07)
    Mommy to Nicholas (12-29-08) RF'ed to 2.75 yrs in Graco MyRide(crashed) and a True Fit Primier. FF in the TFP and a Graco Nautilus Elite. Nicholas is 2.75 yrs old, 32 lbs and 36" tall.
    Child Passenger Safety Tech

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy SillyLily's Avatar
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    Re: Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback Maxi Cosi Priori

    Quote Originally Posted by SusanMae View Post
    I've got a question for you though. I know someone online with a fairly petite 3 yr old. They had the priori...and found that the harness wasn't long enough. She outgrew it around 30 ish pounds because it was too snug.

    Do you think that the harness seems short?

    Susan
    It seems to be the exact same harness that's on the Scenera. I will have to try extending it all the way to see how long the harness straps are, but when I adjusted the harness straps I had to extend the harness all the way (so that I could reach the splitter plate in the back) and it seemed like it would be more than long enough for my older DD even if she was much plumper.

    Mindy, mom to Sicily (age 5, 37 lbs, Radian 80 princess), Lily (age 3, 30 lbs., FF in a Maxi Cosi Priori or Radian XT), and Liam (born in January, riding in a cowmoo Britax Chaperone)

  16. #15
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    This thread is awesome!!! Thank you SO much for posting the pictures! I also have an Impreza and my little guy just out "fatted" his infant seat. I use the middle of the car right now because he doesn't have any bros or sisters yet and I like to have him in the middle of the car incase I would get T-boned.

    I looked at the Cosi at Babies-R-Us over the weekend but am very partial to the Recaro Signo or Como, but they look huge and with my (our) back seats not exactly being family orientated, it's a tough call. Additionally, I can't find any place here in Minnesota that sells them so I could test-fit one...

    Here is the base that I'm using now:

  17. #16
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Hi there, and welcome to Car-seat.org. I'm glad you found this thread helpful in selecting the next seat for your little one.

    I wanted to mention an important Subaru installation aspect in response to your posted photo. LATCH-equipped Subarus have sets of lower LATCH anchors in the outboard (side) rear seating positions intended for outboard child restraint installations only. Subaru doesn't allow those outboard lower anchors to be used ("borrowed") for a center installation. I'm bringing this up because your photo appears to show a center lower LATCH installation of your infant seat base. You'll need to install with the seatbelt in the center (easier said than done given the Subaru's temperamental center seatbelt, I know, sorry ), or install outboard using LATCH or the seatbelt to achieve a proper installation. Using whichever allowed installation method for the vehicle seating position that enables you to achieve a proper installation with less than 1 inch of movement at the child restraint's belt path is your goal.

    While we have you here, if you're not already aware of the tremendous safety benefits of extended rear facing to help protect baby's all-important neck and spinal column, here's a great link explaining the recommendation to keep your little one rear facing up to the rear facing limits of your new convertible carseat: http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

    Click here if you wish to view the full size version of my avatar

  18. #17
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    Re: Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

    Wow, I'm glad I found this forum too. Yeah, I borrowed the two inside lower anchors figuring that was just as good as a "center set". I will use the wonderful center seat belt. I figured that a very tight latch to the lower anchors would be just as good regardless of base location.

    Thank you for the link, the information and the warm welcome!

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