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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Question Buying New Vehicle: Saturn Vue or Suburban?

    My husband and I are looking at getting another vehicle. I have 3 sons....
    right now my 2yr old is in a Roundabout.....4yr old in a Husky (but is 42lbs. so will be going into a Parkway) and my 5yr old is getting a Parkway.....

    Does anyone have a Vue that could fit all three of these across? I have been going for an Expedition - but after riding with my mom tonight it got squirly on her when she had to slam her brakes....(moron driver in front of her!
    ANYWAYS, my other option is a Suburban - but they're awful on gas! A Vue would be small for me - but would work for at least a year - then hubby would take it and I would switch vehicles again.

    SO - any thoughts on a Saturn Vue vs. a Suburban (or any other SUV w/ 3rd row seating)???????
    Thanks for your thoughts!!!
    Heather

    I have 3 crazy boys -
    Logan - 7 - Britax Parkway
    Wade - 6 - Britax Parkway
    Camden 4.5 - FF Britax Roundabout

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Ali's Avatar
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    I am NOT a tech, but we have a Honda CRV and can fit a MA RF in center with a Snugride outboard, so you should be able to fit 3 across the VUE (it is wider than the CRV). We also have a 1994 Saturn Coupe (2 door) and love it. I know Saturn is said to be one of the leading car manufacturers as far as child safety goes. I believe the new ones even have LATCH in all 3 rear seat positions.

  4. #3
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kile529
    4yr old in a Husky (but is 42lbs. so will be going into a Parkway)
    Sorry to not answer your question, but I am curious why you are moving your 4-year-old from the Husky to a Parkway? He can ride in the Husky until he is 80 pounds or outgrows it by height (which probably won't be for several years, depending on how tall he is right now). If you can, leave him harnessed. He is much better protected in a harness than he would be in a BPB.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    I know this isn't really the greatest reason, but he's not crazy about the harness. Not to mention - it is horribly heavy to switch into other vehicles which I frequently do - and it doesn't leave enough room for all the grandkids. Needless to say - he typically goes in a backless booster with anyone else simply because they don't want to deal with the husky. I've also been considering getting a Jane Indy Plus....but DH doesn't want to spend that much money.
    Anyways, that's it in a nutshell.

    I have 3 crazy boys -
    Logan - 7 - Britax Parkway
    Wade - 6 - Britax Parkway
    Camden 4.5 - FF Britax Roundabout

  6. #5
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Honestly, that's not the best reason. Keep him in the Husky in the primary vehicle and use the Parkway when he rides with others. I understand the Husky can be difficult to move (especially with thjose not familiar with it), but he has YEARS to go before he outgrows it, and THAT should be the deciding factor, not convience.

    As far as him not liking it, well, honestly, there are going to be a lot of decisions you make over the years he won't like. It's really not your problem. Your job is to keep him safe and at 4 he doesn't have the ability to understand why it's important. Just like you would not let him choose whether or not to take his medicine if he was sick, you should not allow him to decide to demote his safety.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  7. #6
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    I have a Ford Freestyle and really love it. It's one of those cars you have to drive it to appreciate it. It would be tough to get all three across in the 2nd row (if you went with the 2nd row bench). You can get seating for 6 - essentially two captains chairs in the 2nd row and 2 seats in the third row -- with 50/50 split so you can always fold down a side if you need extra room for the groceries. Even with all three rows in use, you still have decent cargo space.

    Anyway, its the Freestyle (crossover--NOT the minivan). I could go on and on -- but again, I wasn't sold on the car until I actually drove it.
    HTH

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    skaterbabs -
    I agree with you - we make a lot of decisions for our children that they don't agree with. My kids truly live my way or the highway. They don't get to choose what they're going to do - I am a great mom and my children obey me. It's not his decision to switch car seats - it's mine. A parenting lesson was not needed here.

    Honestly, though, my primary vehicle will most likely be a Saturn Vue. Those vehicles don't allow for a Husky with two other children. The next best thing besides a harness is a great booster like the Parkway or Indy Plus. If it were up to me and I had all the money in the world, I would drive a huge vehicle and have my 5 year old also in a husky.....along with several other 100 dollar car seats for trips with other people. BUT, I don't have that kind of money - I have to be realistic and do the best job I can with what we have. My sons are above weight and height requirements for boosters - they will be safe in those as well.

    My question was not out of ignorance to safety - it was IF I could get 3 across in a Vue and still have the car seats installed correctly & safely.
    If not, I may be having to look at a suburban with it's outrageous gas mileage.

    Thank you for your help!!!

    I have 3 crazy boys -
    Logan - 7 - Britax Parkway
    Wade - 6 - Britax Parkway
    Camden 4.5 - FF Britax Roundabout

  9. #8
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    It would be possible to fit 3 across in the Vue depending on the seats. If the combination of seats involved the Husky though, probably only two seats would fit, not three.

    I used to have an '03 Vue (V6, AWD) and really liked it, but the gas mileage was only so-so and I never tried to install three carseats in it. There are 3 full sets of lower LATCH anchors and three top tether anchors in the Vue. The Vue did an excellent job protecting us in a swide swiping crash that shoved us to the other side of the road where the front end collided with utility pole guide wires. There are a couple of photos of the Vue before it was repaired in my photobucket album in my .sig file. I replaced the Vue with a Sienna after the crash damage was repaired when we learned another baby was on the way, mainly to have more room for kids and frequent grandparent passengers.

    You didn't say if you were buying new or used, so I wanted to warn you about one used version of the Vue to avoid. Some 4 cylinder models of the Vue had a CVT (continuously variable transmission) from approx. the '03 through the '05 model years. The CVT transmission was extremely trouble prone and I would strongly advise you to avoid any Vues with it. There may be a host of them available used as many owners ditched them once the problems with the CVT flared up and became more widely known. We're talking big CVT failures that totally stranded people, and in some cases did so repeatedly. If you look through the archives of the Vue forum at saturnfans.com, you will see some of the CVT horror stories.

    Also, whether buying a new or used Vue, I would strongly recommend getting one with the optional side curtain airbags because side impact crash test results without the airbags weren't so great. I personally would want side curtain airbags and stability control on any vehicle if at all possible but particularly on an SUV or van. I don't think stability control is available at all on the Vue unfortunately.

    The new '07 hybrid Vue also sounds kind of nifty and not much pricier than the non-hybrid version. In fact the new Vue hybrid's sticker price may also cost less than a regular V6 model if the dealerships don't mark up the price of the hybrid excessively.

    Hope this helps some and good luck with your vehicle shopping and carseat arrangements.
    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

  10. #9
    Car-Seat.org Ambassador Patriot201's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone meant to attack your parenting skills. We are all just big advocates of harnessing as long as possible because it is the safest way to travel.

    You are right that it is going to be difficult to fit three carseats across the back of the Saturn Vue. The Husky will make that impossible. The only seats with which I have had a lot of luck installing 3 across are combinations that use at least one Sunshine Kids Radian. Others have had luck with the Safety 1st Intera (without the base). I like the Radian, though, because it harnesses to 65 pounds (an 80 pound version is coming out in September, but they didn't raise the harness height, so kids will probably outgrow it by height first).

    Since you said you would consider other SUVs, can I make some suggestions of ones at which you may want to look? It is at least worth looking at the websites for these cars!
    Each of the ones I am about to suggest seats at least 7 people, so that should give you room to use your Husky.

    Honda Pilot (everyone I know who has one LOVES it)
    Acura MDX
    Volvo XC90 (my sister-in-law ADORES hers)
    Mazda 5 (several people on this board suggest this vehicle)
    Ford Freestyle (recommended by previous poster)
    Ford Explorer (my father loves his)
    Toyota 4Runner (my friend loves hers)
    Toyota Sequoia
    Land Rover LR3 (My friend loves his)
    Dodge Durango (My friend loves hers)
    Jeep Commander

    Best of luck to you!!

  11. #10
    Carseat Crazy
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    dvmail -
    Thanks for the idea - I'll definitely check into it!

    Jeanum -
    Thanks for the info on the Vue! I will steer clear of those should that be the way we go now......The picture of the crash were amazing! It held up extremely well for going into a utility pole! Praise God everyone was okay!

    Patriot -
    I'm sure it was meant well - but at 1:30am when I've been tossing and turning (literally) for the past week - it was not what I needed to hear.

    THANK YOU for the list!!!!! lol I have a scratch pad next to me of different vehicles that could work - and I the *'ing method and boxing around names of ones I like are starting to get confusing!! lol This will definitely make my search easier!!!

    I have 3 crazy boys -
    Logan - 7 - Britax Parkway
    Wade - 6 - Britax Parkway
    Camden 4.5 - FF Britax Roundabout

  12. #11
    CPS Technician rescuedcat's Avatar
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    I just saw a Suburban last night with three MAs across the middle row, and it was tight! They were all a little crooked from being so squished together. I'm sure you could fit two PWs and a MA, but a PW, a MA, and a Husky would probably be a really tight fit.

    I don't know much about the Vue, but we rented a Suburban recently, and I was not impressed with it as far as car seats go. The sealt belts are very far of the bight, and it was hard to install my pre-Latch Roundabout using the seat belt. Also, there's only one tether in the third row. Oh, and no head rests in the center seats of the second and third rows, making them unsafe for anything but a car seat. All in all, I was disappointed. It's not a very family friendly car.

  13. #12
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    I have a '93 Suburban and honestly I have been pleasantly surprised at the gas milage I get. Filling it up is a coronary waiting to happen of course, but once filled it goes forever. The new ones have headrests in the 3rd row.

    As far as fitting seats in the 2nd row, I can EASILY fit a Touriva, a MA and a Turbo Booster across the second row, and I strongly suspect that with some finagling I can probably fit a Regent on the small section of the split 60/40 seat (the 40 section if that makes sense.)

    I haven't been able to get rid of my kiddoes long enough to try. Maybe today if MIL doesn't mind babysitting the crew....

    I'm sorry you felt attacked, however the way you phrased your statement told me that the decision was not made based on what's safe but on convienence.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  14. #13
    Registered User
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    I think the new Suburban (2007) is slightly wider than the older ones, so 3 across may work better than someone else posted if they tried a 2006 or earlier.

    However, we just checked out the 2007 Suburban as an option for a year or two from now (we have 2 children and plan on having several more). I was very disappointed to see they only had 2 LATCH positions in the back 6 seats (we looked at the Suburban with the middle row, not captains chairs). Not only did they only have two LATCH positions, but the placement was horrible. They put them in the 2nd row on the center and passenger outboard side (reason so the driver could see the kid)....however, the bench splits 60/40, and yep, you may have guessed now why I say it was horrible...the LATCH was on the 60 part in the center and on the 40 side....so if you LATCH two carseats in, you can't access the back seat at all.....clearly the engineers did not have children. And I still don't get why they put no LATCH in the rear at all. Baffles me that after gas prices have risen, SUV sales have slowed, that they didn't even design with a huge part of their potential target audience.....large families...in mind. If they don't fix it in 2008, I'll probably end up with a Honda or Toyota minivan, Toyota Sequoia, or maybe will check out the Ford Expedition EL (though I am not a big fan of Fords in general....but they did appear to figure out to get 4 LATCH positions in the Expedition....3 in the second row which folds 20/20/20 I think with the center sliding forward....and one in the center rear row).

  15. #14
    CPS Technician skipspin's Avatar
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    You will be able to get three across in the VUE as long as they aren't all WIDE seats, I think two parkways and a RA would be just fine. There are several pics here of three-across in my vue. If two Chase's and a WZ fit, you should be just fine!
    Let me know if you have any questions about the VUE.
    http://s33.photobucket.com/albums/d8...n/Car%20Seats/


    9 yr old in a pink zebra NBB and 5-stepping
    6 yr DS1 old in a Harmony
    4 yr old DS2 in a Nautilus and Radian
    18 mo DS3 rfing in a MyRide65

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