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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Possible New Car

    Well I've gotten DH to consider the idea of trading in our Ford Focus Wagon for something a bit safer and with more room. I'm not sure yet if it will all work out, but at least he is considering it. Most likely we will need buy used to keep the costs down unless it is a Mazda 5, which is less money, but I'm wondering about space with that one.

    I have looked on a local Honda dealers website and they have a lot of '04 Odysseys with low mileage around $20-$21K. How is the '04 EX? Do they have side curtain airbags? What about tether anchors in the 3rd row? And is the 3rd row middle seat a lap only belt? Does the 3rd row fold into the floor?What years are best with the Odyssey? What kind of gas mileage do people get with their Odysseys? I'll just have to test drive some and see, maybe after DH test drives he'll like it, but he'll mostly drive our CR-V anyway.

    When is crash testing on the Mazda 5 happening? Are people happy with the room in this car?
    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

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician Lys's Avatar
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    I had a 2003 Odyssey
    It had side curtain airbags to the 3rd row.
    No LATCH in the 3rd row but had 1 tether anchor in the center.
    3rd row center seatbelt is a lap belt with a shoulder harness ( pulls out from the ceiling)that attaches to the latch plate of the seat belt.
    Gas mileages was 20-25 mpg
    yes, the 3rd row seats fold flat into the floor.
    HTH
    Lysandra
    CPST, LLLL and SAHM
    Mia 13, Ian 10, Clek Olli x2, TB and BubbleBum

  4. #3
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    No side curtain airbags or stability control on the 1999-2004 Odyssey. There are 3 top tether anchors for the third row on the 2004, but two outboard ones are optional add-ons. All Odysseys 1999-current have lap and shoulder belts and head restraints in all seating positions. Odysseys have had some transmission problems, though those were most common in 2000-2001. The reports of problems went down a lot after the updated transmission in 2002, but you still see some here and there. I think there were additional transmission updates in 2005 and 2007. The third row folds into the floor since 1999. Our 2001 got around 18mpg in town, 25 on the road, right around the EPA estimates. At odyclub.com, you'll find many people that get less, though- a 4000 pound vehicle varies a lot in fuel economy with driving style and weather conditions.

    IMO, a 2004 Sienna would be a better choice if you can find one with side curtain airbags and stability control in your price range. Those features weren't standard on all trims in that year, so it could be hard to find.

    Some other ideas that are safer and a bit bigger than the Focus wagon-

    2006 Kia Sedona. LX model can easily be had for under 21k brand new and all safety features are standard. I'd have a hard time buying a 2004 Odyssey when the 2006 Sedonas offer a lot more and sell for the same price with a good warranty.

    2006 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Wagon. Also under 21k brand new with standard side curtain airbags. May not be a lot bigger than the Focus wagon.

    2005 Ford Freestyle, under 20k used with standard side curtain airbags.

    2005.Honda CR-V. Under 20k, but again may not be much bigger than the Focus wagon. You may even find a 2006 base model for around 20k new.

    2004 Toyota Highlander if you can find one with side curtain airbags, should be around 20k used with low miles.

    2004 Chrysler Pacifica if you can find one with side curtain airbags, should be around 20k used with low miles.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    OK, thanks for the information. I think the 04 Odyssey is out because the whole point of this is to get side curtain airbags for the kids in back. I would like to have a third row option when Grandma comes to visit (and if I can convince DH to have a 3rd child ) so another wagon or the CR-V are probably out (we currently also have an 01 CR-V), but I guess they are safer than what we have now. The Kia is tempting, but I worry about reliability and their gas mileage is also supposed to be worse than Honda or Toyota. It is so hard to balance gas mileage, safety, passenger room and vehicle cost. That is why the Mazada5 is tempting, but I have to go see it in person because I wonder about its 3rd row safety being such a small van.
    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 Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    One thing that we were discussing in another thread was the side curtain airbags. After really thinking about it, I don't think they would be of much use to a small child in a carseat. I can't really see them reaching the kids during a side impact accident. I just thought the side curtain airbags were for an adult's head during an accident. Now a roll over or a very very severe accident "maybe". IMO, I would rather have the size and other wonderful features of a Sienna or Odyssey then worry so much about the side curtain air bags, but to each their own. I know it is soooo hard to get everything you want in one vehicle. Good luck car shopping!!!

    What does everyone else think about this?
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Well I don't think the side airbags will reach my DD, but my DS is getting taller everyday. I'm thinking ahead in 5 years when he most likely will not fit in even a highback booster anymore.

    My DH thinks I'm crazy and maybe I am, but I'm a planner. The Focus is ok right now since the kids are in car seats and there are combo side airbags for the front passengers, but we also have a system with our cars so we only have 1 car payment at a time. We like our '01 CR-V and it is paid off and will easily last another 5 years, but then will need to be replaced. At that time the Focus will be our other car and there is a good chance that my DS will no longer fit in a booster so then he would be without a head restraint or curtain airbags. So my plan is to hopefully find a reasonable deal on another car now while the CR-V is still young so we can have the new car paid off by the time the CR-V needs to be replaced.

    We shouldn't have bought the Focus when we did, but at the time it seemed like a good decision. The car seats installed well, it got good gas mileage, the price was very good, good cargo room and it drives very nicely--not like a cheap economy car. If it had curtain airbags and rear head restraints I wouldn't worry as much. At the time we bought the Focus, DH was very "anti-minivan" and now I think he is so tired of hearing me talk about one that he has given in. Neither of us has ever test drove one so maybe he will think differently after that. I do think that the sliding doors on a minivan would be very nice, especially when I cringe everytime my DS yanks open the car door all the way when we are parked right next too another car.
    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

  8. #7
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    My 8 year old son is in a booster and his head is well above the window line. I have no doubt he would gain some benefit of the side curtain airbags. My 6 year old daughter is almost as high because of the high base in her SafeGuard Seat. The 5-point harness should reduce the chance of her head striking something, but there may still be some benefit. I doubt my 18 month old in a RF Wizard gets much benefit, but reducing the risk of flying glass is still a plus. We occasionally have adults in the third row, so that's a benefit for sure.

  9. #8
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    We have an 05 Odyssey and an 06 Legacy wagon. We love both cars. I drive the Legacy, and adore it. The only downside is that Subaru has not seen fit to put electronic stability control on any of its wagons, except for one top-of-the-line Outback. On the other hand, the 06 Legacy has outstanding crash test ratings, side curtain airbags in the rear, and the LATCH system is rated until 60 lbs. (But be careful with the year--the 2005 Legacy did *not* do nearly as well in side impact crash tests. Subaru redesigned the crash protection for 2006, and the ratings improved dramatically.) I find it to be roomy enough for my needs with two kids and two big dogs that travel with me frequently, but there's no way to get three seats across the middle, if that matters to you. If you need to carry more than two kids in seats, you will almost certainly find the Legacy too small. But it's a great value for the money, both in terms of safety and features. I owned a Forester for seven years, and found it to be extremely reliable as well. My mechanic is a big Subaru fan.

    As for the safety advantages of side curtain airbags, I have to think they that they provide some advantage, if only to prevent intrusion into the cabin. And like Darren, I look at my tall four year-old in her seat, and think she would benefit. If you can afford them, I'd get them.

    It sounds like the Sedona or the Mazda 5 might be good choices for you. The Mazda 5 is a very cool car, though the back seat is pretty much unusable for adults or kids in large carseats.

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    For those with minivans. Are power sliding doors really necessary? Are the doors a pain to open and shut manually?
    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

  11. #10
    Senior Community Member
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    Well, I am forever pushing the wrong button on the Odyssey remote control and opening or closing the wrong side door. So I usually end up doing it by hand, though of course the power kicks in once I pull the handle. I don't actually open and close the doors fully by hand. But my husband (who is the main Odyssey driver) uses them constantly. The Odyssey's power doors have a safety feature that retracts the door if something is in the way. This was important to me. I'd say, go for the power doors if you can.

  12. #11
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    I never thought power doors were must haves, but grudgingly ended up with a power passenger side door on my Sienna as part of an option package in order to get the side curtain airbags and stability control I really wanted. Guess which sliding door we use all the time? Yup, the power door on the passenger side. We rarely open the manual sliding door on the driver's side and sometimes walk all the way around outside the van just to use the power door.
    Regards,
    Jean

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

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  13. #12
    Carseat Crazy
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    Well DH has agreed to go test drive tomorrow. I have been in email contact with one Honda dealership and they have 04 Odysseys, but no 05s. They did mention that they had a few 06 ones that they are trying to clear out so maybe I could get a good deal on a new one? They mentioned an LX, which reading about does not have power sliding doors, but it might be more in our price range and would have all the safety features that we want. I guess I'll just have to see what I think when I test drive it and also see what the numbers work out to. I wish I could add on just power sliding doors to the LX.
    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

  14. #13
    Carseat Crazy
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    Mmm...a local Mazda dealer has an 06 Mazda5 with 5K miles on it. I bet I could get a good deal on that! We'll just have to see how the test drives go.
    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

  15. #14
    CPS Technician Lys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twokidstwodogs View Post
    The Odyssey's power doors have a safety feature that retracts the door if something is in the way. This was important to me. I'd say, go for the power doors if you can.
    This depends on where the object is located and how big it is.
    I got my hand stuck in mine one time and it smashed my fingers pretty hard.
    Lysandra
    CPST, LLLL and SAHM
    Mia 13, Ian 10, Clek Olli x2, TB and BubbleBum

  16. #15
    Carseat Crazy
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    Well we went to look at the Mazda5 and Odyssey this morning. The Mazda5 is definitely too small. Yes there is the extra seating that our Focus doesn't have, but the cargo space, with the seats folded down looks smaller than the Focus. The main thing was that DH, who is 6'3" is too tall for the car. He wasn't comfortable in the driver's seat with it all the way back and even though I would be the one who was primarily driving the car, he would need to be comfortable as well.

    The Odyssey was nice, definitely a lot of room! They have an 06 LX at clearance price on the lot at just under $23K, but I'm not sure. I would like the automatic doors I think if I got a minivan. I'm worried about the fuel economy as well, but maybe it isn't much worse than our Focus. Gas prices have at least stabilized here for the time being. The salesperson mentioned that they may be getting in an 05 EX-L with 12K miles that would be the same cost as the 06 LX so that might be a good option. Also, their pre-owned vans have 4.9% financing.

    I'm not sure if we should look into the Pilot or Freestyle as well. The cost of these two is more than the Odyssey, but they are not a minivan which DH isn't totally fond off. I do like the sliding doors though....For people with a Pilot or Freestyle, what gas mileage do you get?
    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

  17. #16
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    We had manual sliding doors on our 2001 Odyssey. I never had a complaint or missed not having power doors. We now have power doors on our 2006. They're handy and certainly easier for the kids, but I don't find them essential.

    I would be very surprised if the Odyssey would get anything close to the Focus wagon given the same driving. Our Odyssey gets around 19mpg around the suburbs but I have a light foot and we have no hills here. I get 25-27 on the highway trips we've had.

    Keep in mind that the 2005 lacked the extra top tether anchors in the third row. Also there was an issue with the driver's side door opening in a side impact crash that was resolved for 2006. Finally, as most new models, the 2005 probably had a few more reliability quirks, while the 2006 had a powertrain warranty increased from 3/36 to 5/60.

    On the plus side, you would get the power doors, leather, heated front seats and the 8th seat option.

    The Freestyle might be close to the Odyssey for fuel economy, but only if you get the 2WD version and not the AWD version. I'm sure you can find a 2005 FWD Freestyle for 20k or so with reasonable miles.

    The Pilot will almost certainly get somewhat less fuel economy than the Odyssey in similar conditions. The FWD version shares most of the same powertrain, the Pilot weighs just as much and has worse aerodynamics and EPA estimates. The AWD version will be even lower.

  18. #17
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    I love my power sliding doors, but as Darren said they are necessity. I dont' know how old your kids are, but I do love being able to put the kids in their carseats with much more ease, and not worrying about my "tushy" pushing the car door into the neighboring car in the parking lot.

    Another thing, and maybe Darren will correct if I am wrong, but the EX, EX-L, and Touring are the only ones with the use Variable Cylinder ManagementTM (VCM)TM technology for improved fuel economy. This is the first minivan ever to have this. So basically your 6 valves goes down to 3 valves to help improve fuel economy. When we take trips I love to watch the eco light on the dashboard go on and off. It is fun to challenge myself to keep the Eco light on(which means better gas mileage). tee hee.

    You are going to get one tether in the third row on the '05.'

    As far as gas mileage, yes it is not going to be as good as your Ford wagon, but you have to put the pros and cons on paper. I do though however get better gas mileage with my van than I did with my Toyota 4-Runner. If you do decide to go with a minivan, at least you can know that the HOnda Odyssey has the best gas mileage of any other minivan.

    I have an '05 with about 10k and it still drives and looks brand new! I think the used '05 could be a good deal for you, because you would be getting all the upgrades with the EX unlike the LX. (like Darren stated above). And, you would also get that Valve shutoff for better gas mileage to (unless I am incorrect about that....Darren???)

    Here is a great website to give you all kinds of info on the Odyssey, and specifically the '05 model.

    www.hondanews.com

    HTH!!!
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  19. #18
    CPS Advocate lovinwaves's Avatar
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    One thing I forgot to mention. That '05 EX-L is going to have dual power sliding doors. I saw an above poster mention that she had problems with pushing the wrong door. I remember doing that for the first month or so, but now I can do it just by feeling the remote, because each door button has a different feel on the remote so you can never get them confused.

    The "L" stands for leather also.
    Melissa
    Peyton 10
    Camden 9
    And a new baby on the way

  20. #19
    Carseat Crazy
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    Does anyone on this board have a 2006 Kia Sedona?

    I just don't know what will work out right now. Without a good financing offer, I can't get what I want. Maybe I should just get my son a regent/radian/monarch when he outgrows the MA soon and not worry about SIP for right now. My daughter can stay rear facing for awhile longer. There are never any adults in the back and we have side combo airbags in the front.
    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

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