Some thoughts on the Subaru Impreza STI and Maxi Cosi Priori

SillyLily

New member
Please note, I am not a tech – these are just one parent’s 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 – 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 passenger’s room. I really thought I was going to buy a roundabout. But after trying the roundabout, it just seemed too upright and didn’t fit quite right. The scenera was a pain to install, and I couldn’t 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 didn’t 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 passenger’s 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 baby’s 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 it’s 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 don’t know her height. She is quite small. She has approximately 3” to the top of the roundabout shell (so 2” of rf room) and 4” to the top of the priori shell (so 3” 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).
 
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Defrost

Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus
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 it’s 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.
 

SillyLily

New member
Okay, here are some pictures.

This is the Subaru with the Radian and the Marathon:
P1010012.jpg


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.
P1010016.jpg


This is the Priori in my Audi:

P1010007.jpg


P1010006.jpg


P1010001-2.jpg
 

Defrost

Moderator - CPSTI Emeritus
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.
 

Momof4Girls

New member
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
 

VKOrsi

New member
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 :)
 

Guest

New member
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.
 

star3night

New member
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.
 

An Aurora

Senior Community Member
Re: Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS & Outback Maxi Cosi Priori

Cool, thanks for the pic! His chest clip is a bit low, though :)
 

SillyLily

New member
Re: 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.

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).
 

SusanMae

Senior Community Member
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
 

SillyLily

New member
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

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.
 

Gridlocked

New member
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:
DSC02702.jpg
 

Jeanum

Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus
Staff member
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. :eek: 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 :eek:), 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 :thumbsup:
 

Gridlocked

New member
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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