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Monthly Archive:: February 2012

Upcoming Midsize 3-row SUVs from the Chicago Auto Show

 

We’ve reviewed a number of 3-row crossover SUVs in the last year or so.  Coming soon we will also be reviewing the Mazda CX-9 and, hopefully, the Ford Explorer with inflatable seatbelts as well as the Dodge Durango.  Those models are already on showroom floors, but there are a couple more that should appear later in 2012.  The refreshed 2013 Ford Flex and the all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.

The Flex gets some new styling, new power rear seating options and an active collision avoidance system in top trim levels.

 

The Pathfinder switches from a truck-based chassis to a unibody crossover SUV.  It touts more interior space than its predecessor and a tilt-forward second row seat that allows access to the third row without uninstalling a child safety seat.

We hope to review both of these new models later this year!

In other news, the GMC Acadia Denali gets a refresh this fall for 2013.  Said to be included is a front seat middle airbag that deploys between the driver and front seat passenger.

 

Finally, according to Ford reps at the auto show, the 3-row Ford C-Max Grand will not be coming to the USA in the near future.  Instead, I was told that only the 5-passenger C-Max Energi hybrid line will debut this fall.  Sad news for those looking for an alternative to the fuel-efficient Mazda5.  Also, in minivan news, it sounds like there will not be a new Kia Sedona for 2013 as some had expected.  All the other minivans are recently refreshed or re-designed, so don’t expect much on the minivan front for 2013!

Oooo, foonf!

Clek’s president, Chris Lumley, is at the start of a three-month tour to introduce the Foonf prototype to retailers and other interested parties. When I saw that he would be in Southern California, I contacted Clek and told them that CarseatBlog’s readers would pee their pants with excitement (hopefully while sitting on Crypton fabric) to get some photos and info. Chris was indeed kind enough to meet with me and introduce me to the Foonf.

Before we get started, there is a lot of good information about the Foonf from the ABC Expo here, and information from Clek’s webinar here. Those posts have the basic measurements, features, etc., which I won’t rehash here, since not a lot has changed.

A Great Giveaway Gift for Your Special Valentine

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks for your participation!

A booster is a great way to tell your “big kid” that you love them!  Thanks to our Sponsor, Evenflo, Carseat Blog is giving away one Evenflo AMP Highback Booster in the Blue Angles pattern.

From Evenflo:

Most parents and drivers know babies and young children need a car seat to ride safely, but what about older children? Do you know what age limit is required for booster seats? Or that different U.S. states may have different safety laws? Starting January 1, a new Child Passenger Safety law in California will require all children to remain in booster seats until they are eight years old or at least 4’9” tall.  To know the laws in your state, visit Governors Highway Safety Association“.

Regardless of your state’s laws, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) actually recommends children remaining in booster seats up to age 12. Booster seats ensure that the belt fits properly and comfortably across a child’s shoulder and breastbone, and correctly positions the lap portion of the belt across the top of a child’s legs. Luckily, Evenflo has a wide range of booster seats ranging from harnessed to belt-positioning in high back and no-back to meet the needs and personalities of pre-school and school-aged children who may be reluctant about sitting in a booster seat. The new SecureKid 300 and 400 models, Big Kid High Back and Amp High and No-back seats blend fashion and function by embodying a child’s personal style and keeping them safe and secure in the vehicle.

 

How can you win?  Just leave a comment here at CarseatBlog to win an AMP booster from Evenflo!

A random winner will be selected on February 29th.  The prize will be shipped to a winner in the USA only, sorry!

Now the fine print – You are not eligible if you have previously won a carseat or sponsor giveaway at CarseatBlog.com (our own giveaways of bags and such don’t count if no sponsor was mentioned).  Also, please note that you may enter and be eligible for any of our other giveaways running at the same time as this one!  Blog writers and editors are also not eligible.  Only one entry per household/family, please.  If you leave more than one comment, only the first one will count.

We reserve the right to deem any entry as ineligible for any reason, though this would normally only be done in the case of a violation of the spirit of the rules above.  We also reserve the right to edit/update the rules if necessary.  If a winner is deemed ineligible based on shipping restrictions or other issues or does not respond to accept the prize within 30 days, a new winner will be selected.  Good luck!

Please note:  If this is your first comment at CarseatBlog, or if you are using a different computer/device or a new email address, your comment may not appear immediately .  It will not be lost; it may just take a few hours for it to be approved.  Thank you for your understanding and patience as this is the only way we have to reduce comment spam.

 

Buying and Selling Used Carseats: Craigslist (CL), Garage Sales, Online, Friends and Family

Everyone is looking for a deal. I love getting a good deal on things, though I’m terrible at finding deals. Terrible! But, sometimes you have your eye out and catch a good one. With carseats, how can you tell if it’s truly a deal or a dud?

We had a family come through a carseat checkup event that prompted me to think of this. They were the last car—as all techs know, the last car at an event is usually the one that takes the longest, lol. They were a lower income family of 3 children: a 40 lbs. 2 year old, a 20 lbs. 1 year old, and a 14 week old infant. Since they didn’t have much money, mom went to Craigslist to find carseats for her children. She found a backless Cosco booster for her 2 yr old and a Safety 1st combination seat (with a harness that converts to a booster) for her 1 yr old in used condition. Unfortunately, she didn’t understand that carseats can be recalled, missing pieces, or inappropriate for a particular child. A 2 yr old should NEVER go in a belt-positioning booster seat because they don’t have the maturity to sit properly. So while her backless booster choice was appropriate for a 4-5+ year old (and really, for backless boosters, we prefer much older kids in them because of the lack of side protection and for sleeping), it wasn’t good for her 2 year old. The combination seat is an appropriate choice again for an older child: a 1 yr old should still be rear-facing. The 1 yr old’s seat was under a recall and it was missing a top tether and labels. All things that made us gasp under our breaths. But mom and dad didn’t know any better and we were so glad that the family stopped by so we could help them. From what I’ve seen at our mandatory events—parents are pulled over, they don’t willfully come to an event—buying used carseats is commonplace.