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2014-2015 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid Video Review: Kids, Carseats and Safety

It’s got a new name and a new available powertrain, but remains one of the best family haulers for your kids.  We previously looked at the Infinity QX60 a couple years ago in our 2013 Infiniti JX35 Review.  Though it has a new moniker, the vehicle is essentially the same.  Our comments from the previous review mostly apply to the current version as well.  So, this quick review will focus on the new hybrid powertrain and briefly cover some carseat related features.  We also have a review of the very similar 2013 Nissan Pathfinder. It offers all the interior flexibility for kids, without many of the luxury-class frills. and without the luxury-class price tag!

Hybrid Fuel Economy:

Fuel economy of the QX60 and Pathfinder models are similar.  The hybrid models all get 26 mpg combined.  My AWD tester is rated at 25 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 26 mpg overall.  In comparison, the standard engine AWD model is rated at 19 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg overall.  After over 500 miles, I obtained just over 27 mpg in hybrid trim.  Right at 27 mpg around town and just under 28 mpg on a highway trip.

That shouldn’t be difficult to match with a few changes to your driving habits.  You can find some great articles online about maximizing hybrid fuel economy, or “hypermiling.”  Some of these may seem extreme for typical drivers, so I’ll simply give some key things to avoid in order to exceed those EPA estimates:

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Ebay Madness

I quit using ebay regularly almost 4 years ago, when a scammer tried (and failed) to blackmail me into giving them a partial refund for an item they claimed arrived in a damaged box.  Ebay supports this sort of scam, by not allowing sellers to leave feedback for buyers and by not supporting the sellers who pay the fees in such disputes.  So, I closed my seller’s account and haven’t sold an item since then.  I’ve stuck to buying a few things here and there over the last 3+ years, but nothing in the last year. Until recently, when eBay claimed they missed me and lured me back with a 10% off one item coupon.

That’s a pretty good deal, and I knew what I wanted.  It was a near-commodity item, so pricing is well established by past sales and buying guides.  Yet, this particular seller seemed to think their particular coin merited 3 times the fair market value.  I assumed it was just an over-inflated Buy-It-Now, hoping someone who hadn’t looked up the values would be suckered in even though their last listing failed.  So, I took advantage of the “Best Offer” option, entering a reasonable starting number.   They quickly counter offered, cutting their BIN price in half.  It was still almost 50% above past comparables, though.  But close enough that I sent a message asking for better images of the item, since the included ones were not that great.

Apparently they took offense to that simple ask.  They retracted their counter offer and sent me a wall-of-awful-text in response.  It was all lower case with a mishmash of punctuation and poor grammar.   They refused to send images, saying I was wasting their time when I could have bought the item and returned it if I wasn’t satisfied(!).  How’s that for a red flag?  I was surprised to see it signed by someone with “Customer Support” in their signature.  I wondered how you could run a business without fundamental communication skills.  But apparently they do, with over 5000 feedbacks at 99.8% and only 1 negative in over 700 from the last 12 months.

In proper ebay fashion, I was compelled to reply to counter their ridiculous claims of  how they couldn’t find any record of a sale for near my offer.  So, I included a link to the most recent one, and a couple others as well.  The next wall-of-awful text claimed prices have mysteriously shot up since the previous sales, though no such trend has been noted by anyone in the industry.   What they said to impress me was that the upscale address of their office somehow made them more knowledgeable about current pricing than everyone else.   What was actually impressed upon me was that they were paying too much in rent and probably paid way too much for the item in the first place!

I ended up using my coupon on a similar item.  Not my first choice, but I paid less than fair market value with zero hassle.  Plus, it gave me motivation to write this boring blog!  My lesson today is that you can learn a lot by reading the feedback sellers leave for previous buyers.  Had I read some of those first, I wouldn’t have even made the offer!  Well, enough of my eBay saga.  Anyone out there bought or sold carseats or kids gear or anything on eBay recently?  Any horror stories or encounters with people that haven’t mastered customer service?

 

Mythbusting: Infant seats are bubbles of protection

Next time you’re standing on that wiggly kitchen stool, changing yet another lightbulb…don’t forget what Sir Isaac taught us. So what do you think—does gravity find babies attractive, too? CONFIRMED? PLAUSIBLE? BUSTED? Ten pounds of feathers, ten pounds of bricks, or ten pounds of baby—gravity doesn’t discriminate.

Earlier this year, Home Depot employee Chris Strickland was launched to notoriety when his quick actions saved an infant from a three-foot tumble off of the top of a shopping cart. Unfortunately, not all babies have a guardian angel like Mr. Strickland looking out for them. The Internet is full of stories from parents and on-lookers about children falling from carts. In 2011, a three month old infant died after falling from a shopping cart. While we know that carseats save lives, it’s easy to understand why parents believe that their children are also protected while “clicked” in their infant seats into place on the top of a shopping cart. And while videos of people pouring ice water over their heads to avoid donating to charity explode on the Internet, stories like Kristin Auger’s barely garner public attention.

Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 11.01.26 PMWhen we think about children being injured or killed in carseats, we typically think about car crashes. Researchers in British Columbia collected 5 years of child restraint-related injury data (N=95), published in this 2008 Pediatrics International article, that should have you re-evaluating this exclusive assumption. While this article was intended to address carseat misuse, it does so in the context of out-of-vehicle use. The authors concluded that “among all infants, falls were a common mechanism of injury resulting from CRS misuse” and urged for preventative efforts to help educate parents and caregivers on out-of-vehicle child restraint injuries. In this study, 6% of subjects had been injured in falls from shopping carts…all of which were completely preventable.

I took a field trip to a local Target to snap a photo of the warnings parents see on each and every cart, warning them against placing carseats on carts…

Shopping Cart "Warning"

Shopping Cart “Warning”

….is it any wonder parents are still confused?

 

Myth…BUSTED!

 

 

 

 

Watch the shocking Home Depot video where not only does the carseat tip from the cart, but the infant wasn’t buckled in the carseat:

Throwback Thursday: Reckless Rudolph vs. Sensible Sam

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 2.56.03 PMScreen Shot 2014-08-08 at 2.56.31 PMStep into the time machine and buckle up (of course). It’s time to head back to 1935 for an informative film about safe driving.

“We Drivers” combines simple, kitschy animation with live action to show the “devil” (Reckless Ralph) and “angel” (Sensible Sam) who sit on our shoulders and encourage us/egg us on while we drive. Reckless Rudolph wants us to drive fast through the school zone, but Sensible Sam reminds us that there might be kids around. Reckless Ralph wants us to push through to the next town even though we’re sleepy. Sensible Sam tells us to get a motel room (even if that means Sensible Sam shares a bed with us… Really, that’s in there.)

Besides awesome vintage cars, a lack of seatbelts, and predictably bad acting, there’s also a rather terrifying giant-human personification of momentum. In other words: It’s a must-see!