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What's the best truck for my baby seat?
May 21, 2010 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Tell me about your good experiences with a pickup truck and a LATCH car seat.

I have a car that seems to be on its last legs and a baby who doesn't yet use her legs for much more than kicking excitedly. I would like to replace the car with a (probably used) vehicle with a truck bed and keep the baby as safe as possible.
My requirements are these:
  • 4-wheel drive or all-wheel drive
  • 4 doors; can either be a crew cab truck or a SUT (i.e. Avalanche, SportTrac, Ridgeline)
  • LATCH connectors for the car seat–a Chicco KeyFit, if that matters–preferably in the center of the back seat
Bonus points for vehicles with these qualities:
  • Some sort of alternative fuel possibility (FlexFuel, hybrid, diesel)
  • Not too big; I'd consider a full size truck, but would prefer something comparable in size to a mid size SUV
  • Not too fugly; I have a small but aggressive case of vehicular vanity
  • Reliable
  • The more fuel-efficient, the better
Do you know a vehicle that checks off most of these boxes? Have you used a car seat in one? What specific qualities should I seek out or avoid?
posted by willpie to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
 
Addendum: My impression so far is that the Ridgeline is the best fit for my needs, despite failing the fugly test egregiously. Can anyone confirm/deny?
posted by willpie at 8:21 AM on May 21, 2010


While Metafilter is awesome, you really want to go to car-seat.org - they are the experts on this.
posted by k8t at 8:37 AM on May 21, 2010


Also, FWIW, baby willpie is not going to be in that Chicco KeyFit for much longer. You're going to need a convertible seat once s/he turns 1.
posted by k8t at 8:38 AM on May 21, 2010


I think you should look at a Toyota Tacoma. They are probably the most reliable pickup trucks, and because they're small they're relatively fuel-efficient. Anything from 2005 on gets good crash test scores. Make sure you have ESC on any truck you buy.

Flex fuel is a scam - it takes more energy to make ethanol than it produces, and it produces more smog. Avoid it. Hybrid trucks are hugely expensive - you'll never make the money back in gas savings. Diesel will save you money, but a truck more than a couple of years old will pollute a lot more than a gas model.
posted by Dasein at 9:02 AM on May 21, 2010


I really love my F150 supercrew. There's tons of space back there for a rear-facing seat. Also, if you use the smaller side of the split seat, you can flip up the other side and fit almost anything in there. The bed is 5.5 ft, but still usable and has high sides for a decent overall volume.
Mileage could be better, but a lot depends on your foot on the pedal.
I looked at the Ridgeline (my other car is a Pilot) but that thing just looks awful. You just don't gain that much in mileage or costs with tiny trucks.
posted by hey you over in the corner at 10:29 AM on May 21, 2010


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