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Registered
2009 Forester
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Please help me get over my buyers remorse.

I was at the point in the car buying cycle where I needed two cars (thanks to my 16-year-old "inheriting" one). I purchased two cars: A 2009 Forester XT (new) and a 2009 Outback (16,000 miles; $18,000+TTL -- a great deal, I think!). Here's where I got stupid. I have a 2 1/2 year-old, and my wife is expecting our second any day. Like a Bringing Home Baby episode, I'm installing the infant seat in the Outback, which WILL NOT fit on either side of the back seat without providing major discomfort to the adult passenger or driver (seats must be moved WAY up). Here's where I feel even more stupid. I toss in the toddler seat, and while it fits fine, you'd have to have a butt 6 inches wide to fit in between. Now I have an Outback that fits one adult ok (if s/he is driving), and one adult miserably in the passenger seat. There's no way an adult will fit in between my little munchkins. In a moment of panic, I install the seats in the Forester -- SAME PROBLEM. Yes, I should have measured before I bought the cars three months ago; yes, I should have asked; yes, I should have bought a larger vehicle.

Getting rid of the cars is out of the question at this point. Can someone please offer me some advice as how you got your seats to fit with some success? I assumed these were "family" cars, and just didn't anticipate this problem. Please help... :icon_frown:
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,050 Posts
Hi.

I had a 2007 Outback and sold it for a 2009 Forester XT because of hte lack of room in the back of the 07 Outback. The 09 FXT has 4 inches on the Outback in the back seat.

We have a 20 month old and a new son on the way (november). The booster seat goes behind the driver (me. 6'3) and the rear facing goes behind the wife (5'8"). Everyone seats confortably.

I would take a deep breath and try the Forester again. Be sure to recline the rear seat as far as possible.
 

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2009 Forester
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your encouragement and response, Subieoutlaw. I just ran out to the garage to check the Forester. I can't see for the life of me how the rear seats recline -- no button, switch or anything. It's the base Forester, so maybe it doesn't have this feature.
 

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2009 Forester
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Now I'm feeling even more stupid: My Forester is an "X" not an "XT." And, I've poked and prodded and locked under every possible children's book a stuffed animal in the backseat. I cannot find any button that would recline the rear seats. I pulled out the manual, and I don't seem to have that feature -- could that be the case?
 

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Fast & Dirty
2009 Forester XT 4 speed auto
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4,050 Posts
I am in Canada and got the XT. Can't tell you if that is a feature or not on the X. Try subaru.com and see if it lists it as an option.

Reclining the seat makes a bit of a difference but not a lot.

There are boost seats that are made narrow. I have one. Sunshine kids.
 

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159 Posts
doctorangler,

I checked the specs for the 2010 models and the only model that did not have rear reclining seats is the 2.5 X (non premium). Every XT model in 2010 had them. I suspect that you have the 2.5 X base model. If you do not have sun roof or tinted windows then you have base (non premium) model. I think you should be able to find narrow seats.
 

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2007 Forester
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92 Posts
Sounds like an unfortunate situation you have yourself in. Craigslist to the rescue!! Sell your old "fat" seats on craigslist- maybe you will even be able to find some new skinnier ones and break even! Replacing the car seats sounds like the best option and if you do it this way you might not have to spend too much money. Good luck!
 

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2015 VW Golf R (AWD!) DSG (Automated Manual)
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2,199 Posts
Yo, the SG (03-08) did NOT have reclining rear seats. SubieOutlaw is in an SH (09+), they do have reclining rear seats (as do the SF, 98-02).

As for rear facing seats...in our 99 Forester, for our cosco kind (with the strap in base), I could put the car seat in such that the top of the infant seat was right between the top of the front seat (shoulder) and bottom of the headrest. This helped wedge it in and let me put my seat back further. This did require a towel under the base to get the height right, but it made it more secure. However, this only let me put the driver seat back far enough for me, and it was still a bit close (and I sit close the wheel anyhow).

I have the Sunshine Kids Radian for our oldest (and love it). It is slim enough you *might* be able to fit a rear facing in the middle of the seat next to it, but I kinda doubt it. And then you'd have to find a rear facing that's real narrow at the top..which might be impossible, that might just push both seats forward (did in ours).

Finally, are you using the rear facing with a base? Without a base might provide a LOT more room to put the seat back, but then you've got to deal with strapping it in every time and I'm not sure how safe it would be (then again, ours with the base was always VERY loose without pusing the seat back against it to brace it). Might end up being safer.

Good luck buddy, you may need it!
 

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2009 Forester
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yes, I'm talking about the rear facing infant seat with a base, although I'm sure that w/out the base, it would provide more room. A major hit on the convenience, but to squeeze in an adult when necessary, we can remove the base. Thanks for the advice.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,100 Posts
Do you angle the front seat back alot? I have two kids under 3, and when I had an infant seat in the car, it would touch my seat but it didn't cause any issues. I think I sit up straighter than most people do though.
 

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2009 Forester
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I don't think any more than usual, but I never really thought about it. Sacrificing some comfort is much better than trading in one of my beloved Subies (I never really thought you could love cars, but they are great!).

I'll experiment some more tonight, but I just found out that the new baby could come at any time, so I suspect I'll be a tad bit busy :woohoo:
 

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02 Foz 4eat
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5,548 Posts
Yep, the Foresters are not wide cars. We're lucky that we only have one, and have always been able to have the car seat in the center of the back seat. When we've had friends go with us, we have fit two seats in the back seat, but at the sacrafice of the front seat passengers. Only real solution is to put the forward facing behind the taller person and the rear facing behind the shorter front seat passenger. There isn't a ton of room between the two seats for a passenger though.
 

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2006 Forester XT Limited 4EAT
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2,008 Posts
We have had both an infant and toddler seat in my 06. We used the Chicco KeyFit30 when Shane was an infant, and it was snug against the back of the passenger seat, but do-able. We now have a Britax Boulevard. It was not quite as snug as the Chicco in the rear facing position, and is spacious in the front facing position behind either seat.
 

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The Sub kit guy
2005 Forester X & XT VF39
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13,100 Posts
Yep, the Foresters are not wide cars. We're lucky that we only have one, and have always been able to have the car seat in the center of the back seat. When we've had friends go with us, we have fit two seats in the back seat, but at the sacrafice of the front seat passengers. Only real solution is to put the forward facing behind the taller person and the rear facing behind the shorter front seat passenger. There isn't a ton of room between the two seats for a passenger though.
That's how we had the seats for the first year. The front facing seat was on the driver side in my car, but the passenger side in my wife's car. I'm a lot taller than my wife, so setting it up that way made it easier for me to sit without giving uo leg room. WHen I driver her car though I did have the seat up a little bit more than I normally would. The X in an AT, so it wasn't a big deal.

The Recaro Vivo seats I got though now give us a TON of room. When our youngest can finally fit one, we will be able to fit a passenger between the seats again!
 

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2016 Outback and WRX CVT
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2,589 Posts
Youngstown? Ohio?


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I have just a little to contribute - and even then, I'm not sure of the relevance :redface: - but I'll still give it a try:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f151/2005-vs-2009-a-54642/

Start with post 5 or so.

With the Graco SnugRide infant system (base plus seat, rear-facing, of course), Sara's '05 WRX sedan was a pretty much an impossible fit for me in the passenger seat, with Anna's seat in the back of that position. I could squeeze in for short errands, but I won't be happy. My wife could fit just fine, but the seat-back angle meant that it wasn't doable for longer trips.

With my '05 Legacy, which would be akin to your '09 Outback, Sara was much more comfortable, and even long trips would not have been a problem - but my 6'2" buddy couldn't even get in. I was, however, able to squeeze myself in, although I never rode that way (my car's a 5MT, and the wifey doesn't drive stick).

My suspicion is that you're both taller than my wife. :wink:

The Britax Marathon seats shown in the pictures that I have on the other thread are supposedly convertible seats, but they're sized large, and I honestly don't know how one would fit a smaller infant, like our Anna, who was just over 6 lbs. at birth, into it, safely. But if your kids are taller, you might have decent luck by changing to a seat - one that remained in-vehicle - that offers the front seat occupants more room.

Another trick I picked up was to sit closer, but recline more - that may allow you to get the top of the rear-facing infant seat to come in at an angle which would allow it to fit, literally, under the headrest (by deploying the headrest further "up") and over the front's seat's rear seatback.
 

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2015 VW Golf R (AWD!) DSG (Automated Manual)
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....
Another trick I picked up was to sit closer, but recline more - that may allow you to get the top of the rear-facing infant seat to come in at an angle which would allow it to fit, literally, under the headrest (by deploying the headrest further "up") and over the front's seat's rear seatback.
That's what I was referring to, but couldn't find the words to explain it! :icon__wink: This trick gives you probably 3-4 more inches of room. My version was to lift the baby seat slightly and rather than recline the front seat, slide the front seat back. And it did help secure our cosco seat which was prone to movement with only the seatbelt anchor (in our 99).

EDIT: if I have time, I may dig for our old infant carseat and try it in my 04 and take a pic. IF I have time, I'll be laying block in our fireplace tonight :crazy:
 
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