Love this car seat! Bought it on sale for my almost 10 month old for when I have to drive around in my 2 door Focus.
I read other reviews of this seat, some positive and some negative and I wasn't sure that I made the right decision purchasing this seat. However, now that the seat is installed and has been used, I can say that I am SO GLAD that I bought this!
Unlike our old car seat, this one fit rear facing in my 2 door car's back seat like a glove! I am 36 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and even I could install it! After reading some of the other reviews, I was quite surprised when I discovered how easy this seat was to install rear facing. I didn't even need pool noodles or towels... Just read the owners manual, and put a little upper body strength into adjusting the Latch.
I am about 5'7 and (again, unlike the old car seat) this seat left me enough room to sit in the driver's seat. Not quite as much room as I prefer, but at this point I am so happy to have found a seat that allows my son to be rear facing, positioned behind my seat and still enough room for me to drive! I am sure I will be happier with the space situation as soon as I have this baby.
So glad that I bought a second seat to use with baby #2!!!
My little girl (12 months) seems to love this carseat. We have it rear facing in an Acura TL and I have no Complaints. She seems very comfortable and sleeps well in it. We originally purchased this to go in the secondary car but because she likes it so much we plan on getting a second of the same model. We had to put a towel under it to get it to the right incline while its rear facing, but it doesn't move an inch.
We bought this May of 2012, We still use this for our 18 month old, and have only used it rear facing in our Ford Fiesta.
Install is hard, but that is true for PROPERLY installing any car seat. It take my husband and myself to install it every time because we want to ensure 100% that it is in correctly.
Fit: Any car seat in a sedan is going to be rough- I could still fit in the front seat and we could still fit two adults in the backseat (a bit tight). I'm only 5' 3" so take that for what its worth. But, While I'm kind of chunky, we fit myself and my 300lb brother in the backseat with this seat. It was cozy to say the least, but we could do it. It has not damaged our seats and we did not use any seat protectors. My husband (6') could ride in the drivers seat with this seat rear facing.
Kid use: Our son has done well in this seat and even has done 3-4 20+ hour trips in it. Its fairly easy to get him in and out of it, and has held well against snacks and milk. I have yet to have to take the seat apart to have to wash the entire thing because it just has not needed it. It does have a bit of pelling, but nothing that is to serious. If I took the time I could get it all off and it would look brand new.
The pads seen on the side are not attached, nor attached to anything. We used them for the first 3-4 months we had him in the seat and have since discarded them. They were not a pain to use, and we only used one. I could see them being a problem for a 5lb infant, but even starting at 5 months he only needed one of them, and that was more so we felt he was comfortable.
We turned him around in the seat once so my dad could take him someplace, and it fit fine.
I would 100% buy another one for a second child.