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Edmunds.com Identifies Top 10 'Cars for Kids in Car Seats' for National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 13-19

Edmunds.com Identifies Top 10 'Cars for Kids in Car Seats' for National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 13-19

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Edmunds.com, (http://www.edmunds.com/) the premier online resource for automotive information, kicked off National Child Passenger Safety Week (February 13-19) by publishing a list of the top 10 cars for kids in car seats.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20031009/LATH011ALOGO)

When shopping for a new car, most people consider a vehicle's safety features and crash test scores, but many neglect to test how well a new car accommodates their child's safety seat with their child in it. An article full of recommendations can be found at: http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/top10/103824/article.html (Top 10 Cars for Kids in Car Seats).

"As a parent, I feel there is nothing more important than keeping my children safe," said Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief of Edmunds.com. "But just putting a child in a car seat will not protect him or her if the car seat does not fit well."

Edmunds.com editors recommend that consumers conduct test drives in conditions that replicate everyday use of the vehicle. For parents, this includes installing their child safety seats and securing their children in the seats before buying the vehicle. Actually putting safety seats in the vehicles is the best way to check for a proper fit, and any dealership interested in customer satisfaction should respect parents' attention to this important aspect of ownership.

As car-shopping parents compare and consider vehicles of interest, here are some key child-oriented features to look for:

* Deep, flat seat-bottom cushions. The flatter the seat bottom, the easier it is to get the car seat to sit level and securely when it is fastened to the seat. * Proper placement of the seatbelts and LATCH points. Even with newer, LATCH-compatible seats, consumers should still check to see that the location of the anchor points allows for a snug fit. * Suitable angle of the seat back cushion. If buying a car without a recline feature for the second-row back cushions, consumers should check to see that the angle of the seat back works well with the car seat. * Ease of access. Wide door openings, generous leg room and a moderately high ride height make it easier to get car seats and children in and out. * Availability of Automatic Locking Retractor/Emergency Locking Retractor (ALR/ELR). Most newer cars have locking retractor seatbelts in the back seat: when the belt is pulled all the way out it locks as it retracts.

The Edmunds.com editors who are parents of young children regularly test car seat installation as part of their overall vehicle assessments. Here are the top 10 vehicles that impressed the group:

* Chevrolet Equinox offers reclining back cushions and fore/aft adjustment in the second row; depending on the size of the car seats, is able to fit three car seats across. * Chevrolet Malibu Maxx has a deep, flat seat bottom, wide door openings and fore/aft adjustment in the second row. * Dodge Magnum has lots of second-row leg room with deep, flat seats. * Ford Five Hundred has a slightly elevated ride height which helps parents get children in and out. * Ford Freestyle offers a roomy bench seat in the second row or twin captain's chairs with fore/aft adjustment. * Honda Accord offers plenty of legroom in the backseat and appropriately contoured cushions. * Honda Odyssey has deep, flat, multi-adjustable seats with the added feature of a pop-up seat between the second row captain's chairs, allowing three kids to fit across. * Scion xB offers a lot of legroom for consumers on a tight budget. * Toyota Camry has soft, flat cushions and enough rear legroom to readily accept a bulky car seat. * Toyota Sienna has roomy and comfortable rear seats with seven- and eight-passenger configurations.

Automobile accidents are the number one cause of death for children under 14. Edmunds.com wants to help consumers keep children safe in cars, and has published a number of related advice articles including:

* Sitting Tight: A Car Seat Overview http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/45195/article.html * How to Choose a Car Seat http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/howto/articles/103317/article.html * How to Install a Car Seat http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/howto/articles/104581/article.html * Booster Seats: Fight the Good Fight http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/safety/articles/42977/article.html About Edmunds.com, Inc.

Edmunds.com is the premier online resource for automotive information. Its comprehensive set of data, tools and services, including Edmunds.com True Market Value(R) pricing, is generated by Edmunds.com Information Solutions and is licensed to third parties. For example, the company supplies content for the auto sections of NYTimes.com, AOL, About.com, iVillage,com and IGN.com, provides weekly data to Automotive News and delivers monthly data reports to Wall Street analysts. Edmunds.com also publishes a high-speed, on-screen car magazine called Inside Line available free at http://www.insideline.com/. Edmunds.com was named "best car research" site by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "most useful Web site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM) and was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The company is headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. and maintains a satellite office outside Detroit.

Edmunds.com

CONTACT: Kirsten Holguin of Edmunds.com, +1-310-309-4900,
[email protected]

Web site: http://www.edmunds.com/

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