Friday, December 4, 2009

New Minivan (to me, anyway)

We went with the 2008 Kia Sedona minivan. It had the best remaining warranty (and we were able to upgrade that warranty so that we now have 5 years/58K miles).

I'm having to learn how not to drive with a lead foot - the Sedona has so much more acceleration and pick-up than any other vehicle I've ever driven, it's just too easy to hit the gas pedal from a complete stop and be doing 40 mph before you know it (and that's in town). It gets up to highway/freeway speeds faster than my Grand Caravan and Windstar ever did, so the cruise control will definitely get used a lot.

The only drawback to buying the Kia is that the seatbelt fit way too tightly and I needed an extender. Kia doesn't offer extenders, at all. Something about seat belt extenders haven't been tested for safety so Kia won't be responsible if the extender fails in an accident. Right, so the seat belt doesn't fit me, I can't buckle it, I'm in an accident - does that mean I can sue Kia because they refuse to put seat belts in their vehicles that will fit fat people? Not to mention that in MN, they passed the law where you can be stopped and ticketed just for not wearing your seat belt. So I've been cheating and driving with the seat belt buckled before I ever get in the seat and then I sit on it (looks like it's buckled and the harness is behind my back to anyone outside the vehicle). Just a stop-gap measure until I could go online and do a search for an extender that will fit the Kia (the ones I had for the Windstar wouldn't work). I finally found one on eBay (final cost with shipping was $38.98) that was 15" long, which is perfect, puts the shoulder harness right where it should be (between my breasts) so the damned thing doesn't decapitate me. Ordered it Monday afternoon and it got here in today's mail. Doesn't match the interior color of the Kia, but I don't care, safety is more important than a color-match, IMO.

I'll know in a couple of weeks how it does on gas mileage (in cold weather anyway). Vehicles always get better gas mileage in warm weather than they do in cold weather, so I know the mileage will get better when spring and summer get here (and it's finally getting really cold here in MN, it's actually 15 degrees F and snowing today, yuck).


  1. Re: extender. Some companies have a craptacular attitude about them. I tried to get one for my Honda, and the company rep told me abruptly that THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO. Luv you, too, butthead! It will make me think twice about buying another one.

  2. Yeah, it's funny how some reps don't seem to care if they lose business (as long as it's just business from fat people). The Kia dealership went out of their way to help me find an extender, and I ended up going with the one they found on eBay (even though I don't like shopping on eBay all that well).


    You can get seatbelt extenders at JC Whitney

    Here is a really nice universal extender.

  4. Proud FA - I found that one, but I didn't want to mess with the interior of the van, taking the belt apart at the floor and hooking the extender into the floor and then hooking it into the belt.
    I found an extender that hooks into the seat belt at the side of the seat and then the shoulder harness buckles into that. So it fits, and that's all I was worried about.


    If you ever need and airline extender this one looks like a winner but it is a bit pricey.

    About 8 months ago we did a story about Bill Fabrey and Ample Stuff. Now that other companies have followed his lead we are thinking about doing a consumer reports type review of the various companies that serve the needs of big folks.

    We want to offer our readers some comparisons and reviews. I would like to remain objective but at this point I still give Ample Stuff the nod but I would need customer feedback to be fair.


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