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I have to admit that this was the reason why we traded our 02 3 door Clio for an 04 5 door. We were otherwise happy with the car (it did have an engine problem at the time, but we could have had it sorted under the warranty if we'd kept it.) Still, we've been here and done this, so maybe you can find some useful tips in the following...
First of all, get the seat in via the boot (as already suggested) and leave it there. If that doesn't work, try fully reclining the front seat on the opposite side and seeing if you can pass the baby seat over it. If you need to use it in another car, then buy another seat.
Getting the little 'un in and out can be interesting - we found that the best approach was to get into the other back seat while holding the baby, strap him in and then get back out again. It was easier with two of us to be honest (one could get in the back seat first, then the other could pass him over.)
You don't say how old your little girl is, but just bear in mind that this inconvenience is for a finite period of time. By the time she can walk, she'll probably also be able to do most of the work climbing in and out of the car seat. You'll just have to strap her in, and you can do that at a pinch from the front. We'd be fine with the 3 door Clio now, though we'll stick with the 5 as it is still easier.
If leaving the seat in the rear isn't an option (e.g. you need all of the rear seats for regular passengers) then you're probably best putting it on the front passenger seat. Move the seat as far back on its runners as possible and make sure the seatbelt is well tensioned. If it's a rear-facing seat, then disable the airbag. I'm not sure what the wisdom is for front facing child seats, but I suspect it's safest to leave the airbag switched on.
You could try taking the car back, but having had it this long, the dealer would presumably only let you trade it in against something else. This means getting trade-in value on your current car but paying full price on the replacement. You will lose money.
I wouldn't worry to much about ISOfix to be honest. I've read that a properly fitted non ISOfix seat is just as effective as an ISOfix one. The real purpose of ISOfix is to make it much harder to fit the seat incorrectly, as many parents were. Put the seat in and get it checked over by someone in the know. Knowing what I know now, I don't think I'd pay a premium for an ISOfix seat.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.
Last edited by Horatio; 1st September 2008 at 01:36 PM.