The Graco Modes 3 Lite stroller is a classic example of how to turn around a horrible first impression. This stroller was the most difficult to assemble of all the ones we tested, and the first time I built it, I forgot to install the brakes because I didn't follow the instructions closely enough. Was that stupid of me? Sure, but it shouldn't even be possible.
Get past that, though, and the Modes 3 Lite stroller is actually quite good. Though there are some reports that it can develop a squeaking sound in the wheels, its other user reviews are very good. The stroller is highly maneuverable, has a smooth ride, and uses a sturdy fabric for both the seat and the canopy. It also includes a lot of storage space under the seat, with enough clearance that it's easily accessible.
The best feature, though, is the FastAction fold, which is nearly identical to our favorite stroller feature: the Quick-Fold strap on the Baby Jogger City Mini. The Modes 3 Lite snaps into a folded position quickly and stands on its own, though it's bulkier than the City Mini and would be a bit more of a pain to lug up and down stairs.
Overall, it's an exceptional value at under $200 and very, very close to the Chicco Viaro (our pick for best value). Their designs are nearly identical—suspiciously so—and both have the same annoying-to-assemble wheels. The Viaro wins this time because it doesn't seem to have squeaking issues, but if you prefer Graco car seats to Chicco, then this is a fine alternative.
Car seat and warranty info: The Modes 3 Lite is designed for children up to 50 lbs, but it's only compatible with Graco Click-Connect car seats (you can purchase one with the stroller if you opt for a travel system). It comes with a one-year limited warranty.