How to Fit Car Seats Three Across with Tips for Fitting 3-Across Seats

Three small sisters in car seats

The car seat laws in the United States can vary depending on what state you live in, but most safety experts agree that children should stay in a car seat until age 12. Depending on their height and weight, your child will spend over a decade moving from an infant carrier to a convertible car seat to ultimately a booster seat.

This can pose a challenge for families with more than two young children, as the backseat of your car fills up fast. Even if your car has three available latch anchors it is unlikely that you can fit three standard car seats in your backseat because car seats are so wide.

Car seat manufacturers have designed narrow car seats to help parents fit three car seats of varying types across the back seat of their vehicles. Narrow car seats are slimmer in width and overall dimensions than traditional car seats. Narrow car seats are slimmer in width and overall dimensions than traditional car seats.

This four-section 3 Across Car Seat Guide is designed to help you choose the best 3 across installations for infant, rear-facing, convertible, forward-facing, booster and all in one car seats so you can make an educated buying decision.

It covers topics you need to consider, including:

  • Your vehicle type;
  • Compatibility among car seats;
  • Narrow car seat options;
  • Safe car seat installation.

Although you might just be shopping for one car seat now, you can save money by thinking about the future and choosing the best car seat to match your family planning situation. The last thing you want to face is having to replace new car seats in order to fit three across in your vehicle.

With the help of this guide, you can make a wise investment today while planning for the future.

Section I: What Kind of Vehicle Do You Have?

Roomy vehicles

Vehicle type matters with car seats. Roomy vehicles will make fitting car seats a breeze, while with more compact vehicles, fitting three child seats across the back seat will be more of a challenge. The optimum vehicles for installing more than two car seats are those with captain’s chairs and a third row seat.

Vehicle models that work best with three car seats in the rear seat are: Minivans; full-size and midsize SUVs; and full-size cars.

Vehicles where it’s a tight squeeze to fit three car seats: Compact SUVs; compact and midsize sedans; pickup trucks, and CRVs.

Vehicles that won’t work with three car seats: Four passenger vehicles; sports cars or performance cars; two-door vehicles; and subcompacts.

Another important consideration is the style of your rear seat. Some vehicles have back seats that are flat bench seats instead of contoured and these can offer a better fit for three car seats. The rear hip room and rear leg room of your car will determine how space you have to work with. Find your vehicle in the table below for specific measurements.

Safety Restraint System

The type of safety restraint system in your vehicle is another component that needs to be taken into consideration with 3 across seats. Along with a shoulder and lap seat belt system inside your vehicle there will be a LATCH system, which stands for lower anchors and tethers for children.

Your vehicle’s restraint system(s) work in tandem with the car seat’s five-point harness system to ensure your child is safely restrained in the event of an accident.

The best option that promotes the ultimate fit and flexibility for three across car seats is a LATCH system in all three positions in the rear seat (both sides and the center). Some cars will not provide anchors for the middle seats.

Three factors that make a difference:

  1. The spacing of your vehicle’s LATCH system: If the lower anchor overlaps or has narrow spacing, it might be difficult, if not impossible, to install three child safety seats.
  2. If your vehicle does not have lower anchors for the center rear seat, you will not be able to install three seats using the LATCH system.
  3. If your rear seat is only designed to seat two people, then you will not be able to install car seats three across because there are only enough seat belts to secure two of them.

Take Measurements and Compare

Graco 4ever

It will take some effort on your part to measure your vehicle’s rear seat and compare it to the width sizes of the different makes and models of child restraint seats to get the best three across fit for your vehicle. Major vehicle measurements are provided below.

When measuring, keep in mind to:

  • Factor in the car seat’s design and point of reference in the measurement. For example, some car seat manufacturer’s will provide the width of the base, but not the widest part of the car seat, such as the wide handles or shoulder and head supports.
  • Allow for some spacing between the car seats’ width measurements so you can buckle your children in.
  • Check your vehicle’s manual for back seat side air bag clearance and start measuring from there.
  • Measure at the width of the car seat, including the back and side panels.
  • Try different narrow seats or a combination of different brands to get the measurement you’re looking for.

Vehicle Tip: If you have more than one vehicle in which you will be using all three car seats at once, you need to take measurements and check the fit in all applicable vehicles.

Section II: Compatibility Among Car Seats

There are seven different types of car seats:

  1. Infant car bed for premature babies;
  2. Infant car seat;
  3. Rear-facing car seat;
  4. Forward-facing car seat;
  5. Convertible car seats that transition from infant to toddler;
  6. All in one car seats that transition from rear-facing to forward-facing to booster;
  7. Booster seat.

Not all car seats are compatible with each other when trying to fit three across in a row. At their widest point (which might not necessarily be the base) they typically range in width from 17 inches to 21 inches. You might already have an all in one car seat for your first child that you like, but adding two more seats of that same type might not fit in your back seat.

When it comes to car seat compatibility, the key is a secure fit. That means the car seats cannot be too tight or too loose. It’s not an easy feat to accomplish.

Some compatibility issues you might encounter between the same brand or different car seat types include:

  • The width makes it impossible for them to fit side by side;
  • The shape of the car seat or its armrests may interfere with the others;
  • One or more seats have too much movement in them;
  • The seats fit, but there’s little spacing between them to maneuver the LATCH system or attach the seat belts.

Even with all narrow car seats, you might need to do some juggling around depending on your vehicle type to get them to fit. This often occurs when children are in different seat types. For example, you might need to put a booster in the middle of the seat, a rear-facing seat on one side and a forward-facing seat on the other side.

Parents find that even if the widths of the car seats fit your back seat measurements, you might need to try different configurations to get the car seats to fit securely.

Buying Tip: Whether buying online or at a brick and mortar store, take the time to test the seats in your vehicle to be sure they fit before purchasing. Most retail stores have floor models for this very purpose, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Section III: What Are Your Narrow Car Seats Options?

When it comes to narrow car seats, two key factors to keep in mind are flexibility and the fit with your vehicle’s rear seat.

There are numerous narrow car seat options that meet these two factors and are highly rated by parents who have purchased and used them in a three across car seat configuration.

This section of the guide provides some narrow car seat options for each type of car seat. Be sure to click on the product’s name to read reviews based on usage to help you with making your choice.

Infant car seats

Chicco KeyFit

Infant car seats are designed for babies and toddlers. Their types include rear-facing and rear-facing convertible.

Among the better narrow car seats for infants are:

Convertible car seats

Britax Marathon

Convertible car seats are for toddlers and preschoolers. They convert from rear-facing to forward-facing.

Among the better options for use as three across seats are:

  • Britax Marathon ClickTight – At its widest point, the seat is 18.5 inches. It’s built with strong construction, including a steel frame, an energy absorbing base and impact absorbing tether.
  • Britax Roundabout G4.1 – It’s 18.5 inches wide, yet it’s one of the lightest convertible seats at 17.6 pounds. It finishes among the best in crash test results.
  • Graco Size4Me 65 – Its overall width is 19 inches at its widest point and is designed to fit premature babies without the use of an infant insert.

All in one car seats

Graco Milestone

All in one car seats, also known as 3 in 1 seats, start out as rear-facing, then transition to a forward-facing seat and then to a booster seat to accommodate the child’s growth. Some are 4 in 1 seats, with an additional booster seat with a back.

Among the recommended narrow options are:

  • Graco Milestone– At its widest point, it is 19 inches wide. Pillow inserts are provided to accommodate small infants.
  • Graco 4Ever – It has a width of 19 inches at its widest part, not including the removable cup holders. It’s one of the better ones for functionality, with four configurations that include both a booster seat with and without a back.
  • Diono Rainier – Its widest width is 18.5 inches and is one of the few all in one seats that handles up to 50 pounds in the rear-facing configuration.

Toddler booster combination

Graco Nautilus

Toddler booster combination car seats start out as forward-facing seats then covert to a belt-positioning booster seat and finally to a backless booster seat.

Those that were well rated include:

  • Graco Nautilus – The car seat’s width without the base is 20.92 pounds. Designed for durability, the car seat is steel-reinforced.
  • Britax Frontier – The outer width is 19 inches and the inner width is 15.5 inches. It has click tight technology for easy installation.
  • Evenflo SecureKid LX – This lightweight seat has a width of 19.5 inches.

Booster seats

Evenflo Big Kid

Booster seats are for elementary school-aged children who have exceeded the height and weight requirements of a forward-facing car seat.

Among those highly recommended are:

  • Evenflo Big Kid – Both a backless and high back booster, it has an overall width of 16 inches.
  • Graco Affix – Its overall width is 16.75 inches and can be used with the back for children between 30 and 100 pounds and over 38 inches tall or backless for children between 40 and 100 pounds and over 40 inches tall.

Narrow Car Seat Buying Tip: Some things that will affect the fit of your narrow car seat are cup holders and the outer shell design. On some models the cup holder is removable to get extra space. Remember to look at the width of the car seat at its widest point.

Section IV: How to Safely Install Your Car Seats

Little children sitting in the car

Three car seats in a row in the back seat of your vehicle requires careful installation to ensure your children ride securely and safely. When doing 3 across installations, you must remember these critical safety points provided by HealthyChildren.org:

  • If any of the car seats are loose, meaning they can be easily rocked back and forth or sideways, then they are not installed correctly. This also applies if you remove a car seat and the remaining ones are loose.
  • Unless specified otherwise in your vehicle’s manual, use only one safety restraint system, either LATCH or shoulder/lap seat belts, not both together at the same time.
  • Make sure the LATCH strap or seat belt are routed through the right path on the car seat.
  • Be sure the car seat’s harness straps are snug against your child’s body and the chest clip fits securely on your child’s shoulders.

After you install the car seats, have them inspected by a certified technician. The technician also can provide assistance if you need help installing the seats or using them. Contact your local police department for the car seat inspection station near you.

Installation Tip: Install the car seat going in the middle of the seat first.

Specific Vehicle Installation

Information below on specific vehicles is taken from manufacturers’ websites and should only be relied upon for planning. Actual installation of three car seats across is difficult no matter the measurement and seats that mathematically fit three across might not always actually work in a practical manner. A lot depends on the type of seat and if you car has a bench seat, bucket seat, or captain’s chair.

Some of the current vehicles that can fit three car seats across the back seat are listed below.

Vehicles that Fit 3 Across
BMW X7 Lexus LX570
Honda Odyssey Honda Ridgeline
Ford Expedition Ford F150
Volkswagen Atlas Toyota 4Runner
Jaguar I-Pace Nissan Titan
Nissan Murano Jeep Grand Cherokee
Infiniti QX80

What is the difference between bucket seats and captain’s chair seats?

Bucket seats and captain’s chairs are very similar seat types found in cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. These seats are more contoured and comfortable than a bench seat. The seats are rounded with high backs and they might take a little extra effort to get out of. Captain’s chairs have armrests and bucket seats do not.

Captain’s Chairs

Vehicles with captain’s chairs offer some of the most convenient options for multiple car seat families. The captains chair configuration provides an easy aisle to the third row similar to a minivan.

Captain’s chair configurations also solve one of the biggest problems with third row seating – car seats can block access to the third row. Consider that third row access is often from tilting a second row seat, and you usually cannot tilt the seat forward with a car seat installed. Captain’s chairs removes this problem and gives parents lots of flexibility in seating.

The following vehicles offer parents great 3 across car seat solutions with their captains chair seating trim level.

Vehicles with Captain’s Chairs
BMW X7 Acura MDX
Buick Enclave Cadillac Escalade
Chevrolet Suburban Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Traverse Dodge Durango
GMC Acadia GMC Yukon
Honda Pilot Hyundai Palisade
Hyundai Santa Fe XL Infiniti QX80
Ford Expedition Ford Explorer
Kia Telluride Lexus GX460
Lincoln MKT Lincoln Navigator
Mercedes Benz GLS Nissan Armada
Subaru Ascent Tesla Model X
Toyota Highlander Toyota Sequoia
Volkswagen Atlas Volvo XC90

Vehicle Dimensions

Find your car, truck or SUV in the table below to determine basic back seat measurements. Each of the dimensions for your vehicle will impact how many car seats you can fit in the rear.

  • Total Seats – the reported number of seat belts in the vehicle. Be careful with sports cars or sedans that you assume can seat 5 in the rear but can only seat 4 like the BMW 4 Series, Ford Mustang or Toyota Mirai.
  • Rear Hip Room – The width of the back seat cushion. This is your main measurement to work off of when fitting in 3 car seats across. It ranges from 42 – 66 inches.
  • Rear Shoulder Room – The measurement from one door panel to another on the interior. This is important to consider as the widest part of a car seat is often up above the base. It ranges from 49 – 68 inches.
  • Rear Leg Room – A complicated measurement because front seats move forward but it is a good estimate of how much space you can expect in the back. It ranges from 29 – 45 inches. Some rear facing car seats might not fit in the back of small cars like a Ford Focus or a Toyota Tacoma.

Vehicle Car Seat Measurements

Dimensions for major vehicles are listed below. All dimensions are listed in inches. Unfortunately some manufacturers do not report the complete vehicle dimensions and those will show as NR *not reported in the tables below.

Acura Car Seats

Acura has a strong set of comprehensive safety features. Most seats offer lower latch anchors and the clips are easy to access. The only issue is some headrests are mostly fixed so it can be hard to slide the rear tether through.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Acura ILX 5 51.7 53.6 34
Acura MDX 7 57.8 59.1 36.6
Acura RDX 5 50 57 38
Acura RLX 5 54.5 57 38.8
Acura TLX 5 54.9 55.4 34.5

Audi Car Seats

Luxury cars from Audi have top amenities and leading safety features. However, some of the seats are so comfortable and offer so much cushion that car seat installation and latch anchor access can be difficult.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Audi A3 5 NR 53 35.1
Audi A4 5 NR 54.5 35.7
Audi A5 5 NR 54.5 35.1
Audi A6 5 NR 56.5 37.4
Audi A7 5 NR 55.9 37
Audi A8 5 NR 57.6 44.3
Audi Q3 5 NR 53.6 31.1
Audi Q5 5 NR 56.5 37.8
Audi Q7 7 NR 58.5 38.8

BMW Car Seats

BMW builds luxury cars with a sporty identity and that can mean stiff seats to hold drivers in fast corners. Vehicles have latch anchors that are well marked and often exposed for easy access earning this brand high praise from parents. Head restraints are easily raised to access rear tether.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
BMW 2-Series 4 NR 53.4 33
BMW 3-Series 5 NR 54.6 35.2
BMW 4-Series 4 NR 49.8 33.1
BMW 5-Series 5 NR 55.9 36.5
BMW 6-Series 4 NR 49.6 30.5
BMW 7-Series 5 NR 57.7 44.4
BMW i3 4 NR 49.2 31.9
BMW X1 5 NR 55.2 37
BMW X3 5 NR 56 36.4
BMW X4 5 NR 56 35.5
BMW X5 5 NR 58.1 37.4
BMW X6 5 NR 57.9 35.6

Buick Car Seats

With a brand identity around refined driving, the Buick interiors are welcoming. The upholstery on most vehicles has easy to access flaps that reveal well marked anchors. Head restraints move easily to make room for back tethers.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Buick Cascada 4 NR 45.8 32.8
Buick Enclave 7 57.7 61.7 38.9
Buick Encore 5 50.1 52.5 35.8
Buick Envision 5 53.1 55.8 37.5
Buick LaCrosse 5 55.1 56.6 38
Buick Regal 5 52.3 54.4 37.3
Buick Verano 5 51.9 52.9 34.7

Cadillac Car Seats

Cadillac likes to promote forward thinking so they have luxurious back seats that still offer practical family car seat solutions. The comfortable seats on these vehicles hide well placed Latch anchors high up in the seat crack making for an easy car seat installation.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Cadillac ATS 5 52.3 53.9 33.5
Cadillac CT6 5 53.5 56.2 40.4
Cadillac CTS 5 53.3 54.8 35.4
Cadillac Escalade 7 60.2 64.4 39
Cadillac SRX 5 54.7 56.3 36.3
Cadillac XT5 5 54.8 56.3 39
Cadillac XTS 5 54.3 56.3 40

Chevy Car Seats

Most vehicles have exposed latch anchors that are easy to access. The seatback tethers are clearly marked. General motors takes a lot of pride in offering families great driving solutions.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Chevrolet Bolt 5 50.8 52.8 36.5
Chevrolet Camaro 4 NR NR NR
Chevrolet Colorado 5 53.3 56.2 35.8
Chevrolet Cruze 5 51.9 53.2 36.1
Chevrolet Equinox 5 51.7 55.5 39.9
Chevrolet Express 12 65.6 68.6 36.3
Chevrolet Impala 5 54.1 56.9 39.8
Chevrolet Malibu 5 53.4 57.1 38.1
Chevrolet Silverado 6 60.2 65.2 43.4
Chevrolet Sonic 5 51.6 53 34.6
Chevrolet Spark 4 48 49.8 33
Chevrolet SS 5 58 59 39.7
Chevrolet Suburban 8 60.3 65.1 39.7
Chevrolet Tahoe 8 60.3 65.1 39
Chevrolet Traverse 7 56.9 62.2 38.4
Chevrolet Trax 5 50.7 52.8 35.7
Chevrolet Volt 5 51.3 53.2 34.7

Chrysler Car Seats

Chrysler has long offered strong minivan options and shown parents a commitment to moving families around safely. The vehicles have easy to access latch anchors and well marked tethers.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Chrysler 200 5 52.7 56.7 37.6
Chrysler 300 5 56.1 57.7 40.1
Chrysler Pacifica 7 64.8 63 39
Chrysler Town & Country 7 65 64.1 36.5

Dodge Car Seats

Dodge has strong leather car seats on most vehicles that make finding and installing the latch easy. Kids often find the seat belt buckles easy to use. Dodge vehicles are often performance oriented but still practical for families.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Dodge Challenger 5 47.8 53.9 33.1
Dodge Charger 5 56.1 57.9 40.1
Dodge Dart 5 52.6 56.1 35.2
Dodge Durango 7 55.5 57.7 38.6
Dodge Grand Caravan 7 65 64.1 36.5
Dodge Journey 7 54.4 56.9 36.1

Fiat Car Seats

American cars and trucks make a typical Fiat feel tiny but the practical vehicles offer surprisingly spacious back seats for parents and families. Some vehicles will require the driver to move their seats forward to fit a rear facing car seat.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Fiat 500 4 42.6 46.4 31.7
Fiat 500L 5 49.4 54.6 36.7
Fiat 500X 5 52.2 52.8 34.8

Ford Car Seats

Since the early days of Henry Ford this company has worked to safely move families around. Many vehicles offer hard plastic casing around the latch connector making it easy to connect. Unfortunately, the rear tether anchors on some vehicles is poorly marked and difficult to access.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Ford C-Max 5 51.9 55.2 36.5
Ford Edge 5 57.5 60.5 40.6
Ford Escape 5 53.3 56 40.7
Ford Expedition 8 62.6 64.8 41.5
Ford Explorer 6 56.8 61 39.5
Ford F-Series 6 64.7 65.9 43.6
Ford Fiesta 5 49.2 49 31.2
Ford Flex 7 55 58.1 44.3
Ford Focus 5 52.8 52.6 33.2
Ford Fusion 5 54.4 56.9 38.3
Ford Mustang 4 47.4 52.2 29
Ford Taurus 5 55.8 56.9 38.1
Ford Transit 6 58.3 58.5 37.6

Genesis Car Seats

This luxury brand from Hyundai sports plastic covers over the latch anchors making them easy to locate and access. Parents like the big latch connectors on these cars. Some vehicles will require the driver to move their seats forward to fit a rear facing car seat.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Genesis G80 5 54.8 57.1 35
Genesis G90 5 55 57.9 37.8

GMC Car Seats

These powerful trucks and SUVs have good room but require a firm hand when installing car seats. The latch anchors on these vehicles is well marked but often situated in an area where installation can be difficult. Get ready to jam the connector between the seat a few times to catch the latch.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
GMC Acadia 7 53.3 58.7 39.7
GMC Canyon 4 52.2 57.3 28.6
GMC Savana 12 65.6 68.6 36.3
GMC Sierra 6 60.2 65.2 43.4
GMC Terrain 5 51.8 55.6 39.7
GMC Yukon 8 60.3 65.1 39
GMC Yukon XL 8 60.3 65.1 39.7

Honda Car Seats

These Honda vehicles provide families great value with their long list of safety features however the back seats on some cars are smaller than you would expect so check first. Many vehicles have easy to access connections and good clearance. Some lower anchors were difficult to find on the vehicles and hard to use.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Honda Accord 5 55 56.5 40.4
Honda Civic 5 47.3 55 37.4
Honda CR-V 5 49.5 55.6 40.4
Honda Fit 5 45.1 52.6 39.3
Honda HR-V 5 47.4 54.5 39.3
Honda Odyssey 8 64.8 61.6 40.9
Honda Pilot 8 57.3 62 38.4
Honda Ridgeline 5 56.6 61.5 36.7

Hyundai Car Seats

The cars from this South Korean manufacturer are well designed and intentional. The anchors are exposed making them easy to access. The top tethers are clearly marked and easy to use. Some vehicles will require the driver to move their seats far forward to fit a rear facing car seat.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Hyundai Accent 5 50.8 53.7 33.5
Hyundai Azera 5 54.2 56.4 36.8
Hyundai Elantra 5 51.9 55.3 35.7
Hyundai Genesis 5 54.8 57.1 35
Hyundai Ioniq 5 52.9 55 35.7
Hyundai Santa Fe 5 56.3 58.3 40.9
Hyundai Sonata 5 56.1 56.5 35.6
Hyundai Tucson 5 54.5 55.5 38.2
Hyundai Veloster 4 46.5 54.3 34.1

Infiniti Car Seats

As a luxury brand, Infiniti provides a lush interior cabin with lots of creature comforts and features. The seats on these vehicles are often hiding anchors deep in slits which can make it difficult to clip in the connectors. Some vehicles have big latch anchors that can take some muscle to connect.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Infiniti Q50 5 52.5 56.1 35.1
Infiniti Q60 4 47.9 52 32.4
Infiniti Q70 5 53.5 56.7 37.7
Infiniti QX30 5 49 53.1 33.5
Infiniti QX50 5 53.8 57.1 38.7
Infiniti QX60 7 55.8 60.4 41.7
Infiniti QX70 5 54.2 57.4 34.6
Infiniti QX80 7 58.4 63.5 41

Jaguar Car Seats

This luxury brand has some great driving options for parents and the interior cabin spaces are huge. Jaguar has a flip off cover on most vehicles that are clearly marked and make connection easy. Parents report that the seat belt buckles are easy for kids to use.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Jaguar F-Pace 5 NR NR NR
Jaguar XE 5 NR 54.7 35
Jaguar XF 5 NR 54.9 37.2
Jaguar XJ 5 NR 56.6 43.7

Jeep Car Seats

Designed more for off road driving than hauling around the family. The lower anchors can be tough to connect and the rear anchor installation can be hard due to the fixed head restraints.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Jeep Cherokee 5 56.2 58 38.6
Jeep Compass 5 49.2 55.1 38.3
Jeep Grand Cherokee 5 56.2 58 38.6
Jeep Patriot 5 51 54 39.4
Jeep Renegade 5 51.9 55.1 35.1
Jeep Wrangler 5 56.7 55.7 38.3

Kia Car Seats

Kia is a value brand and some of the vehicles have upholstery options that can make latch connections difficult because the anchor is buried. The lower anchors on some cars are smaller than usual and can be hard to find.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Kia Cadenza 5 56.3 56.5 37.2
Kia Forte 5 51.1 55.3 35.7
Kia Niro 5 48.3 55.2 37.4
Kia Optima 5 56 56.4 35.6
Kia Rio 5 52.4 53.3 33.5
Kia Sedona 8 66.1 63.1 41.1
Kia Sorento 7 56.4 58 39.4
Kia Soul 5 52.8 54.7 38.8
Kia Sportage 5 51.2 55.1 38.2

Land Rover Car Seats

The Queen of England puts her grandchildren in one so who are we to complain? The anchors sit under leather flaps on most vehicles and are easy to access. Removing the head restraint can be difficult if required for installation.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Land Rover Discovery / LR4 7 NR NR 37.6
Land Rover Discovery Sport 5 NR NR NR
Land Rover Range Rover 5 NR 59 39.3
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 5 NR NR NR
Land Rover Range Rover Sport 5 NR NR NR
Land Rover Range Rover Velar 5 NR NR 37.2

Lexus Car Seats

The back seats on Lexus cars and trucks have lots of room. The well marked and easily accessed latch anchors make installation easy and the roomy back seats help parents angle in. However, the seats have so much thick cushion that car seat installation requires a lot of tightening.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Lexus CT 5 51.8 52.6 32.9
Lexus ES 5 54.3 54.3 39.2
Lexus GS 5 54.1 55.7 36.8
Lexus GX 7 55.2 57.3 34.1
Lexus IS 5 54 53.4 32.2
Lexus LS 5 55.1 56.4 38.9
Lexus LX 8 58.5 59.1 34.4
Lexus NX 5 53.9 55.3 36.1
Lexus RC 4 44.9 50.8 27.3
Lexus RX 5 56.1 57.6 38

Lincoln Car Seats

The brand puts a premium on backseat comfort with the luxury vehicles often serving as black cars and airport taxis. Parents will find easy to locate latch and ample tethers. Kids will find the seat belt buckles easy to use.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Lincoln Continental 5 54.8 55.9 41.3
Lincoln MKC 5 52.8 55.3 36.8
Lincoln MKT 7 55.9 58.1 41.8
Lincoln MKX 5 55.6 59 39.6
Lincoln MKZ 5 53.8 55.3 37
Lincoln Navigator 7 61.6 65.1 41.1

Mazda Car Seats

These sporty cars and trucks have stiff seats but offer removable plastic covers that make the latch easily accessible on most vehicles. The rear seat buckles are small and can be difficult for children to use on their own. Some vehicles will require the driver to move their seats very far forward to fit a rear facing car seat.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Mazda 3 5 50.9 53.5 35.1
Mazda 6 5 53.5 55.1 38.7
Mazda CX-3 5 49 50.4 35
Mazda CX-5 5 55.3 54.8 39.6
Mazda CX-9 7 57.4 58.1 39.4

Mercedes Benz Car Seats

Lots of room in the back seat in the luxury cars from Mercedes Benz. Since the rigid seats are stiff, the vehicles offer pop-off plastic covers on the latch making for easy access and connection. The top tether usually has great clearance for an easy connection.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Mercedes Benz C-Class 5 NR 55 35.2
Mercedes Benz CLA-Class 5 NR 55 35.2
Mercedes Benz E / CLS-Class 5 NR 56.5 35
Mercedes Benz G-Class 5 NR 56.5 37.3
Mercedes Benz GLA-Class 5 NR 53.2 27.1
Mercedes Benz GLC-Class 5 NR 56.5 37.3
Mercedes Benz GLE-Class 5 NR 58.3 40.9
Mercedes Benz GLS-Class 7 NR 58.3 38.5
Mercedes Benz S-Class 5 NR 59.1 34.1

Mini Cooper Car Seats

The back seats of these vehicles always are surprisingly roomy and the brand helps by adding easy to find latch anchors under plastic covers. The tight fit in most vehicles requires parents to plan ahead.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Mini Cooper 5 NR 49.6 32.3
Country Man 5 NR 54 37.6

Mitsubishi Car Seats

The cars and trucks from Mitsubishi offer exposed latch anchors that are easy to locate. Some parents complain that their rear anchors are difficult to use because of the narrow plastic housing on the seat back.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Mitsubishi Lancer 5 54.1 54.3 36.1
Mitsubishi Mirage 5 46.4 51 34
Mitsubishi Outlander 7 51.9 56 37.3
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 5 51.6 55.5 36.3

Nissan Car Seats

Easy access to well marked anchors. Some of the vehicles have fixed head restraints which can be difficult if your rear tether is one loop instead of two. The seat belts can be difficult for kids to use. Some lower latch are colored blue making them easy to find. Great options for bigger families.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Nissan Altima 5 NR 57.1 35.2
Nissan Armada 8 58.4 63.4 41
Nissan Frontier 5 58 58.3 33.6
Nissan Juke 5 48.4 51.4 32.1
Nissan Leaf 5 50 52.5 33.3
Nissan Maxima 5 53.5 55.7 34.2
Nissan Murano 5 55.2 58.9 NR
Nissan Pathfinder 7 56 60.4 41.7
Nissan Quest 7 66 63.2 36.7
Nissan Rogue 5 52.1 55.9 37.9
Nissan Sentra 5 50.1 53.9 37.4
Nissan Versa 5 46.2 51.9 37

Porsche Car Seats

Slits in the leather seats house the easy to access latch anchors. The head restraints are often fixed so routing the top tether through can be difficult. Note that most of their cars are four passengers not five passenger vehicles. Do you really want a car seat in your Porsche?

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Porsche 911 4 NR NR NR
Porsche Cayenne 5 NR NR NR
Porsche Macan 5 NR NR NR
Porsche Panamera 4 NR NR NR

Subaru Car Seats

Subaru gets families to outdoor fun and they enjoy the roomy back seats on these vehicles. The clips and anchors on these vehicles have some of the best clearance and access in the industry. Most parents find installation easy and kids find the seat belts easy to buckle.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Subaru BRZ 4 45.3 51.7 29.9
Subaru Crosstrek 5 55.2 55.6 36.5
Subaru Forester 5 53.6 57.2 39.4
Subaru Impreza 5 55.2 55.6 36.5
Subaru Legacy 5 54.8 57.4 39.5
Subaru Outback 5 55 57.3 38.1

Tesla Car Seats

Famous for their safety features, Tesla’s offer a safe ride but some parents complain that anchors are often buried in carpet or behind stiff leather seats. Connecting the anchors on these vehicles can be time consuming.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Tesla Model 3 5 52.4 54 35.2
Tesla Model S 5 54.7 55 35.4
Tesla Model X 5 59 56.8 38.4

Toyota Car Seats

Toyota cars and trucks are practical but not overwhelming with features for parents and families. The lower latch on certain vehicles can be difficult to locate. Some vehicles will require the driver to move their seats forward to fit a rear facing car seat.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
Toyota 4Runner 5 55.7 57.8 32.9
Toyota 86/Scion FR-S 4 45.3 51.7 29.9
Toyota Avalon 5 54.8 57.1 40.3
Toyota C-HR 5 48 52.5 31.7
Toyota Camry 5 54.7 55.7 38
Toyota Corolla 5 43.9 54.8 41.4
Toyota Highlander 8 57.1 59 38.4
Toyota Land Cruiser 8 58.6 61.1 34.4
Toyota Mirai 4 52.4 53.5 30.1
Toyota Prius 5 51.9 53 33.4
Toyota RAV4 5 48.9 55.4 37.2
Toyota Sequoia 8 59.9 65.6 40.9
Toyota Sienna 8 66.1 64.6 37.6
Toyota Tacoma 5 56.3 58.9 32.6
Toyota Tundra 6 60.4 65.5 42.3
Toyota Yaris 5 49.5 50 34.4

Volkswagen Car Seats

You do not have to drive your children in a VW bus to find good options from this brand. The cars and SUVs mostly offer easy to find and use anchors. Some installations require removal of the head restraint. Big families will enjoy the large cabins on some models.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shldr Room Rear Leg Room
VW Atlas 7 58 60.8 37.6
VW Beetle 4 NR 49 31.4
VW CC 5 NR 54.7 37.3
VW Golf 5 NR 53.9 35.6
VW Jetta 5 NR 54 37.4
VW Passat 5 NR 57 39.1
VW Tiguan 7 NR 55.9 36.5
VW Touareg 5 NR 56.7 36.7

Volvo Car Seats

Volvo invented several meaningful automotive safety features and they take a serious approach to car seats. The latch are easy to identify and use. Head rests and seats are firm allowing for tight car seat installation.

Vehicle Total Seats Rear Hip Room Rear Shoulder Room Rear Leg Room
Volvo S60 5 53.4 54.5 35.2
Volvo S90 5 54.9 55.4 40.4
Volvo XC60 5 55.4 56.3 38
Volvo XC90 7 56.5 56.5 37

Have you found a great solution for three car seats in the back? Please let us know in the comments below.

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