Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?

2013-nissan-armada-3-car-seats
UPDATE 10/15/2013:
Parents are often searching for the automotive holy grail: a car that's not a minivan and can fit three child-safety seats across the backseat. It's a short list.

In the more than three years that Cars.com editors have been installing car seats into test vehicles, we've come across several vehicles that can hold three car seats across a backseat.

The newest vehicle to make our list is the 2014 Honda Odyssey. The minivan has loads of room and plenty of accessible Latch anchors.

As we come across more cars that fit three child-safety seats, we'll add to this list. For now, here are the cars from our Car Seat Checks that can fit three car seats in the second row:

Minivans

If you have three or more kids in car seats, consider a minivan. They excel at hauling families and all their gear and can be quite luxurious as we found out in the Ultimate Minivan Shootout.

2014 Honda Odyssey

2013 Dodge Grand Caravan

2013 Toyota Sienna

2012 Mazda5

2011 Chrysler Town & Country and 2011 Dodge Grand Caravan

2011 Honda Odyssey

2011 Nissan Quest

2011 Toyota Sienna

2011 Volkswagen Routan

Sedans

2014 Ford Taurus

2013 Chevrolet Impala

2013 Chrysler 300

2011 Chrysler 300 and 300C

SUVs

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2013 Land Rover Range Rover

2013 Lexus GX 460

2013 Nissan Armada

2013 Toyota Land Cruiser

2012 GMC Yukon XL

2012 Honda Pilot

2012 Land Rover LR4

2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class

2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2011 Land Rover LR4

2011 Nissan Murano

Trucks

2013 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew Cab

About Cars.com's Car Seat Checks

For Car Seat Checks, the front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats — a high-back booster seat, convertible car seat and rear-facing infant-safety seat — are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Editors Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer Newman are certified child safety seat installation technicians. To learn more about how we conduct our Car Seat Checks, go here.

Related
More Car Seat Checks on Cars.com
More Family News on Cars.com
More Safety News on Cars.com

Comments 

e

Well well Well this is getting real tight where did the Merc
spring from, but again its German engineering to cut the story short. How reliable is it .....nah nah ..I meant to say how safe is the baby or 3 babies for that matter. This is the one to beat guys!

All said and done I'm sure the Range Rover can do better than the Merc on any given day.

Card13

I notice that the Chrysler 300 is on the list, but the Charger isn't. Was the Charger not tested, or is there a significant enough width difference that it doesn't work?

Julie

I have a 2012 Durango and have three across my center row, two children rear facing and one forward facing who is booster training. There are A LOT of vehicles that you can fit three across and still have room for a child to buckle themselves into a booster. I love the idea of this site to give parents an idea of car seat fit in all the new cars, but your findings are very limited when you are continually using the same seats over and over. There are soo many narrower seats available on the market that will allow much more room for children and parents.

Jennifer

Card13,
In our tests, the Charger wasn't wide enough to fit three car seats across the second row.

Jennifer

Julie,
We use the same child-safety seats in each car we test to allow parents to compare how they fit in the different cars. Time constraints keep us from testing more than one set of car seats in each car. It takes about 45 minutes to install car seats in a two-row vehicle and longer for three rows.

We also remind parents that not all car seats fit in all cars. Our goal here is to give parents an idea of how a car's Latch system works and how well a set of car seats fit in a car.

Mike

We've been able to do the three pictured in a Subaru Forester. Thought it would be impossible, but we did it.

Ashley

For those of you who have read this article, what are the narrower car seats that you have used and liked? Also what other vehicles that are not brand new have you gotten this to work with?

Jennifer

We have a range rover with three carseats that fit comfortably in the back seat (two radians and a peg perego sip 30/30) we also have a GL 550 where the same three carseats fit across as well! (Expecting a 4th child and actually the GL has the latches in the third row for two more carseats).

JR

Does anyone know if the JX can fit three across the middle row?

Melissa

The Sunshine Radian car seats are by far the best for fitting 3 across!!! I think they have changed the company name...but the seats are as safe as Britax but not so huge! I have a Britax and a Radian 80. P.S. My dd and I were in a high impact car accident on Christmas day. She was in a 5 pt harness Britax at age 6. She did not even cry and was not hurt one bit. Me on the other hand...started hurting immediately and was sore for a week. I want to sit in a car seat. :)

Andy

The rear hip room is what you have to check. The Chevrolet Impala has 57" which is more than almost any other car. 19city and 29hwy is not bad and price is right.

J

Hi Jennifer, I have three Safety 1st Complete Air Convertible car seats in the rear of an F150 SuperCrew Cab. The rear seat has the latch system for the two end caps and in the middle I install with the should strap seat belt. I guess I'm curious if this permissable to safety standards by NHTSA? I know not all cars have latch systems to begin with that is why I didn't hesitate installing the middle with the should strap belt. Thoughts?

Carissa

I noticed the Nissan Rogue is not on the list but it is almost the same as the Murano as far as dimension. The Murano is basically the luxery version? So would the 3 seats fit in the Rogue as well? It would be a great money saver if they did.

The Sunshine Radian car seats are by far the best for fitting 3 across!!! I think they have changed the company name...but the seats are as safe as Britax but not so huge! I have a Britax and a Radian 80. P.S. My dd and I were in a high impact car accident on Christmas day. She was in a 5 pt harness Britax at age 6. She did not even cry and was not hurt one bit. Me on the other hand.

Mag

We have three Sunshine Kids radian car seats comfortably in the back of our two Subarus: one is a 2008 Subaru Tribeca, and the second is a 2011 Subaru IMPREZZA! Radian car seats are the way to go, and I think three of them might fit almost ANY car!

GP

Have you have any experience with the following three vehicles in regards to fitting 3 car seats in the second row?

Audi A8
Mercedes S550
BMW 750

Emma

What about the Chevy equinox?

JR

How about the Toyota Sequioa?

Michael

Carissa, the murano and rogue are built on 2 different platforms. The Murano is larger, not a luxury version.

Jennifer

Hi J,
When you have three child-safety seats and two sets of lower Latch anchors in the outboard seats, the car seat that's in the middle position should be installed with the seat belt. Installing a car seat with a seat belt is just as safe as using the Latch system, provided the seats are installed correctly.

Jennifer

Hi Carissa,
In our tests, three car seats didn't fit in the Nissan Rogue's backseat. Its sibling, the Murano, has 3.2 inches of additional rear hiproom compared to the Rogue.

Jennifer

Hi GP,
We haven't had any of those cars in the office this year. However, one of our family reviewers was able to fit three car seats into the 2012 A8 when she test drove it. Read her review here: http://www.cars.com/audi/a8/2012/expert-reviews/?revid=58369

Jennifer

Hi Emma,
We recently tested the 2012 Chevy Equinox. Though the second row is roomy, we were only able to fit two car seats across the backseat. Read more here: http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2012/06/2012-chevrolet-equinox-car-seat-check.html

Jennifer

Hi JR,
We haven't had an opportunity to test the Toyota Sequoia yet.

Jennifer

Hi JR,
We recently tested the 2013 Infiniti JX. In our test, we found that it could hold two car seats in its second row and two more car seats in its third row. Read more here: http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2012/06/2013-infiniti-jx35-car-seat-check.html

Alexis

Anyone have a Mazda cx-7 that they have fit 3 across in?? If so, what seats were they?? I'll have one in a booster, one in a level 3 seat with the harness, and an infant.

Thanks!!

Owenator

This is not as useful as it might seem to most people, its a shame too. For new parents this might cause them to buy a much larger or expensive vehicle than is needed. I have been fitting 3 seats wide in my 2009 Civic sedan with 2 rear facing and 1 forward facing seat. I understand a lot of seats are different but really, you say 45 minutes to fit 3 seats across a 2nd row? obviously you are not doing it often enough like a real-world parent in this sceanrio would be! I can get it done in 5 minutes. Most of your reviews here are good and relatively helpful but this is one area where you need to have so many disclaimers that perhaps the article isnt worth its effort. Cheers

KristyG

Owenator- What kid of car seats do you have? I have been searching for a site that lists car seats by width and can't find one yet... We have a Civic sedan and can't get our 3 seats across, so our 7 yo goes in a booster in the front seat.. Thanks!

Amy

Will the 3 seats fit in a Chevy Traverse?

Dianne

Our 5 yo's booster seat is a 5-pt. harness so she does not need to fit her hand between the infant seat--I think this will add many more car choices to our list...

Anonymous User

This is just my question, but why are the seats adjusted to 6 foot and 5'8"? Even though my parents are really tall, 5'5" and 6" or something sounds like a more average conversion, just saying. I'm not saying it's bad, but I'm curious. Thanks.

Anne Marie

3 cars seats - have you tested for 3 infant seats as in if you have TRIPLETS? Having a tough time finding a vehicle that has 3 LATCHES which is required by NTSB. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks!

JB

Anne Marie, we were in the same boat, and went with a 2012 Honda Pilot which has 3 sets of latches across in the 2nd row. If my memory is correct, the Mercedes GL and Audi Q7 both had 2 sets of latches in 2nd row and another set in 3rd row so were also options. Those three SUV's were all we found when looking last year. Best wishes for you!

Nora

I am in the market for a new car and I want to select one that can be used for a long time. Since children must be rear-facing for two years and I plan to have two children in a short timeframe, I have been researching which cars can have two rear-facing childseats. My partner is 6'1 and I would like to know which non-minivan vehicles accomodate a rear-facing seat installed behind a tall driver.

Katrina

Anne Marie, LATCH is not necessary, in fact to fit 3 across, seatbelt installs will give you more room. With triplets however, I would go with a minivan so you have cargo room for the 5 tons of equipment you will have to lug around.

Courtney

I have to tell you this section of your site is genius. As a mom of three trying to rent a car for the holidays this is so helpful. Really, this is great.

Tracey

Hi just wondering if 3 seats fit across the back of a Mitsubishi pajero.

These car seats are awesome and i would really love to fit them in my Toyota cars.

Sharon

I have a 2012 Cadillac SRX (crossover). I have a 10mo old baby and now expecting twins. Does anyone have experience fitting 3 seats in the Cadillac SRX? And if so, what seats? Thanks, Sharon.

kim

We have a four year old in the Britax Frontier and twin girls who are still in their Chicco Key Fit 30 seats (they are 11 months). We did LOTS of carseat tests before we bought our last car. We ended up getting the 2012 Honda Odyssey Touring. We can fit all three seats across in the second row (with Latch)---but decided to move the 4 year old to the third row for convenience and because his crying sisters were stressing him out. What I love about the Odyssey is that since the seats are manual, I am able to push the second row passenger seat all the way forward and sit inside while I buckle him into his five point harness (with Latch). I don't feel sexy or cute in the Odyssey....but the automatic doors and roominess and safety features have TOTALLY won me over and the gas mileage is BRILLIANT! I have an AMAZING Nav and stereo and DVD too.

Mickael

What is the width of the seats you are using ?
Because we have seen seats width between 16 and 20+ inches.
And those few inches can make a huge difference in how many seats you can fit.

Paul

We've had 3 wide in our CRV for more than a year with no issues whatsoever.

Megan

Does the 2013 Pilot also fit 3 comfortably?

Anne

This info is AWESOME....just what I've been looking for! I want to fit 3 boosters or carseats across the backseat of new car I buy. I hope for a small SUV with better gas mileage than the midsizers. Based on your info, perhaps a Ford Escape will work for us. You are providing a VERY valuable service for families! We don't have the time or energy to go to 6 dealerships with our kids' seats to figure out if a car will work for us or not. Thank you SO much!

Jacqueline

Has anyone ha experience fitting three across the back seat of a 2011 Jetta Sportwagon?! :) Heard it can be done if one of the seats is a Radian.

JWills

This is so silly. Most vehicles can fit three across, it's just a matter of getting the right seats. Check out car-seat.org.

Nick

Thanks for the article. We are about to have our third child so I'm now considering which car/minivan can comfortably hold 3 car seats (one booster, one toddler, and one infant seat). I'm curious--in the Minivan shootout you say the Sienna can hold 4 car seats . . . but is it possible to do 3 across in the second row (or is the Honda Odyssey the only minivan that can do this)?

Jason

This is a great website but I am still hopeful other vehicles can accomplish 3 seats in the middle/2nd row. I am interested in hearing if people have accomplished 3 seats (booster, front-facing and infant) fit across the 2nd row in a mid-size SUV like a Toyota Highlander, Infiniti JX or Mazda CX-9. I hear the current Honda Pilot can but it suffers in performacne and aesthetics. People seem to rave about the Diono Radian car seats and also the Chicco KeyFit30 for infants; do these combinations work? Thank you in advance...

carrie

Will the 2013 Chyrsler 300 hold three car seats?

Pedro

Has anyone has experience fitting three across the back seat of a 2010 Range Rover Sport. Heard it can be done if one of the seats is a Radian. Cheers

Ben

Great list, thanks, my sister has three kids and fitting them all in a car is a nightmare! Much appreciated :)

it is just a matter of how to fit comfortably in back seet because many of vehicles have that space to fit 3rd person to the back row... now let's see how much comfortable it is.

ELINOR

HAHAHAHAH i have 5 seats in each row im a millionare. sucks to be u people

Ed

Cars.com used to be a good site but now sucks big time. This story is old recycled news from 2011 and majority of the posters are spam.

Just another reason why I read Jalopnik every day but rarely come to Cars.com

jr

My volvo v50 fits three across. not an inch to spare, but they fit!

Lars

The European Ford S-max is perfekt for three Chile seats.

Tony

Nissan Armada??

Mazda5 - haha

this article is waste

illion

Fiat Multipla!

emill

Toyota Sequoias can fit three car seats in the second row.

Will this work for (2) 7 year olds. A 1 in a half year old and 2 babies. Under 6 months

The car I'm asking about is the 2012 Kia sorento

Nick

Buying a new car because you have three kids is silly. Just get a set of Sunshine Kids/Diono Radian R100 and you can fit three of them in the back of a Hyundai.

Kerri

For anyone who is in the search, we have a 2007 Chrysler 300 and with 3 seats it was a hard find to get right seat wise especially when safety was concerned. We finally were able to get the seats that will be the only ones needed from here on in. Diono Radian RXT, 3 across safely :) our twin boys will be 4 in 4 days and our oldest son will be 6 in September. Forward facing with these has been a dream!
[IMG]http://i84.photobucket.com/albums/k4/MagickGoddess25/null_zps9b91b94e.jpg[/IMG]

BB

Has anyone tested the Lexus RX330?

When you are doing this test, are you installing the seats using the UAS or the seat belts? Or both?

And what child seats are you using for the test?

Julie

Has anyone had experience fitting 3 across a 2013 Ford Explorer? Looking to buy one...need to fit 2 rear facing infant seat (for twin babies) and 1 forward facing for 2 year old. Thanks!!

j

We have three across our 2006 jeep liberty, all Graco: one forward facing convertible, one backed booster, one backless booster. It's tight, but we can buckle the belts and get them all in there. we had the Chicco infant seat in the center, with the Graco convertible forward facing and the booster in there no issue when the baby was an infant.

Devka

Does anyone know if you can fit 3 car seats in an BMW X5 or X6? thanks for your help!
Devka

Ken

Does anyone know if three Britax forward facing car seats will fit across the second row in a 2013 or 2014 Honda Pilot, Jeep Grand Cherokee or a Ford Explorer?

Ra

So you've listed a dozen or so cars that you can fit your 3 test seats in. All you've accomplished here is to suggest to people that they need to buy one of these dozen vehicles and that nothing else will work.

The information here is essentially useless.

It basically suggests that instead of spending an extra hundred or two on proper seats that fit a certain car, you could spend literally thousands more for one of our dozen suggestions that fit our random seats.

Not helpful .. at all.

Mars

Just fit 3 seats across a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. No problemo! 2 Sunshine Kids/Diono Radians with a Graco infant seat in the middle. The Radian car seats are the way to go!! Love them!

Healthybaby02

We like anyone wants to have the most space possible in the car and the most slim/narrow car seats that we can find. However SAFETY comes first for us. The US government's only requirement CURRENTLY, is that car seat manufacturers test each car seat at a speed of 25 MPH. The only car seat manufacturer that tests to 55 MPH is Britax. We only have Britax car seats because we are on the expressway often and what car is only driving/speeding at 25 MPH. So for us, we see 1 car seat in here that is a Britax and the cars listed above my not actually fit the "wider" car seats that are protecting our precious cargo. Anyhow, I am going to start calling them all and taking my tape measure with me as I already know the dimensions that we need and will make the best decision. I am so glad this site exists to help us narrow it down. I do NOT want a minivan at all. In fact, I'm a wagon girl and have always owned a wagon. I even learned how to drive on the big boats from the 70's and it was awesome! Too bad they don't make gas-guzzling cars like that anymore!

Always tough when you have three or more kids that are all young enough that they need child safety seats. I think at some point you pretty much have to go either Mini Van or an SUV with a third row of seats. It is important even if you can put three seats in one row that you make sure they are all properly installed and fastened!

Bob

What about a 1984 Chevette?

Carin

I notice a bunch of people commenting on how useless this information is because there are other car seats that one can purchase. The purpose of this blog was to inform parents of larger vehicles that could accommodate the larger car seats in the back seat. Has it ever occurred to someone that perhaps there is someone out there renting a vehicle because their vehicle was in the shop and needed to see what their options were.....Buying new car seats for a couple weeks is not practical and sometimes upgrading to a large SUV is not in one's budget.


The Acura MDX has anchor points for 4 baby car seats in the 2nd and 3rd row.
In the second row, if a 3rd seat wants to be installed it has to be strapped in with the over the shoulder seat belt.

Check out more info on my blog about the MDX and other 2014 vehicles.


http://ontheroadautos.blogspot.com/?m=1

Deena

Does anyone know if three car seats will fit across the second row bench of a 2014 Toyota Sienna?
The middle seat is quite small and narrow in the second row and does not have latches, so we are wondering if it is safe and possible to have a car seat in this position.
I would like all three of my children in the same row. Any help would be much appreciated!!

Hilary

I'm looking for older model vehicle, before you started the test, so wondering what the rear hip room we should look for to know 3 car seats could potentially fit. Thanks for doing all this research going forward it will be very useful.

Megan R.

Does the GMC Terrain fit 3 car seats? Thank you

Megan R.

Does the GMC TERRAIN fit 3 car seats?

I've been unable to do the three pictured in my Subaru Forester 2012. Till now it is impossible for me to add these three, anyone here who could help me out?

Rachael

Mitsubishi Outlander 2007 XLS can fit 3 seats across. We did it with a Radian, Harmony lite rider booster, and Graco Size4Me convertible

Holly

I don't know if anyone else mentioned this already but I'm baffled. We have a 2008 Prius with 3 car seats in the back. Instead of going out and buying a new car, we felt it was way better to buy new car seats that fit. The Diono brand is designed to fit most cars 3 across. They are 17" wide.

Mab32176

This is a helpful start for us! We're tall people who have one small baby and are expecting twins.
Any idea on if the ford expedition fits 3 across? And the GMC Acadia?
Thanks!

Jimmy

does the 2014 Honda Pilot fit 3 car seats across? What about the 2014 Ford Flex?

Laura

Go on Amazon and order seat belt extenders. I can fit a booster, convertible toddler seat (as shown in the picture above) and an infant seat in the back of almost any mid-size sedan. Just use a seat belt extender to make the booster easy to buckle. Easy peasy. Of course, pick the narrower of available car seats. :)

Todd

These are too new. I can't afford these.

Nina

So will the Mercedes GL450 not fit three car seats? It looks bigger than the M-Class.

Mawmaw

I have a 2006 Toyota Camry and have been able to fit 3 carseats in back seat. Outer 2 seats are Chicco Nextfit forward facing (however the shoulder pads are very bulky and kids dont like them) but the seats seem very safe. The middle carseat is rear facing Chicco Keyfit. The seats are very snug. Now Im trying to figure out what to do when the baby outgrows the Keyfit either at 30lb wt limit or when he gets too long.

annonymous

Mawmaw, try the Diono brand. The Radian carseat has the smallest base on the market (17 in). You should be able to fit 3 across if you put the little one in one of these. As a bonus, the weight limits will allow the little one to ride Rear facing until at least 2 (maybe more depending on size). I have three of these forward facing in my 2008 Prius. All are installed with seatbelts because my kids weigh too much for the latch system. Good luck!

Cars.com is one of my favorite sites that i use to browse cars.
Just another reason why I am posting here is that please start moderating your comments, here are lots of spammers

Leslie

This article is very misleading. Most vehicles can fit 3 across if you find the right combination. All you're doing is causing panic.

Leslie

And as a reply to another poster, seat belt extenders should never be used.

Jennifer Geiger, Assistant Managing Editor, News

@Leslie,
Yes, there are PLENTY of different car seat configurations, depending on the age and size of the different children in the second row. As stated in the article, we run our tests using the following parameters: The three child seats — a high-back booster seat, convertible car seat and rear-facing infant-safety seat — are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit; a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle.

AJ

I had a 2011 Nissan Rogue and it would NOT for 3 car seats. However, we just traded it in for a 2014 Rogue and it has around 3-4 more inches of room across the back seat, I'm pretty sure it WILL fit 3 carseats. Has the new Nissan Rogue been considered for this last since it came out?

Heather

We have a Chicco Keyfit 30 and Diono R120 in our backseat, there is definitly enough room for another Diono.

We own a 2013 Hyundai Sonata.

Heather

Sorry, I should have also mentioned that Diono manufactures boosters as well as carseats that transition to high-back booster seats.

I also know that we can replace our Chicco with another booster or carseat from Diono so that 3 seats will fit across the back of our Sonata regardless of how many boosters or carseats are needed. It definitely works. I love our Diono and highly recommend the company to anyone - not just those looking for a narrow base.

three across

I have three kids rear facing in the backseat of a two door 2004 Pontiac Sunfire. Seats were expensive, but $1500 is cheaper than a new car.

Diono is a hard seat to install and doesn't fit the slope of the seat. Combi Coccoro fit nicely, but I don't have three good rear facing tether points. Clek Foonf take up a ton of the rear view mirror visibility, but safe, solid seats that fit with some wrestling. RF, FF, RF fits better but none are near ready to turn forward. Clek wins with the high weight limit and anti rebound bar.

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