2015 Toyota Camry: Car Seat Check

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Redesigned for 2015, the Toyota Camry has a new look that will likely cause shoppers to love it or hate it, thanks mostly to its wide-mouth grille. This midsize sedan seats five, but in our tests it only fits two child-safety seats across the backseat.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | October 24, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Subaru Outback: Car Seat Check

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In its 2015 redesign, beloved family hauler the Subaru Outback continues to smartly straddle the line between a practical wagon and a rugged SUV, while getting subtle updates to its exterior styling, interior upgrades and improved fuel economy. Families will appreciate the new Outback's roomier cabin, cushier feel and an improved center storage bin that can hold larger items like an iPad. We last car-seat checked the Outback in 2012; that model proved as delightfully utilitarian as the vehicle's reputation. Can the 2015 live up to that easy-to-use, easier-to-love rep?

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Lexus NX: Car Seat Check

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The Lexus NX 300h is the gas-electric hybrid version of the all-new compact luxury crossover, which also comes in gas-powered form as the NX 200t. Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays tested the NX 300h and counted "more hits than misses," particularly with regard to driving fun and occupant comfort. For families, he also noted "anyone with serious cargo needs should look elsewhere." In our Car Seat Check, the NX 300h had a respectable showing, earning high marks for ease of installation and well-positioned Latch anchors.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi: Car Seat Check

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The Ford C-Max Energi hatchback is a fun-to-drive hybrid that Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman said "delivers comfort, style and efficiency," but warned that it "compromises cargo capacity." That's not all that the 2014 C-Max Energi has had to compromise.

Parents who purchased the C-Max Energi hoping for convenient car-seat installation might be disappointed with it. Although the 2014 version earns a couple of A's for the easy install of our booster and infant seats, the rest of its report card looks like the answer sheet of a high school student guessing on every question of a multiple-choice test: C, C, C ... see what we mean below.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Audi Q3: Car Seat Check

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The all-new Audi Q3 is a subcompact crossover, a new class of cars that's growing quickly with competitors such as the BMW X1, Buick Encore, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and the Jeep Renegade. Although it's small on the outside, the Q3 made good use of its interior. With seating for five, this tiny SUV managed to easily handle all of our child-safety seats with ease.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | October 9, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Car Seat Check

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The 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class underwent a growth spurt during its recent redesign. The sedan grew more than 3 inches in length. Backseat occupants might notice the increase because it translates to nearly 2 additional inches of rear legroom; we certainly noticed this during our Car Seat Check when installing our rear-facing child-safety seats. Our results only apply to the C300 sedan; the C-Class coupe has yet to be redesigned.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | October 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited: Car Seat Check

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With its rear doors and an additional 1.6 inches of rear legroom, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited seems like it's the family-friendly version of the smaller Jeep Wrangler. However, the Wrangler Unlimited's looks are deceiving. The Unlimited's bottom backseat cushion was nearly too short to properly fit our rear-facing infant seat's base; at least 80 percent of any car-seat base should be on the seat cushion.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two, but three car seats nearly fit.

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By Jennifer Newman | October 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Buick LaCrosse: Car Seat Check

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The Buick LaCrosse full-size sedan returns for the 2015 model year with some well-executed tweaks worthy of what Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley referred to as the brand's "product renaissance." A quiet cabin, upscale interior, simple dashboard layout and commensurately simple-to-use multimedia system are noteworthy improvements. But the LaCrosse didn't need much improvement in terms of child-safety-seat installation. We gave the 2014 LaCrosse high marks in nearly all areas, with the only drawbacks being floppy seat-belt buckles and fixed head restraints. Can the 2015 model measure up to that standard? Read the Car Seat Check below and find out.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | September 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Dodge Challenger: Car Seat Check

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When it comes to child-safety seats, the 2015 Dodge Challenger is a car that allows parents to have their cake and eat it, too. Not only does this muscle car offer a 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine for starters but also its roomy backseat can fit most styles of car seats. We were also able to fit three across the backseat.

Not everything is perfect with the Challenger and car seats, however. In our tests, we found that a rear-facing infant seat, which takes up a lot of backseat space, doesn't work well with the front passenger seat. The front seat is designed to fold and slide forward for better backseat access, and then the seat has to be pushed all the way back to lock the seatback into place. From there, you can slide the seat forward to create more legroom for backseat passengers. However, the infant seat is so long that it prevents the front passenger seat from sliding back and locking into place.

We tried to work around this setup, but ultimately decided that the Challenger and infant seats don't mix. Oddly, we didn't run into this problem when we tested the 2012 Challenger. If you have an infant, use a rear-facing convertible seat in the Challenger instead, which thankfully doesn't take up as much legroom as the infant seat. In our photo, we used the infant seat to illustrate that three average-sized car seats fit across the backseat.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three, but if parents are using a rear-facing infant seat, it's likely too long to fit in the Challenger's backseat.

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By Jennifer Newman | September 25, 2014 | Comments (2)

2015 Cadillac ATS: Car Seat Check

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When last we tested the Cadillac ATS two years ago, we took note of how its large backseat would help make the compact luxury sedan attractive to family shoppers. But we also noted that they'd have to be willing to face some frustrating car-seat installation. The ATS returns for 2015 in a somewhat better position to carry precious cargo — though, unfortunately, some of that old baggage has returned with it.

In the "new-and-improved" column is the addition of a coupe body style to the model's lineup, as well as revised front-end styling punctuated by the redesigned Cadillac crest. That's in addition to a healthy torque boost of 35 pounds-feet to its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for a total of 295 pounds-feet at nearly double the rpm. For our purposes, removable head restraints and reduced interference by seat bolsters were also pluses. In the other column, however, the return of those Latch anchors buried in a hard-to-reach spot in the leather seats was an unwelcome one.

Check out Car Seat Check below for our full assessment.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | September 23, 2014 | Comments (2)

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