2015 Volkswagen Passat: Car Seat Check

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When it comes to Car Seat Checks, some cars are memorable because of how easy it is to install child-safety seats in them. The Volkswagen Passat is one of those cars. With its roomy backseat and easy-to-access lower Latch anchors, this midsize sedan made quick work of the car-seat installation process.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | November 6, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Mazda6: Car Seat Check

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The Mazda6's name comes up quite a bit here at Cars.com. In the past year alone, the five-seat sedan has not only been a contender for our Best of 2014 award, but among our Top 10 Used Cars for $10,000, Top 10 Fun-to-Drive Fuel Sippers and Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars.

The Mazda6 hasn't changed significantly since its redesign for the 2014 model year, when Cars.com reviewer Mike Hanley lauded its distinctive style, sporty driving experience and top-of-class fuel economy. We also gave that version some respectable marks for its accommodation of our child-safety seats — marks matched, and even a bit improved upon, by the 2015 version.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | November 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Ford Fusion: Car Seat Check

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There's a lot to like about the Ford Fusion, from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine to its distinctive looks. However, after installing child-safety seats in the 2015 Fusion equipped with optional inflatable rear seat belts, I can't say that I like the Fusion's lower Latch anchors.

The lower Latch anchors sit nearly 3 inches into the seat cushions. Other automakers place their anchors either out in the open or about an inch into the cushions. Occasionally, I'll encounter anchors that are 2 inches into the cushions; this deep placement makes it difficult to connect to the anchors. Trying to reach the Fusion's anchors was, well, trying, but what made them even more difficult was the lack of space around them, so maneuvering was challenging. While I had some trouble connecting to the 2013 Fusion's Latch anchors because of seat belt buckle interference when I last tested this car, it was nowhere near this difficult. The 2013 Fusion had a traditional rear seat belt, while the 2015 test car had the optional inflatable seat belts. Perhaps that explains the difference.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Honda Accord: Car Seat Check

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Beyond some safety and convenience features being made more widely available in the lineup, the affordable and reliably comfortable Honda Accord has scarcely changed for the 2015 model year. By and large, that's a good thing, at least where it concerns child-safety seats. The five-seat midsize family sedan's scores in our latest Car Seat Check were identical to those of the 2014 version, which got dinged for front-passenger legroom with the infant seat, and floppy seat belt bases.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Matt Schmitz | October 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

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 (1)

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)

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