2014 Land Rover LR2: Car Seat Check


Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Land Rover LR2, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

Land Rover's five-passenger SUV gets a minor exterior face-lift and a major powertrain one for 2013. The previous model's six-cylinder is replaced by a new 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder this year. Although Land Rover calls the LR2 a compact SUV, it was able to comfortably accommodate two child-safety seats in the second row without hogging too much of the first row's legroom.

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By Jennifer Geiger | April 8, 2014 | Comments (0)

Which 2014, 2015 Three-Row SUVs Offer Captain's Chairs?


For many families, captain's chairs simply make life easier when it comes to hauling a gaggle of kids. Yes, you lose a seating position, but you gain some serenity, given at least two kids won't be sitting right next to each other, complaining about who's touching whom. They also give you easy access to the third row without having to flip and tumble the second-row seats forward, which can't be done when a child-safety seat is installed.

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There are a few cars (including the Infiniti QX60 and Nissan Pathfinder) that offer second-row benches that can slide forward with forward-facing car seats installed. While this is better than nothing, it doesn't help parents with kids in rear-facing car seats. Remember, a child should sit in a rear-facing seat until age 2.

We at Cars.com appreciate captain's chairs for those reasons and more. Here's a list of 2014 (and a few 2015) models that offer this seating feature. Click here for a list of 2013 crossovers with available captain's chairs.

By Jennifer Newman | April 4, 2014 | Comments (5)

13 Infant Car Seats Earn Best Rating in Consumer Reports Crash Tests


Of 34 infant safety seats crash-tested by an independent lab hired by Consumer Reports, only 13 of those rear-facing car seats earned the highest score of best. Sixteen infant seats earned the midlevel better rating and five received the lowest rating of basic. The infant seats tested had a fixed base and a removable baby carrier.

19 New Booster Seats Earn IIHS' Best Bets Title

While some parents may believe that paying extra for an expensive car seat will keep their child safer in a crash, Consumer Reports' crash-test results show that added cost doesn't equal increased safety. The infant seats tested range from $55 to $440. The $55 seat — the Evenflo Discovery 5 — earned the better rating, but the Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat G2 (photo above), which rings up at $440, received the basic score.

By Jennifer Newman | April 3, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Nissan Armada: Car Seat Check


Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Nissan Armada, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

With its towering ride height and loads of cargo and passenger room, Nissan's largest SUV is king of the road and easily handled all of our child-safety seats. The eight-passenger Armada joins the list of vehicles that can comfortably accommodate three car seats in the second row. Its roomy third row held two with room to spare for an additional small passenger.

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How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two, with room leftover

By Jennifer Geiger | April 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Is the BMW 3 Series Wagon the Ultimate Car for Dads?


There's a common refrain among automotive writers as well as enthusiasts I run into who also — like me — happen to be fathers. They love station wagons. I'm not talking dads who remember Woodstock, but those who can recall when Lollapalooza toured the country and don't mind the anti-SUV body style.

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For that group I present the 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. I spent an entire day off with the kids in this white beauty, which not only had the wagon part down, but also all-wheel drive and a turbocharged diesel engine with 280 pounds-feet of torque.

Could it live up to my high expectations plus deliver the family-friendly goods?

By David Thomas | April 2, 2014 | Comments (3)

Real-Life Test: 3 Car Seats in the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee


So, you have three kids in child-safety seats, and you're not quite ready for a minivan? Welcome to the club. As a former member of the "there's no way in hell I'm driving a minivan" club, I feel your pain. I remember while pregnant with my second child, glaring at the used-car salesman when he brought me over to a minivan just to "check it out," and I'm pretty sure the only reason I drove off in a Toyota Prius that day was to spite him.

Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats

Now that I have three children in car seats, I've joined the "Minivan Lover" club, but I know some parents haven't. Many are fighting the good fight, steadfast in their anti-minivan stance. For the strong-willed ones, I'm determined to find you some minivan alternatives, like the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

By BreAnn Ahara | April 2, 2014 | Comments (4)

Meet Our Dads


Along with a couple of busy moms, a number of hands-on dads also work as editors on the Cars.com Editorial team. Whether driving to school, lugging sports equipment and tutus, or commuting to work, the Cars.com dads spend many hours each week driving and (later) writing about cars. Together, our dads have a combined 70 years of parenting experience — that's a lot of road trips and carpool drop-offs!

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Continue below to meet three of our dads.

By Jennifer Geiger | April 2, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Toyota Highlander's Center Bin Swallows 60 Juice Boxes


A Toyota spokesperson told me that the redesigned 2014 Highlander could fit 60 juice boxes in its center console bin. Naturally, I was incredulous. That sounded outlandishly cavernous, even for a family hauler.

2014 Toyota Highlander: Car Seat Check

The only thing to be done was to get ahold of a new Highlander and test this claim out myself. When I first gazed upon the Highlander's new console bin, I was more incredulous than ever. It looked to be a normal size, with sliding cover doors being its only distinguishing characteristic. "There's no way this thing can fit 60 juice boxes," I thought.

With 60 juice boxes in our possession, my oldest child and I embarked upon our mission. Still disbelievers, we loaded 20, then 20 more and finally 20 more into the bin. It was amazing! All 60 boxes fit perfectly without any arduous maneuvering on our part! The Toyota PR folks weren't bluffing!

By Courtney Messenbaugh | March 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

Car-Buying Tips for Families: The Purchase


After, and only after, you've completed steps one, two and three should you even begin to think about the final step of actually buying your new car. Take your time to work through this process thoughtfully and you'll have a shiny new (or new-to-you) car in your driveway (for a few minutes anyhow, until your kids get ahold of it). Here are the final steps to consider when purchasing your car:

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Get referrals: Talk to friends and family members who have recently purchased cars to get referrals for dealers they like.

By Kristin Varela | March 27, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Nissan Murano: Car Seat Check


Editor's note: This Car Seat Check is repurposed from our test of the 2013 Nissan Murano, but our results apply to the 2014 model.

Nissan's redesigned family-friendly seven-passenger Pathfinder may have stolen some of the spotlight from its smaller sibling, the Murano, but the midsize crossover still offers a good amount of room and comfort for five passengers. Easy to access Latch anchors made installing most child-safety seats a breeze, but annoying buckle straps complicate booster usage.

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How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

By Jennifer Geiger | March 27, 2014 | Comments (0)

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