2015 Ford F-150: Car Seat Check

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The redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 is now at dealerships and is quickly becoming one of the fastest-selling vehicles on the market. This full-size pickup truck has an aluminum body and a redesigned interior that ekes out a bit more passenger space in the cabin. Our test truck, a SuperCrew cab, easily fit our three child-safety seats, joining the 2015 Ram 1500 in family-hauling capabilities.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

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By Jennifer Newman | February 26, 2015 | Comments (0)

GMC Adds Parent's Secret Weapon to 2015 Yukon

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Most of us grew up with parents joking about having eyes in the back of their heads, and many of us in turn have used this "threat" on our own kids. Several car manufacturers help make this superhero power real with conversation mirrors — a separate flip-down mirror specifically designed for a quick sneak peek on backseat shenanigans. The GMC Yukon is the latest vehicle to add one to its standard features list, thanks to the brand's heavily mom-centric design team.

Related: Mom Must-Have: Conversation Mirror

On this superpowered GMC mom team is Kay Jarboe, product manager for the 2015 Yukon and Yukon XL. "As a mom, when it came time to design the next-generation Yukon and Yukon XL, I wanted to give our customers a better way of keeping tabs on their kids without forcing them to turn around and take their eyes off the road," she said in a statement.

By Kristin Varela | February 25, 2015 | Comments (10)

2015 Chrysler 300S: Car Seat Check

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Chrysler's stylish flagship got an update for 2015 that makes it stand out even more; according to the automaker, the 300's grille has been pumped up by 33 percent this year. Inside, the sedan will stand out for families because it's again one of a handful of sedans that can comfortably accommodate three child-safety seats.

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The backseat may be roomy, but parents will find it tough to install car seats in the sporty 300S model; its stiff leather seats made connecting to the Latch anchors difficult, and the model's heavily bolstered seat cushions impacted car-seat fit.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 24, 2015 | Comments (0)

Trucks' Tether Anchors Are Often Tricky to Find, Use

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Tether anchors, a critical part of a car's Latch system, often go unused by parents and caregivers. In sedans, where the tether anchors are easy to find on the rear shelf behind the head restraints, they're used only 52 percent of the time, according to one study. In pickup trucks, where the anchors are difficult to locate, that number drops significantly.

Related: Five Things Families Should Look for in Pickup Trucks

In a 2014 study of tether anchor use and misuse conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it found that parent volunteers with car-seat-installation experience had the most problems correctly using the loop-style tether anchors found in some pickup trucks. These volunteers installed the tether strap correctly only 11 percent of the time in the trucks. In other cars, volunteers used the tether anchor correctly 57 percent of the time.

While many may not consider a pickup truck a family vehicle, the full-size versions make easy work of hauling three kids in car seats. To help truck-owning parents, caregivers and prospective parents, we've combed through owner's manuals and crawled through pickup trucks to show the different styles of tether anchors and how to correctly use them.

By Jennifer Newman | February 23, 2015 | Comments (0)

Protect Yourself From Skin Cancer Even in the Car

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We all know not to head out for a day at the beach without sun protection. But what if your only sun exposure throughout the day is in your car while shuttling your family to all of their commitments? Surely you're safe, right? Surely your car's windows are loaded up with both UVA and UVB protection, right?

Related: More Safety News

Wrong! On average people spend one to two hours everyday inside their cars with only the car windows between their skin and the sun's damaging rays? Ultraviolet protection varies widely from car to car, and the type, thickness and color of car windows all impact UV filtration. Most windshields have a sun protection factor of around 50 while most side windows only have about 16 SPF, said Debra Levy, Auto Glass Safety Council president.

What can we do to protect our skin while driving? I reached out to Dr. Scott W. Fosko, professor and chairman of Saint Louis University's dermatology department to answer this very question. Here are some of his top suggestions:

By Kristin Varela | February 23, 2015 | Comments (2)

2016 Kia Sorento Earns IIHS Top Safety Pick Award

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The three-row crossover class is really heating up, with redesigns from Honda and Kia for 2016. Kia's new Sorento should be more appealing to families with its new safety rating: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety just named it a Top Safety Pick, earning the top score of good across all areas of testing, including the tough small-overlap front crash test.

Related: 2016 Kia Sorento: First Look

The last-generation Sorento failed the small-overlap front test, which mimics when the front corner of the vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole. IIHS also said that in the previous model, the side curtain airbags didn't deploy, causing severe injuries to the crash-test dummy.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2015 | Comments (2)

Will Three Car Seats Fit in a 2015 Ram 1500?

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Most people wouldn't immediately consider a pickup truck for a family vehicle, but many trucks are tapped for family duty. When I was a kid, I spent many afternoons being carted back-and-forth to ballet and tae kwon do in my dad's Ford F-150.

Related: Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?

Flash-forward 20-plus years and three of my own kids later: Will three child-safety seats fit in a 2015 Ram 1500 crew cab?

By Jennifer Geiger | February 19, 2015 | Comments (1)

Video: 2015 Chicago Auto Show's Family Cars

Family cars made a big splash at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. From the show floor, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays takes us on a tour of the newest special features in family cars. Check out the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 18, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Buick Regal: Car Seat Check

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Buick's midsize sedan, the Regal, lives up to its name with its refined looks and powerful turbo four-cylinder engine. Parents will be thrilled with all these attributes as well as its ability to handle child-safety seats. With 37.3 inches of rear legroom, the Regal made easy work of car-seat installation.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

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By Jennifer Newman | February 17, 2015 | Comments (1)

The 2016 Honda Pilot Could Be the Ultimate Family Car

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We like to think we know the family-car shopper. Besides our diligence in checking just how well child-safety seats fit in new vehicles, we also happen to be a staff with a lot of kids of various ages at home. That's one of the reasons the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot, unveiled at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, is so interesting to us.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

To be a great family car — like the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe, winner of Cars.com's Family Car of the Year — it needs to not only handle all the kids' wants and needs, but also take care of the adults. After all, it's important that Mom or Dad remain sane on even the shortest drives.

By David Thomas | February 16, 2015 | Comments (13)

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