Sedans That fit 3 Car Seats

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Sedans That Fit 3 Car Seats

2021 Honda Odyssey | Cars.com photo by Jennifer Geiger

By Jennifer Geiger and Jennifer NewmanJanuary 12, 2022Share

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. In our Car Seat Checks, we’ve found the answer — which includes some minivans, in case you change your mind. 

In the more than 10 years that Cars.com editors have been installing car seats into vehicles to test both fit and room, we’ve come across cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks that can comfortably and safely hold three car seats across the vehicle’s backseat.

As we come across more cars, trucks, vans and SUVs 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:

Luxury Sedans that fit 3 Car Seats

For Car Seat Checks, the front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-6-inch 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. We use Graco, Chicco and Britax car seats in our checks. We install the car seats using the Latch anchors, or with a seat belt if we can’t use Latch because of difficulty or unavailability.

The booster seat sits behind the driver’s seat, and the infant and convertible seats (in forward and rear mode) 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. 

To fit, a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle and all three seats need to be at proper angles for safety — no wedging them in. In some cases, our three car seats almost fit and narrower car seats would likely fit better. If there’s a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Related Video: 4 Car Seat Mistakes You Could Be MakingDriving Smart: 4 Car Seat Mistakes You Could be MakingWith car-seat installation and use, it’s often the little things that lead to misuse. Cars.com’s certified car-seat technician Jennifer Newman highlights some of these common mistakes.Sharehttps://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.500.0_en.html#goog_1912410986Play Video

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

REVIEWS AND COMPARISONS

8 Vehicles that Fit Three Car Seats (And Aren’t Big SUVs)

PUBLISHED MONDAY, JULY 12, 2021

Fit the kids—without the fuss.

Any parent knows how important car seats are for keeping your kids comfortable, happy, and secure on the road. However, those little seats sure take up a lot of room, which can make it tricky to find a five-passenger vehicle that fits three seats. Thankfully, you do have options, ranging from compact SUVs to sedans.

Of course, many options like minivans and three-row SUVs make it easy to install three car seats. But what if you don’t want a large vehicle? Maybe you live in the city and want a car that’s easy to park, or maybe you only drive with the kids occasionally, but want to fit everyone when you do. You may even want to be more eco-conscious and are looking for a vehicle that supports that lifestyle. Whatever the reason, you deserve to find a smaller vehicle that fits three car seats (or boosters) in the back.

Luckily, it’s possible to have a car that you love while ensuring there’s plenty of room for the kids. If you’re looking for a five-passenger vehicle that fits three car seats, you can choose from compact SUVs that offer plenty of cargo space; large sedans that will fit three seats without any trouble; or smaller sedans that might need specific seats to make it work.

Here’s a list of eight five-passenger vehicles that fit three seats, so you can find one that’s right for your lifestyle.

Subaru Forester

If you’re looking for a compact SUV that has plenty of space without being overwhelming, the Forester is a great choice. It can also fit three car seats across the back bench. The Forester in model years 2017–2018 is 60.9 inches wide in the back and 61.8 inches wide after a 2019 redesign. The two outer seats have LATCH connectors, while the middle rear seat has a rear anchor and a headrest, both of which are key for proper car seat installation. With 53 inches of rear hip room in both generations, the Forester can accommodate rear-facing car seats without making the front passengers feel cramped.

In addition to its car-seat-friendly build, the Forester has many standard features on model years 2017–2019, including:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Break assist and a rearview camera
  • 31.5 cu-ft of cargo space on model years 2017–2018; 33 cu-ft on model years 2019 and later
  • Bluetooth® connectivity
  • 174 hp 2.5L four-cylinder engine on model years 2017–2018; 182 hp 2.5L four-cylinder on model years 2019 and later

Dodge Charger

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly car that doesn’t skimp on style, the Dodge Charger is a great choice. The Charger is stylish and powerful—but it also comes with three sets of LATCH connectors in the back seat. That’s very rare in a sedan. Coupled with the Charger’s 56 inches of rear hip room, it makes it possible to install three car seats quickly and easily. In short, the Charger is a kid-friendly car, wrapped up in a very parent-friendly package.

Besides its iconic style, the Dodge Charger in model years 2017–2020 has many standard features, including:

  • 3.6L 292 hp V6 engine (with four additional options)
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto connectivity (from 2018)
  • Keyless entry
  • Brake assist

Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 is a large, luxurious sedan that also hides a rare treat in the back seat: three sets of LATCH connectors. As far back as model year 2015, this has been a feature on the Chrysler, making it a great choice for parents and grandparents who want to carry the whole family. The 300 is 63.8 inches wide inside and has 56.1 inches of hip room, providing plenty of space for rear-facing car seats.

Here’s what you should know about standard features for the Chrysler 300 in model years 2017–2020:

  • 3.6L V6 engine produces 292 horsepower (available 363 hp Hemi® V8)
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto connectivity
  • Heated leather seats (before 2018)

Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is a great car and with some finagling, it can also fit three seats across the back row. Since the Accord is a smaller sedan, you might need to buy specific seats to make it work, however, it is possible to fit three child seats. The Accord has two sets of LATCH anchors, on the outboard seats in the rear. The middle seat has a rear tether and headrest, both of which are essential for car seat installation.

The Accord has 55 inches of hip room on model years 2017 and later, giving space for rear-facing seats. Here’s what you can expect as standard from the 2019–2020 Honda Accord.

  • 192 hp 1.5L turbo-four on model years 2019 and later
  • Driver-assist features including lane departure warning and collision warning
  • Bluetooth and USB; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • Rearview camera
  • Push-button start

Nissan Altima

If you’re looking for a midsize sedan that fits three car seats and is easy at the gas pump, turn to the Nissan Altima. The Altima was redesigned in 2019 with a standard 182 hp 2.5L four-cylinder, which gets an EPA-estimated 32 mpg of combined fuel economy.1 At nearly 73 inches wide and with 54.5 inches of rear hip room, the Altima is also spacious enough to fit three car seats. The Altima has LATCH connectors on both outboard rear seats, but the middle seat has a headrest and anchor point for proper car seat installation.

Along with its roomy interior, here’s what else you should know about standard features for the 2017–2019 Nissan Altima:

  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android auto connectivity (from 2019)
  • Remote keyless entry
  • AWD available from 2019
  • Collision warning and emergency braking (from 2019)

Subaru Legacy

The Legacy packs lots of things that SUVs are known for—like space for three car seats and standard all-wheel drive—into a small package. It’s perfect if you’re a city-based family in a cold and snowy climate. The Legacy has two LATCH systems in the back seat, but the wide, flat bench is perfect for installing three car seats (using the seatbelt in the middle seat). The middle seat also has the necessary headrest and anchor point for forward-facing seats.

The Subaru Legacy was redesigned in 2020; here are the standard features you can expect from 2017–2021 models:

  • 174 hp 2.5L four-cylinder engine (2017–2019)
  • 182 hp 2.5L four-cylinder on model years 2020 and later
  • All-wheel drive
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity (2020 and later)
  • Rearview camera
  • Pre-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and adaptive cruise control (2020 and later)

Toyota Avalon

The Toyota Avalon is another sedan that can fit three car seats in a pinch while packing a big punch from the V6 engine. If you opt for slimmer seats for the little ones, you’ll be able to get three across the backbench. The Avalon was redesigned in 2019, but this and the previous generation (2015–2018) have a similar amount of space when it comes to car seats. They’re both about 72 inches wide and have about 54.5 inches of rear hip room.

The Avalon has two LATCH systems on the seats near the window. Here’s what else you should know about the Toyota Avalon and its standard features from 2017–2020:

  • 268 hp 3.5L V6 (2017–2018) or 301 hp 3.5L V6 (2020 and later)
  • Leather seating (synthetic leather on model years 2020 and later)
  • Driver-assist features including pre-collision system and lane departure alert
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay connectivity

Nissan Murano

If you’re looking for a smaller SUV with loads of space and the ability to fit three car seats, you should consider the Nissan Murano. The Murano has two sets of LATCH connectors and a rear anchor point on all three seats in the back. Since the Murano is 75.4 inches wide and has 55.2 inches of hip room, there’s enough space for side-by-side and rear-facing car seats. Plus, with 32 cu-ft of cargo space, there will be plenty of room for all your kids’ gear, whether it’s strollers and playpens or sports equipment.

Here’s what you should know about standard features for the Nissan Murano from 2017:

  • 260 hp 3.5L V6 engine
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity (from 2018)
  • Rear-seat alarm that reminds you to check for children in the back seat (2019 and later)
  • Seven-inch color display

It’s possible to find a vehicle that fits three car seats without needing to buy a seven-seat SUV or minivan. Start your search with one of these great choices and get ready to hit the road with the family. Looking for more information?

Shop Vehicles That Fit Three Car Seats Near You

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarksTM or registered® trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.
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