Each year, Cars.com’s Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians install car seats in nearly 100 new car models. These Car Seat Checks test each vehicle’s LATCH system and its ease of use by installing an infant seat, convertible seat and booster seat. Cars are graded on an A to F scale.
“Out of 84 model-year 2016 and 2017 vehicles tested in our Car Seat Checks, only six have made the Cars.com Car Seat Honor Roll,” said Jennifer Newman, Cars.com managing editor of news. “These six cars earned the top score of A in all of our Car Seat Check categories, setting them apart as the very best vehicles for car-seat installation.”
The Honor Roll recognizes the cars tested that make car seat installation easier for families. These include:
- 2017 Ford Escape – Not only did the Escape make Car Seat Honor Roll, but the 2017 Escape also earned top honors in Cars.com’s 2016 Compact SUV Challenge, deeming it the Best Compact SUV of 2016. This five-seat compact SUV makes quick work of car seat installation with its easy-to-access LATCH anchors, removable head restraints and reclining rear seatbacks. With a starting price of $24,495, it’s within reach for many small families.
- 2017 GMC Acadia – Despite shrinking in size, the redesigned 2017 Acadia earned an A in all Car Seat Check criteria. This midsize SUV is available with two or three rows. With a starting price of $29,995 for a three-row Acadia, larger families can travel in style and comfort.
- 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Featuring a roomy backseat with plenty of space for two rear-facing car seats and exposed LATCH anchors for quick car-seat installation. The Sonata Hybrid starts at $26,835, making it wallet-friendly.
- 2016 Jaguar XF – While Jaguar may not be the first automaker that comes to mind when thinking about family cars, it certainly knows how to treat a family well. The redesigned XF features one of our favorite styles of LATCH anchors: They sit behind removable plastic covers, making car seat installation easy as pie. With a starting price of $52,895, the XF may not jump to the top of a family’s car shopping list, but for those who take a closer look, there’s a lot to like.
- 2016 Mini Clubman – This Mini isn’t so mini anymore – the Clubman has grown a foot in length, helping it earn top honors in its Car Seat Check, but it also still manages to be fun to drive. With three rear seats in the 2016 version, the Clubman, which starts at $24,950, can work well for families of three or four.
- 2016 Toyota RAV4 – When it comes to car seats, the RAV4 is at the top of the class. Cars.com experts praise the RAV4’s “massive” backseat, which helps it easily handle those space-hogging rear-facing car seats. The best-selling RAV4 has a starting price of $25,250.
“Child Passenger Safety Week, starting Sept. 18, is a week that helps to educate parents and caretakers about the importance of car seat safety,” said Newman. “At Cars.com, we have three Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who install and write our Car Seat Checks. During these checks, we investigate a car’s LATCH system, which is supposed to make car seat installation easier but oftentimes doesn’t, as well as how different car seat styles fit into a car.”