If you're shopping for a new vehicle for your family, and need one that can accommodate car seats for your kids, this is a great list to check out. Cars.com's 2021 Car Seat Fit Report Card rates the best family vehicles for car seats. The list is designed to give both parents and caregivers information on which family vehicles best fit car seats for infants, toddlers and young children. Cars.com says 67% of parents make a vehicle decision based on car seat fit.
“When it comes to shopping for a new vehicle, our data show that for more than two-thirds of parents, car seats play a significant role in their purchase decision,” said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief at Cars.com and certified child-passenger safety technician. “I’ve evaluated more than 600 vehicles in my career, and there’s no doubt about it: Some cars are just better made to properly and safely fit a car seat. With all the stress and confusion that comes with car seat installation —- especially for new parents — it’s so important that families do their homework and select a vehicle that not only works for their needs right now, but also one that grows with their family.”
Four Vehicles Make Honor Roll
Just four vehicles make Cars.com's Honor Roll this year out of 51 vehicles evaluated. Evaluations of the 2021-22 model year vehicles were conducted by Cars.com’s certified child-passenger safety technicians like Jenni Newman, pictured in the photo above. Each vehicle receives a letter grade following its evaluation. These four vehicles made this year's Honor Roll after achieving straight A’s in their Cars.com Car Seat Checks:
Car Seat Installation
Not only is having the right vehicle important, it's also critical to install child seats correctly, and studies show they often aren't. A Cars.com national study found that more than half of parents surveyed have an incorrectly installed car seat. The study found:
- 56% of parents stated they have installed a car seat incorrectly
- 84% of parents find some level of the process ‘frustrating.’
The issue was also recently the focus of the NHTSA's National Child Passenger Safety Week.
Cars.com says the goal of its Car Seat Fit Report Card is to reduce some of the stress involved with car seat installation and selecting the best family vehicle.
“Our research shows that the majority of consumers (80%) consider child safety features to be very important in guiding their vehicle purchase, and I don’t blame them,” said Newman, a mother of two. “Automakers continue to improve in-car safety technology features and well-appointed Latch systems. Our Car Seat Fit Report Card and ongoing Car Seat Checks help to alleviate some of the stress and anxiety parents face by highlighting the vehicles that offer the most peace of mind,” said Newman.
Cars.com says each Car Seat Check is performed by a Cars.com certified child-passenger safety technician who installs three types of car seats — infant, convertible and booster — into each new vehicle They evaluate the vehicle’s Latch system, as well as how the vehicle accommodates the different car seats. The Latch system is a set of lower anchors and top tether anchors that’s supposed to make car seat installation easier, but that’s not always the case. In order to earn an “A” grade, a vehicle must show it has plenty of room for the car seat and the child, without impacting legroom for the driver or front passenger. Vehicles must also demonstrate their Latch system is easy to find and use (without any fit issues), in order to show its car-seat-friendly.
To learn more about how Cars.com conducts its car seats tests click here.
Source/Photo Credit: Cars.com