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Study Shows Many SUVs Actually Can’t Fit As Many Car Seats As They Claim

Not even half of the cars claiming to hold three car seats actually can.

Well, it seems that SUVs can’t hold as many car seats as they advertised. A new study from the consumer publication What Car? found that “size doesn’t always equal practicality,” when they determined that only less than half of the cars claiming to be able to hold three car seats are actually capable of doing so. Their findings were not limited to five-seat cars either. Many cars with three rows and up to eight seats were shown to be incapable of holding an adequate number of car seats as well.

What Car? tested 16 different vehicles with three different children ages seven, four, and 11-months-old, and each child used the same car seat. While around two-thirds of multi-purpose vehicles were able to hold the proper amount of seats, only one out of eight SUV’s could hold three car seats at once. Though the study isn’t the end of the world for any car company, it does highlight some concerns that parents should have when picking out a family car.

“Our research only shows one possible scenario in terms of the combination of child ages and car seat styles, but it highlights the need for parents to check that their child seats will fit properly into a car before buying it.” said the study.

Of the cars tested, the ones that were able to safely hold three car seats in one row were the Audi Q7, Vauxhall Zafira Tourer, Citroen Grand C4 Picasso, and Volkswagen Touran. Unfortunately, more than a handful of large family vehicles like the Renault Grand Scenic, Ford S-Max, Peugeot 5008, Skoda Kodiaq, and Nissan X-Trail could only hold two car seats max. At the same time, cars like the BMW X5, Seat Alhambra, and Volvo XC90 could all fit three seats, but only when one is placed in a different row apart from the others.

Car Seats are an invaluable, and mandatory, part of raising and traveling with a child. Before a child reaches two-years-old there’s only about a 50 percent chance that the vertebrae in their neck have finished changing from cartilage to hard bone. Considering this, it’s imperative that the child be totally secure in the seat in the event of a collision. If a parent gets into a car accident but had to compromise safety by questionably placing three car seats in a single row, children are still in danger. So keep an eye on this study and always check to see if a car can actually fit the number of seats your family requires before buying. Safety, as always, comes first.