Cars.com dropped their 2022 car seat fit report, and with it, a list of the top cars for parents whose kids are still needing to use a car seat — from infant car seats to boosters.
For parents, the safety of their kids is one of their biggest concerns. This means that parents don’t only want to know which car seat is the safest; parents also need to know which cars are better for parents who have kids at ages where they still need a car seat. Both vehicles and car seats are big purchases for families, and the last thing parents need — especially parents who know just how tough it is to install a car seat — is the two not working well together. Parents want a vehicle they can reliably use their kid’s car seat with and prefer the process to be as hassle-free as possible. In fact, 58% of parents in a survey said that they choose their vehicle at least partly due to car-seat fit.
So... what cars make the most sense for parents? Thankfully, Cars.com dropped their 2022 car seat fit report, and with it, a list of the top cars for parents whose kids are still needing to use a car seat. Here’s all the info you need to know.
This program has been going on for a while. In 2010, Cars.com launched its Car Seat Checks program, and over the course of their research, they’ve installed more than 650 car seats into all types of vehicles in those years. The seats are given ratings across six categories: the latch (including the top tether system and the lower anchors), rear-facing infant seat, rear-facing convertible, forward-facing convertible, and booster and third-row access, where applicable.
To test the vehicles' car seat fit, each vehicle is installed with a Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat, a Graco Contender 65 convertible, and a Graco TurboBooster.
Other measures used to ensure each vehicle is being tested the same way include:
- Front seats are adjusted for both a 6-food driver and a shorter passenger.
- Car seats are installed in the second row of each vehicle, with the booster behind the driver.
- Infant and convertible seats are installed behind the front row of passengers across all vehicles.
- For SUVs and minivans with three rows, the booster and convertible are installed in the third row and assessed on how easy or challenging it is to reach that row.
The evaluations for each category are then given a letter grade between A and D, with A denoting the highest marks for car seat fit and ease. The experts rating the vehicles for car seat ease are both certified child passenger safety technicians and “moms who have gone through every car-seat stage.” This year, 52 vehicles were evaluated for car seat ease. They spanned several different vehicle types, including SUVs, minivans, crossovers, electric vehicles, and sedans.
“With nearly 60% of parents choosing their vehicle based on car seat fit, it’s encouraging to see this year’s Car Seat Fit Report Card expand significantly to include vehicles at various price points as well as hybrid and electric models,” Jennifer Geiger, Cars.com news editor and certified child-passenger safety technician said.
Interestingly enough, a solid number of the vehicles are electric — and the 2022 Ford Escape PHEV qualifies for the $7,500 federal EV tax credit until the end of 2022 if you’re in the market for a new car immediately.
This year, 11 vehicles earned the top grade of A in all categories—here are the best cars for car seats:
- 2022 Acura RDX
- 2021 Audi Q5 Sportback
- 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback
- 2022 Cadillac XT5
- 2021 Ford Escape PHEV
- 2022 Ford Escape PHEV
- 2022 Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
- 2022 Kia EV6
- 2021 Volkswagen ID.4
- 2022 Volkswagen ID.4
- 2022 Volkswagen Tiguan
To take a look at the full report, including the rating for each category the 52 tested vehicles were given, visit Cars.com.