CHICAGO, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Ninety-five percent of new parents install car seats incorrectly¹, but finding the perfect car that fits each car seat best is half the battle. Just in time for National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 23-29), Cars.com (NYSE: CARS) today released its annual Car Seat Check Honor Roll, which highlights vehicles that earned a perfect score in Cars.com's Car Seat Checks conducted throughout the year.
"This year we tested 85 vehicles in our Car Seat Checks, and only 9 percent earned perfect scores," said Cars.com Editor-in-Chief and certified child passenger safety technician Jennifer Newman. "Parents often spend a lot of time determining the right car seat for their children but overlook how that seat will actually fit in their car. That's why we test and score car seats in many of the most popular vehicles for sale. We want to be the go-to resource for families looking to understand which cars fit which types of car seats the best, and our annual Honor Roll highlights the select few that do it the very best."
The Car Seat Checks involve hands-on testing of 2018 and 2019 model-year vehicles. In addition to assessing each vehicle's Latch system and overall ease of use, an infant seat, rear-facing convertible seat, forward-facing convertible seat and booster seat are installed in each vehicle, and scores are compiled on an A-to-F scale.
This year's Car Seat Honor Roll includes:
2018 Genesis G90: The 2018 Genesis G90's backseat could be called cavernous, and thanks to all that room, the luxury sedan easily accommodated our car seats. The Genesis G90's seats are wrapped in leather, but that didn't prevent us from easily accessing the lower Latch anchors, which sit about a quarter-inch into the seat bight, where the back and bottom seat cushions meet.
2018 Hyundai Sonata: The 2018 Hyundai Sonata may look a little tougher thanks to its refreshed looks, but it'll treat your precious cargo – and their car seats – with kid gloves. The 2018 Sonata has a roomy backseat that easily handled all the car seats we installed.
2019 Jeep Cherokee: This two-row SUV, which straddles the compact and mid-size classes, is a good fit for families with its roomy backseat boasting 40.3 inches of rear legroom. All that legroom explains why it made easy work of our rear-facing infant and convertible car seats. For 2019, the Cherokee gained new front-end styling, an optional turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and slightly more cargo volume than previous Cherokees.
2019 Lexus ES 350: Redesigned for 2019, Lexus injected a lot of style into this nearly full-size sedan. The 2019 Lexus ES 350 earned all A's in our test, including for the booster seat fit – an area where it had previously earned a C in the 2017 Lexus ES 350 due to difficult-to-grasp seat belt buckles and intrusive seat bolsters. In the 2019 model, the rear-seat belt buckles are on a stable base, making it easy for younger kids to buckle up independently.
2018 Lincoln Continental: Talk about spoiled. The 2018 Lincoln Continental lays on the luxury with its optional reclining, heated, cooled and massaging rear seats. Of course, those features are lost on the car-seat set, but just imagine how much they'll enjoy it once they've finally outgrown their booster seat (when they're 4 feet, 9 inches tall – and not an inch earlier). Car seats fit like a dream on the Continental's relatively flat rear seats.
2018 Subaru Impreza: Don't let the size of the Impreza fool you into thinking it can't do family duty. Yes, it's a compact car, but that backseat has room to spare thanks to its 36.5 inches of rear legroom. In our test, we were able to position the front passenger seat at a comfortable position for our 5-foot-6-inch tester and install a rear-facing infant seat behind it without having to move the front passenger seat forward to accommodate it.
2018 Toyota Camry: The 2018 Toyota Camry's redesign addressed many of its issues, but the ones we're most excited about involve car seats. In the 2017 Camry, the lower Latch anchors were buried deep between the seat cushions, but for 2018, the Toyota Camry now has easy-access lower Latch anchors that sit below removable plastic covers. It made a big difference in our car seat installations and raised the Camry's grade significantly for 2018.
2018 Toyota 4Runner: Looking for an SUV that can handle going off-road and three car seats? The Toyota 4Runner says bring it all on. It has standard seating for five, which is the version we tested, but an optional third row increases seating to seven. The second-row bench seat easily handles three car seats, and we had no issues finding the top tether anchors, which are clearly marked.
To see how your car, or a car you're considering purchasing, fared in its Car Seat Check, or to learn more about how Cars.com conducts its checks, click here.
¹The Journal of Pediatrics, "Unsafe from the Start: Serious Misuse of Car Safety Seats at Newborn Discharge," April 2016
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