Becoming a parent changes your car buying calculus. It doesn’t mean you’re resigned to a lifetime of automotive dreariness and boredom, but you’ll probably require more space — I had to level up from a two-door Golf to a four-door Golf Sportwagen. And there’s a new consideration in your life: car seats.
Car seats are expensive. Plus, your kids will be in them until nearly the point it is time for that awkward sex talk. And fitting those seats into your car is now a primary factor in your purchase. And unlike throttle response and corner handling, it’s not something car reviewers typically discuss. Broadly, a bigger car will be easier to get a car seat into. Though — take it from someone who reviews dozens of cars per year — some crossovers can be discordantly maddening to fit a car seat into and some small sedans make the process a breeze.
Fortunately, Cars.com did the research for you. They just released their Car Seat Fit Report Card, which graded 51 vehicles on their latch system, how easy it is to access the third-row (where applicable) and how easy it was to install infant, rear-facing convertible, forward-facing convertible and high-backed booster seats.
Below are the four cars that received perfect A ratings for car seat fitness across the board. If those options don’t completely float your boat, we also threw in a few of our favorites that came very close.
The Genesis GV80 is one of the best value luxury SUVs on the market, and great for car seats.
Hyundai just revamped the Tucson, and the hybrid version gets 38 mpg.
The Nissan Sentra proves great family cars still come in sedan form.
Yes, family cars can still put out 500 horsepower thanks to a twin-turbo V8.
Buying a car seat can be confusing and expensive. Save yourself some trouble with this helpful guide.
The Ford F-150 earned all A ratings — except for one B, for forward-facing convertible car seat.
VW's stylish and spacious Arteon earned all As, except for a B for the second-row booster seat.
The GMC Yukon earned all As, except for a B for installing the booster seat in the second row.
Kia's K5 sedan earned all As, except for a B for installing a booster seat in the second row.
The 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport earned all As except for a B for installing a booster seat in the second row.
The all-new Nissan Rogue received A ratings for every measure, except a B for installing a forward-facing convertible seat in the second row.
The Nissan Leaf received all A ratings, except for a B for installing a forward-facing convertible seat in the second row.
The IIHS has published its list of Top Safety Picks for 2021, with brands like Volvo and Subaru leading the charge.