3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit in a Honda Pilot?

The Honda Pilot is one of the best-selling SUVs or crossovers in the United States, and one of the relatively few 3-row mid-sized SUVs on the market. Competing with 3-row alternatives like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Flex, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, Dodge Durango, and Mazda CX-9, the Pilot is frequently chosen by families interested in hauling lots of family without turning to minivans (such as Honda’s own Odyssey).

The latest iteration of the Pilot comes with a plethora of safety features and good safety scores, making it a safe option for families with little ones. ESC, side airbags, front crash prevention, a strong roof, and many more features make it one of the most cutting-edge vehicles on the road. I borrowed a few generations of the Pilot, including the newest one, to see how they did when it came to maximizing car seat options within the 2nd and 3rd rows.

You know the basics of best practices in car seat safety: rear-face as long as possible (ideally until 4!), and then forward-face as long as possible (ideally until 8!), and then booster until a regular belt fits your child (which typically happens between 10 and 12). The goal is to keep kids restrained as safely as possible for as long as possible. It’s too late to do better once you’re in a crash; you’ve got to make the right decisions before you turn on your vehicle, every time.

However, for this information to be helpful, you need to know if a particular car seat will fit in your particular vehicle. Here are my experiences fitting a range of seats inside various years of the Honda Pilot. I’ll periodically update each page as I try more seats in more positions.

You can access the complete 3 across guide for every vehicle here and the complete list of recommended seats here. The Canadian car seat guide is here. 3 across car seat images are courtesy of Wikipedia.

2016, 2017 Honda Pilot

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

Graco Fit4Me (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65 (x2).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT (x2).

Graco TurboBooster, Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT.

Graco TurboBooster, Diono Radian / RXT (x2).

Tips and Tricks:

The current generation of the Honda Pilot is more than 194 inches long and close to 79 inches wide, which means you’re pretty much going to be able to fit whatever you want in that 2nd row as long as you’ve got an 8-seater and are also using your seat belts. You’ll also be able to get away with a lot of LATCH installations, but when you’re dealing with wider seats, the seat belts will still give you an edge.

The 3rd row is also pretty spacious, though not nearly as spacious as the 2nd row, both in terms of side to side space and front to back space. You’ll want to focus on the 2nd row unless you absolutely need to use the 3rd, especially given how difficult it is to access it once you start installing car seats in the 2nd row. This issue isn’t unique to the Pilot, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

pilot - 2009 - publicdomain2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Honda Pilot

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

2nd row – Clek Fllo (x3).

2nd row – Clek Foonf (x3). 

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Rainier, Diono Radian R120 / RXT.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Pacifica, Diono Radian R120 / RXT.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Olympia, Diono Radian R120 / RXT.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Britax Frontier 90.

2nd row – Chicco NextFit, Chicco KeyFit 30, Chicco NextFit.

2nd row – Chicco NextFit, Chicco NextFit, Chicco KeyFit 30.

2nd row – Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 (x3).

2nd row – Britax Boulevard, Britax Parkway SGL, Britax Frontier 90.

2nd row – Britax Frontier 90, Britax Frontier 90, Britax Boulevard / Marathon.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard.

2nd row – Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard, Britax Frontier 90.

2nd row – Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard, Evenflo Maestro.

2nd row – Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard, Graco Nautilus.

Tips and Tricks:

The 2009-2015 generation Pilot is 79 in wide and 191 in long, or 3 inches wider and longer than the previous generation. As a result, generally, any seat combination that works in the prior generation Pilot will also work in the current generation.

It is best to install an infant seat (e.g., the KeyFit 30) in the 2nd row right outboard seat instead of a convertible (e.g., the NextFit) when attempting 3 across if access to the 3rd row is required, as it will be easier to remove an infant seat from a base to provide 3rd row access than it will be to continually install and remove the convertible.

Per MACPS guidelines, 3-across car seat installations aren’t recommended in the 3rd row due to the degree of overlap between the center and driver’s side seat belts. This doesn’t appear in the vehicle’s manual, although it does appear in the 2015 MACPS manual.

pilot - 2006 - publicdomain2006, 2007, 2008 Honda Pilot

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

2nd row – Clek Fllo (x3).

2nd row – Clek Foonf (x3).

2nd row – Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 (x3). 

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT (x3).

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Rainier, Diono Radian R120 / RXT.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Pacifica, Diono Radian R120 / RXT.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Olympia, Diono Radian R120 / RXT.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Britax Frontier 90.

2nd row – Britax Frontier 90, Britax Frontier 90, Britax Boulevard / Marathon.

2nd row – Diono Radian R120 / RXT, Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard.

2nd row – Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard, Britax Frontier 90.

2nd row – Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard, Evenflo Maestro.

2nd row – Graco Snugride 35, Britax Marathon / Boulevard, Graco Nautilus.

Tips and Tricks:

As with the next generation Pilot, it is best to install an infant seat (e.g., the KeyFit 30) in the 2nd row right outboard seat instead of a convertible (e.g., the NextFit) when attempting 3 across if access to the 3rd row is required, as it will be easier to remove an infant seat from a base to provide 3rd row access than it will be to continually install and remove the convertible.

If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can shop through this Amazon link for any purchases, car seat-related or not. Canadians can shop through this link for Canadian purchases.

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