3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit in a Toyota Corolla?

The Toyota Corolla is one of the most frequently seen small cars in the United States, competing with models like the Honda  Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Scion xBToyota Prius, and Chevy Cruze. It’s frequently chosen as an affordable option for small families interested in cheap and reliable transportation. I borrowed several and threw my best car seats in them in order to see how they did when it comes to fitting 3 car seats in a Toyota Corolla. Here is everything I’ve found.

I always like to start out with a quick review 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). These guidelines keep your kids restrained as safely as possible for as long as necessary, which gives them better odds of survival in serious collisions.

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 Toyota Corolla, and I believe it’s the most comprehensive guide on the Internet. I’ll periodically update each page as I try more seats in more positions. The good news is that you can fit a number of seats in any Corolla with the exception of the current generation.

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

corolla - 2014 - publicdomain2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 Toyota Corolla

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

It may be impossible to perform a 3 across installation in the current generation Toyota Corolla due to the restrictions placed on belt usage as outlined in the manual. Essentially, the center seat belt crosses with the outboard buckles, which is a no-no for seat installations. This means the Corolla might essentially a 4-person vehicle at this point, as the restriction also presumably applies to adults too. The same crossed-belt issue occurs with the current generation Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Highlander, but the Highlander still has belts spaced widely enough to make a number of 3 across installations feasible in every generation.

I’ve included 2 car seat arrangements that will work easily given the available space in the Corolla, but until Toyota corrects this, the Corolla will remain a 2-across vehicle.

Clek Fllo (x2).

Clek Foonf (x2).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x2).

Graco Contender (x2).

Diono Radian / RXT (x2).

Combi Coccoro (x2).

Tips and Tricks:

The main thing to remember with this generation of the Corolla is that 3 across installations just aren’t going to be an option; with that out of the way, the world is your oyster for 2-across installations, and if you’ve got very wide seats, just use the seat belts. You’ll most likely be able to get away with any 2 seats using LATCH, however.

corolla - 2009 - publicdomain2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Toyota Corolla

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT (x3).

Britax Boulevard ClickTight, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Boulevard G4, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Marathon ClickTight, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Marathon G4, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Safety 1st Complete Air, Graco Snugride 35.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Combi Coccoro.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Chicco KeyFit 30, Graco Affix, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco Snugride 35.

Safety 1st Complete Air, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Tips and Tricks:

This generation of Corolla is 179 inches long and 69 inches wide, or 1 in longer and 2 in wider than the previous generation. As a result, it is generally safe to assume that any combinations that work in the previous generation will work in this generation. Once again, the angle adjuster will be your friend if you’re looking for room after rear-facing a Radian in the back seat.

corolla - 2003 - publicdomain2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Toyota Corolla

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT (x3).

Britax Boulevard ClickTight, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Boulevard G4, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Marathon ClickTight, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Marathon G4, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Safety 1st Complete Air, Graco Snugride 35.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Combi Coccoro.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Chicco KeyFit 30, Graco Affix, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco Snugride 35.

Safety 1st Complete Air, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Tips and Tricks:

This generation of Corolla is 178 inches long and 67 inches wide, or 4 inches longer than the previous generation, though no wider. It’s still going to be a difficult affair to achieve 3 across installations, but it’s definitely still possible.

The angle adjuster may be necessary to successfully install the Diono if installed behind a taller driver or passenger, or if you simply enjoy having lots of leg space.

If using a TurboBooster with Dionos, it will be a difficult fit, and it might even be necessary to keep the seat buckled and have your child maneuver beneath the belt each time. It will be significantly easier to 3 across if you can do it without needing to buckle and unbuckle over and over again (i.e., via using harnessed seats for forward-facing).

corolla - 1998 - publicdomain1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Toyota Corolla / Chevrolet Prism

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT (x3).

Britax Boulevard ClickTight, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Boulevard G4.1, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Boulevard G4, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Marathon ClickTight, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Britax Marathon G4, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Safety 1st Complete Air, Graco Snugride 35.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Combi Coccoro.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Chicco KeyFit 30, Graco Affix, Diono Radian / RXT.

Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco Snugride 35.

Safety 1st Complete Air, Diono Radian / RXT, Graco TurboBooster.

Tips and Tricks:

This generation of Corolla is 174 inches long and 67 inches wide, which makes it one of the most challenging vehicles for 3 across configurations I’ve come across yet. While it’s possible, it won’t be fun.

The angle adjuster will definitely be necessary to successfully install the Diono if installed behind a taller driver or passenger.

If using a TurboBooster with Dionos, it will be a difficult fit, and it might even be necessary to keep the seat buckled and have your child maneuver beneath the belt each time. It will be significantly easier to 3 across if you can do it without needing to buckle and unbuckle over and over again (i.e., via using harnessed seats for forward-facing).

If you find the information on car safety, recommended car seats, and car seat reviews on this car seat blog helpful, you can bookmark and shop through this Amazon link. Canadians can bookmark and shop through this link.

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