3 Across Installations: Which Car Seats Fit in a Kia Sorento?

The Kia Sorento is a mid-sized crossover SUV that competes with other SUVs like the Ford Edge, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlander, Dodge Journey, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Flex, and Honda Pilot, among families looking for safe, stylish 5 to 7-passenger mid-sized SUVs. It has some of the latest features in safety design in terms of passive safety, including Electronic Stability Control, rollover-sensing airbags, and good safety scores in moderate frontal overlap and side impact crash tests. It also was one of a handful of vehicles in which no drivers died while driving the 2011 model year Sorento between 2009 and 2012.  This is an incredibly impressive statistic, and it made me want to figure out which car seats would fit 3 across in a Kia Sorento. And as a bonus for fans of things made locally, the US Sorento is produced in West Point, Georgia. Let’s see how car-seat friendly it turned out to be!

Before we take a look at the car seats that fit well in the Sorento, though, let’s look at best practices in car safety. I advocate rear-facing your youngest children in infant seats or convertible car seats as long as you can (ideally until 4!), followed by extended harnessing in a forward-facing convertible or combination seat (ideally until 6, 7, or 8!), and then finally using a booster seat until children are physically and psychologically developed enough to pass the 5 step test for seat belt use (which typically happens between 10 and 12). My goals here are to keep your little ones as safe as possible by keeping them as optimally restrained as possible while traveling in a vehicle.

After a bit of work puzzling seats together, I realized that the second row of the Sorento was not a very friendly space for most car seats. However, there are some seat combinations that will work if you take your time and have a bit of patience. If you find the list helpful when shopping for car seats, you can shop through my Amazon link below. I’ll add more seats as I test them over time.

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.

sorento - 2016 - publicdomain2016, 2017, 2018 Kia Sorento (UM)

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Chicco KeyFit 30 (x3).

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

Diono Radian RXT (x3).

Diono Radian R120 (x3).

Diono Radian R100 (x3).

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

Combi Coccoro (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Clek Fllo, Graco Contender, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65 (x2).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

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

Tips and Tricks:

The current generation of the Kia Sorento is 187 inches long and 74 inches wide, which makes it 3 inches longer than the previous generation, though not any wider. As a result, many car seats that fit in the previous generation can be expected to fit in the current generation, with a bit more front-to-back room available for taller car seats now than before. As usual, make use of seat belt installations instead of LATCH installations to get as much space as possible when installing 3 across.

A signifiant issue to keep in mind with the current generation Sorento is that there is a slight amount of belt overlap between the driver- and center-position seats in the back row, which keeps me from recommending 3 across setups involving boosters for this generation. The overlap isn’t enough to the point where I feel 3 car seats couldn’t work, but it does make the center seat more difficult to use successfully.

sorento-2011-publicdomain2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Kia Sorento

Guaranteed 3 across installations:

Clek Fllo (x3).

Clek Foonf (x3).

Diono Radian / RXT (x3).

Graco Contender (x3).

Graco Size4Me 65 (x3).

Clek Fllo, Graco Contender, Diono Radian / RXT.

Clek Fllo, Graco Size4Me 65 (x2).

Clek Fllo, Diono Radian / RXT, Diono Radian / RXT.

Combi Coccoro (x3).

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

Tips and Tricks:

This generation of the Kia Sorento is 184 inches long and 74 inches wide, which is rather typical for 2-row mid-sized SUVs on the market. However, the interior space is not very large, and it feels more like a small SUV on the inside than a mid-sized one when it comes to 3 across space. Similarly, because of the shorter front-to-back length of the crossover, you’ll have to scoot the front seats up a bit if you’ve got taller rear-facing convertibles. For that reason, I’d recommend going with a seat like a Fllo or a Foonf over a Radian RXT if you’ve got taller drivers or want to maximize front-to-back space.

The third row can fit a couple of car seats in forward-facing configurations, but there’s barely any space there (even less than in the Dodge Journeys with 3 rows), so I wouldn’t plan on using seats there unless I absolutely had to.

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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